Everything we expect Apple to unveil at its September 12 event | Cult of Mac

Everything we expect Apple to unveil at its September 12 event


Tim Cook was short on surprises at the 'Hello Again' keynote.
What will Tim surprise us with this time?
Photo: Apple

The biggest Apple keynote of 2017 is just a few short hours away. And according to the rumors, its going to be one of the most memorable tech events in years.

When Tim Cook and Co. take the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater on September 12, we expect them to unveil not one, not two, but three new iPhones. A bunch of other new hardware and software is also on the docket, making this an Apple keynote not to be missed.

Here’s everything Apple will likely reveal.

iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus

iOS 11 Beta 4
The new iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus are a bit of mystery.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Apple rumor mill has focused so much on the new premium iPhone 8 (assuming that’s the high-end model’s actual name) that we haven’t heard much about the other two iPhones Apple will reveal on September 12th. Both of the two new cheaper phones will be based on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus bodies, and they won’t come with as many innovative features as the top-of-the-line model everyone is lusting over.

We expect Apple will add a new A11 chip, better cameras, improved battery life and maybe even inductive charging. One report indicated the two iPhones may be thicker, wider and slightly taller than last year’s models. They may come with glass back panels instead of aluminum to make inductive charging possible.

Apple might even call these two new iPhones the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and use another name for its premium handset. We’ll find out for sure soon.

iPhone 8

face tracking
Facial recognition could be the iPhone 8’s big new feature.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s most innovative iPhone in years has been the subject of countless rumors over the last year. If even half of them prove true, fans will get a real treat.

This iPhone 8 will be the first Apple smartphone to pack an edge-to-edge OLED display. Inductive charging will allow you to juice up your battery while using the Lightning port for headphones. 3D sensors for facial recognition will likely be added to the front and back of the device. Touch ID might get scrapped entirely in favor of a new FaceID security protocol, but some rumors still claim it will be moved to the back.

The premium iPhone may pick up a True Tone display like the iPad Pro with a higher refresh rate. RAM will likely be boosted up to 3GB. And storage likely will be more plentiful, with rumored 256GB and 512GB options. The price tag won’t be very consumer-friendly, though. Reports suggest the baseline model will start at $999.

The name of the device is still a mystery. We’ve been calling it the iPhone 8 for months because it’s such a big leap forward from the iPhone 7. Apple may choose a different moniker for it, though, like the iPhone Edition, iPhone Pro or even iPhone X in honor of it being the 10th anniversary iPhone.

4K Apple TV

apple tv and siri remote
4K TV owners will love the new Apple TV.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’re one of the few people that already own a 4K TV, you’ll want to grab the newest generation Apple TV that’s set to be unveiled on September 12. The 4K update has already been practically confirmed by Apple’s HomePod speaker.

Two different 4K color formats will be supported by the new black box: Dolby Vision and HDR10. Its other major features are a bit of a mystery still. Previous rumors claimed it will pack a coaxial port so you can use it like a cable box. It will most certainly pack a new processor allowing more advanced games to be played on it. Other than that, it might be a pretty boring update for most fans.

Apple Watch Series 3

Get ready for LTE on your Apple Watch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s wearable is finally breaking free of its iPhone dependence this year. LTE capabilities will be the headline feature for the Apple Watch Series 3. The design is expected to remain the same as the previous two generations. New color options and bands are likely in the cards as well.

An option without LTE will also likely be made available for customers who don’t want to pay a premium for the new wearable. Carriers have supposedly already worked out deals with Apple so that if you do get an LTE model, you can add service to it as part of your monthly bill.


Apple says HomePod is “easier than easy.”
Photo: Apple

Developers got an early look at the HomePod smart speaker at WWDC 2017, but Apple will probably spend some time pitching it to consumers too at the September 12 event. Unlike offerings from Amazon and Google, Apple is positioning HomePod as an amazing sounding speaker first that also has smart functionality baked in. The speaker could be a huge hit this holiday season, so Apple may toss out a new commercial for it showing off all the features. We might also learn when it will actually go on sale, other than just “December.”


Steve Jobs Theater and Apple Park

One of the biggest new Apple creations that will get some time during the keynote will be the venue Apple is revealing everything at. Steve Jobs Theater and Apple Park have been in the works since before Steve Jobs passed in 2011.

We expect the company will go over some of the exciting details of the theater and the new campus. The amount of detail that went into both is quite astonishing. Apple spent $14,000 on each chair in the theater. There’s also a beautiful spiral stair case and two custom elevators that will ferry the press to the subterranean stage level. The theater also sports a retracting wall, which opens to reveal a hidden product testing area.

iOS 11

Along with a bunch of new hardware, Apple will probably spend a lot of time covering all its new software with iOS 11 being the main attraction. All of the features were announced at WWDC 2017, but Apple will go over them again for all the non-developers who weren’t watching the June keynote.

The update finally turns the iPad into a legit PC replacement. New features include better multitasking, system-wide drag and drop, a new Files app (also available on iPhone), an app dock at the bottom of the screen, revamped app switching and improved split view.

iPhone users can look forward to a new customizable Control Center that provides instant access to all sorts of useful toggles and switches. Apple is switching to HEIF and HEVC formats for photos and videos to optimize storage. Siri is picking up a lot of improvements and more third-party app support. And ARKit will instantly make the iPhone the world’s largest augmented reality platform. We’ve already seen tons of amazing ARKit app demos from developers lead us to believe this is going to be huge for Apple.

macOS High Sierra

On the Mac side of life, users can expect to see a number of surprising additions. macOS High Sierra uses the new Apple File System, making your machine faster and more secure. The Photos app adds some nice new touches, like a new sidebar, filters and tools that make it closer to Photoshop.

Spotlight can help you with travel plans by looking up fight times, terminals and gates. The Messages app finally stores your texts in the cloud to reduce file storage on your Mac. And Siri is better than ever with new commands and improved voices that sound more human-like.

watchOS 4

Apple Watch goal
Apple has been active with the Apple Watch workout app.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The UI for Apple Watch is continuing to be tweaked by Apple. With watchOS 4, the dock brings up apps faster. There are new watch faces for Toy Story and Kaleidoscope making it more personal.

Exercise and fitness features are the biggest updates. WatchOS 4 makes it quicker to start workouts by reducing the number of taps to start training. There are new exercise mode for high-intensity interval training. And your watch will now by able to talk to gym equipment, making it the device the best platform for fitness junkies.

tvOS 11

Apple TV Dark Mode
tvOS 11 comes with a Dark Mode
Photo: Apple

The tvOS 11 update is the most minor release Apple will talk about. The company didn’t spend much time talking about it at WWDC 2017, so we expect they’ll breeze right past it with only a few short mentions.

Amazon Prime Video could be the biggest new feature if it’s available in time. Other improvements include Home screen syncing, new dark and light modes, AirPods support and AirPlay 2.

One more thing…?

With all the new goodies Apple has to get through there might not be much time left for surprises.

The new iMac Pro could get a little bit of stage time. Other than that, the only surprises we think Apple might possibly deliver could be an update for its beloved AirPods.

As always, Cult of Mac will be on hand live blogging the entire event on September 12 and breaking down all the action. Come back and enjoy the show with us.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.