The WWDC wind-down: 5 lingering questions

Whatcha got Cookin'?
Whatcha got Cookin'?

Earlier this week, Apple took the wraps off of a ton of new stuff during its WWDC keynote address. From Apple Music and iOS 9 to OS X El Capitan and Swift 2, there was a lot to like for consumers and developers alike. However, mixed in with all of the flowery language about how Apple is planning to change the game once again, there was a distinct lack of attention paid to the enterprise market.

Looking back at past WWDCs, this wasn't always the case. In 2013, Apple announced that iOS 7 would include app store volume purchases, enterprise single sign-on, and more. Hardware nuts were even given something to drool over with the refresh of the MacBook Air and our first look at the beastly Mac Pro redesign. Even during WWDC 2014, Apple's Craig Federighi gave enterprise users a shoutout, saying that iOS was a "huge hit in the enterprise."

Now that the hype has died down a bit from this year's WWDC, we thought it'd be a good time to look at what Apple didn't announce - especially for the enterprise crowd. With that in mind, let's take a look at five lingering questions enterprise users may have about what Apple didn't mention.

1. Where art thou, iPad Pro?

Let's just get this one out of the way right off the bat. An iPad Pro has been rumoured to be in the pipeline for years, but despite some reported release dates and the occasional display panel leak, it hasn't officially reared its head. As far as specs are concerned, the only thing that's fairly certain right now is that the iPad Pro will sport a much larger screen than current iPad models, landing somewhere between 12.2 to 12.9 inches. Additionally, the device has been rumoured to include NFC for possible use as a payment terminal for small businesses.

Given the surge in rumours over the last several months pointing toward a 2015 release date, WWDC seemed like an opportune time for Apple to announce the iPad Pro. Ultimately, that turned out to not be the case, but with iOS 9, Apple appears to be laying some groundwork for a potential release later this year. Of particular note for the business crowd is the ability to run two apps at once, side-by-side. While this is sure to be a boon for productivity on the current generation of iPads, the potential on the larger-screened iPad Pro would be even greater.

In addition, Apple announced that iOS 9 will include better hardware keyboard support with an easier connection process and support for commonly used keyboard shortcuts. In short, between enhancements in iOS 9 and the persistence of the rumour mill, we wouldn't expect the iPad Pro to be too far off, with an announcement possible at Apple's annual iPad event this fall.

2. No word on IBM?

Almost a year ago, Apple and IBM announced a partnership to bring enterprise-ready apps to iOS devices. Since then, the partnership has borne fruit in the form of a range of apps focused on analytics, device management, and most recently, the healthcare industry. The overall goal, of course, is to make a concerted effort to push more iOS devices into the business space, and Apple looks to have been fairly successful so far.

That being said, there are some ways Apple could improve things. For one, it would have been interesting to see Apple buck the traditional client-by-client distribution model for these apps and make a push for less-specialised apps leveraging IBM's analytics. Similarly, now that Apple is embracing the open source community with its Swift development language, a new open source IBM app would have been a sight to behold.

You can be sure that there will be more coming out this partnership, as there are plenty of industries that could still benefit from IBM's big data analytics combined with Apple's quality hardware. However, it seems we'll have to wait a bit longer to see what this partnership is cooking up.