TORONTO – It’s that time of year again. Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone lineup during its annual fall press event in San Francisco on Sept. 9.
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The company is expected to unveil two new smartphones, rumoured to be called the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. In typical Apple fashion, the invitation shares little information about the event. The only text on the colourful invitation reads, “Hey Siri, give us a hint” – pointing toward a possible update to Apple’s digital assistant Siri.
(Note: Global News did ask Siri for a hint regarding the event – however, she did not provide a straight answer.)
Apple has not released any information regarding what upgrades the iPhone will receive; however, the Apple rumour mill is already churning up ideas about what the new phones might include.
Here’s what may be unveiled during the event:
More powerful iPhone cameras
If the rumours are true, Apple is putting a big focus on camera upgrades for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
According to Apple rumour blog 9to5Mac, the back camera – which Apple calls the iSight camera – will be upgraded to 12 megapixels on both models. This will be the first time since the iPhone 4s launched in 2011 that the camera’s megapixel count will be upgraded.
However, the report noted that the upgrade may not be focused on making photos look better.
The report, written by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, said the upgrade could be in order to make the iPhone capable of shooting 4K video. The iPhone 6 currently shoots 1080p HD video.
The front facing “selfie” cameras are also rumoured to be getting an upgrade. According to the same report, the front facing camera will be upgraded to include a flash for better lit selfies.
New iPhone colours
Everyone went nuts when Apple first introduced the gold colour option on the iPhone 5s – but now it’s rumoured that Apple is planning to debut a “rose gold” colour option for the iPhone 6s.
While some reports have called the new colour option “pink,” it’s likely that the colour will mimic the rose gold finish offered on the Apple Watch (hopefully without the price tag).
One of the main rumours surrounding the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus upgrades is the addition of Force Touch – technology that allows for force-sensitive touches featured in Apple’s laptops and the Apple Watch.
According to 9to5Mac, Force Touch would be used to access shortcuts, pull up menus and activate functions on the iPhone.
For example, on Mac computers Force Touch allows users to skip forward or backwards through songs depending on how hard they touch the trackpad.
‘One more thing…’
Apple fans have been waiting for an Apple TV upgrade for years – and, according to many reports, this may finally be the year.
According to another 9to5Mac report, the new Apple TV model will have a number of new features, including voice activated digital assistant Siri and a new remote.
But new reports suggest the rumoured device could be focused on gaming. According to The New York Times, gaming will be a “primary selling point” of the new Apple TV. The device is rumoured to have an improved graphics chip, a remote that doubles as a controller and a game-focused app store.
That being said, consumers will likely see a big jump in the price tag – sources tell The New York Times the new Apple TV could cost as much as US$150. The current model costs $89 in Canada.
Analysts say the new TV box is part of Apple’s broader strategy to carve out a bigger role in the home. For instance, the new Apple TV could serve as a hub for Siri to control lamps, thermostats and other “smart” appliances, using Apple’s HomeKit technology.
It could also set the stage for Apple to later introduce a streaming video service aimed at competing with Netflix and other Internet entertainment services.
Apple’s iPhone event also means the official roll out of the company’s mobile software upgrade iOS 9.
iOS 9 won’t look very different – aside from a new font face – but the tech giant has added quite a few changes to how it works.
iPhone users will get a new caller ID function that will try to predict numbers that aren’t saved in your contacts using information from emails.
The software also features new multitasking features for iPad users. The “50-50 view” will allow users to see two apps side-by-side and picture-in-picture viewing will allow users to watch move videos into the corner of their tablet while they use other apps.
Siri is much smarter in iOS 9. The digital assistant will be able to do things like search an iPhone user’s photos with a voice command, such as “Show me pictures from San Francisco last July.”