The second-biggest Apple keynote of 2018 is nearly here, and for some Mac fans, the wait can’t end soon enough.
Unlike last month’s iPhone XS keynote, all the details haven’t leaked ahead of the “There’s More in the Making” event. Still, we have a pretty good idea what Apple’s magic pipeline will pump out next Tuesday.
There’s More in the Making event
Tim Cook and his posse of Apple executives are expected to unleash a slew of new products when they take the stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music next Tuesday. The big There’s More in the Making event starts at 10 a.m. Eastern on October 30. Apple will live-stream the show, and Cult of Mac will live-blog all the revelations.
Starting from most likely to least likely, here’s what we expect to see.
New iPad Pros
The headlining product at the Brooklyn keynote will be the 2018 lineup of new iPad Pros. Leaked renderings of the high-end tablets revealed that Apple will add an edge-to-edge display by ditching Touch ID and adding Face ID, just as with iPhone X.
On the inside, Apple is expected to add an A12 X Bionic processor. Other rumors indicate these iPads could be the first to utilize a new GPU made by Apple. The Lightning connector might get the boot, in favor of a USB-C port with faster data speeds and support for 4K monitors. Of course, Apple also will add improved front and rear cameras.
Updated MacBook Air
Other than some minor spec bumps, Apple hasn’t updated its cheap MacBook Air lineup since 2015. That could change soon, with rumors indicating an overhaul of the MacBook Air is slated. We expect the MacBook Air and MacBook lines will converge to offer one inexpensive, entry-level Apple laptop.
New processors from Intel will bring more speed. Hopefully, Apple will also redesign the screen to be edge-to-edge even if it doesn’t get a Retina upgrade. We expect Apple will fully embrace USB-C on the new MacBook Airs. A name change could be in the cards as well.
While the iMac probably won’t get a full redesign, we expect it to get a considerable spec bump. New processors from Intel will be added to the new all-in-one machines. A new T2 chip could be included as well. It may get thinner bezels on the display. For the most part, we expect the new iMac to look a lot like the old iMac, but Apple could surprise us on this one.
Resurrected Mac mini
Last year, Tim Cook swore the Mac mini was still an important part of Apple’s product lineup even though it hasn’t even gotten a spec bump in years. Next week, we’re hoping to see some significant updates that make it a viable Mac for home and pro users. Rumors about a new Mac mini have been pretty scarce, but we can imagine some of the new features: new processor, more RAM and USB-C all over. A redesign of Apple’s little Mac would be nice, too — as would a super-affordable price tag.
iPad mini 5
This rumor just came in a few days ago, so it’s almost too fresh to be true. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is planning to make a new iPad mini. The mini hasn’t been updated since 2015. And, as iPhone screens have grown bigger and bigger, we just assumed Apple had given up on its tiny tablet. However, we could see a new one either at the “More in the Making” event or early next year.
Apple Pencil 2
The Apple Pencil is reportedly set to get completely redesigned along with the new iPad Pros. We’re not sure what new features it will have (if any). Some rumors claim it will get magnets so it sticks to the iPad. It might boast a longer battery life and a minor redesign, too. We also wouldn’t mind if Apple changed the way you charge the stylus.
Don’t get your hopes up too high for this one, but some updated AirPods might pop out that pipeline. We’ve been waiting all year for Apple to come out with AirPods with a wireless charging case, but it still hasn’t happened. Hopefully, this is the month Apple’s new wireless buds come out. Otherwise, we’ll be waiting until next year for an update.
We pretty much wrote off Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat as dead earlier this summer. But some recent signs indicate that the AirPower launch may be finally upon us. Apple reportedly had to deal with overheating issues over the last year. But the user guide for the iPhone XR mentions the AirPower charging mat, so we’re crossing our fingers, toes and eyes in hopes that it’s finally ready for launch.
Note: We originally published this post on Oct. 26, 2018, at 9:12 a.m.