Apple Plans to Debut iCloud Upgrade with Photo Sharing Social Network, New Thinner MacBook Pro at WWDC

Apple is about to unveil an upgraded iCloud service at the WWDC in June. According to a Wall Street Journal article citing the sources "familiar with the matter" claimed the features would include new photo-sharing capabilities for sharing and commenting on sets of photos."The new features, which could be announced at Apple's world-wide developer conference […]

Apple is about to unveil an upgraded iCloud service at the WWDC in June. According to a Wall Street Journal article citing the sources "familiar with the matter" claimed the features would include new photo-sharing capabilities for sharing and commenting on sets of photos.

"The new features, which could be announced at Apple's world-wide developer conference beginning June 11, will allow iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them, these people said. Currently, users can store only one set of photos in iCloud through a feature called Photo Stream, which is designed to sync those photos to other Apple devices, not share them," the WSJ mentiones.

"Apple is trying to better compete in the red-hot market for photo sharing, dominated by fast-growing online services such as Facebook Inc. and mobile apps like Instagram--which Facebook has agreed to acquire for $1 billion."

The WSJ also confirmed that Apple also plans to allow users to access "Notes" and "Reminders" through iCloud.com.

And, that the Cupertino, Calif., company is also working on a new feature that will allow iCloud users to sync their personal videos via iCloud. In September last year, it was revealed that Apple was readying its Find My Friends network, with references to video streams that indicated Apple was likely considering a video syncing/stream feature similar to Photo Stream.

According to the report, "Apple is rolling out new features cautiously as it worries about the costs of storing huge volumes of user data, the people familiar with the matter. ICloud's Photo Stream limits users to accessing their last 30 days of photos, or 1,000 of them, on Apple devices as well as PCs. Its features, after the new sharing and commenting ones, will still remain basic compared with some other photo-sharing services.

…Apple executives continue to discuss expanding the number of photos and albums users can store via iCloud to make the service resemble its iPhoto downloadable software, one of the people familiar with the matter said. But it is moving cautiously because of costs."

In other report from Bloomberg, according to people with knowledge of the plans said, Apple is preparing a new lineup of thinner MacBook laptops running on more powerful chips made by Intel.

The new MacBook Pro machines, will feature high- definition Retina display, NVIDIA graphics, as well as flash memory to cut startup times and extend battery life, said the people.

Apple's new laptops will run on Intel's new processors, code-named Ivy Bridge, and will have a slimmed-down body design from the current 0.95-inch (2.4 centimeter) thickness, the people said.

The report also suggested that Apple would announce the release date of its upcoming Mac operating system, called "Mountain Lion," due in "late summer."

Mountain Lion brings many features from iOS like a Notification Center, heavy iCloud integration, Messages, and a new feature called "Gatekeeper." It also expands Apple's iCloud digital-storage service to let Mac users access and share saved documents across the Internet. And allows users to create and access reminders and notes, and receive notifications, on all their Apple devices. Another new iCloud feature will make it easier to share photographs. It is now available as a beta to those apart of Apple's Developer Center.

Apple is also most likely will d├ębut its iOS 6.

Also, Apple is working on redesigning MacBook Air and iMac with a thinner version of the current model, a USB 3.0 and a Retina display.

Apple is working on new 11.6 inch and 13.3 inch MacBook Air models. In addition, the laptops will support improved internal battery technology designed by Apple to support the power requirements required to support Retina displays.

According to the report, the power requirements and thin-and-light form factor of the Air may pose challenges for production. Due to this, there is no timeline for the release of the new Air models. In addition, Apple is not sure whether USB 3.0 will be included in the new Air models.

The new iMac will also receive Ivy Bridge processors, updated graphics, and USB 3.0. According to ABC News, "While the design of the laptop might be similar (though thinner), the part of the laptop you spend the most time looking at is getting a major overhaul -- the screen. The laptop will see the introduction of the "Mac Retina Display," which is said to have a very high resolution. ABC News has similarly heard from its own sources that both the next MacBook Pro and the iMac would be getting very, very high resolution displays. Apple refreshed its new iPad with a Retina Display in March."

The Retina display will present itself in a different fashion on the 27-inch iMac due to display restrictions, David Barnard said. Apple could build a display at 3840x2400 resolution that presents itself with a Retina workspace of 1920x1200. This means at 1x the display would have 84 pixels per inch (ppi) and at 2x the display would have 168 ppi in order to prevent distortion of elements (icons, etc.) and problems with the user interface.

Also, according to a WSJ report, Apple's next iPhone will feature a larger screen "at least" 4 inches. Apple has reportedly contacted its Asian production chain members to begin work on the new display. The Wall Street Journal's claims,

"Apple Inc., which is expected to launch its next-generation iPhone later this year, has ordered screens from its Asian suppliers that are bigger than the ones used in iPhones since they debuted in 2007, people familiar with the situation said."

Production is set to begin next month for the screens, which measure at least 4 inches diagonally compared with 3.5 inches on the iPhone 4S, the latest phone from Apple, the people said."

The emphasis on the Mac at WWDC suggests that Apple will concentrate on the iPhone later in the year. Analysts, including Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray Cos., have predicted Apple will release its next smartphone model by October.