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How to score the best deals at Best Buy for Apple products

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How to Save Money at Best Buy

Best Buy has stood the test of time in the world of electronics and has outlasted many competitors, including Circuit City and Radio Shack. Today, Best Buy is known for having a huge selection of all kinds of electronics and gadgets. Although the prices tend to be reasonable, they are often not as low as they could be, which makes it even more important to know how to shop smartly and save money. Use the following techniques to get great electronics for great prices at Best Buy.

Join My Best Buy

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Best Buy recently revamped and renamed its rewards program to attract more customers. The “My Best Buy” program is free to join at the basic level and provides a number of money-saving benefits.

You can join My Best Buy in store or by registering online at BestBuy.com. All you need to create an account is your full name, email address, and phone number. If you join in store, you can easily enter your member ID when you create an online account. My Best Buy comes with a number of benefits, including these three:

  • Rewards certificates: As a My Best Buy member, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend at Best Buy or BestBuy.com (excluding taxes and fees). Once you hit 250 points, you’ll receive a $5 rewards certificate. Rewards certificates work similarly to coupons and can be used for nearly any purchase that is over the certificate amount, like an iPhone case or Apple TV. You can also choose to save your points until you hit 1,000 points and redeem them for a $20 rewards certificate. Although this is a better deal, it can take longer to reach and is the maximum amount you can reach before the points reset. Note that it can take 15 days after a purchase for the points to be applied to your account and the points expire after one year.
  • Member-only exclusives: My Best Buy customers are often the first to know about upcoming sales and are given early access to many promotions and store events. You will also sporadically receive exclusive special offers, which can vary from a coupon for 15% off a certain type of product or extra rewards points when you buy certain brands.
  • Free shipping on $35+: Many expensive items, like the iPad Air or MacBook Pro, come with expensive shipping costs, which makes this offer of free shipping on all order of $35 or more even more appealing. This offer excludes items with scheduled delivery, like refrigerators.

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Elite and Elite Plus Memberships

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Although the basic free membership has its share of perks, you can also opt for the Elite and Elite Plus versions of My Best Buy if you are a very loyal customer. You must spend at least $1,500 at Best Buy in one calendar year to become an Elite member, and you must spend $3,500 in a single calendar year to become an Elite Plus member. The elevated reward status comes with bonuses, including:

  • Extended exchanges and returns: Instead of the typical 15 days to return an item, Elite members have 30 days after making a purchase and Elite Plus members have 45 days to return or exchange.
  • Point banking: While basic My Best Buy members have a cap of $1,000 points for a $20 reward certificate, Elite and Elite Plus members can accrue points with no limits. Unlike basic membership, the points never expire so you can save for a huge reward. Note that you have to maintain the Elite or Elite Plus annual spending levels to keep your points active—if you fail to spend the right amount of money in a year, you will be demoted to basic status and lose your points.
  • Bonus points: Instead of the basic one point per dollar spent, Elite members get 1.1 points for every dollar spent and Elite Plus members get 1.25 points for every dollar spent. That means basic members get $5 back for every $250 they spend, Elite members get $5 for ever $227.27 they spend, and Elite Plus members get $5 back for every $200 they spend.

If you are a frequent Best Buy customer and take great advantage of the My Best Buy program, a My Best Buy credit card could be a good option. Cardholders get 5% back in points on every purchase compared to 2% for basic members or they can choose interest-free 12-month financing on purchases of $399 or more. You can also use the My Best Buy credit card to get to Elite or Elite Plus status more quickly, as the $1,500 and $3,500 spending requirements can be met with any purchases made on the credit card, not just those at Best Buy and BestBuy.com

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Shop Deal of the Day

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Aside from its regular clearance sales online and in store, Best Buy also runs a Deal of the Day section that is similar to Amazon’s Lightning Deals. The Deal of the Day section is easy to use. Best Buy releases a new deep discount on a specific item every day, but the deal only lasts for one day before it is replaced by a new product with a deep discount. Daily Deal discounts are almost always at least 25% off and frequently more than 50% off. There are also sporadically Bonus Deals of the Day with extra items with low prices for a single day.

Because Deal of the Day products come with such great discounts, many items sell out quickly. Stay on top of the best discounts by signing up for the Deal of the Day email newsletter so you can score a product as soon as it is released.

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Shop Best Buy Outlet

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Best Buy was one of the first stores to create an online outlet shop, which is a great place for bargain hunters to get a great deal.

The outlet section of BestBuy.com features clearance, open-box, refurbishes, and pre-owned items. This is a great place to pick up Apple products for less. Search by category, brand, or savings level to find the perfect item. Outlet items can be picked up for free at Best Buy stores and can even be returned or exchanged, which is rare for online outlets. Products fall into the following categories:

  • Clearance: Items that are discounted by the manufacturer or that are no longer in stock
  • Open box: Practically new items that have been returned
  • Refurbished: Items that have been repaired so they are as good as new
  • Pre-owned: Restored used items that have passed tests to make sure they are in like-new condition

Clearance and open-box items from the outlet still qualify for manufacturer warranties, but pre-owned and refurbished items may not have an applicable warranty, so be sure to ask customer service before making your purchase.

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Use the Best Buy Price Match Guarantee

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Best Buy rewards loyal customers with an extensive price match guarantee that allows them to shop for everything at Best Buy while knowing they are getting the best possible price. Best Buy will match any local competitor’s in-store or online price and the price of identical items sold at online-exclusive stores like Amazon.com, bhphotovideo.com, crutchfield.com, HP.com, newegg.om, and tigerdirect.com, as well as BestBuy.com

The price match guarantee applies to identical products from other retailers, but it doesn’t apply to third-party marketplace sellers on BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, or other similar sites. Clearance items, coupon offers, flash sales, mail-in rebates, open-box items, and refurbished and pre-owned outlet items are also disqualified from the price match guarantee. Best Buy doesn’t match any sale prices from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, so don’t plan on price matching during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

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Buy Discounted Gift Cards at CardPool.com

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Save even more money at Best Buy by purchasing a discounted gift card from CardPool.com, a site that also sells discounted gift cards for many other stores. CardPool.com sells Best Buy gift cards at a great 5.5% discount, which can add up to great savings online or in store. Best Buy allows up to 10 gift cards to be used in a single transaction, which means you can buy two Best Buy gift cards from CardPool for $181.50 and save $11.59 instantly on a $200 purchase. In addition to selling the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV, Best Buy now sells the Apple Watch (*hint* *hint*). When used with sale or clearance items, the savings can be even greater. The smallest amount for an electronic gift card is $20, but physical gift cards can be mailed with free shipping and come in amounts as small as $10.

This great Best Buy Store Guide was brought to you by ZipfWorks, which seeks to revolutionize the way you shop by making you a smarter and more empowered shopper. Check out their other great services, like StyleSpotter, which helps you find the lowest price on more than 12,000 clothing brands, and DealSpotr, which shows great deals with coupon codes for national companies.

Seven amazing tricks you didn’t know you could do on your iPhone

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The iPhone can be argued as one of the greatest inventions of mankind and rightfully so since there are millions of people around the world using one. We all have one and have been through every app imaginable on the iPhone. We have pressed every button, seen every feature and used every design, or have we? In our post, we will show you seven amazing tricks that you have never before seen on your iPhone.

1. Call on Hold

When you are on the phone with someone, pressing the Mute icon will silence yourself to the other person while pressing and holding the Mute icon will place the caller on hold.

The Mute icon turns into the Hold icon when the caller is placed on hold.

The Mute icon turns into the Hold icon when the caller is placed on hold.

 

2. View Multiple Email Drafts

If you are working with multiple email drafts, press the Compose icon (bottom right of your inbox) to view all of your saved drafts.

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Previous drafts can also be deleted by swiping to delete.

 

3. Quick Add Bookmark

In Safari, tap and hold on the Bookmark icon (open book on the bottom) and select to add this page to your Bookmark, Reading List or Shared Links.

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4. Sharing Article Text Only

When viewing an article in Safari with Reader, tap the Share icon (square with arrow) and only the text will be shared with the link (instead of the entire webpage with ads and all).

When sharing content in from the Reader, only the text and images will be shared.

When sharing content in from the Reader, only the text and images will be shared.

5. Compared Edited Photo to Original

After editing a photo in Photos, but before saving it, tap and hold on the picture to see the unedited version. Release to see your edits.

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6. Fall Asleep Listening to a Podcast

In the Music app, you can create a Timer that, when it ends, whatever is playing on your device will stop playing. Just select Stop Playing at the bottom of the list for When Timer Ends. This works for both content in the Music app and Podcasts app.

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7. Stop Directions

When you’re using the Maps app to give you turn-by-turn directions, tell Siri to “stop navigating” or “stop directions” to stop the Maps app. You can also tap End inside the app or exit the app with the app switcher.

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We have more amazing tricks, but we didn’t want to overload you. Stayed tuned for part 2, ahead of the iOS 9 release in the fall.

Apple refreshes iPod lineup with new colors and several internal updates for iPod touch

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After three long years, the iPod lineup has finally seen an update. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and iPod touch have new consistent colors and the touch received updated internal specifications.

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The iPod nano and iPod shuffle have the same specifications down the millimeter from the previous generation, but they have new colors. The pale pink, blue, yellow, green and purple colors have been retired in favor of a darker blue and pink and new gold. The silver and space gray colors are the same. Now every iPod model is available in the same colors.

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The iPod touch comes with a better camera, much faster processor and a new Apple exclusive storage option. The iSight camera on the rear of the iPod appears to be similar to the iPhone 5c camera with an 8MP sensor while the FaceTime HD front camera appears to be the same one found on the iPhone 6 with a 1.2MP sensor. The rear camera can also record in slow motion up to 120fps and has cinematic video stabilization. In addition, the iPod is powered by the 64-bit A8 processor with M8 co-processor and has Bluetooth 4.1 technology, which is a step above the Bluetooth 4.0 technology in the iPhone 6. The iPod now has four storage options: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $249, 64GB for $299 and the Apple exclusive 128GB for $399. The design of the iPod only received a minor update with iPod touch loop button disappeared.

The new iPods are available to purchase on Apple.com with shipping in one business day.

New iPod lineup actually coming today (July 15th)

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We expected Apple to update the iPod lineup yesterday with new colors and new specs for the iPod touch, but unfortunately we were incorrect. A report from iGen.fr and the Home screen of the iPod pointed to Tuesday, July 14th, but a new rumor from 9to5Mac says the new iPods are actually coming today. Perhaps Apple delayed it by a day to mess with us…

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Citing insider sources, 9to5Mac claims that entire iPod lineup will see new colors while only the iPod touch will receive internal updates. The iPod shuffle and iPod nano will be available in a new gold color in addition to darker pink and blue colors. The iPod touch, along with the new colors, will have an 8MP camera sensor, 64-bit processor with M-coprocessor for tracking movement and storage options to match the iPhone 6. The 16GB iPod touch will be $199, the 64GB will be $299 and the 128GB will be $399. Finally, the iPod touch will be preloaded with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music.

Apple first leaked the new iPod colors in early July following the release of iTunes 12.2. With the update and a restore of an iPod, you could see pink, blue and gold colors that we haven’t seen yet for each of the iPod models. This ignited the discussion about new iPods and after three years, they will finally be updated.

Apple accidentally leaks July 14th as new iPod lineup release date

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With the release of iTunes 12.2 earlier this month, Apple accidentally leaked new colors for the iPod lineup and potentially even revealed the release date. A new report on French blog iGen.fr agrees with this release date and gives us more information about the updated iPods, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

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Typically when Apple launches a new product, they put the release date on all their marketing materials as the calendar date on the Home screen. If we look at the iPhone 6, for example, the date is Tuesday the ninth which points to Tuesday, September 9th (the day of the announcement). The leaked images of the new colors for the iPod touch show a calendar date of Tuesday the fourteenth. The only Tuesday the fourteenth coming up would be next Tuesday, July 14th. The French blog reports that this is the release date as well.

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Their report shares more information about what to expect with the new iPod lineup. In addition to the new gold, electric blue and fuchsia colors for the iPod lineup, there will be specs upgrades for the iPod touch. The iPod touch, which is codenamed “n102,” will see a slightly new design with the iPod touch loop removed, an upgrade to a 64-bit processor, potentially a higher megapixel camera and more. The iPod nano and iPod shuffle are only expected to see the color refresh and hopefully, at least the nano, will use Apple Music.

Longer shipping times, especially for products that has been around for three years, indicates that something is about to change. The iPod lineup are seeing shipping times from one business day to up to ten business days. How convenient that the new iPods will be here in three business days…

SourcesiGen.frMacRumors

Here’s everything new in iOS 9 beta 3

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On Wednesday, Apple released the third beta version of iOS 9 to developers. We noticed the following changes with the update:

Apple Music in the Music app

Music app

As promised by Eddy Cue on Twitter, the newest iOS 9 beta includes Apple Music, which was introduced with iOS 8.4 on June 30th.

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The News app is here

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The News app, which was announced as a part of iOS 9 at WWDC, allows for a Flipboard-like style to read news articles from various publications (including us). If you are running iOS 9 on your device, please add us to the News app. Just search for device geek blog and press the + in the upper right corner.

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New Smart Albums in Photos for selfies and screenshots

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Selfies and Screenshots are now stored in new smart folders. The Selfies folder stores all the photos taken with the front camera regardless of whether they were or were not a selfie.

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Folders on iPad contain more apps on each page

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Folders on the iPad now store four rows by four columns of apps for a total of 16 apps per page instead of the three-by-three for a total of nine that it used to have. I definitely support Apple on this because they are finally making use of the extra landscape on the iPad.

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High-quality music over cellular settings

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For cellular devices like the iPhone and cellular iPads, there’s a new setting to allow for high-quality music to be played when not connected to Wi-Fi.

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Siri App Suggestions appear automatically for Search

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When swiping down from the Home screen to enable Search, Siri App Suggestions automatically appear. While the iOS 9 beta is running on our iPad mini (as shown in the picture above), the app suggestions show apps that we commonly use on the iPhone 6 Plus which is running iOS 8.4. So even though our devices are on two different operating systems, Siri tracks which apps are being used the most and suggests them regardless of what device we are using.

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Various new icons

In Restrictions settings, there’s a new icon for Siri & Dictation.

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In Battery Usage, there’s a new clock icon next to battery usage for the last 24 hours and last 7 days.

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In the Mail app, there’s icons with text instead of just text for “Mark as Unread/Read,” “Flag,” “Archive/Trash” and “More.”

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When uploading a file through Safari, there are new icons for “Take Photo or Video,” “Photo Library,” “iCloud Drive” and “OS X Server”

Take Photo or Video

This beta can be downloaded by developers over-the-air on registered devices or through the developer’s portal. We expect that the public beta for iOS 9 will launch soon, likely when beta 4 comes out for developers on July 21/22. The final version will be released alongside the iPhone 6s in September.

Source: MacRumors

How to create a location-based reminder

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The Reminders app can remind you to do a certain task when you arrive or leave a location. These location-based reminders can be set up with a few steps in the Reminders app. Once set up, a reminder will come up on your device about the certain task when you enter the selected area, for example, “Buy Milk” when you arrive at Walmart or “Take out trash” when you leave your house. Please watch our video or follow the instructions below.

To start, please open the Reminders app and tap on the list you want to use. Tap on the empty line and write in your reminder. For my example, I chose “iPhone case.” Afterwards, tap on the (i) icon to open up details about the reminder. Here, you can change when you’ll be reminded, where you’ll be located when the reminder appears, the reminder’s priority, the list you selected it to be in and any notes you want to add. Toggle ON Remind me at a location and tap Location. Write in the address or business where you want the reminder notification to appear. At the bottom of the screen, tap When I arrive… if you want the reminder to appear when you arrive at a specific location or When I leave… to be reminded when you’re leaving a location. Slide the black dot to increase or decrease the radius of the reminders area. Tap Details and Done to save the reminder. You’ll now see your new reminder on your list.

You can also set up a simple reminder by asking Siri to do it for you, although she may take locations very literally. For example, tell her “Remind me when I get home to take out the trash” and she will set up a reminder for when arrive at home. If you say “Remind me when I get to Walmart to buy an iPhone case“, she will literally create a reminder that says “when I get to Walmart to buy an iPhone case.”

Please check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/devicegeekblog or follow us on YouTube for more weekly tips!

Apple accidentally leaks new colorful iPod lineup with updated design

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In the latest version of iTunes, Apple accidentally posted new colors for the iPod lineup when a current iPod is restored. First reported by belgium iphone, the iPod touch, shuffle and nano will come in a more vivid blue and pink and brand new gold color. The iPods also reveal key details about a few design changes and potentially even their release date.

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The iPod lineup already comes in several colors like space gray, light gray, yellow, pink, blue and Product (RED) for the iPod touch. The iPod nano and iPod shuffle have the same colors with the addition of green and purple. The new pink and blue colors will likely replace the old pink and blue and the gold color will be an additional color option.

If these are the next-generation iPods, there won’t be many external design changes besides new color options and the lack of the iPod touch loop. When we comparing the previous “Welcome to Your New iPod” screen to the current one, the iPod touch no longer has the metal circle on the bottom left for the iPod touch loop. This could signify changes in the internal design in addition to a few other things.

Old "Welcome to Your New iPod" screen versus the new "Welcome to Your New iPod" screen

Old “Welcome to Your New iPod” screen versus the new “Welcome to Your New iPod” screen. The iPod touch is missing the iPod touch loop button.

We also don’t see Touch ID (although the iPod touch has the Passbook app), larger display, new design, etc. In addition, the iPod touch is running iOS 8.4 since it has the colorful Music app icon, but none of the new iOS 9 apps. This could mean that the iPod touch will be released sometime before iOS 9 comes out in September. If the iPods were coming out in October, Apple would probably show the most recent operating system on the iPods. Also, the lack of major updates could point towards a minor refresh instead of a major product announcement. All of this evidence points to a release date for the new iPods before the end of the summer.

In terms of internal updates, we could speculate that the iPod touch processor will be upgrade to the A6 chip from the iPhone 5/5c or the A7 64-bit chip from the iPhone 5s, the storage capabilities could see an increase like that of the iPhone 6 with a 128GB option and hopefully the camera sensor will be updated to 8MP.

Sources: belgium iphone,

Apple releases iOS 8.3 to public

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Today Apple released the third major update to iOS 8 to the public called iOS 8.3. This update, which has been in beta with developers for the past few months, comes with many bug fixes, new features and more.

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Here are some of the major features:

  • more diverse, updated and larger selection of Emoji
  • continous scrolling for the Emoji menu (versus the previous pages view)
  • additional language and country support for Siri: Danish, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese and more
  • additional dictation languages: Arabic and Hebrew
  • iCloud Photo Library (no longer in beta) works with Photos app on OS X 10.3
  • adds ability to filter incoming messages and report spam messages
  • fixes many, many, many bugs and improves stability and performance on most apps

This update can be downloaded over-the-air via the Settings app (General –> Software Update –> Download and Install) or through iTunes (Check for Update).

Expectations for Monday's Spring Forward Event: Apple Watch, Apple TV, MacBook Air

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The first special media event of the year, which starts at 10am Pacific time on March 9th, will most certainly be focused on the Apple Watch. Rumors have also suggested we may see a 12-inch MacBook Air, 4th generation Apple TV, iPad Pro, iOS 8.2 and more. Here we go through all the rumored products and tell you how likely/not likely they will be at the event.

Apple Watch

42mm case, 18-karat yellow gold, sapphire crystal, Retina display with midnight blue leather 18-karat yellow gold buckle, credit: Apple.com

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The Apple Watch, without a doubt, will be the focus of the event. The event occurs after Daylight Savings Time in the United States where our clocks “spring forward”, Tim Cook said the Apple Watch would be shipping in April and tons of reports have come out this past week about the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has three main collections: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. The Sport model will start at $349, the mid-level watch should be about $499 and the Edition should start at $4,999.  Apple will also have various bands and other accessories for sale too. We predict the official launch of the Apple Watch should be within the first full week of April (perhaps on Friday, April 10).

A report on 9to5Mac recently detailed a few more unannounced features for the Apple Watch: Power Save mode, full Notification Center, Voice Control (not Siri) and a battery that lasts all day with up to five hours of heavy usage.

We expect Apple to spend the first first minutes of the event talking about updates, showing off a few new products and definitely mentioning the huge success that Apple Pay has been. They will then spend a good amount of time answering many of our questions about the Apple Watch including battery life, features, how it will work with the iPhone, etc. and then spend the second half of the event with developers demoing their apps. After the event, Apple will likely invite media into the special white building to test everything out.

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iOS 8.2

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The next major update to iOS 8 is expected to be shown off at Monday’s event and released immediately following it. We talked about Apple’s release notes recently for the final beta sent to carriers and employees, but we believe that there are a few features that have been left out. The update also will allow the iPhone to connect to Apple Watch, the iPhone 5/5s/5c to use Apple Pay (with Apple Watch) and it will come with two new apps. One app, called Companion, will manage settings on the Apple Watch, while the other one, called Fitness, will provide an overview of fitness activities with the watch.

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MacBook Air

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We primarily focus on iOS devices on this blog, but several other blogs have been persistent with rumors about an updated MacBook Air lineup. Whether Apple will reveal the 12-inch MacBook Air or just refreshed MacBook Airs, we are not sure, but we expect that the MacBook Air will make some sort of presence at the event.

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iPad mini 4

iPad mini 3 concept - Martin Hajek

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The 4th generation iPad mini was predicted back in late November to have an early 2015 release. It was believed that Apple purposefully made the iPad mini 3 underwhelming in order to differentiate it from the iPad Air 2. The larger tablet saw many external and internal updates, while the mini only saw new colors, higher storage capacities and Touch ID. SVP Phil Schiller literally spent thirty seconds about the iPad at the event and then moved on to the next topic. The iPad mini 4 will get the A8 processor, faster Wi-Fi and all the updates it should have received in October 2014.

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Apple TV

Apple TV Concept - July 2014

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The 4th generation Apple TV is rumored to have a complete redesign in terms of hardware and software. The unit will become slimmer and the remote will be more tactile and capable. Recent reports have suggested a fall release for this new device so we do not expect it at Monday’s event.

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iPad Pro

iPad Pro concept, credit: Martin Hajek

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According to Bloomberg and Digitimes, production for the iPad Pro has been pushed back to September due to supply issues with the display panel. This means that the iPad Pro will definitely not be at Monday’s event and more likely come out in the Fall.

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Other devices

The fifth generation iPod touch was rumored to come out early this year. There has been little to no evidence suggesting that Apple will launch this device at the event on Monday. Sometime this year we will probably see an update in the iPod lineup, but we don’t expect to see it this month.

Come back here Monday night to see an in-depth report of what Apple announced.

Please note that, with the exception of the Apple Watch picture (credit: Apple.com) and the iOS 8.2 picture (credit: iPhonehack.com), all pictures are concepts provided by Martin Hajek.