Last year we were treated to 3 Keynotes in the run up to the holidays and it looks like we are in for something similar this time round do too, but this time the iPhone Keynote has made its way to the front of the queue.
Last year saw a redesign of the iPhone and iPhone Pro to the flat side aesthetics which are taking over Apple’s hardware lineup. This year the iPhone will get its “S Cycle” update, although probably named the iPhone 13, keeping external changes to a minimum with new camera array and a slightly smaller notch. The sensor-shift image stabilisation which was exclusive to the iPhone Pro Max last year, will make its way across to the whole iPhone lineup this time, with the iPhone Pro Max also having sensor-shift stabilisation on the wideangle lense.
The iPhone is set to gain a Promotion display which will not only top out at 120hz for silky smooth scrolling, but also throttle down to 1hz to preserve battery life and possible enable an always on dimmed display like the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch has remained pretty much unchanged externally since its release in 2015, besides when it received a size bump from 38mm and 42mm to 40 and 44mm respectively with the Series 4 in 2018. The Series 4 incorporated a larger display that also pushed the pixels closer to the edges of the watch, but despite the physical size increase this change was barley noticeable when the screen was off. This year the Apple Watch is set to gain the defacto flat sides found on the iPhone, iPad Pro and iPad Air, which will also see the case sizes bump up 1mm to 41 and 45mm. As with the last case update, the screen will be pushed even further towards the edge of the display, so the gain in screen real estate will be greater than the 1mm bump would suggest.
The iPad mini is also set to get the flat side treatment and look like a Mini version of the iPad Air released last with Touch ID in the Side Button, support for the second generation Apple Pencil and A14 Chip. Like the iPad Air I would expect to see the iPad mini suffer from a bit of a price bump as it distances itself from the bottom of the lineup.
The iPad is set to be updated its 9th revision and incorporate the A13 processor and finally gain a laminated display. The iPad will however keep the its current exterior design with Touch ID in the Home Button and support for the original Apple Pencil. It will also remain the only iPad to still be using lightning.
AirPods are set to see their third revision and gain a design much closer to the AirPods Pro with smaller steams but lacking the rubber ear tips and therefore echo cancellation of the AirPod Pros. Internally I would expect the AirPods 3 to have improved range and battery life when compared to their predecessor but nothing that would make it an instant upgrade … unless your batteries have gone!
iOS 15 was unveiled at WWDC in June, but has since seen a lot of the features originally announced either taken out with each beta or never make an appearance to begin with. The most substantial feature that is still left in is Focus (think Home, Work, Driving etc), which essentially allows for different profiles (reminds me of my Nokia 3210) with different settings for things such as notifications.
Unlike last year where iOS 14 was released with 24 Hours notice, I expect iOS 15 to be released on Wednesday next week.