iPhone6mockup

Will WWDC give us iPhone 6 facts instead of rumors?

WWDC is next week, and iPhone 6 and iOS 8 rumors are flying faster than ever. Before Monday’s keynote scheduled for 1 p.m. EST in San Francisco can destroy all the rumors with actual facts, here’s a roundup of the latest, juicy bits of gossip:

iPhone 6 to launch Sept. 19? Maybe, maybe not
Did a German telco leak the iPhone 6 release date? German carrier Deutsche Telekom reportedly is enticing customers to stay with the carrier for what it said is the Sept. 19 launch of the iPhone 6. One of the world’s largest telecom carriers and the owner of T-Mobile in the U.S., Deutsche Telekom, is said to be registering customers for new contracts for the iPhone 6 beginning in July for those whose contract has ended or is about to end.

A Sept. 19 launch would fit the timeframe of recent iPhone launches. Last year, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c went on sale on Sept. 20. In 2012, the iPhone 5 was released on Sept. 21. Also, Apple has typically launched new iPhone models on Friday; Sept. 19 falls on that day of the week.

That all makes sense, but Deutsche Telekom could just be taking a shot in the dark. Some analysts and Apple watchers have predicted earlier release dates. Yours truly has even suggested Apple may decide to launch one of its new iPhones next week at WWDC. Apple released the first four generations of the iPhone in June, before moving to a fall release schedule with the iPhone 4S.

Will there be two new iPhones this year?
Persistent rumors have pointed to the possibility that Apple will release not one but two distinct iPhones this year: one with a larger 4.7-inch display and another with a 5.5-inch phablet display. But the timing of the devices’ releases has been the subject of wildy different speculation. Some had suggested the 4.7-inch model would arrive in September while the 5.5-inch phablet wouldn’t appear until the holiday shopping season or possibly even in January, pushed back by alleged supply delays with its screen or battery, take your pick.

The newest scuttlebutt suggests that Apple may launch the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in August, followed by the 5.5-inch phablet in September. Taiwan’s Economic Daily News has set this rumor in motion by citing unnamed supply-chain sources. Of course.

Touch ID for everyone
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to roll out Touch ID for every iPhone and iPad model launched this year, including both rumored iPhone 6 versions, the iPad Air 2 (I’ve to call it something) and the second-generation iPad mini with Retina display (a device that sorely needs a better name). Despite analysts’ checkered history of accurate predictions (this one in particular seems to be less than half right when trying to predict anything that’s not as obvious as the rising and setting of the sun), I’m inclined to believe that Touch ID will, indeed, be in every new iPhone and iPad this year as its simply a good selling point and a feature that’s miles ahead in usability compared with similar offerings from Samsung.

iOS in the home
According to a report from The Financial Times, Apple is working on a software platform to “turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances.” Apple’s new system would make it easier to set up and control “smart home” devices, automating such difficult household tasks as unlocking your home’s doors, turning on the lights and opening the garage door. Color me just a wee bit uninterested in this sort of functionality.

There aren’t any details about how this would work or its implementation, so I can hope it’s something that Apple is eyeing but isn’t stealing resources away from features I actually would like to see and use with the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.

Setting myself up for disappointment
As I don’t have any “smart home” devices and have no plans to buy any this millenium, and I’m wildly uninterested in anything a reported Healthbook app has to offer, what would I like to see in an iPhone 6 and iOS 8? How about just delivering on the promise of the technology’s usability.
I want to see:
*Inter-app communication. Music, documents, images and video should be able to be shared from one app to another.
*Better-integrated social media. Bring back quick-sharing options. And Google+ needs to be on equal footing with Facebook and Twitter.
*Customizable Control Center. Give me more toggles and the ability to determine what I want and don’t want. I’d much rather have quick access to my alarms rather than the stopwatch, for example.
*Siri as a true virtual assistant. Siri needs to be capable of handling any and all voice commands, even within third-party apps.
If Apple can pull off these features, I’ll be really excited to upgrade to an iPhone 6. If not, there are always alternatives…

Chris Cox is the owner and moderator of the Apple iCommunity on Google+. Join the community here to stay up on the latest news and rumors about and affecting Apple and its products and services.

About Chris Cox

I love technology, but I could do without the tinkering. I'm a firm believer in technology that just works. If it's intuitive, that leads to greater adoption, which leads to more advances, and that benefits us all. That said, a little tinkering on the front end that helps you every day is worth the effort. I'm all for simple solutions that keep me -- and you -- from reinventing the wheel every day.