Apple’s “Hello Again” Event – Expectations

Apple has today announced that they will be holding a keynote on Thursday October 27th at 10am PT in Cupertino where they have some major announcements to make.

This event is expected to be a Mac only event with major updates to multiple products in the Mac lineup.

In this post I’ll summarise what to expect from the event.

Invitation:

helloagain

The invitation comes with the tagline “hello again”.

‘Hello’ refers to the very first words that the original Macintosh said back in the 1980’s when unveiled by the late Steve Jobs and the word ‘again’ refers to the iMac launch with the translucent colours that you can see into the back of.

So in short, there are two things based on the slogan.

  1. This is definitely a Mac only event, and
  2. This should be more a “Hello again, again” tagline, which means that these updates are more significant than your usual spec updates.

The image of the Apple logo itself doesn’t really say much, but I reckon it could have something to do with the wallpapers that will be used in all of the marketing artwork for the new Macs themselves, if I had to guess.

Now onto what they are expected to announce:

MacBook Pro:

macbookproretina
MacBook Pro Retina 15inch (Mid 2012) Design

I am a Late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina owner and I absolutely love it.

This particular MacBook got a major update in 2012 with the Retina Display and now in 2016 it is going to get it’s next significant upgrade beyond the usual spec bump. So what will it have?

Dynamic Function Row:

This is expected to be an OLED Touch Bar that will replace the function row of keys at the top of the keyboard and instead display controls based on the application your are using at any point in time.

For example, in iMovie you would get media related controls, Pages you would get cut copy and paste buttons etc.

USB-C Ports:

USB-C was first introduced in the 12inch MacBook in early 2015 and now it is expected to come to almost the entire Mac lineup during this event.

Based off rumours, it is expected that the MacBook Pro Retina will lose its MagSafe 2 port, HDMI, SD Card slot and USB-A Ports, all to be replaced by 4 USB-C Ports.

Yes it will still have a headphone jack (hopefully).

USB-C is definitely the future but I do question whether or not replacing all USB ports with USB-C at this point in time is a good move or not. If they do this, they will almost definitely have to give you an adapter or two to help ease the transition.

Touch ID:

Touch ID was introduced on the iPhone 5s in 2013 and now they are going to bring it to the Mac lineup in a physical manner.

You can use Touch ID currently via 3rd party apps and with iOS 10 for Apple Pay on the web, but including a Touch ID fingerprint sensor will sell the idea that you do not need to be near or rely on your phone for said functionality.

They will almost definitely built in software so you can unlock your Mac via Touch ID as well, to save having to type in passwords all the time or need to buy an Apple Watch just for that feature, if you are spending probably AU$2500+ on a new piece of equipment.

Other Updates:

The MacBook Pro Retina is also expected to get:

  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard from 12inch MacBook.
  • Bigger Trackpad.
  • Slightly thinner design.
  • Thunderbolt 3 Ports.
  • Latest Intel Processors.
  • Maybe faster SSDs.
  • Possibly more RAM.

Likelihood of an update: 9/10

MacBook Air:

The MacBook Air is known as the cheaper portable Mac computer for basic tasks and it is expected to get an update with the latest specs and replace the USB ports with USB-C ports.

It is also heavily rumoured that the 11.6inch MacBook Air will be discontinued likely due to the low sales numbers and that people that want a laptop for on the go at the very least want a bare minimum of a 13inch screen.

Likelihood of an update: 9/10

iMac:

The iMac is expected to mainly get updated specs with AMD Dedicated Graphics, USB-C Ports, latest Intel processors, Thunderbolt 3 ports all while likely maintaining the same screen sizes, resolution and physical design.

Likelihood of an update: 9/10

Thunderbolt 5K Display:

thunderboltdisplay
Now discontinued Apple Thunderbolt Display.

Apple earlier this year discontinued their Thunderbolt Display which was ideal for docking your laptop to have a desktop setup at home. The display however was only Quad HD and nowhere near Retina quality.

It is now expected that Apple will release a standalone display with the same display from the iMac 27inch 5K Display.

Likelihood of this being unveiled: 7.5/10

Other Minor Updates:

There has been no word as to whether or not the 12inch MacBook, Mac Pro or Mac Mini will receive any forms of updates, but chances of any of them happening are probably 50%.

It is possible that we could be seeing some new accessories at this event, including a new Magic Mouse, Apple Keyboard and more.

Apple AirPods are also due for a release very soon so Apple would likely take the opportunity to announce the release date for these.

We should also expect to hear about the release date for all new software that is currently in beta at the moment, including iOS 10.1 with Portrait mode for iPhone 7 Plus users and macOS Sierra 10.12.1.

Conclusion:

So this event is definitely going to be great for a lot of Mac users, but I do ask the question:

“What do you want to hear about most? And what would you buy from the event?”

In my case I am perfectly happy with my 2013 MacBook Pro and I just recently got an ASUS 23inch monitor for my setup and I’m perfectly happy with the setup I have at the moment, but leave a comment below I’d like to hear what you have to say.

The event starts at 4am if you live in the eastern states of Australia and you can setup a reminder and watch the event by clicking here. I may have work on that Friday, which means I’ll likely watch a replay of the event and not be able to tweet live.

If you enjoy this post and looking forward to the event or learnt something new, be sure to give it a like and follow me here and on Twitter @neilh_apps.

 

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