It’s October, which can only mean one thing for avid Apple observers: OS X, Mac and iPad refreshes. Still in the shadow of September 9 Apple extravaganza, Apple will be making another set of announcements at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium.
What can we expect on the 16th?
If previous years are anything to go by, we can expect a new line of iPads; namely the highly anticipated iPad Air 2. Though the details of the new device are yet to be officially revealed, it’s anticipated that Apple will unveil a thinner, lighter iPad Air 2. The new iPad will likely incorporate many of the new features that have been missing from the iPad range, namely Touch ID fingerprint recognition and a faster A8X processor and a Retina HD display. We expect Apple Pay to be present in the iPad from the iOS 8.1 betas, with apps that support its integration. However near field communication (NFC) may not be available in the device for in store purchases at checkout.
Following the introduction of the iPhone 6 Plus, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple has made the decision to kill the iPad Mini range – or at least to just keep the current Mini around for another year. Many reviewers and people we’ve spoken to have commented that with the larger iPhones, and especially the Plus, they can’t see the need for the Mini anymore.
On the software front, we can be sure that Apple will use the event to release OS X Yosemite to users via a free download. The eventual release of OS X Yosemite will bring Continuity, Handoff, AirDrop between iOS and OS X, iCloud Drive, a new UI and thousands of other improvements to Macs.
We should also see Apple release iOS 8.1. Some have even suggested that there are other improvements coming to iOS 8.1, including public transit directions in maps, Apply Pay and bug fixes.
If rumours are to be believed, this event could mark the introduction of the iPad Pro. This would then bring the iPad range in line with the MacBook product naming line. Although, we expect the 12.9 inch iPad Pro may be saved for a larger event in conjunction with IBM, which will be focused on the education and enterprise market.
With the launch of iPad Pro, the eventual introduction of OS X Yosemite, along with some of the new features that will be available to Mac users, we will watch the event with interest. Watch Apple’s live stream of the event, which begins Thursday, October 16th at 1PM ET / 10AM PT/ 6PM BST.