Photo via p_a_h (CC-BY)
This year, Apple's iconic smartphone is expected to get a whole host of new features as well as some very questionable changes. Here's what to expect from Apple's Sept. 7 event in San Francisco.
The most credible rumors point to an iPhone 7 that doesn't look all that much different than the iPhone 6 or 6s. The new phone will not feature a completely new body design, as has become common when a numerical change takes place every other year. Instead, the phone's basic shape will remain unchanged, although the antenna lines located on the back of the case will be deleted, providing a more uniform look.
Two screen size options will also remain, matching the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 and 6s, and the 5.5-inch size of the 6 Plus and 6s Plus. Expect the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to carry those same dimensions.
On the camera front, both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are expected to be big upgrades over their predecessors, with the 7 Plus gaining even more photography muscle. The 7 Plus is said to sport a dual-lens camera that will take sharper photos and bump up the clarity of low-light photos considerably.
The one potentially disastrous downside of the new iPhones is the long-rumored removal of the standard headphone jack. The logic behind the removal of such a universal feature has been debated for months already, with some insisting that it will make room for a larger battery and others claiming it will let Apple's smartphone continue to get thinner over time. Apple is said to be planning either a shift to wireless headphones or a push for earbuds that utilize the phone's Lightning connector rather than the standard audio port everyone already uses.
Wrapping things up in iPhone land, the new phones will likely start at 32GB in terms of storage capacity, finally axing the 16GB option entirely. Other credible rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 may finally get a proper waterproofing rating, which would be a first for the device.
Apple Watch 2
The next Apple Watch—whether it'll actually be called Apple Watch 2 or not remains to be seen—is expected to sport an upgraded processor as well as built-in GPS, allowing for more advanced activity tracking even when you're not bringing your iPhone along for the ride.
It's been almost two full years since the Apple Watch first took the stage at an Apple event, and it's just about time for the world's most popular smartwatch to get an upgrade. Longtime users have complained about the device's lack of speed and power since it launched, and a new Watch with a bit more oomph could help it catch a new wave of hype.
Apple's laptop and desktop computers are in desperate need of an upgrade. Some, like the Mac Pro, haven't been updated in almost three years, while others, like the iMac, are only just starting to get long in the tooth. Apple's computer lineup needs some serious attention before they become even more stale, though it's unclear whether the company will spend time at its iPhone event for this purpose.
Recent rumors point to an all-new, thinner notebook design, featuring a particularly interesting on-keyboard display that replaces a row of function keys with an OLED touchscreen. The addition of Touch ID for password unlocks has been suggested numerous times and may finally see the light of day.
However, with changes like this, it's more likely that Apple will dedicate an event to reveal its new Macs, especially when the entire lineup has been without a significant update for as long as it has.
Apple's iPad Pro launch was the most recent change to the company's tablet lineup, and it looks like that massive slate may be getting a little brother. Rumors point to a 9.7-inch iPad Pro to go alongside a refreshed 12.9-inch model.
The 9.7-inch screen is the standard size for Apple's tablet, and has been ever since it debuted. Giving its innards some more power, along with the Pro namesake, could breath some new life into this once scorching hot product line.
Apple is no stranger to secrets, and while the rumor mill has seemingly outed all the important details this time around, there's always a chance that the company has something truly unexpected up its sleeve. We'll just have to wait for Tim Cook to take the stage to find out!