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Apple has sent out the invitations to their fall event. Being held on Wednesday, September 12th at 10am (PST) from the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, this years event has been given the cryptic messaging “Gather round.”
So, what exactly will we be gathering for?
The September event has usually heralded the next, next big thing for Apple’s cellular communications line. In this case building from the success of last year’s iPhone X, the company is expected to announce the iPhone Xs (naming may not be final).
The new line of phones will come in three models, all with the improved A12 processor chip. And, all adopting the iPhone X edge-to-edge design with no home button. The three sizes are expected to be…
- 5.8 inch with OLED (organic light emitting diode) display – Basically, the current iPhone X
- 6.5 inch with OLED displays – Likely the iPhone Xs Plus
- A lower cost 6.1 inch with LCD (liquid crystal display) screen
The pricing of the new line up is expected to be between $700 and $1,000.
I would also expect that a “legacy model” will be announced. Probably an updated iPhone 8, to keep the traditionalists happy.
The fourth generation of the world’s top selling wearable should feature prominently on the 12th.
In a rare mistake, Apple accidentally released an image featuring a larger screen and smaller bezel for the Apple Watch 4.
It is likely that, in addition to the expected screen size bump, Apple will announce the updated version of their watchOS (currently v4.3.2), along with a faster processor.
There has also been some speculation that the company would be releasing a round version of the Watch 4 to gain even more momentum in the marketplace. Though this rumor has very little traction.
A refresh of the iPad is also likely as so-called “leaked” images have been seen showing a design closer to the iPhone X. The obligatory faster processor may also bring a significantly smaller bezel, allowing for much more screen space.
The designation has been made. And, improvements have been great over the last couple of Siri updates. Now we just need to see if Siri actually is smarter.
macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS
Most of the upcoming changes to Apple’s OS family were covered during June’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote. Next week should just be the formality of when they’ll be released. Along with any other significant added features. All have been beta testing over the last few months.
- macOS 12 is called Mojave. The most noticeable change will be the “Dynamic Desktop” which changes based on the time of day. There are also improvements to the finder, featuring “Stacks” which allows the user to clean up their desktop with one command. And “Quick Look” allows you to make changes to, or mark up a file, without actually opening it.
- iOS 12 will likely be released on the same day as the iPhone Xs line. The biggest selling point appears to be a promised speed increase of up to 2x faster app launch. The new iOS will also allow you to FaceTime with up to 32 people. There will also be 4 new Animoji, and an option to create your own, called a Memoji. In addition to new camera effects, along with an augmented reality option.
- tvOS may hold a surprise. Apple has been getting ready to launch it’s own streaming service. They have content on the way from a lot of Hollywood heavy hitters. If they’re close, this may be where they pull off the veil. If not, tvOS will just keep up with it’s OS cousins.
- watchOS catches up. Many of the features that users have missed about their FitBit are coming with version 5… from competitions with friends, workout updates, and advanced running features. The new version will also allow better access to Apple Podcasts via the Watch. And includes a walkie-talkie function which sounds suspiciously like calling someone.
It would be hard to characterize Apple’s foray into the smart home device market as anything more than a disappointment. If they try to right the ship here, it will probably have something to do with better pricing that puts them more inline with major competition like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
The company has taken to refreshing their core line quietly throughout the year. Unless there is something new, or a major refresh (like the iMac Pro last year), it’s unlikely we’ll hear much on this front.
It’s no secret that Apple has been working on their own Tesla-like vehicle for some time. The belief is they will be working on it for some time to come. Don’t expect a big roll out at this event.
As always there may be “one more thing”, but that’s my best guess for what Apple has in store if you gather round.
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