Apple event: What to expect

Apple is geared up to reveal its latest tablets just in time for the holiday season. (Reuters )
October 22, 2013

Apple is widely expected to release new versions of its iPad tablets on Tuesday, during a major launch event. Here’s a look at what’s likely from the iPad line, as well as other products that Apple watchers say may make an appearance at this show.

iPads: New models of the full-sized iPad and iPad mini seem like the surest bet at the San Francisco launch event, given Apple's introduction of new iPad models at this time last year. Analysts and tech bloggers say that the full-sized iPad is expected to get a spec upgrade in the form of a new chip, and a physical makeover to look a little more like the iPad mini. The tablet’s camera is also expected to get an improvement.

As for the iPad mini, it is also expected to get a spec bump. But it’s not quite a sure thing that the smaller tablet will also get one of its most-requested features: a retina display. Reports from Reuters earlier this month suggested that the iPad mini’s rollout might be delayed until after the holiday season due to problems in the supply chain. In any case, the retina display on the iPad mini, whenever it arrives, is expected to make the tablet slightly heavier and thicker — something iPad users had already seen with the retina-version of the full-sized iPad.

Mavericks: Apple’s OS X Mavericks is the next version of Mac OS X, the desktop operating system for the company's computers. Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the system includes plenty of features that already grace the mobile iOS operating system, such as support for iBooks and Maps applications. Other improvements include changes to the Finder aimed at making Macs more easy to navigate, and the option to tag things in the Finder. Mavericks also has greater support for multiple displays.

While Apple has shown off Mavericks’s features, the company has yet to announce a price point or release date; many are expecting that information from Apple at Tuesday’s event.

Macs: Apple also showed off the new, cylindrical Mac Pro at WWDC — an update to its desktops that completely redesigns the traditional computer tower. Apple has promised that the new Mac Pro is twice as fast as its predecessor and also sports vastly improved graphics performance.

The computer is also supposed to have ports for gigabit ethernet, Thunderbolt 2, USB 3 and HDMI 2. As with Mavericks, while Apple showed off a lot of what the product would look like at WWDC, it has not announced any information on price and availability.

There is also the expectation that Apple will update its MacBook Pro line, 9 to 5 Mac reported, with better battery life and a better FaceTime camera.

Apple TV?: There is also lingering speculation that Apple will introduce some sort of update to the Apple TV, its set-top box, particularly after many thought that the peripheral would get an upgrade at last month’s iPhone launch event.

In its report, 9 to 5 Mac said that this rumor was unlikely to come to fruition, citing checks with those in Apple’s supply chain that suggested that there had been no slowdown in the number of current Apple TV models currently in production — a sign that a new version may not be coming so soon.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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