Apple to unveil Apple TV OS at WWDC?

For years there have been rumors surrounding the launch of an Apple-branded HDTV. While the physical device probably won’t have its big unveiling at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), there is a growing body of rumors that suggest Apple will take the wraps off a brand new TV operating system (OS) built to run on the device.

Technology blog BGR said it had “learned from a trusted source that Apple is planning to demonstrate a brand new version of the Apple TV operating system next week at WWDC. This new OS is said to be much more feature-complete than the current OS that runs on the Apple TV, and is apparently the one that Apple’s upcoming HDTV will run. Yes, that one.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook avoided answering direct questions about an Apple TV during his recent interview with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference but told the audience “This is an area of intense interest for us.”

He added, “We would look not just at this area, but other areas, and ask, can we control the key technology? Can we make a significant contribution far beyond what others have done in this area? Can we make a product that we all want?”

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber also toyed with the possibility of an Apple TV-related announcement at WWDC in 2012.

He noted that there was an unusually high percentage of “To Be Announced” sessions at this year’s conference and hypothesized that the sessions may be related to an as-yet unannounced developer platform.

“To me, this is what a preliminary WWDC conference schedule would look like if Apple were set to announce a new developer platform, like, say, apps for Apple TV,” he wrote, adding, “it’s one of the few things I can imagine that would be big, new, and different enough to warrant that much attention at WWDC.

So what else can Apple fans expect to see at this year’s WWDC?

During his interview at D: All Things Digital, Tim Cook told attendees to look out for some major developments on the Siri front -- Apple’s intelligent voice recognition service.

He said, “I think you will be really pleased with some of the things you see over the coming months on this. We have some cool ideas about what Siri can do. We have a lot going on on this.”

There is also speculation about updates to iCloud, a closer look at iOS 6 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion, revamped MacBook Pros (with a retina display), and new iMacs.

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is Apple’s biggest annual event. The sold-out conference brings together software and hardware developers and showcases the latest Apple technologies. It is typically a stage for Apple to announce major hardware and Mac OS X and iOS platform updates. In 2012 WWDC will take place from June 11-15 at Moscone West in San Francisco, USA.