Apple is gearing up for a “Spring Forward” press event in San Francisco on Monday, and that means the company will be making some big announcements about upcoming products, including the much-anticipated Apple Watch. Here’s what to expect:
Final details about the Apple Watch
As the name of the event implies (Daylight Savings Time, get it?) this event will almost certainly revolve around the final details of Apple’s smartwatch. The Apple Watch was unveiled in September, but there are some key things we don’t yet know about the device.
The biggest detail we’ll likely get is full pricing and availability data. Apple CEO Tim Cook said previously that pricing for the Apple Watch will start at $349, but we have no idea how much Apple plans to charge for the more expensive models (including the gold Apple Watch Edition) and how different watchbands will affect the device’s pricing.
Cook also said on Apple’s most recent quarterly earnings call that the Watch will be out by April, but he didn’t give an exact release date, or any information about where the device will be sold at launch. Expect information on both come Monday.
I also expect that we’ll see a recap of some of the Watch’s known features, like the ability to send emoji and drawn patterns to other Watch users. Odds are that Cook – who’s known for his active lifestyle – will also talk up the watch’s fitness and health sensors.
Now that Apple has released its WatchKit software development tools to app developers, I’d bet that some chunk of the presentation will be taken up with third party devs talking about the apps that they’ve built for the Watch, so potential users can see the capabilities they’ll have access to at launch.
We also haven’t yet seen what sort of software Apple has planned for the iPhone to go with the Apple Watch. There have been some leaked screenshots of a “Companion” app that gives people a way to manage the apps on their Watch, but those have been vague at best. I’d expect that the actual management of watch apps will take at least some small part of Monday’s presentation.
Finally, there’s Apple Pay. The mobile payments service has proven popular since it launched for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch will bring it to the iPhone 5, 5S and 5C. My guess is that we’ll see a bit of how the Apple Watch will let people pay with their wrist.
Other changes to Apple’s software and services
In addition to the Watch, I’d also bet that Apple is going to show off its iCloud Photo Library Service and Photos app for the Mac. While neither is particularly new – both were announced last year – Apple has been pushing a beta of the Photos app out to developers and people who are signed up for its public beta program.
Photos is slated to be released to consumers during the early part of this year, so it makes sense for the company to remind consumers of what it is and what it’s supposed to do.
It’s also possible that we’ll get a glimpse of something else. Apple is rumored to be working on a new music streaming service based on its acquisition of Beats Music last year. This event could be where the company decides to show that off for the first time, though it’s definitely not a sure thing.
Even with all of that in the lineup, I’d bet that Apple will find some way to squeeze in a refresh to one or more of its computer lines. Likely targets for an update include the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, MacBook Air and Mac Pro. (The iMac and Mac Mini got an update in October, so I don’t expect any changes to them in the near future.)
This likely won’t be a radical change to the product line – don’t expect the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air to make an appearance – but Apple will likely announce a slight performance improvement based on new processors, or something similar.
As always, it’s possible that Tim Cook could throw an unexpected curveball out into the audience on Monday morning, but odds are that this is about all we’ll get to see.
Have any predictions of your own about the event? Let us know in the comments.