The rumour mill is working overtime as we eagerly await Apple’s ‘Hello Again’ event tomorrow. Rumours so far have been few and far between, but we now have juicy information to sink our teeth in to. Here’s what to expect from the event.
MacBook Pro Update – Extremely Likely
The announcement that most creative professionals have been waiting for – the MacBook Pro is definitely going to be getting a refresh at the event. How can we be so confident? In Apple’s latest macOS Sierra update, some image files were placed in a Resources folder that show off the redesign with a few exciting new features.
The most obvious change is the rumoured OLED ‘Magic Toolbar’. This bar, placed at the top of the keyboard, replaces the function keys, escape key and power button with a single black bar. It’s unclear at the moment if the bar is a physical button, acts like a button (like the new trackpads that vibrate to simulate a button press), or a touch-sensitive/touch-screen interface, but we do know that the bar will change what it displays based on the context it receives from macOS. The example in the leaked image shows someone paying with Apple Pay, the far-right of the Magic Toolbar has a fingerprint sensor in it to make Apple Pay using your MacBook easier.
For the eagle-eyed amongst us, you’ll also see that this is the MacBook Pro from the name at the bottom of the screen, similar to how the new MacBook displays its name. Current models don’t have the name of the laptop on them, so it seems Apple wants the extra advertising potential when you take photographs of your new devices. This also gives us the us the impression that the MacBook and MacBook Air will be getting an almost identical screen and keyboard, so the identifying feature would be the name on the bezel.
The new MacBook Pro also gets its keyboard straight from the new MacBook. The new keyboard, coupled with rumours that the new MacBook Pro will favour USB C over traditional USB ports and Apple’s hatred of headphone ports, hints that this new model will be a lot thinner than the previous one.
The MacBook Pro hasn’t been updated since May 2015, so this update is extremely likely.
MacBook Air – Highly Likely
The MacBook Air had its last update in March 2015. Now – with the MacBook Pro adopting the Magic Toolbar, the keyboard from the new MacBook and a thinner bezel around the screen – it’s possible that Apple will also give the MacBook Air a slight design refresh.
Minor internal changes are a likelihood as well, but battery life is expected to stay the same. New processors would make sense for this laptop as it is starting to age alongside the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
It’s unlikely, but a possibility, that Apple could offer the MacBook Air with the same colour options as the new MacBook as well.
MacBook – Unlikely
The only change Apple could add to the MacBook to make it more interesting is the Magic Toolbar. This would make sense if Apple are introducing the ability to pay for products on your laptop with your fingerprint.
It would be unusual for Apple to show off a new MacBook design, but stranger things have happened.
iPod Shuffle / iPod Nano / iPod Touch – Likely
Apple missed the celebration of iPod’s 15th birthday, but could this mean that the tech giant have something up their sleeves for the ‘Hello Again’ event? The iPod Touch hasn’t been updated to match the iPhone 7 range as of yet – it wasn’t even updated to match the iPhone 6, so it’s likely that a waterproof model with iPhone 7 internals is just around the corner.
The iPod range hasn’t been updated since July 2015 and is still running on iPhone 5 / 5S internals, so they could all do with a much-needed refresh at this event. It’s possible that Apple will push back the announcement of new iPods to its own event early next year, but with Christmas fast approaching it would make sense for new stocking fillers to be in Apple Stores in time for the shopping mania.
Apple Keyboard – Unlikely
Rumours are swirling that Apple is working on an e-ink design for the Apple Keyboard. Through some design trickery, the keyboard would look the same, but the keys would be contextual and could change what they show based on the application you’re using.
It’s unlikely that Apple would shake up the Keyboard at an event where they’re showing off new laptops though, unless there’s going to be an iMac / Mac Pro / Mac Mini update at the event as well.
The Mac Pro hasn’t been upgraded since 2013, the Mac Mini since 2014 and the iMac since 2015. Even though Apple are focused on their laptops lately, it would make some sense for the entire computing range to be updated at the event.
Gone are the days where Steve Jobs would surprise and wow the crowds with ‘Just one more thing…’, but Tim Cook’s Apple has a lot riding on the success of the company’s computing hardware. The fact that the event is called ‘Hello Again’ leads us to think that Apple has woken up to the wants and needs of consumers and professionals and is going to surprise us with plenty of refreshes at the event.
In reality, we may only see a new MacBook Pro with a long, drawn-out presentation showing the capabilities of the new laptop. Any more than that and we’ll be impressed.
We’ll know more tomorrow, and we’ll be sure to bring you a follow up of the event. Stay tuned.
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