August 31, 2016
On September 7, Apple will unveil upgraded iPhones, an Apple Watch with GPS tracking and new health features, and, for iPhones and iPads, an iOS 10 software update. The company is developing new iPad features geared for professionals, including a software-upgrade with better OS support for the stylus. Also new are the latest versions of the iMac desktop, MacBook Air laptop, a thinner MacBook Pro and, in partnership with LG Electronics, a 5K standalone monitor. The only Mac to have been updated since last year is the 12-inch MacBook.
Bloomberg reports, based on information from inside sources, that Apple will “ship the updated iPad software next year, while the Macs are expected as soon as late 2016.” At the event in San Francisco, says Bloomberg in a related article, Apple will show “the successors to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus [which] include advanced photography capabilities and upgraded hardware with a design similar to last year’s models.”
The iPad, whose sales have slumped for the last nine quarters, is of particular interest. More expensive iPad Pro models have “produced the first increase in quarterly iPad revenue in more than two years,” which means we’re likely to see features aimed at “higher-paying professional customers.” New iPad software features could appear “as part of an upgrade to the iOS 10 operating system in the first half of 2017” or “the next major iOS version later in the year.”
As part of the improvements to the stylus (Apple Pencil), it will “include faster display technology that allows for smoother zooming, panning and scrolling.” A new iPad Pro, with a 10.5-inch display (up from the current 9.7-inch one) is expected to release next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Some new Mac products will ship as soon as October, including a “tweaked MacBook Air devices with multi-functional USB-C port technology” and an iMac option for new AMD graphics chips. The key new feature in the upcoming MacBook Pro is “Dynamic Function Row,” an internal name for a digital function key above the keyboard that “allows for common tasks to be done more quickly for whatever program is being used.”