Apple Tips Its Hand - Twice

Sometimes Apple mentions things in these keynotes that foreshadow future products. It's quite possible that Apple did it twice today.

First, iOS 7 supports third party controllers. That makes the most sense for games on the AppleTV. It already runs iOS, so the long-rumored SDK for the ATV could be coming soon with controller support now available. It would definitely require new hardware, as the current one is limited both in power and storage space.

Second, the edge swipes for back and forward strike me as perfect features to pave the way for a larger phone. Apple's product page for the iPhone 5 boasts that it can be used with one hand, even with the larger screen. If the screen goes larger than the current one, complete one-handed use wouldn't be possible for a lot of people. Adding the edge swipes would facilitate one-handed use in many cases, even if it wouldn't be possible for everyone. It doesn't take much imagination to hear them touting that as something that would make the iPhone Plus better than large-screened Android phones.

This is just speculation, of course. We've seen controller setups for phones and tablets, and edge swipes on the phone have been around as long as Notification Center has been (not to mention the side swipe-in for Notification Center on Mac trackpads). However, pieces are coming into place for those rumored products. Tim Cook did say in the last earnings call that they're looking to get into new categories, after all. Apple likes to lay groundwork for new things ahead of time, and these new features could be part of it.