It has been a little over a month since Apple’s last Keynote, which was heavily focused on the iPhone. This Keynote promises to be a bit more of a mix, with updates to both the iPad and Mac lineups, but will there be any surprises?
Mavericks reached Gold Master (GM) a couple of weeks ago, so we should find out its release date at the Keynote. Logic suggests that it will be released on the Mac AppStore on either Wednesday the 23rd or 30th of October. I expect it will stay at the current price of $20 and will have no additional features other than what was already mentioned at WWDC.
iLife and iWork
The iLife and the iWork apps are looking increasingly out of place on iOS 7, so I am expecting the iLife and iWork suites will get updated with the new look and feel on both the iPhone and the iPad. It will be interesting to see what Garageband will look like on iOS 7, as it is an app where skeuomorphism still makes sense.
Game Controller support was announced at WWDC, but even though iOS 7 was released a month ago none of them have yet to materialise. I expect to see a demo of a Game Controller (probably from Logitech) alongside a supported game (probably from Gameloft or EA … anything so long as it isn’t another Infinity Blade).
The Apple TV is due an update but as it isn’t going to support 4K displays anytime soon, the only significant feature that could be added is support for apps (games) and the aforementioned Game Controllers. If the Apple TV doesn’t get updated to support apps, I wouldn’t expect it to make the Keynote.
The iPad will see a similar update to the iPhone 5s and will include the new A7 (possibly A7x) 64 Bit processor and Touch ID. On the outside it will look more like last years iPad Mini, but with the iPhone 5s Space Grey and Silver colour schemes. My wish is that the 3 storage capacities become 32GB, 64GB and 128GB as 16GB is really becoming too small for the base model.
The iPad mini is the hardest device in the iOS line up to second guess, as the price gap between the iPad mini and its competitors has been increasing steadily since its unveiling this time last year. Moreover the iPad mini is the only device in the iOS lineup that uses the outdated non retina display, so the question is will Apple come down on price? add the retina display? or maybe even both?
I would guess that the iPad Lineup will become:
iPad $499 iPad mini Retina $399 iPad mini $299
If the Non Retina iPad mini is simply last years model, it might even be priced as low as $249.
The Mac Pro was previewed at this year’s WWDC Keynote but without a definitive release date or a price. At this event we should find out the the release date (alongside or shortly after Mavericks) and the price … which I can’t imagine will be any less than $3,000 for the base model.
MacBook Pro Retina
The MacBook Pro Retina was updated in February this year, but I still expect the lineup to get updated to the Haswell processors that are currently found in the MacBook Air, which in conjunction with Mavericks will mean a significant boost in battery life.