Tomorrow is Apple Day, the semi-annual event where Tim Cook comes out and gets us to open our wallets yet again for a new iPhone.
But if the rumors are true, there's going to be a heck of a lot more than just the next generation mobile device. Of course, with a redesigned camera and a new look, you can bet that it will still be the centerpiece.
We'll be live-tweeting the event and following up with deep dives on everything we learn. For right now, we're going to make some educated guesses and check back later to see what we got right.
The iPhone 11
Or iPhone 11 Pro. Or iPhone 11 Max. Or whatever they're going to call it this time around.
Seriously. I don't know why they just don't make it like a car and call it the 2019 iPhone. That would be so much simpler.
Anyway, what's expected are three updated iPhone models coming in 5.8, 6.5, and 6.1-inch screen sizes. The hallmark features of the XI and larger XI Pro/Max models will be an upgraded OLED screen and a square rear-facing three-camera array. The cameras will be a telephoto, wide-angle, and super wide-angle and all three will run off a 12MP camera sensor. The three-camera system will provide improvements to Apple's portrait mode by improving low light situations, as well as more accurately calculating the depth of field between multiple camera views. It will also enable a larger field of view for shooting.
(Frankly, I would rather Apple provide a longer telephoto, in place of the super wide-angle. But they didn't ask me.)
One exciting software feature that filmmakers may find fun to play with is a rumored ability to edit while video recording. The talk is that thanks to the next-generation A13 processor, users will have the power to perform color correction, apply visual effects, and even crop video in real-time while still recording. I would rather have an answer to Google's popular Night Sight camera feature. That would be far more welcome. And if they can do all these effects in real-time, then why not give us Portrait mode for video, so we can have some nice bokeh laden clips?
Meanwhile, the follow-up to the very popular iPhone XR will have a standard retina screen and will inherit a second camera. And while the iPhone XR was able to still pull off a kind of portrait mode with a single camera, the addition of the second telephoto will make images far more accurate and the bokeh a lot nicer. So, essentially, the next-gen iPhone XR model will basically be an iPhone X or XS. And they could in a few extra colors like green and lavender.
Another interesting feature coming to the iPhone will be Qi charging of other devices. Dubbed "Bilateral wireless charging," which is currently found on Samsung mobile phones, the iPhone XI/XI Max will be able to charge your AirPods or other Qi-compatible mobile devices by merely placing the device on the back of the iPhone. This is why the Apple Logo will be moved up to the middle of the back end of the iPhone, to give users a landing pad for putting a device to charge.
That will mean that Apple will have to expand the size of the battery, and the inside talk is that it will be at least a 3,500 mAh battery in the XIS, and 3,800 mAh in the Max model. The XR version is expected to bump up to a 3,000 mAh battery as well.
Other expected bumps will include 4GB of RAM, up from 3GB, and faster LTE speeds via 4x4 MIMO. And some are saying that the new iPhone will support up to two pairs of AirPods via enhanced Bluetooth, so users can share music. And will the iPhone finally drop the lightning connector and go to USB-C? Only time will tell.
While Apple is due to launch a new iPad Pro, they may wait and announce it at a separate event in October. This will be a modest refresh, to be sure, with 11 and 12.9-inch sizes. What we can expect is improved processor performance in order to better accommodate Apple's new iPadOS operating system. But there are also plans in the works for a new standard iPad, which may enjoy a little larger 10.2 inch screen thanks to slimmer bezels.
This one is somewhat of a long shot, but Apple may add a third MacBook Pro to its 2019 lineup, with a 16-inch model that will have slimmer bezels to keep the size the same. This model's main feature will likely be a redesigned keyboard that eliminates the problematic butterfly keyboard and goes back to the tried and true scissor-switch design. The MacBook will also have Intel's 9th generation Coffee Lake processors, and that means it could be the last intel based MacBook Pro we will see before Apple makes the transition to their own ARM-based chips in 2020.
Apple Watch Series 5
Apple could also put out a new Apple Watch, but many are expecting minor changes in an off-year. In fact, it may just get a faster S5 processor and new titanium and ceramic models. So largely, they will be cosmetic upgrades.
We'll also likely hear more about Apple TV+, which frankly is getting a collective yawn from the technorati, who look at their programming lineup and simply see a bunch of high priced talent including Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Carrell, and Oprah. Even with that heady lineup, the programming seems rather uninteresting by comparison to Disney+ and their impressive Star Wars and Marvel line-ups. Steven Spielberg, for instance, is doing a rehash of Amazing Stories, which I liked. But that was like 30 years ago, and it was canceled in one season. I don't expect much better here. Anthologies just don't do that well.
The one series I am interested in is Ronald D. Moore's alternative space race series For All Mankind. But am I willing to pay for an extra subscription service to get it? Not likely. For $10 a month, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot there to make users want to sign up. The gaming service, however, may be worth it, depending on how much the monthly fee is and if the lineup of games is impressive. We shall soon see.
Lastly, we'll hear more about iOS 13, macOS Catalina, watchOS, and iPadOS and TVOS. All of these have been in Beta since they were announced at WWDC last June, and I'm betting that iOS 13 will launch soon after the event. Meanwhile, users can expect to begin preorders on all the hardware starting Friday, September 13th.
I'll be live-tweeting tomorrow's event, so check in with us on twitter (@nofilmschool) starting at 10 am PT as we see what's official, and what isn't. But I have to be honest, with a tag phrase "By Innovation Only," Apple had better surpass all expectations. Sales figures show that users are holding onto their iPhones and iPads longer, and that means something big has to happen to get us to pony up another $1100 for a new model.
See you tomorrow!