The iPad Pro and iPhone 7 will be significant device releases for Apple in the coming months, and both will be powered by its mobile operating system iOS 9. Here ValueWalk examines all the latest rumors and news about these three critical releases for the consumer electronics giant.
iPhone 7 Latest
It has firstly been rumored that the iPhone 7 could arrive earlier than previous models in the series, according to the opinion of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. The schedule of the iPhone 7 is not fully decided yet, and many analysts speculate that it could arrived in 2016, with an upgraded version of the iPhone 6 instead being released during this calendar year.
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However, Kuo believes that the iPhone 7 could be unveiled in August by Apple, which would suggest a likely September release date. Kuo has been successful with predictions in the past, and is considered a reliable source of Apple news, so this opinion is certainly well worth paying attention to.
Kuo also expects Apple to include Force Touch technology in the iPhone 7, a suggestion which has been doing the rounds for some considerable time now. This technology has already been incorporated into the Apple Watch smartwatch and MacBook laptop, and it is thought that this could particularly support handwritten signatures, as Apple makes a concerted attempt to chase the corporate marketplace.
Meanwhile, an analyst from Citigroup suggests that the iPhone 7 will embrace higher resolution displays and a considerably improved camera, along with numerous other new features. Citigroup analyst Jim Suva states that Apple’s decision to significantly upgraded the screen in its flagship smartphone is a direct response to the approach of its most obvious rivals.
If Suva is correct then the iPhone 7 could possibly embrace quad HD resolution in the iPhone 7 Plus, while the iPhone 7 is likely to be a full HD smartphone. There are suggestions in some quarters that Apple could dabble with 4K technology, but this seems wide of the mark considering the upgrade it would represent over the iPhone 6, and also certain logistical and technological considerations which might make this an impossibility.
There have been numerous rumors about the camera in the iPhone 7 for some time, and it is generally accepted by the analyst community that Apple will be significantly upgrading its camera in the next generation of its flagship smartphone. Both a professional quality dual-lens unit, and a unique periscope device, have been linked with the iPhone 7 previously. And Suva suggests that we can expect Apple to ramp up the megapixel rating in the iPhone 7 to 12-megapixels, closing the gap on rival Samsung while delivering improved low-light shooting.
Apple is also reportedly working behind the scenes on producing a new processor for the iPhone 7, and numerous companies have been linked with the production of processors and chipsets for the device. It is possible that Apple will rely on either Sony for Intel for this next generation smartphone, although this has not been confirmed by the company as of yet.
iPad Pro Latest
The iPad Pro is a hugely anticipated tablet computer from Apple, which has been rumored for several years. With Apple’s tablet sales falling significantly, it is thought that a slimmer, high-spec device with a 13-inch screen could attract new people to the tablet niche.
With this in mind, it has been suggested recently that there will be split screen support for iPads, and that this could well begin with the iPad Pro. 9to5Mac has reported on this possibility, although it is still open to debate whether this feature will be solely a function of the iPad Pro, or whether Apple will incorporate it into the other iPads in the range.
One possible issue that the iPad series could face with this mooted split screen functionality is that tablet computers potentially have insufficient memory in order to operate it efficiently. Thus, reports suggest that Apple is already working on significantly improving the memory quotient in the iPad Pro, possibly doubling it from previous iterations of the device to 4 GB.
Some sources have suggested that Apple will unveil this top of the range tablet at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, ahead of a release later this year. This would be something of a surprise, as Apple has tended to focus on software at the WWDC in recent years, dedicating other specialized events to hardware launches.
Two versions of the iPad Pro are rumored to be currently under development, and these have currently been codenamed J98 and J99. Reports indicate that one of the two versions will be Wi-Fi-only, and the other will be Wi-Fi plus cellular when they are released into the wider marketplace.
Aside from the split screen functionality, it also been suggested that Apple will introduce multi-user support with the iPad Pro, a feature which has been hinted at by the corporation for around three years. This would be an obvious response to Apple’s major OS rival Android, which has included this feature in its functionality for sometime.
iOS 9 Latest
One certainty for the Worldwide Developers Conference is the release of iOS 9. This has become the centrepiece of the WWDC conference, and Apple will be intending to release its proprietary operating system as soon as possible in order to bed it in before the release of the iPhone 7 and iPad Pro.
With iOS 9 possibly only a few months away before release, sources close to Apple apparently leaked some of the features included in the software. One central suggestion is thus that Apple will include a new Home app in the iOS 9 platform, which will act as a control center for HomeKit devices. It seems that smart home technology will be a major focus for Apple in the coming years, as an increasing number of smart appliances and the growing prominence of the Internet of Things makes this a significant niche in the near future.
Reports have also indicated that Apple is considering changing the font utilized in iOS 9. Although this may sound like a fairly trivial issue, it actually requires more development than one might imagine. With the Apple Watch having introduced the San Francisco font earlier this year, it is said that this will now migrate to IOS 9. This particular font is intended to be more readily compatible with smaller devices, as well as scaling more efficiently.
Apple is also expected to improve functionality in its Maps software in iOS 9, with a view to challenging the dominant Google Maps. There are murmurings which suggest that Apple will include a piece of software called Transit in iOS 9, and that this will enable users to more easily navigate cities all over the world via public transport.
Finally, a repeated rumor related to iOS 9 is that it will be bundled with the highly anticipated Apple music service, which will be powered by its Beats Music acquisition. This is mooted to cost $7.99 per month, and for this fee you will be able to play any song on demand, similar to the Spotify service. Apple is reportedly trying to court artists such as Taylor Swift and Florence and the Machine to release exclusive tracks on its platform.