Special Edition: Follow Up for the Apple Event

Today at 10am Pacific time (1pm Eastern), Apple had its September Event.  I watched the two-hour event live (after the stream quit glitching).  We saw a lot of cool stuff, most of which did line up with my predictions.  Here’s the full rundown on what actually happened.

iPhone
We did see new iPhones at this event.  I was correct that there was a 4.7″ iPhone 6, as well as a 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus.  There was not, however, a 4″ model, which surprised me.  Apple will continue to sell the 4″ iPhone 5s and 5c as the $99 and Free models (with a 2-year contract), respectively.  I was also correct that there was not an iPhone 6c.  The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available for pre-order September 12, and for purchase September 19th.

iOS 8
iOS 8 was officially launched at the event, and will be available September 17th.

iPad
I was correct that there were no new iPad models at this event.

Mac
There were no new Mac models or software launched at this event.

Apple Watch
Apple announced a new smart watch at this event, the Apple Watch.  There are three models: the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport (a more durable model), and the Apple Watch Edition (an 18-karat gold model).  Each will come in large and small sizes.  The watch will link to your iPhone, showing your emails, messages, maps, music, as well as fitness data (a major focus of the Apple watch).  There is a completely new user interface, centering around a dial on the side of the watch, called the “crown.”  It reminds me of the old iPod click wheel.  The Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus in order to be used.  The Apple Watch will be released in early 2015, and will start at $349.

Apple TV
As I guessed, there was nothing about the Apple TV at this event.

Beats
There was no big announcement concerning Beats, though they did pretend to buy Beats headphones in their demo of Apple Pay.

iPod
There were no new iPod models at the event.  I think the iPod’s days are seriously numbered.

The Death of 16gb
I didn’t quite get my wish, but I think I’ll get it next year.  The iPhone 6 comes in a $199 16gb model, but the $299 model is 64gb, and there’s an all-new 128gb model for $399 (add another $100 for the iPhone 6 Plus).  My guess is that next year there will be no 16gb model.

Apple Pay
This is going to be really cool.  You know those credit card scanners that you just wave your card in front of?  Now you can do that with your iPhone 6, 6 Plus, or Apple Watch (through near-field communication, or NFC).  Security was a big deal here, and Apple really went the extra mile (or several) to make sure nothing bad can happen.  All the credit card data is stored in the same secure enclave of your iPhone as your Touch ID fingerprint data is.  That brings us to Touch ID, which will be the way you access Apple Pay.  Finally, third-party apps (such as Target) can integrate with Apple Pay, allowing you to use that information instead of typing in credit card and billing info for each individual app.

U2
Apple closed the event by talking about their love for music, throwing in a plug for the iTunes Festival happening right now in London.  They then brought the band U2 on stage, who performed their new single live.  Apple CEO Tim Cook then had some playful negotiating with the band, eventually “deciding” to give the band’s new album for free to all 500 million iTunes members.

So, needless to say, Apple has been very busy during the last few months.  I’m really excited to see all these new devices in action, and I’m even more excited to get my hands on iOS 8.  You can be sure I’ll have a post detailing that when it releases, and I might also do some posts detailing other products individually.  If you’re interested, you can watch the whole event on Apple’s website.  Be sure to share this post with the buttons below so all your friends know that you’re up to date on the latest tech!

Predictions for Apple’s September 9th Event

I’m guessing you’ve heard by now, but Apple is having a huge event this Tuesday.  It is widely believed that Apple will release the iPhone 6, but what else does Apple have up its proverbial sleeve?  Here are my predictions.  Be sure to check back here Tuesday for a special follow-up post detailing what I did and didn’t get correct, as well as any other surprises I might have missed.

iPhone
It’s expected that the iPhone 6 will be announced at this event (though it probably won’t actually become available for purchase for another 7-10 days).  But perhaps a better term to use here would be iPhone 6es.  It is widely rumored that we will be seeing multiple, different-sized models of Apple’s popular smartphone.  The most recent models (5, 5c, and 5s) have all have a screen measuring 4″ diagonally.  I expect a 4″ iPhone 6, in addition to a 4.7″ model.  The other number floating around the internet is 5.5″, which does sounds awfully big.  I’m not sure how this one is going to play out, buy my guess is that the 5.5″ model is going to happen.  As for the “-c” product line, I don’t think we’re ever going to see that again.  My prediction is that Apple will simply continue to sell the iPhone 5s as a cheaper option.

iOS 8
After seeing it announced last June at WWDC, I definitely think iOS 8 is going to launch at this event.  Like the iPhone, it probably won’t go live until a week or so later, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get an official date Tuesday.

iPad
If Apple’s behavior last year is any indication, I don’t think we’ll see any new iPads at this event.  Assuming that they’re sticking to a pattern here, there will be another event in October, at which we will see new iPads.

Mac
Like the iPad, I don’t think we’re going to see any new Mac software or hardware at this event.  Most likely, we will see the release of OS X Yosemite, as well as some slightly improved Mac hardware, at another event later this fall.

iWatch/iBand
This one is tricky.  It’s been rumored for quite some time now that Apple will be entering the wearables market.  What’s unclear is whether the device will be a Pebble-style smartwatch, or a Fitbit-style activity tracker (or, most likely, some of both).  Given Apple’s new Health app that will be pre-installed in iOS 8, it’s not a crazy thought to think that this device could have a large health focus.  What’s odd is that we have seen zero hardware leaks for this device.  None.  This is really, really unusual – especially compared to the wealth of iPhone 6 hardware leaks.  Either Apple has seriously cracked down on secrecy or… the iWatch may be coming later, or not at all.  Even still, I’m going to say yes to this one.  I think the iWatch is finally going to be announced, though it’s possible it won’t ship for another couple months.

Apple TV
I’ve talked before about how awesome the Apple TV could be (thought it’s still pretty great as it is), but I don’t think we’re going to see anything about it at this event.  I’m hoping that there will be a major Apple TV update at an October Apple event, but I think doing something drastic now could steal the iWatch’s thunder.

Beats
After Apple’s purchase of Beats by Dr. Dre, everyone is expecting Apple to do something big with Beats (or something at all, really), potentially in the streaming music market.  That being said, I don’t think we’re going to see anything significant about Beats at this event, or even this year.  I do hope Apple makes a new bid into the streaming music business, but I think it’s going to take them a while to work that out fully.

iPod
Sadly, I think the iPod’s days are over.  Based on Apple’s current time frame, we ought to be due for new models this year (we got them in 2012 and 2010), but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Granted, I think Apple is going to continue selling the iPod, but I think we have seen the last of new iPod models.  If, however, I am wrong, and we do see new models, I really, really, doubt we’ll see them again in another two years.

The Death of 16gb
This is really just a vain fancy of mine, but I hope the iPhone 6 doesn’t come in 16gb models.  16gb is feeling increasingly small, and I think it’s time for the $200 iPhone to come with 32gb of space.  Let it go, Apple.

The Great Unknown
The best part about this event is that, even though I’m pretty confident about much of what’s written above, there could be something entirely new and amazing that I have no idea about.  It’s all up in the air right now.  Be sure to come back here Tuesday for my follow up post to hear exactly what happened.  Better yet, why not subscribe so the post comes directly to your inbox?  That way, you can be the cool person around the water cooler (or on Facebook, there’s plenty of share buttons below) – the one who already knows all about that mythical iPhone 6 that everyone’s been talking about.  ••

5C, 5S, 5 inch?

Will Apple release an iPhone with a larger screen?  The short answer is: You’ll find out this September (or maybe next September).  However, there are many people out there already placing their bets as to Apple’s next big iPhone innovation.

I personally like the iPhone at its current size.  I think it’s easy enough to read, yet still fits in your pocket easily.  However, I could see myself using a slightly bigger iPhone.  The old iPhones (1st Gen, 3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S) all had a screen that measured 3.5″ diagonally.  The newer iPhones (5, 5C, and 5S) have a 4″ screen.  I think this increase was an enormous improvement.  The added vertical space allows you to see more items in a list when holding the phone vertically (read: most of the time), and also gives the screen a 16:9 aspect ratio.  This means that the screen has a shape the same as a widescreen TV, instead of an intermediate ratio between widescreen and fullscreen like the old iPhones had.

As to what the increased size will be, I doubt Apple will make their screen as large as some phones out there (the ones that make you look like you’re holding a small tablet up to your face when you make a call).  However, I could see Apple making a 5″ iPhone 6, along side other 4″ models.

Another thing to consider is that changing the screen size comes with challenges for app developers.  Before the iPhone 5, iOS developers didn’t have to worry about different screen sizes the way Android developers have to – all iPhones were the exact same size.  The iPhone 5 made things more complicated, however, and a larger iPhone 6 will certainly make things more complicated still.  Recently, Apple has been encouraging developers to begin using “auto-layout,” a development feature that can automatically readjust the placement of controls on the screen to fit different sized screens.  I see this move by Apple as a major implication that Apple is planning a bigger iPhone.

So in conclusion, my prediction is that Apple will release a new iPhone with a larger screen.  However, like all Apple rumors, we won’t really know until it’s official.  Now would somebody please tell that to the people holding out for an iTV?  ••