Apple’s highly anticipated fall special event is set to start tomorrow around 10am. They will be taking the stage in San Francisco to reveal many new products. While many of the designs for their products will look familiar, they are expected to set themselves up for entire product line refreshes. Here are our expectations for their event.
The iPhone 7 is practically guaranteed to be announced at the event on Wednesday. Rumors, leaked pictures, and specs have led us to this very moment where we know most everything about the phone. It will come in two sizes (4.7″ and 5.5″) and look similar to the iPhone 6s. The smaller 4.7″ iPhone 7 will have a single and larger rear facing camera, while the larger 5.5″ iPhone 7 Plus will have a two rear cameras. All the camera sensors will remain at 12MP, though. Both phones will have a tactile Home button that uses Force Touch to simulate the physical mechanism of a moving button. Additionally, the phones will not have the headphone jack but instead rely on Bluetooth and Lightning for audio. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will start at 32GB, be powered by the A10 processor, and have better battery capacities. In place of the headphone jack, there will be a second speaker grill which will be house an amplifier. Pre-orders are expected to begin on Friday, September 9th and the phone will either be released on Friday, September 16th or Friday, September 23rd.
Apple Watch 2
Leaked images and inside rumors suggest the second-generation Apple Watch will be coming at Apple’s event this week. The watch will look relatively similar to the current generation Apple Watch, except the internals will be highly upgraded. The new processor (or SoC) will be much faster and provide better battery life, the battery capacity will increase due to a thinner display, and the watch will be less dependent on the iPhone. Instead of relying on the phone to track location and speed, the watch will use the new GPS chip. It will still be dependent upon the iPhone for full functionality, though. The current Apple Watch will also be updated with the new processor and continue to be available for sale. The Apple Watch 2 is expected to be released in either September or October.
The newest operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is also practically guaranteed to be announced. Historically, Apple announces the latest iOS at the keynote at WWDC in June and then releases it to the public in the fall. With the amount of beta versions given to developers (we are on #7 now), this shows the final version is underway and will be available to the public soon. The update brings many features to Messages; a fresh design to Music, Maps, and Photos; a new layout for widgets, the Lock screen, and Control Center; and new settings. iOS 10 will likely be released on Wednesday, September 14th.
The third-generation operating system for the Apple Watch was announced in June at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference and is expected to come out alongside iOS 10. The update brings faster apps with Background App Refresh, new watch faces that are easier to switch, fitness for those in a wheelchair, an optimized keyboard for writing letters, and a SOS feature. The SOS feature will allow the Apple Watch to automatically call for help with local emergency services and notify friends/family that you’re in need of help. Another feature will allow you to unlock your Mac when you are in close proximity to it wearing the Apple Watch. This update will likely come out on September 14th as well.
The next-generation operating system for Apple TV (4th generation) will likely be announced at tomorrow’s event. The software update brings a few features to the Apple TV like single sign-on for multiple apps that require your TV provider’s subscription credentials, a special Dark Mode (versus the current bright and all-white “Light Mode”), redesigned Music app, and more advanced search with Siri. It is expected to be released on September 14th.
Apple is expected to reveal Lightning-powered EarPods, wireless headphones called ‘AirPods,’ and a few Lightning-powered headphones under their Beats by Dr. Dre brand. Also, there will be a new adapter for Lightning to headphone for those users who still have traditional headphones but plan to upgrade the headphone jack-less iPhone 7. These should come alongside the iPhone 7 or be available before the phone is released.
iPad Pro 2
The second-generation iPad Pro is currently in development and may be announced at tomorrow’s Apple event. Unfortunately this is more want, then based on any fact. Rumors suggest an announcement in October, or more than likely, some time next year. The iPad Pro will have a faster display technology for smoother scrolling, panning and zooming. There will also be three models released all based on screen sizes: 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch with the smallest size offered as a low-cost option. The iPads will also have expanded support for the Apple Pencil.
iPad mini 5
There have been no rumors for the fifth-generation iPad mini and the consensus is this tablet will be discontinued soon. It is very similar in size to the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus and lacks support for the new iPad Pro features.
Apple TV Internet Streaming Service
The Internet TV streaming service was expected to be announced alongside the Apple TV (4th generation) last year, but it was not ready yet. The service was rumored to be available for $30-$40 per month and come with about twenty-five channels from major networks. A year after the expected announcement date, the streaming service has not been made public and is likely a tabled idea. Perhaps we will see it in the future.
Apple may also follow their new tradition last year and jam pack all Mac updates into this special event, or have another event planned in October. Apple will announce macOS Sierra (the rebranding of OS X plus the new operating system name) alongside a refresh of their Mac lineup.
The special media event will kick off at 10am PDT, or 1pm EST, in San Fransisco and it will be live-streamed for all to watch.