With Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicking off in San Francisco in less than a month, rumors are starting to swirl about what will be unveiled this year. The conference has traditionally served as the forum for Apple’s announcement of new iPhones, but with the late launch of last year’s iPhone 4S pushing back the release schedule for the next iPhone, it’s not clear what Apple may have up its sleeve.
Of course, WWDC is a software conference, so most of the speculation has centered on iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion, both of which are likely to be showcased. Now, however, there are reports that iCloud might be getting a big makeover, too. According to a report this afternoon by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is set to unveil some major upgrades to the service at WWDC this year. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Journal reports that most of the upgrades will center on how iCloud handles photos. As it currently stands, iCloud effectively acts as little more than a photo backup. Photos taken with your iPhone are automatically (if you want) uploaded to your Photo Stream. While your friends can see them, there is no way to share or comment or organize the photos into albums. With the new update, Apple will be setting its sights on the kind of photo sharing allowed by Facebook and Instagram.
That, however, is not the only change coming to iCloud. The WSJ’s source confirms what we learned yesterday: iCloud’s web interface will be getting the same Notes and Reminders apps that are currently on iOS, and will be coming to OS X Mountain Lion when it launches later this summer.
Assuming the WSJ’s report is accurate, as seems highly likely, WWDC 2012 will be pretty exciting even without the launch of a new iPhone. Previews of OS X Mountain Lion, iOS 6, and even iTunes 11 are likely. With all that on the (likely) schedule, WWDC ought to be worth watching. When the time comes, of course, you can follow our coverage of the conference here.