iPad event expectations

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There are less then 12 hours remaining until Apple’s next special media event where they are expected to announce the next-generation iPads, updated Macs, iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay release dates and a surprise product.

iPads

credit: Martin Hajek

An iPhone 6-inspired concept for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

It is no surprise that there will be new tablets announced at Apple’s event today. The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, which are the confirmed names, will feature a similar design to their predecessors and a few new updated components.

For the iPad Air 2, rumors have suggested it will be a little thinner, but still have mostly the same design.  New external features, like single row of speaker holes and recessed buttons, will help the tablet to lose a few millimeters.  Apple is also rumored to move the microphone from the top center to the left side, next to the camera. The mute/sound switch may be taken off completely.  For internal specs, we expect 2GB of RAM, A8X processor with M8 co-processor, 8MP camera, Touch ID Home button and more updated internal components.

The iPad mini 3 will have the same design as it’s predecessor and only gain internal upgrades. Besides the new Touch ID sensor on the Home button, not much else is known about the tablet.

 

Macs

The current iMac, credit: Apple

The current iMac, credit: Apple

Although we typically only focus on mobile devices on Device Geek Blog, we can’t ignore that Apple is planning on announcing a few new Macs at their event. The 27-inch iMac is rumored to get a 5K Retina display, which would double its current resolution, we will find out the release date for OS X Yosemite and other software like the new Photos app for Mac and iLife and see an updated Mac mini.

 

iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay

Apple Pay works with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

Apple Pay works with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

Leaked internal documents for some of the retailers who will support Apple Pay showed the release date for their store. Walgreens said it would be on Saturday, October 18th and Panera Bread said it would be Monday, October 20th.  Regardless of when stores will start allowing it, this means that Apple will likely launch iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay immediately following the event (or within a few hours).

 

Surprise Product

The current generation iPod touch has the A5 processor.

The current generation iPod touch has the A5 processor.

On the event invitation, Apple wrote “it’s been way too long.” It is believed that this line is referring to the Mac since it has been a while since the Mac mini or iMac have been updated.  The invitation also uses the apple outline from when Apple celebrated 30 years of Mac so this screams Mac.  There are other products, though, that haven’t been updated for a long time. For example, the last major update for iPod happened alongside the announcement of the iPhone 5 in 2012. The iPod touch is still rocking the single-core A5 processor. For comparison, the iPhone 6 has an dual-core A8 chip, which is a lot more advanced, has 64-bit architecture and comes with a M8 co-processor. The Apple TV also hasn’t been updated since March 2012 at the iPad 3 event.  It has the A5 processor as well. Apple, finally, may also be launching new Smart Covers for the iPad Air and iPad mini in new colors. Although it’s not as exciting as the iPod or Apple TV.

 

iPad Pro? Retina MacBook Air?

We likely won’t see either of these until 2015. Apple may hold an event in the beginning of the year, like they did in January 2012 when they announced textbooks on iPad.  The event may be focused on education as well, aiming the new hardware to educational institutions, students and professors.