What to expect from Apple’s event this week
Apple's big September event is only a few sleeps away, and unsurprisingly, the rumour mill has been running so hot it's almost caught on fire. While a new iPhone is tipped to be the event's big event announcement, we could be seeing a whole lot more. Here's what we think Apple’s got to reveal. Be sure to check back on Thursday morning to see all of Apple’s announcements!
Apple is unexpected to unveil two new iPhones on Thursday morning, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The pair will be cut from a similar mould to last year's models, but feature one big new addition: a Force Touch display. First introduced with the Apple Watch, a Force Touch display can distinguish between a light tap, and a hard, extended press.
According to 9to5Mac, Force Touch gestures will predominantly be used as a "shortcut". A deep press on the Phone app could take you straight to your voice mail, while a deep press on Mail could plonk you into a new email pane. Force Touching a destination in Maps could instantaneously start turn-by-turn navigation.
We can also expected to see improved hardware across the board, including a new processor, new cameras, and a bump to 2GB of RAM.
A new Apple TV
While new iPhones are tipped to be the stars of the show, a new Apple TV could very well steal it. The long awaited update to Apple's tiny set-top box is said to be a little more ambitious than its predecessors, and rumoured to run iOS 9. The jump to iOS 9 would make it easier for developers to build apps for the new Apple TV, and could see it positioned as a gaming platform. Bluetooth controller compatibility rumours suggests Apple is going in this direction.
Notably, the new Apple TV is said to feature a Siri powered universal search. If you're searching for a TV show, the Apple TV will search every app you have installed for it. For example, if I'm trying to find Breaking Bad, it would search iTunes, Netflix, Stan, Presto, YouTube and any other media app I have installed. Personally, I hope this rumour is true; it would be an elegant way to simplify finding where you can watch your favourite shows.
Of course, the boost in the Apple TV's functionality will come at a price; it's rumoured to retail for USD$149.
The iPad Pro
We've been hearing iPad Pro rumours for well over a year now, but it looks like Apple is finally ready to build a bigger iPad. The latest gossip suggests the iPad Pro will be a 12.9-inch version of the iPad Air, and could even feature a stylus.
There's also a chance we'll also see an iPad mini 4, which is rumoured to feature identical internals to the iPad Air 2, but in a 7.9-inch form factor. We might not see an iPad Air 3 until next year though.
A more powerful iPad mini would mean that every "high-end" model in the iPad family could support iOS 9's new active split screen functionality. This allows users to run two apps at the same time, with each taking up half of the screen. Currently, the iPad Air 2 is the only tablet in Apple's line-up enabled for this feature.
While Apple could be announcing its new iPads earlier than normal this year, we probably won't see them hit stores until November. Considering the number of iPad-centric features we'll see in iOS 9, an early reveal wouldn't be too surprising.
An iOS 9 release date
On a similar note, Apple is almost certainly going to set a date for iOS 9's public release. Apple isn't going to sell the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus without iOS 9, so we can expect to see the new operating system widely available within days of this week's event.
An update on Apple Music for Android
It would be odd if Apple didn't talk about its latest product for at least a couple of minutes, so my guess is we'll see a slide or two on Apple Music. While the company might just use the opportunity to boast about how much music has been streamed through the service since launch, I think we could see an update on the Apple Music Android app’s availability.
New Apple Watch straps
Last but not least, Apple is said to have a few new Watch straps in the pipeline. These might not be super interesting by themselves, but we're also likely to hear an update on WatchOS 2, the upcoming upgrade to the Apple Watch's operating system.