Here is our complete guide on Apple products for 2017
Apple can mark 2016 to be a mixed year. Its major releases included the iPhone 7 and the MacBook Pro. While the iPhone 7’s release without a headphone jack created quite a stir the unpopular choice has been covered up quite a bit by the release of the AirPods. On the other hand the MacBook Pro has been facing some battery related issues, graphics problems and some major complaints are held by users regarding its high price.
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Unfortunately Apple also witnessed a decline in its iPhone sales for the very first time in 2016. Yet one should not lose hope as 2017 may turn everything around for Apple. We expect the biggest revision of the iPhone to be observed this year since the release of iPhone 6 in 2014. In addition we will also get to see major iPad changes, new desktop Macs and some worthwhile software improvements.
iPhone 8 the Anniversary Special
The Rumor factory is always churning when it comes to Apple iPhones. The rumors regarding the 2017 phone started to surface even before the release of the iPhone 7. So that means we have quite a bit of information regarding the new iPhone up till now. Much is expected from the anniversary special. If you have been following the rumors you will be able to identify some common themes. There are quite a few concrete hints which give a picture of the next generation iPhone.
First up we are assuming the new model will be known as ‘iPhone 8’ as this flagship device is expected to have radical changes which certainly count more than naming it iPhone 7S. Then again you never know Apple might go for a completely different name. It is expected that Apple will release three different iPhone models and one special model will feature an OLED display. That one premium OLED iPhone model will most probably lie around in the range of 5 inches. The iPhone 8 display is rumored to feature flexible curved display similar to that of the Samsung S7 Edge. Another possibility is that the iPhone may have an edge to edge display which will be more in Line with the iPhone 7.
Now both of these concepts are mutually exclusive but we have been hearing rumors with both possibilities. While many have been writing about a curved screen display sources such as the KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo hints of a less curved 2.5 D edge to edge display. However it may be that the ‘edge to edge’ reference means the removal of the side bezels instead of the top and bottom ones. Whatever the display screen may be the Home button is going to be dropped for sure. Instead a Touch ID finger print scanner will be included directly in to the display. Other features such as light sensors, microphones and camera may also come under the display so that a clear glass display impression is given. Apart from the OLED model the other two iPhones are rumored to be available in 4.7 and 5.5 inch configurations.
These models will be less expensive and would be easier to get your hands on mainly because of the LCD screen. Another strong rumor regarding the iPhone 8 is that Apple is finally giving up its aluminum style body for a glass body instead. The glass back may include an aluminum part for stability but the glass will remain as the main visual aesthetic. The glass body inclusion is not only for an aesthetic purpose but has been incorporated to allow wireless charging. Apple is working on long-range wireless charging techniques and we may witness a debut with the iPhone 8 in 2017.
A glass body is said to interfere less with charging speeds but we still do not have a clear idea as to how Apple will implement this wireless charging. There are also no details as to whether Apple is opting for its own wireless charging solution or if it’s going to work with companies such as Energous. Other rumored features include a faster A11 processor, advanced biometric features like improved facial recognition techniques or maybe even iris scanning and an Upgraded Taptic Engine having the ability to create "more complex tactile vibrations. Dual cameras may be present in some iPhone models and Optical image stabilization could be added to both lenses (instead of just the wide-angle lens) in the next-generation iPhone.
Almost 10 prototypes are thought to be considered by Apple in 2017 which is probably why we hear all types of rumors regarding the iPhone 8. However as the September launch date comes closer we will obtain more solidified details and will have a better insight on what to expect.
iMac coming your way this Spring 2017
We did not see any new iMacs at the launch of the MacBook Pro at the October 2016 event. However it is rumored that there is an update under progress. The KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo has claimed that we will be seeing the iMacs around Mid March or April. The new improved iMac will include Intel Kaby Lake chips and AMD graphics will be included only in models that make use of discrete graphics.
The iMac deserves a refresh since a long time but the rumors indicate nothing more than a minor spec update. In fact Bloomberg has reported only a shift in USB-C ports and improved processors. The Intel Kaby Chips are scheduled to come out in late December till early January which is a great date for the iMacs to be released in spring. We could also witness a separate keyboard shipped alongside the iMac. It is rumored to be a standalone keyboard which will have a Touch Bar like the keyboard of the MacBook Pro.
iPad Pro this Spring?
Apple is working on a new iPad Pro and as with the iPhone; the rumors are just absolutely all over the place. Apple is rumored to be introducing three models a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a new mid-range model with a display between 10.1 and 10.9 inches. The 10 inch iPad Pro model is expected to have an edge to edge bezel free display more like the iPhone 8. However the actual body size will be similar to the 9.7 inch iPad Pro model and that is why it might be replacing the specific model too. Apple however is keen to keep the 9.7 inch model as a low cost tablet option.
The 10 inch and 12.9 inch models are expected to be the new flagship models and will feature the fast A10X processors. The size of the model has not been finalized yet. The KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo claims it will measure 10.5 inches. On the other hand Japanese Mac Otakara has released two reports hinting a size of 10.9 and 10.1 inches. The Taiwanese supply chain however has given out a figure of 10.5 inches and a recent survey by the Barclays Research claims the size to be 10.9 inches. Another rather vague rumor from Mac Otakara is that Apple will also be introducing a smaller 7.9 inch iPad Pro as a successor to the iPad Mini model but no other source has confirmed this piece of information.
Since Apple is planning on releasing new iPads in 2017 we will get to see more iPad specific software during the year. The iPad Pro is expected to incorporate new hardware and software features that will target the professional users. Features such as a faster display, smooth on screen zooming and expanded iOS support for Apple Pencil will enable the users to work with ease in many other areas. Both Barclays and Mac Otakara have predicted an early 2017 launch for the iPads. However the question is that if really an edge to edge display iPad is in the works will it be released earlier than the iPhone 8 which is expected to be out in September.
MacBooK Pro Fall 2017
The latest MacBook Pro models with the Touch Bar came out in 2016. If Apple continues to follow its traditional update cycle we might witness a refresh with upgraded internal components in Fall 2017. The updates may include Kaby Lake Processors and some price cuts. Major external design changes won’t be happening for many years now. MacBook may be released in Spring 2017 In 2015 we witnessed the 12 Inch Retina MacBook Pro and its upgrade came out in spring 2016. It is quite safe to presume that we will see another upgrade in the early months of 2017. Low Power Kaby chips may be included but no major design shift should be expected.
Mac Mini may get lucky in 2017
We have not seen an update for many years. The last upgrade dates back to October 2014 and it is most unfortunate that there are no rumors regarding an update in 2016. Yet if we dare to imagine an update, it might include Kaby Lake Chips, improved graphics and other such improvements which have been incorporated in the Mac Line up over the years.
Mac Pro due for an Update
The Mac Pro is long due for an update. The last update came way back in 2013 and we still have no idea of when it will get a refresh. No solid rumors have surfaced hinting if any update is in the works and even there is one no information is available on what the new machine might include. If the Mac Pro is planned for 2017 it will most probably come out with the refreshed iMacs in spring 2017 or to be more optimistic If Apple is waiting for cutting edge current generation chips the update could be delayed till Fall.
Will we see a new Apple Watch in 2017 If Apple is working on a third generation Apple watch then it is certainly under the wraps since we have not heard much regarding the watch. If it does actually come it will most probably be released with the iPhone 8 in fall 2017. The major improvements might be observed in the design, up gradation of processors and maybe sensors will be included which Apple was not able to include in the first and second generation watches.
The 2017 model may introduce cellular connectivity. This is one feature Apple has not been able to add due to battery concerns so 2017 may be the year for this update. We have been hearing some rumors of a potential switch to micro LED displays for the Apple watch. These displays are thought to be lighter and thin which consequently improves color gamut and brightness. At this point and time it is quite early to predict an Apple watch release in 2017. We will need more rumors to surface in the early months of 2017 to be able to give a final verdict.
MacBook Air-Not Happening
Now that we have thinner and lighter MacBook Pro machines available it seems foolish to expect a MacBook Air update. Apple is most likely hang on to the MacBook Air as a low cost option until there is a cost cut on the new machines. However one thing is for sure MacBook Air is certainly not going to happen.
It is not impossible that Apple might introduce Apple TV in 2017 but to be honest we don’t think it will really happen. There have rumors been reported regarding this project and we have no real reason to have the Apple TV to be updated. As per history the project does not have year by year update schedule so we might not be seeing it in 2017 too. If an update in Apple TV ever does happen rumor states that it could feature a better processor and might include some features which will allow it to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home. We are still not sure if these features will be included in the Apple TV or in another stand alone device to be introduced by Apple known as Home Hub.
Latest rumors claim that Apple is working on a connected Home smart device that will be very much similar to Amazon Echo. The device will be equipped with a microphone and speaker and most evidently will be powered by Siri. The Hub has supposedly been in development for almost two years and currently is in the prototype testing. The device has the power to control HomeKit connected accessories such as lights, locks, window shades and many more through the power of voice activation.
The device will be able to compete with Amazon Echo or Google Home. Not much information is available on the Hub currently. We still are not sure whether the device will work as a standalone or will be incorporated in to the Apple TV family. The device may include facial recognition capabilities and Apple is working on Siri so that this product is able to achieve more. The Hub is still in the prototyping phase and we have no idea when it will finally be released. It may actually not be ready till 2018.
iOS 11 coming your way this Fall
Apple has a policy of introducing a new mobile operating system on a yearly basis. This year we expect iOS 11 to hit Apple devices. There are not any vivid details on what the iOS will include but some hints indicate it will be more focused on iPads. Features such as improved Apple Pencil support may be released so that professionals can work more widely across the operating system. In addition Apple is also rumored to be working on a social networking app which will compete with the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
If this app continues to develop we might see its release with the iOS 11. Apple has also been found working on virtual reality with a dedicated AR/VR team.We might see some augmented virtual reality feature be incorporated in the iOS 11. Maps and Photos are two major areas which might make use of this technology. In addition the iPhone camera may also feature mapping over-lays of the real world views.
macOS 10.13 again a Fall release
The next generation version of the macOS 10.13 is expected to be released in Fall 2017. This upgrade will have better features and a refined macOS operating system. The complete details on the macOs 10.13 are not available but more details will be available as the year progresses. The preview will be most likely to be viewed at the WorldWide Developers Conference scheduled in June.
Watch OS 4
Along with the iOS 11 we will be getting a Watch OS 4. This will be an upgraded operating system which works on the Apple watch. The features are not yet known but we might get a glimpse in June.
The last and final software we expect to be released in 2017 is the tvOS 11. This runs on the fourth generation TV. Apple is working hard to improve the tvOS experience so we will be able to witness some major interface improvements and other usability changes. This software will probably be previewed at the WWDC in June.