What To Expect From Apple’s “Back To The Mac” Event
All we’ve talked about regarding Apple in the past months had something to do with the iPhone, the iPad or the high number of patents the company is trying to register. But Apple sells a lot of other exciting products that no one has mentioned for a long time, well, until recently anyway. A few days ago Apple sent some invitations to an October 20 event called “Back to the Mac”. As its name suggests, the event will focus on the future version of the Mac OS X operating system and Macs. Since we already know that version 10.7 features will be previewed and that the OS will probably be called Lion (as indicated by the photo of a lion on the invitation), it’s not time to speculate what other products Apple might release during the event.
On his Daring Fireball blog, Apple insider Gruber mentions that the event will include: “A “sneak preview of the next major version of Mac OS X”, and, I’m just guessing here, the brand-new way-cooler MacBook Air.” Truth be told, it’s about time we saw some upgrades to the MacBook line of laptops which are falling slightly behind products from other manufacturers. A new version of the MacBook Air would also be extremely appreciated. PCMag has made its own list of 10 things we might expect from Apple during this event.
Apple is expected to upgrade to the latest Intel Core CPUs. With most laptops on the market coming with one of Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, it’s hard to understand why only part of the Cupertino-based company’s laptop offering can deliver the same. Some of them are still packing Intel Core 2 Duos which are getting a bit old and would really need an upgrade.
Automatic Switchable graphics – By sticking to Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, Apple could continue to use Nvidia’s integrated solution, the GeForce 320M. The only problem here is that, again, Apple is falling behind in terms of technology compared to other products from other manufacturers. An automatic switchable graphics solution as the one included in the new generation MacBook Pro 15 and 17 laptops would probably be appreciated by customers if it were added to the entire laptop line.
Retina Display on laptops – I can’t personally argue with this one. The display on the iPhone 4 is great and we’d love to see it in laptops as well. I don’t know if it’s very realistic, but PCmag thinks it would be great if Apple used the same Retina Display in the 13 inch Macbook.
Higher resolution screens - one of the great thing about Apple’s laptops is that they already have a pretty high resolution, but since most of us are used to getting the best, a higher resolution would be even better. Most laptops have transitioned to the 16:9 aspect ratio, allowing resolutions of 1366 x 768 pixels and 1600 x 900 pixels and it would be great if Apple did the same for its products.
More Memory, Bigger Hard Drives – Since the standard on the market is 4GB of DDR 3 and roughly 500GB of hard drive, there’s little to no reason why some of Apple’s base configurations still include 2GB of RAM and 250GB hard drives. This would be a pretty pleasant yet quite realistic improvement to the Macbook lineup.
HDMI – yes, HDMI is a great thing and it has recently been included in the Apple TV and Mac mini. Proving that it can harness the technology, it’s about time Apple used it in more of its devices like the Macbook and Macbook Pro.
SD Card slot – yes, it would be nice, especially on the Macbook Air, but I personally doubt we’ll ever get to see this one. It isn’t even present on the products on which it would matter the most, like the company’s music players or phones, despite users being used to finding such a port on virtually any other product baring a different brand logo.
WiMax – With fifty-four cities already having WiMax towers, it would be interesting to see Apple include the latest technology in its laptops. It also costs less than other broadband subscriptions and a chip could fit even in devices that are particularly slim
Blu-ray – This is probably not going to happen but it’s listed anyway because it would be great to have. We wish we’d see this more from other companies as well. If the technology is available, they might as well start transitioning to it.
Smaller MacBook Air – there were plenty of rumors regarding this one. The invitation for the event also features an aluminum-like rectangle with rounded edges, hinting that something small yet extremely stylish might end up being presented in the near future. Some people seem to think it will come in the 11 inch flavor and be amongst the first of Apple’s devices that resemble a netbook. Knowing what opinion Apple has on netbooks, I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to seeing this one be released.
Most of these possibilities include laptops. But what about that touchscreen iMac? Are we going to see that any time soon? Apple has registered quite a few patents in the previous years that suggest it could be working on such a computer. As noted before, Mac OS X 10.7 was in development for quite a long period of time and the main focus was on implementing multi-touch. For this particular reason, along with the showcasing of the new features Mac OS X 10.7 (possibly named Lion) brings, it would make a lot of sense if Apple debuted something to make use of those features, right? The recruitment ad posted by the company this summer is also a great indicator that we might get hit by something quite big. The job description mentioned that Apple is working on something which was never done before and will truly amaze everyone. It’s hard to say what that something would be, but it might finally be time for a touchscreen iMac to see the light of day. Five days are left before we get to see what Apple was actually talking about. Hopefully it will be as big as we’re expecting.
Prior to Apple’s last event, centered on music, we expected the company to release new, improved versions of its iPod music players. On top of that, we got to see the release of Ping, Apple TV and a bunch of other impressive services. Something tells me that this event will be exactly the same and we’ll discover more than new features for Mac OS X and a couple of mildly revamped laptops.11