Apple WWDC rumor scorecard: 2011 edition

WWDC 2011's keynote is in the can, and we know all the details on iCloud, iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. CNET takes a look at how the pre-show rumors panned out.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
5 min read
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The dust from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference has settled and now we know all about iCloud, iOS 5, and Mac OS X Lion. We also know which rumors from ahead of the show turned out to be true, and which ones didn't.

To Apple's credit, there were very few leaks ahead of this year's show. While a few iOS 5 features came out, as well as functionality that would appear in iCloud, there was a fair bit that was unknown going into it. The one exception being OS X Lion, which Apple had taken most of the wraps off back in October.

Below is a roundup of some of the big rumors, split up by product. Not surprisingly, the more outlandish ones proved not to be true, yet there were a few surprises here and there. Read on to find out how they panned out.


Rumor: iCloud won't be available today, but will be soon.
Outcome: True, iCloud is not available to customers today but will be when iOS 5 launches in the fall. In the interim, Apple is making iCloud available to developers to test.

Rumor: No video in iCloud, just music
Outcome: True. Apple is not syncing video from iTunes across devices, just music files. Though sources have told CNET that Apple has been pushing studios extra hard to let it store user video files on its servers.

Rumor: No music streaming immediately, but it will come later on.
Outcome: True but also false. The system Apple outlined this morning is a sync solution, letting users re-download their files to various devices, not stream them outright, thus saving space on that device. Whether Apple plans to offer that later on in iCloud's life was not disclosed during this morning's announcements.

Rumor: Apple has the blessing of all four major record companies
Outcome: True from Jobs saying that iCloud will work with all 18 million songs in Apple's iTunes Store library.

A purported screenshot of Apple's iCloud login, posted ahead of today's unveiling.
A purported screenshot of Apple's iCloud login, posted ahead of today's unveiling. Funky Space Monkey

Rumor: iCloud to cost $25 a year.
Outcome: True on price, false on rest of service. The iCloud service itself is being offered for free, however Apple's iTunes Match service, which will match up music you didn't buy off iTunes with tracks from Apple's 18 million song library, does in fact run $25 a year. That particular report, which came from the L.A. Times, said Apple would also be advertising on iCloud, which Jobs noted was not the case.

Rumor: The iCloud sign-on page looks like this (right).
Outcome: iCloud as a destination site does not exist. iCloud is simply the mechanism to ferry over files, settings and media between iOS devices, Macs and PCs. That said, iCloud.com, which Apple now owns, still redirects toward former owner Xcerion AB's CloudMe Web site.

Rumor: Time Capsule to be updated as an iCloud drive
Outcome: False. Apple's Wi-Fi router meets hard drive was not updated as part of today's news. Nor was the Airport Express hardware, as mentioned in that same report.

iOS 5

Twitter's now a built-in feature within iOS 5.
Twitter's now a built-in feature within iOS 5. Apple

Rumor: iOS 5 getting widgets, overhauled notifications and Twitter integration.
Outcome: We got overhauled notifications as well as Twitter integration, but no sign of widgets. Both the Twitter integration and notifications were broken out during Apple's presentation today, with notifications getting big cheers from the crowd.

Rumor: No iOS 5 for iPhone 3GS.
Outcome: False. Fans of hanging on to old hardware can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple said iOS 5 is going to be available for all the devices that are currently eligible for iOS 4, a list that includes the iPhone 3GS.

Rumor: Siri's technology making it into iOS 5 as a system level feature
Outcome: False. No talk of enhanced voice controls during Apple's presentation, or in its supplementary features pages.

Rumor: iOS 5 bringing over the air updates for system software.
Outcome: True. iOS 5 now does over the air updates, and small ones at that. Apple's employed a delta update system for its iOS software, letting users grab the newest version of the operating system in a way that does not involve downloading the entire system image file, or plugging into iTunes.

Rumor: iOS 5 to bring automatic updating for apps
Outcome: False. While Apple noted that the need for iTunes is gone from iOS 5, you still need to go through and manually download updates to applications. However through iCloud, Apple introduced a feature that makes it so that when you install an app on one iOS device, it syncs up your progress on that app across multiple devices.

Rumor: No more "plug into iTunes messages" with iOS 5
Outcome: True. Apple's made iOS 5 work without computers. When buying a new iOS device with iOS 5 installed, you can run it right out of the box by plugging in your Apple ID.

Rumor: Split-view pane mode coming to Mail app in iPad.
Outcome: True, though this one was less of a rumor than a wishlist item from Daring Fireball's John Gruber. The feature is, in fact, present in iOS 5 through a gesture.

Mac OS X Lion

Rumor: Lion getting a "find my mac" tool
Outcome: True. Despite no mention of it during the keynote, or in the list of 250 features that are included in Lion, the feature is there in the build Apple released to developers.

Rumor: iCloud built into Lion
Outcome: True. Lion includes iCloud storage APIs to let Mac OS applications store data in Apple's cloud where it can go out to other computers and iOS devices.

Reports that Apple would be offering Lion as a Mac App Store download proved to be true.
Reports that Apple would be offering Lion as a Mac App Store download proved to be true. Apple

Rumor: Lion to be distributed through the Mac App Store
Outcome: True. In fact, Apple's said it's the only way it's distributing Lion, a move that requires users first have Snow Leopard installed. That's big news from a distribution angle, leaving those without a broadband connection in a pickle, while simplifying the process of having to grab a copy of the software from a retail store (including Apple's) for everyone else.

Rumor: Lion release date on June 14
Outcome: False. Apple gave developers yet another build of the OS today, while promising to deliver it to consumers sometime next month. 9to5mac, which had the original sourcing for this rumor, attributed it more toward retail changes in Apple's stores as opposed to knowledge of Apple's plans.

Rumor: Apple contemplating bringing iOS apps to Mac OS Lion.
Outcome: False. This was less of a rumor versus pure conjecture when a mystery device showed up in a list of compatible devices in some iTunes listings back in April.


Rumor: No iPhone announcement (1,2,3)
Outcome: True. The iPhone was mentioned plenty, but only the current version. The vague release timeframe of iOS 5 for fall strongly suggests something iPhone-related to coincide with that.

Rumor: Time Capsule to grab system updates and other downloads as they're released for quicker downloading.
Outcome: False. No mention of a Time Capsule update during today's event.

Any big ones we missed? Leave them in the comments.