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iPredict

[Updated with one additional paragraph I forgot to include when I posted this half an hour ago]

Apple’s latest special event is in less than 24 hours and as is usual before this event every year, speculation is rife about what they will announce. A new iPhone is widely expected to be launched but nobody is still quite sure what’s going to be in it. It’s been a while since I last wrote an Apple-related piece so I’m quite rusty but this post is basically my two cents about what could possibly come out of this event. More internet garbage!

What’s new! 

An amazingly new iPhone.
Well, amazement lies in the eyes of the beholder. The new iPhone will have a faster processor and a better camera. The difference from its predecessors being that this one will have iOS 10 and as we have noticed increasingly in small yet significant features of iOS 10, there seems to be a lot of on-board machine learning happening which means that the 64-bit, rumored 3Gb RAM might finally be put to more use than just driving that retina display for watching videos.

Wireless “AirPods”?
Err. Umm. I’m going to stick my neck out and say no. iOS 10 is Siri-heavy. To my mind, while you can design a mic into the “AirPods”, it’d be quite an experiment to make that deep-dive before giving users time to adapt to them. The other reason this rumor has been gaining traction is the expectation that Apple will remove the 3.5mm audio jack (which is a reasonable thing to assume) and the discovery of a low power Bluetooth chip patent. That chip PROBABLY has something to do with the Apple Watch and less to do with the earphones.
My guess would be that the earphones are lightning-enabled.

Design Changes!
I hate what the iPhone 6 and 6S feel like (I’m not even going to mention the plus versions of those things). But since millions around the world seem to like this new design, Tim Cook-led Apple is unlikely to fix what isn’t broken. But here’s a word I’d expect to be mentioned somewhere in the keynote: Liquid Metal.

Pencil
With all the weird rich-text and media support throughout the iOS 10 system, it is only logical that Pencil support comes to the iPhone. But the moment those words are spoken at that keynote, remember these words “If you see a stylus, they blew it”. Google it if you don’t know who said that.

Camera
“It’s the best camera that has ever been put in a smart phone”- Phil Schiller, tomorrow.
But Phil, if it’s going to be protruding, I still don’t understand it. Just make the phone that much fatter please. Nobody really cares about 3mm. If you want to make the thinnest phone ever, congratulations on losing that battle anyway.

Storage Space
Here’s why the “best camera ever” matters. Storage. The one tiny but relevant rumor has been that apple will wave goodbye to the 16Gb model. Say hello to 32, 128 and 256Gb! The size of iOS 10 probably has a lot to do with that too.

But here's the thing. I get the feeling that Apple is holding back the real updates for next year and that this update is going to be a lazy-product cycle demand device that really is a filler. All year so far they've struggled in the market (nowhere near the $120 peaks they hit last year) and the fluctuations might carry on till the end of the year irrespective of what they do with their phones. So once the storm is weathered, you might see more exciting features in the phone. So keep the expectations low.

Other announcements

MacBook Pro update
It’s feels like it’s been ages since the previous one and they’re really proud of the MacBook so this will be something to watch out for. Expect Skylake, USB-C and Touch ID. I like the rumor about the OLED touch bar for the function keys but somehow that feels like a gimmick they’d have on the MacBook first. I’m on the fence on that one.

Apple Watch
This is the one Apple device that has so much scope for improvement, it feels like a joke to me. Sure there’s cool tech in it but if Apple was simply about the tech, it wouldn’t be Apple. I’m waiting patiently for the day when all the bio-engineers and fashion designers sit together in Jonathan Ive’s design studio and say “Can we fire that intern who talked us into releasing this thing and pretend like it never happened and start over?”

HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit are really, really good. Here’s my problem with the watch- It’s the dumbest smart device to come out of one infinite loop. And while I’m sure that will change in the future (when it becomes capable of existing without an iPhone), in the meanwhile I’d expect it do something to complement the iPhone and change this parasitic relationship they share into symbiotic relationship. Remember the low power Bluetooth chip? That could help, no?

The event is tomorrow, Wednesday September 7th at 10AM PDT, 1PM EST, 10:30PM IST and can be watched at this link: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2016/

Watch it! I’ll try to do a post event piece about what actually transpired and I promise I will compare it with this list and happily take all the rotten tomatoes aimed my way when these turn out to be wrong. LOL.



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