Just as predictably as night follows day, Apple is set to refresh its iOS lineup in time for the holiday season, but what should we expect to see and what fails to make the cut?
iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (as the names suggest) will be an incremental update to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In addition to the usual speed bump, this year’s iPhone will get Force Touch which will offer developers the opportunity of a “Contextual Tap”, rather the Apple Watch’s 1 Menu Per Screen. As Force Touch will be limited to only the 6S and 6S Plus, these features will be limited to shortcuts in the near term.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will be available for preorder on Friday, with a release date of the following Friday at the existing price and 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB storage capacities.
An Apple TV hardware refresh and SDK is an almost certainty, since it made its appearance on the iOS Dev portal at WWDC. Apple dropped the price of the current generation Apple TV to $69 in January, leaving the $99 price point vacated for the next generation Apple TV. With the Apple TV set to include Siri support in a Motion Detecting Remote, a $99 price might be something that Apple struggles to meet while maintaining their healthy profit margins. I expect the Apple TV to start at $149 with 16GB of Storage, with Third Party Bluetooth Controllers being available for more traditional console like games.
Last years iPad Air 2 update left us with an overpowered iPad without any major apps to take advantage of it. The iPad Pro is set to rectify this by having a larger 13” styli compatible screen. This alongside iOS 9’s Adaptivity APIs, might see the iPad finally break through and become a serious creation device.
Expecting to see the iPad Pro ship in October at around $799, but it is possible that it will not be unveiled until next month.
The iPad Air (as mentioned previously) is already overpowered, so Apple might take the opportunity to not update the iPad Air this year.
Last years iPad mini only received Touch ID and new colours, so it is a generation behind the current iPad Air. It is more likely than the iPad Air to receive an update, but that it is by no means guaranteed.
Inline with tradition we are going to see a round up of iOS 9s new features … basically the same presentation we saw at WWDC in June. Other than support for new hardware features I wouldn’t expect to see anything new added.
iOS 9 will be available to download next Wednesday for the iPhone 4S/iPad 2 and above.
In conjunction with iOS 9, watchOS 2 will also be available to download next Wednesday alongside a plethora of watchOS 2 apps. I wouldn’t expect to see anything revolutionary, but apps running entirely on the Watch will improve the experience immensely, and custom complications add an interesting twist.
OS X El Capitan
OS X is also due to be released this fall, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pushed backed to an October Keynote, as there is nothing significant tying it to this event.
There are lots of things to look forward too over the next couple of months and indeed lots of things to develop for, but the Apple TV is set to steal the show a this Keynote.