Apple is finally hosting its iPhone 6 press conference tomorrow though we’re almost certain that won’t be the only product on display.
Rumors have been swirling around for months suggesting that Apple has another larger iPhone with a 5.5-inch display up its sleeves. Additionally, newer reports have pointed to an early announcement of the iWatch and possibly even Apple’s refreshed iPads.
We’ll be sitting in the audience bringing you everything that happens right as it breaks, but today we wanted to focus on what we’re expecting from the event overall. We think there’s going to be a lot and it’s likely Apple may even have some surprises.
Here’s what we’re expecting right now.
Two New iPhones
We think it’s a safe bet that Apple is at least going to announce two new iPhones tomorrow. We don’t yet know what they are going to be called. We thought perhaps the 4.7-inch iPhone was going to be called the iPhone 6, followed by the introduction of a 5.5-inch model under the “iPhone Air” moniker.
However, some stories have suggested Apple is going to dub the smaller of the two the iPhone Air, while the second will be called either the iPhone 6 Plus or the iPhone 6 Pro. Both are expected to offer faster processors, improved Touch ID and camera optics and more. The larger model may be the only one with a sapphire display and hardware optical image stabilization (OIS) for the camera. It’s also possible we’ll see NFC added.
What’s that for?
The NFC chip, if it does indeed launch in both iPhones, will very likely be included for mobile payments. Apple is expected to offer a new platform as part of a brand new Passbook application that will allow users to store debit and credit cards that can pay for goods and services with a tap of their iPhones.
Google has tried this before, as has ISIS, but maybe Apple can help take it mainstream. Apple is reportedly working with Visa, MasterCard and American Express in addition to retailers like CVS and Walgreens to help get its system off of the ground.
There may be another key component: the iWatch.
We originally thought Apple was going to announce the iWatch during an event in October, but now all signs point to an announcement tomorrow during the iPhone 6 event.
The device may not launch until later this year or early next, however, so Apple may simply take the time to confirm that the watch is indeed coming and to show us some of the features. The iWatch will reportedly offer a flexible display, wireless charging and may also work with mobile payments. It will sync with Passbook to provide information on your vitals, your steps taken, calories burned and more.
We still don’t know what it looks like or the price, but there’s also rumor that it will have its own apps, which brings us to that.
iWatch App Store
Apple has apparently already been working with developers to create a special app store for the iWatch. That’s wise, since Pebble, Samsung’s Tizen devices and Android Wear smartwatches all have dedicated areas where users can download apps.
The store, if it indeed exists, will likely be home to just a few applications at launch, since Apple has only tapped its most trusted developer partners to create the first apps, according to some reports.
That said, we can expect an SDK if Apple does indeed intro the iWatch, which means we should see new apps populate pretty quickly in the coming months.
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3
It’s still possible Apple will discuss its new iPads later this fall, but at least one analyst said recently that Apple will instead talk about its new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 tomorrow, so we’ll include it here.
Both are expected to pack faster processors and Touch ID sensors, but we don’t know much else about what Apple plans. With the faster processors, its likely we’ll see some demos on how much better these devices are over last year’s models. Apple may also show off multitasking, which apparently is a feature that will land at some point inside either iOS 8 or an update shortly after iOS 8 hits.
Speaking of that, Apple may have some new stuff to show off there as well.
New iOS 8 Features
Apple typically introduces the latest version of iOS during its annual developers conference in June.
This year it introduced iOS 8 and showed us a bunch of new features that we’ve already been using in the iOS 8 beta. Still, with new hardware often comes new abilities for the software, so we expect Apple will introduce some new iOS 8 features tomorrow, too. It could be as simple as improved landscape software on its bigger 5.5-inch iPhone, the aforementioned side-by-side multitasking feature for some iPads, new mobile payment support in Passbook, special features for Healthkit and more.
Also, we’ll probably finally learn when iOS 8 is going to roll out to all existing devices.
There’s so much on the plate tomorrow that it’s no wonder the company has been teasing a busy 2014. It’s probably too soon for the new rumored MacBook Air with Retina, but maybe that will even make an appearance, too. Either way, we’re at least expecting a lot of talk about iOS 8, mobile payments, Healthkit, two new iPhone models, possibly two new iPads, iWatch, an iWatch app store and more.
Again, we’ll be at the event reporting live so stay tuned for our liveblog and breaking coverage as it happens. We’ll also of course be back with analysis on the day’s events after Apple finishes up.