Monday, August 31, 2015

What I'm Hoping for From Apple's Sept. 9 Event


In just about nine days from now, Apple will be holding their September media event.  Scheduled for Wednesday, September 9 at 1:00pm eastern (10:00am pacific), Apple will be introducing what it has in store of us in the run up to this year's holiday shopping season.

It's a pretty safe bet to expect the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus to be introduced at this event.  The same goes for iOS 9.  I expect both of the iPhones and iOS 9 to arrive in our hands no later than Sept. 25.  (Betting money is by Sept. 18.)

I like to have a little bit of delighted surprise when I watch the Apple keynote addresses so I really try to avoid all of the leaks in the month running up to the event.  So without getting into any leak rumors, here's what I'm hoping to see on Sept. 9.

iPhone 6 Remixed

It's virtually impossible to open a browser to a tech blog and not be assaulted by the screaming "The Latest Leaked iPhone 6S Thingamabob Will..." headlines, but I do think the next iPhone will have a Force Touch display.  The new MacBooks and MacBook Pros have Force Touch track pads.  The Apple Watch has a Force Touch display.  It's only natural to assume that it will be in the next flagship iPhone.  I'd take this upgrade even if the phone will get slightly thicker.

I would also like to see an upgrade to the camera.  With the iPhone being such a popular point-and-shoot camera, it's time to upgrade that 8MP iSight camera.

Make it thicker.  If the iPhone camera lens protrudes, now is the time to add thickness and level everything out on the back again.  If the phone gets thicker from the inclusion of a Force Touch screen, then there should be space for the entire camera assembly to be contained inside the case.  Oh, and make the battery slightly thicker.

I also expect the A9 processor to be a thing, but since this is an "S" year, I think the processor, camera and display to be the hardware upgrades.

iOS 9

The public betas being what they are, available to the public, they really aren't too ultra-secret any more.  I expect ad blockers to be big.  I'm hoping to just have more control over what ad networks are able to glean about me from scanning my device after running some sketchy ad code when I visit my favorite blogs and websites.  Many people will likely go with a default option and just block all ads entirely.

I'm also looking forward to the end of Newsstand to make it's exit with iOS 9.  It was a great idea back in the spring of 2010 when the band new iPad first appeared with the $1.00/wk The Daily newspaper.  But now, with apps getting all the love, Newsstand seems almost forgotten. On my iPad, you will find three lonely icons for the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and Forbes.  I'd love to have those apps in a standard app folder on my iPad.

Lastly, I'm hoping for some more control over music with explicit lyrics to be added either to the Music app or to the iTunes control panel.  If these options exist today, I sure has heck can't find them.

And speaking of searching, being able to search for preferences in the Settings application is a big win in my book.

Apple TV

There's been a lot to do about Apple TV rumors this past weekend of which I won't get into here.  For me, I'm looking to upgrade my two third generation Apple TVs to a new version that has some kind of wireless headphone support.

I'd also like to see some improvements to HomeKit that will get me excited enough to go out and buy some "smart plugs" for my "dumb" lamps around the house.  I really see a refreshed Apple TV being the hub for all of my in-home Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets.  And I want to play with some new toys this winter.

watchOS 2

I was lucky enough to get my Apple Watch on launch day.  I've worn it every day since then.  Now that all my debit and credit cards now fully support Apple Pay. it's super easy to buy things with my Watch.  I'm looking forward to seeing the loyalty card support found in iOS 9 make the jump to watchOS 2.

I'm also looking forward to the new apps that developers will cook up for us with the new version of WarchKit.  I think with native apps running on the Watch, some of the lag-tastic delays we've seen with the "projected" Watch apps will go away.

So this is what I'm hoping for come Sept. 9.  I think that the release of Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and any new iPad devices will be held of an October event.  This September will be all about the iPhone, iOS and Watch OS.

[Apple Sept. 9 invitation art via VersedTech.com...]

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