We have only a single clue ahead of next week’s Apple media event: “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”
Oh, and no shortage of rumors, whispers, and posturing.
Apple’s keynote is September 9. We expect Siri to take a starring role, with Apple incorporating its digital assistant inside new products, such as an entirely new Apple TV (that may even feature third-party apps for the first time). Pushing Siri into the limelight will become even more necessary as smartcars and smarthomes become as commonplace as smartphones.
We also know the keynote will take place in San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium, which seats 7,000. That’s huge. Toss in the fact that it’s going to be streamed not only to iOS devices but Windows 10 users as well, and we are expecting a bold, boisterous Apple — one that’s eager to reveal its intentions to be everywhere we are, and with us everywhere we go.
Expectations aside, here are all the things we’re hoping Apple will announce within new or updated products, along with the (completely unscientific) odds it will happen:
Go Smaller (Odds: 25%)
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are a given. We also hope Apple introduces a non-phablet device, one about the dimensions of an iPhone 4S, but with the newest hardware, Touch ID, and better camera. Phablets are awesome, but they’re not for everyone.
That said, there have been no reliable reports of a new device in an old form factor.
Force Touch (Odds: 90%)
Force Touch senses how hard or light the user is touching the screen, enabling an entirely new palette of controls. Touch the screen with extra pressure to call up a secondary menu, for example, or to access a weapons cache in your favorite first-person shooter. At the very least, Force Touch will reduce the number of swipes and taps required for a specific task.
If executed properly Force Touch could even negate the need for a home button. No home button means much more screen real estate. We are not expecting this anytime soon.
Bigger Battery (Odds: 25%)
Unless you’re rocking an iPhone 6 Plus, with its massive 2,910 mAh battery, at some point during the day you’re scoping out a wall socket. It’s 2015 and this needs to stop. We wish for significantly improved battery life. Otherwise, it’s like building the world’s greatest off-road vehicle, but including only a tiny gas tank. Lots of places you could take it, but you better not.
Unfortunately, there’s been very little chatter about a larger battery.
More Speed (Odds: 90%)
A new A9 processor and more RAM seem almost certain. This means better response, improved gameplay, fewer lags, even when running Pandora or Google Maps in the background, for example.
It’s also rumored the new iPhones will include a Qualcomm chip that increases LTE download speeds from 150 Mbps to 300 Mbps. That’s a noticeable improvement. We think this will happen.
A Sharper Image (Odds: 90%)
Multiple sites have all but confirmed that the new iPhones will include a 12mp camera — a decent leap in resolution over iPhone 6’s 8mp offering.
There are also multiple reports that the front camera will get a much-deserved boost from its paltry 1.2mp to 5mp. That, plus the expected front-facing slo-mo video feature should help usher in a whole new selfie revolution — and require Instagram to purchase a lot more servers.
We are hoping for a 16mp camera, which is now standard on most premium smartphones, but we think the odds of this happening are very slight.