Still One More Thing: Previewing the Next Apple Event

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Every year Apple takes a day in which to unveil a plethora of devices for which some some anchorman or woman will say, “Apple has once again made your device obsolete”. Tomorrow will be one of those days.

In times past tech enthusiasts along with the army of tech analysts, gadget blogs, and enthusiast sites that feed them would speculate wildly as to what the Cupertino computer maker was up to. There would be leaks and the occasional concept design to keep everyone satisfied until the day in which Apple in form of Steve Jobs, now Tim Cook, would take the stage and prove all wondrously wrong.

These days that speculation isn’t as feverish as it was before. The leaks of the last few years have been right on the money in terms of products and services. The days of Apple keeping everyone in the dark has given way to some tech reviewers actually showing device cases before  events.

I do not want to sound like I hate Apple and its products (I don’t) but the luster, allure, and thrill is sort of gone.

I didn’t write about the launch of iOS7 or its desktop counterpart OSX Mavericks much but looking back at the iPhone 5S and 5C debut and after one thing is clear, iOS isn’t the same anymore. iOS 7 has been interesting just as much from user and developer reaction as any change to its features. OSX Mavericks is an incremental update that improves Apple’s legacy, it adds more iOS functionality and services. iOS7 has been interesting because it marks the second stage for what is essentially the core of Apple’s business, mobility. iOS7 brought the first major user interface changes to the platform since its inception. So far reception has been fair but with a surprising amount of pushback from some users and developers. While I doubt this will halt the train it is something to note.

Now from this change in both iOS and OSX what will we see tomorrow. Whatever happens the early big news is expected to be around refreshes to the iPad and iPad mini. So lets begin there.

iPad minis filled with Retinas 

We all know the iPad and mini will be refreshed. I am leaning toward what DetroitBorg showed off recently; an iPad that will get rid of the square frame of the classic iPad for a much more svelte look resembling its smaller cousin. The 5th(6th) generation iPad will have the requisite Retina screen along with the new connector and the innards of the iPhone 5S (A7 chip with 64bit architecture and the new M7 coprocessor with Touch ID). The iPad Mini will see its first upgrade again to a Retina screen and an upgrade to the A7 chip. They may include the M7 and Touch ID but I’m not sure. I do expect that both will maintain current pricing for current models and the current iPad and iPad mini will become the budget/entry options. I could even see Apple pricing the lowest spec mini close to the Nexus 7. Due to the change in overall design I do expect refreshes to all accessories.

One rumor which I will include is the possible appearance of an iPad hybrid (an iOS device that would be like the Microsoft Surface). It’s a new rumor and if true could mark Apple trying to nip Google’s Chrome OS early. What we may realistically see is a new keyboard built for the iPad. I think some are saying it will be a lot like the Surface Touch and Type keyboards so it can go ether way.

The Dyson Mac Pro (and Other Things)

Over the summer Apple announced the re-launch of the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is Apple’s big rig desktop PC. Unlike Pros of the past that allowed users to swap out parts, the new Pro would be like its iMac line of All in Ones (non-swappable). Part of the problem of predicting the Mac lineup is that most of the big items have been refreshed already. the MacBook Airs have been upgraded to the latest Intel processors and both the iMacs, Mac minis, and MacBook Pros (at least the Air-like 15 inch with Retina) this year. Now I could seriously see Apple do a refresh of the Retina MacBook Pro to Intel’s Haswell. I could also see the idea of an iPad Pro or Hybrid device. Realistically I am betting on them to focus on the MacBooks for a processor upgrade.

Will the real Apple TV please stand up

At some point someone needs to show an Apple TV or medicate Gene Munster from having visions of one. Every year we speculate on the coming of this mythical device; an Apple logo on a TV screen. Part of me thinks any TV news we see will be around iTunes and turning it into the thing Nintendo wanted the Wii to be or further improvements on the service. A giant flat screen with an Apple logo does not seem like the type of plan that makes sense to Cupertino. So I bet on services and possibly games the later which has been the nightmare of of Sony and Microsoft since the debut of Infinity Blade.

And that’s my prediction turn into your favorite technology site for live streaming or blogging. For suggestions here are a few:

The Verge

Ars Technica

TWiT.tv

Engadget

CNet

image: Apple and The Verge

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