Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ Event: What’s Expected, And What Could Surprise Us

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Monday, March 9, 2015 will be a day just like any other day right after the change to Daylight Saving Time, meaning that a lot of us will probably be groggy or may miss appointments if we set our clocks incorrectly. It’s also the day that Apple will unveil something new at an event they’re referring to as the “Spring Forward” event, to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. So what’s on tap for the event, and what might really surprise us? Read on to find out.

 

Apple Watch
By all accounts, the Apple Watch is expected to ship starting in April. The thinly-veiled reference to time in the name of the event makes it highly likely that the Watch will be the focus for Apple CEO Tim Cook and the other presenters. Most industry bloggers expect that a definite ship date and schedule for pre-orders will be announced, along with a more accurate portrayal of the pricing, features, and options available at launch. I would also expect that we’ll see a lot of demonstrations of Watch apps from a variety of sources, since Apple needs to show potential buyers just what the device will do to change their lives.

iOS 8.2iOS_8
The next version of iOS, iOS 8.2, is a necessity for the Apple Watch. It’s been in beta testing for quite some time and according to some sources, it’s been seeded to employees as a last pass before shipping to the rest of us. The new mobile operating system is expected to include a much improved Health app as well as a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements. Any announcement of iOS 8.2 will most likely be a footnote during the event.

New MacBook Air?
There has been a lot of speculation in the Apple blogosphere about a new MacBook Air. While this isn’t entirely out of the question for Monday, the various rumor websites seem to be conflicted about exactly what might be announced. There are rumors about a completely new 12-inch Retina display MacBook Air with only one port – a USB 3.1 port with the speed of Thunderbolt, a Type C reversible connector, and the ability for the port to be used for charging the laptop as well. Then again, some websites are absolutely sure that the only MacBook Air changes to be announced will be an upgrade to the newer Intel Broadwell i5 and i7 series CPUs and that the 11- and 13-inch models will remain intact.

If anything, a MacBook Air announcement will be a “one more thing” postscript to an event primarily focused on the Watch, so don’t expect a lot of hoopla about this.

Photos
Apple’s Photos app is already in beta testing (I’ve been using it for several weeks), and by all appearances it’s almost ready for prime-time. The app is a fast, easy to use, and powerful replacement for the existing iPhotos and Aperture applications, although it most likely won’t win the hearts of professional photographers who love Aperture. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that Monday’s event may include a definite ship date for Photos, as well as demonstrations of some features (plug-ins, perhaps?) that we haven’t seen yet.

Apple TVNuStand Alloy Apple TV
Apple hasn’t been saying much about the Apple TV, the “hobby” that has sold over 20 million units – and that number is from April of 2014. The device is losing some ground to Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s FireTV and FireTV Stick, and Roku, so an update is long overdue. A real surprise at this event would be for Apple to announce a new Apple TV device, along with an announcement of some new content providers including the rumored HBO Now subscription service.

Of course, whenever those of us who blog about Apple for a living try to make predictions, we’re usually wrong. Do you have any predictions, or at least a wish list for what you’d like to see coming out of Monday’s event? Let’s hear your ideas in the comments.


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