What we expect from today's Apple event: new iPhones, a revamped Apple TV, next-gen OS updates, more

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2015
Apple executives will take the stage in San Francisco later today for a special media briefing, during which we expect them to announce next-generation iPhones, a refreshed Apple TV, and provide updates on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Here's an updated breakdown of everything you need to know.


iPhone 6s and 6s Plus



That Apple will unveil new iPhones each fall --?in advance of the busy holiday shopping season --?is nearly as certain at this point as death and taxes. Today's event is likely to bring the debut of the "iPhone 6s" and "6s Plus", mid-cycle updates to make what is now Apple's flagship product faster and more useful.

The primary upgrades will come internally, with a new "A9" processor and an increase in base RAM from 1 gigabyte to 2 gigabytes on tap. Capacity is unlikely to change, however, starting at 16 gigabytes and topping out at 128 gigabytes.

The camera systems are also likely to get a makeover, bumping the shooters to 12 megapixels around back and 5 megapixels up front. That larger rear component might add a new white subpixel -- helping with low-light performance --?while some rumors have suggested that the selfie cam could gain its own flash and the ability to capture slow-motion video at 60 frames per second.



Speaking of new features, many believe that Force Touch will make the leap from the Apple Watch to the iPhone 6s-series. There's no word on how it will be used, but Apple would almost certainly take advantage of the added "depth" to clean up some user interface cruft.

Siri is also likely to get some usability enhancements, namely the addition of always-on "Hey Siri" access. AppleInsider's own sources have revealed that users will no longer be forced to keep their iPhone plugged in to enjoy hands-free communication with Siri.

Externally, the new handsets may be marginally thicker than the current versions, but consumers shouldn't notice the difference. One change they will notice is a new rose gold color option to match the Apple Watch, though it's unknown if rose gold will replace or augment the current champagne gold hue.

Given previous product timelines, it's likely that the new iPhone 6s series will find its way into the hands of consumers for a Friday, Sept. 18 launch date.

Apple TV 4


Apple TV's existing gaming capabilities are limited to AirPlay streams of iOS games.


The first Apple TV hardware change in more than 3 years is reportedly centered around improving the puck's gaming credentials, a bid to bring iOS's casual gaming dominance to the living room. To that end, the upgraded set-top box is thought to pack an all-new remote control with a built-in microphone and touchpad, alongside possible support for third-party, Xbox-like gamepads.

An App Store would accompany revised internals, bumping the built-in processor at or near the iPad Air 2's A8X with internal storage that would likely eclipse the current model's 8 gigabytes of space. Support for 4K video output might also appear, though rumors surrounding that feature have been sparse.

One of the companies allegedly on board for the Apple TV App Store launch is Twitter, which is reportedly building a new version of its popular Periscope live streaming app for the new puck.

In terms of media content, Apple is unlikely to showcase its long-rumored Web television service, as numerous reports have painted talks with networks and content owners as ongoing and somewhat contentious. The company may introduce a revamped content discovery interface, however -- one based on Siri which allows users to search for titles across every service available on the Apple TV.

The hardware upgrades are thought to have driven a cost increase, bumping the price of an Apple TV from its current $69 to as high as $149.

iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 El Capitan



Apple's next-generation mobile and desktop operating systems were announced at WWDC this summer, and the company is likely to announce details of final availability. Both will be free upgrades for existing users.

iOS 9 is a major update, bringing proper multitasking to the iPad alongside transit directions in Apple Maps and an all-new, Flipboard-style News app. Other headline features include expanded search functions and new Siri commands that complement more proactive notifications and suggestions.

Efficiency improvements will bring better battery life to iOS devices, and smaller, scheduled upgrades will make it easier for users to keep their devices up to date.

OS X El Capitan is somewhat more restrained, focusing on refinements to OS X's user experience and improving performance across Apple's range of desktop and notebook computers. Front and center is a change from Helvetica to Apple's in-house San Francisco typeface for the user interface, while several built-in apps have been upgraded.

Spotlight has an expansive new list of data resources, for instance, and Safari adds pinned sites for the first time. Mail gains a new two-up fullscreen view, while new window management features will allow users to easily snap apps to different portions of the display.

Given Apple's past launch strategies, it's likely that iOS 9 will launch to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The debut of El Capitan is less clear --?in recent years, Apple has launched OS X upgrades in October.

iPad Pro



Industry insiders were split as to whether or not Apple will unveil the so-called "iPad Pro" at today's event. Apple has traditionally held an iPad-centric event in October -- which would seem a more likely venue for the new jumbo tablet --?but last-minute reports suggest that Apple has scrapped that event and rolled iPad updates into today's showing.

If Apple does show off its new device today, it is likely to sport a Retina display that extends nearly 13 inches on the diagonal alongside additional speakers, all in a chassis more svelte than the current iPad Air 2. A pressure-sensitive stylus would allow for more precise input for professional users.

Others

It's not clear what Apple will do with the iPhone 5c, but the debut of a so-called "iPhone 6c" at today's event seems unlikely. Very few details of the device have leaked in the run-up to the briefing, and some Apple watchers have gone as far as to note that evidence of such a device has disappeared from the supply chain.



The story is much the same with an "iPad Air 3," though that device will almost certainly see an update later this year.

The "iPad mini 4" could also bow today, especially if Apple does not hold an October event. When it does see the light of day, the new mini is rumored to be essentially a shrunken version of the Air 2.

Apple is also rumored to bring a high-resolution Retina 4K display to its 21.5-inch iMac. It is unclear whether the all-in-one desktop will see an update at today's event.

How to Watch

Apple will stream the event live to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and second- and third-gen Apple TV units starting at 10 a.m. Pacific. For the first time in years, Windows users will be able to join in, provided they are running Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

AppleInsider will also be on hand in San Francisco and will bring live coverage from inside the venue. You can receive all of the breaking news as it happens by installing the official AppleInsider app for iPhone and iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    What about the 4K iMac, is that further away?
  • Reply 2 of 52
    Could "hey Siri, give us a hint" refer to Siri within El Capitan
  • Reply 3 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 16,899member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    What about the 4K iMac, is that further away?



    They forgot about it when writing this.

  • Reply 4 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 16,899member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by clayp711 View Post



    Could "hey Siri, give us a hint" refer to Siri within El Capitan

     

    No.

  • Reply 5 of 52
    Any chance of any MacBook upgrades this time of year, pls or not?
  • Reply 6 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dtb200 View Post



    Any chance of any MacBook upgrades this time of year, pls or not?



    I don't think there will be any this month.

    Personally, I have just about given up on replacing my 2012 15in MBP anytime soon. [1]

    Why?

    Apple seems to have forgotten that Laptops do have a requirement that is not just Thin and Light. some of us go on the road for business. We need to take more than a Macbook Air with us. I run my development systems in multiple VM's. 16Gb is getting to the point of being a problem. One USB-C port and nothing else? Forget it.

     

    My solution would be to bring back the 17in workhorse. I'm sure a good few IBM'ers would like the option to use one rather than a Thinkpad.

    up to 32Gb RAM, 2TB+ of SSD storage and multiple USB3 ports.

     

    [1] Mine has 16Gb Ram and 2TB of SSD (replaced the 1TB HDD and the Optical device).

     

    Yes I know I'm dreaming. 

  • Reply 7 of 52
    I don't think there will be any this month.
    Personally, I have just about given up on replacing my 2012 15in MBP anytime soon. [1]
    Why?
    Apple seems to have forgotten that Laptops do have a requirement that is not just Thin and Light. some of us go on the road for business. We need to take more than a Macbook Air with us. I run my development systems in multiple VM's. 16Gb is getting to the point of being a problem. One USB-C port and nothing else? Forget it.

    My solution would be to bring back the 17in workhorse. I'm sure a good few IBM'ers would like the option to use one rather than a Thinkpad.
    up to 32Gb RAM, 2TB+ of SSD storage and multiple USB3 ports.

    [1] Mine has 16Gb Ram and 2TB of SSD (replaced the 1TB HDD and the Optical device).

    Yes I know I'm dreaming. 

    What's wrong with the 2015 MBP15 then? It is a remarkable machine, has great speed, you can go up to 1Tb, has more lasting power, has all the ports you could possibly want, and is thinner/lighter than the 2012.

    Why should the MacBook or the MacBook Air fill that role? It's fine for a whole segment that is not looking for all the attributes I listed in the previous para.
  • Reply 8 of 52

    Wouldn't it be nice if, instead of a free U2 album, Apple give us free live streaming access to the NFL's opening weekend to celebrate ATV4? /s

     

    Maybe all those extra seats are for tailgating ...

    :smokey:

  • Reply 9 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    What's wrong with the 2015 MBP15 then? It is a remarkable machine, has great speed, you can go up to 1Tb, has more lasting power, has all the ports you could possibly want, and is thinner/lighter than the 2012.



    Why should the MacBook or the MacBook Air fill that role? It's fine for a whole segment that is not looking for all the attributes I listed in the previous para.

    One of my Client VM's has a 350Gb Database. Even with stripping out the crud it is 250Gb. That takes a big chunk out of the 1TB.

    A lot of the Applications I develop are DB intensive. Running them off an external drive is a Pain in the neck I really don't want.

  • Reply 10 of 52
    asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rotateleftbyte View Post

     

    One of my Client VM's has a 350Gb Database. Even with stripping out the crud it is 250Gb. That takes a big chunk out of the 1TB.

    A lot of the Applications I develop are DB intensive. Running them off an external drive is a Pain in the neck I really don't want.


    I too wish the MBP came with more storage. I mean, it's not like SSDs are 2.5" boxes any more, they look more like DIMMs. Surely Apple could fit two of them in there. Maybe there aren't enough PCI lanes or something.

  • Reply 11 of 52
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    What about the 4K iMac, is that further away?



    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

    They forgot about it when writing this.

     

    I thought that was an October deal. 2160 21.5” iMac (TB 3), new Mac Pro (TB 3), standalone 27” 2880 Thunderbolt Display (maybe thinner?), and if the new laptop chips are available, do them, too.

  • Reply 12 of 52
    appexappex Posts: 687member

    Hopefully USB 3.1 type-C (reversible) on all iOS devices and then Mac by October. Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 are the future.

  • Reply 13 of 52
    I want a retina display macbook air with 8 gigs of ram and half a tera byte of hd stocked with an i7 2.4 ghz chip(before turbo boost kicks in). Period. I want it now!!
  • Reply 14 of 52
    My guess is apple will make iphone 6s base model at 64gb and a 128gb option

    Since availability of 3d nand , prices of memory are dropping like a stone.

    Catch will be they will still have the 16gb model in select
    colors and for select markets

    how they plan to price it , that is a country specific issue considering their huge international presence
  • Reply 15 of 52
    Originally Posted by karteekmehta View Post

    My guess is apple will make iphone 6s base model at 64gb and a 128gb option



    Dream big. I don’t see 16GB going away.

  • Reply 16 of 52

    A couple things that I would like to see unveiled as part of the new Apple TV are visual tie-ins with the new Apple Music service. 

     

    For instance, a visual show related to the artist that you are listening to, esp if your playlist is comprised entirely of or predominantly of that artist. Other options could include visual related to the era of the music, the genre of the music, etc. I'm thinking mostly of band photos, concert shots, publicity shots, related artists and art to do with that music. For genres, it could be much broader. They could even include bits of text about the band, about the tracks, etc. Offer as part of the paid, ad-free service.

     

    Also, offer the option of scrolling or crawling lyrics to songs as they're playing. This seems like a no brainer.  Again, as an option for the paid service. 

     

    This would incur costs to copyright holders and music publishers, but negotiating contracts with them much as they currently do with the labels would create a new revenue stream for those owners and Apple would only pay for what is streamed by users. 

     

    One missing element after all these years since vinyl, is the experience of holding the cover and reading about the album, viewing the art and photos. Apple tried to create a super album space a few years back but it didn't catch on (it was album only on a few paltry offerings). They should make it more basic, easy and included with artists for whom there is a database of imagery to draw from. Huge potential here with Apple TV and it's untapped.

  • Reply 17 of 52
    Originally Posted by battiato1981 View Post

    Also, offer the option of scrolling or crawling lyrics to songs as they're playing. This seems like a no brainer.  Again, as an option for the paid service. 

     

    This would incur costs to copyright holders and music publishers


     

    Lyrics are available freely online. You’re telling me Apple would have to pay for them?

  • Reply 18 of 52



    With regards to lyrics I honestly don't know, but assuming this is considered a commercial use, then I imagine that there would be a cost to someone streaming them as part of a subscription service. Just guessing though. 

     

    But when it comes to any copyrighted photos, most definitely.  

  • Reply 19 of 52
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,405member

    I enjoy my Apple TVs now, I don't think a gaming aspect would matter, to me at least.

     

    But I've said before - sorry to 'harp' - the thing needs to be more reliable at communicating 

    with iCloud for photostreams, and it needs to stop losing track of large chunks of my music.

     

    Yesterday I felt like listening to some Satriani - and the nurse and cardiologist reluctantly allowed it -

    but, although it listed 5 of his albums, Surfing With the Alien was nowhere to be found on ATV,

    despite showing in iTunes on the MacBook Air...sometimes it's a data issue, with ATV forgetting who an album is by,

    but in this case, searching the title, the iTunes store through ATV wanted me to buy it to listen to it (unlike

    the way, when you own a movie, it won't even display the price, just giving a "play" option.  Both our ATV's

    function - rather, malfunction regularly in both those ways.  

     

    Perhaps I'm not diagnosing it properly, but it seems to me they could improve these aspects of the functions they already "provide".

  • Reply 20 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,921member
    My guess is apple will make iphone 6s base model at 64gb and a 128gb option


    Dream big. I don’t see 16GB going away.

    Obviously it will go away eventually, but I don't think that time has come.
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