Apple appear to be sticking to their now regular format of having 2 pre Holiday Keynotes, but what should we expect to see announced this time?
This event will see the unveiling of the iPad Air 2, which will see it catch up with the iPhone 6 by including Touch ID and NFC for Apple Pay. I can’t personally imagine paying for goods by touching my iPad on a payment terminal, but maybe it can also be used as a payment terminal itself?
The iPad Air will also see its RAM doubled to 2GB, in addition to using a slightly faster version of the A8 processor that is currently found in the iPhone 6.
In terms of aesthetics the iPad Air will have minimal external changes, it will be slightly slimmer compared to its predecessor and be available in gold for the first time.
Expect prices to remain the same, with storage matching the iPhone 6’s 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB capacities.
The the iPad mini (Retina) will be also be updated to get Touch ID and NFC across the line, but even then it might not see its RAM doubled due to the iPad mini’s smaller margins.
Rumours about a 12.9" iPad have been going on for sometime now. The introduction of compact and regular size class APIs in iOS 8, seems to indicate there will be a large … spacious … well something bigger, size class in the future.
The iPad Pro will need to do more than just offer a bigger display. Obviously it will have a greater resolution, but maybe it needs a pressure sensitive display too? Something that makes it a serious device for content creation … dare I say a laptop replacement?
This could be the one more thing of this keynote, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
iOS 8.1 with numerous bug fixes and support for Apple Pay will get a mention in the keynote, and will be made available before the iPad launch.
The Keynote invite alludes to Mac related product announcements, showing the top half of the Apple logo featured on Apple’s 30th Anniversary of the Mac marketing campaign. Moreover I think we would all agree its been way too long since the last major Mac hardware announcement.
The iMac (27 inch) is rumoured to be getting the Retina treatment by having its display resolution doubled from 2560 x 1440 to 5120 x 2880. A Retina screen at that size will come at quite a premium and will require a graphics card upgrade to boot. This will mean that the Retina Display will only be available as an option on the 27 inch model, and will probably be eye wateringly close to $3000.
I wouldn’t expect any significant external changes to the iMac, unless Apple have found a way to reduce the bump on the back.
The MacBook Air is certainly going to gain a Retina Display in the next few months, but I don’t think Apple would make the mistake of pre announcing it and putting off potential holiday buyers if it isn’t immediately available. I personally think that we will have to hold on for a Retina MacBook just a little longer.
The Mac mini hasn’t been updated in 2 years (October 2012), so it is certainly due an update even if it’s simply to keep the internals up to date. Due to its (lack of) popularity I wouldn’t expect the Mac mini to feature in the Keynote, regardless of wether it gets a spec bump or not.
OS X Yosemite
OS X Yosemite was unveiled alongside iOS 8 at WWDC in June, and it will get one last demo before it is made available for free to consumers within next week.
I am expecting the demo to focus on handover inpoticular, thus linking it back to the iPad and iOS 8. The 3rd GM of Yosemite has already been made available to developers, so I wouldn’t expect any significant changes at this point.