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MacRumors Roundups

MacRumors Roundups are an overview summary of the all the rumors and expectations about a particular product. With the fast paced nature of the Apple news cycle, it can be difficult for even the most dedicated reader to follow every new development.

The goal of each roundup is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that.

Over time, we hope to ramp up to have more roundups on more topics.

MacBook Air

Apple's 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air computers received a small spec boost on April 29, adding new Haswell processors with slightly updated speeds.


Though there are no other spec improvements, the new Haswell processors have brought a slight increase in battery life during iTunes movie playback, with the 11-inch model jumping from 8 to 9 hours of playback and the 13-inch model jumping from 10 to 12 hours.



Most notably, the new MacBook Air models have seen a price reduction, with the entry-level 11-inch version starting at $899 and the entry-level 13-inch version starting at $999.


iPhone 6

Rumors about the next-generation iPhone have been picking up over the course of the last few months, as suppliers gear up for a September launch date. The majority of rumors have been focused on the screen size of the device, which is expected to increase significantly. The size of the iPhone's display grew from 3.5 inches to 4 inches with the iPhone 5, and with the iPhone 6, the screen will grow even larger.


Apple has been experimenting with a wide variety of screen sizes, with the majority of rumors solidifying around a range of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, bringing the next iPhone in line with competing Android and Windows phones that have all adopted larger displays.


Apple acknowledged high consumer demand for phones with larger displays in one of its own internal presentations, and based on that evidence, it seems clear the company is planning to address the growing segment of market that desire bigger phones.



iWatch



Apple has been rumored to be working on its "iWatch" smart watch since late 2012, but the company has begun accelerating work on the project as it tries to expand its family of mobile devices to the wrist. Apple has already started work on trademarking the name in a number of countries in preparation for a late 2014 introduction, perhaps in October


Because we don't yet know what an Apple iWatch will look like, the photos we've included in the roundup are either mockups or existing non-Apple products. For example, the red watch at the top of the page is the Lunatik iPod nano watch.


Recent reports from reputable sources like Reuters and The Wall Street Journal have pointed towards multiple screen sizes for the iWatch, in sizes up to 2.5 inches diagonally, a which is the size of the current-generation iPod nano. The iWatch face, said to be slightly rectangular, may protrude slightly from a band to create an arch shape on the wrist.


MacBook Pro

Though details on the next-generation Retina MacBook Pro are scarce, Apple is expected to update the notebooks during the third quarter of 2014, alongside a revamped ultra thin 12-inch MacBook Air.


It is likely that the next Retina MacBook Pro will feature only a slight Haswell processor boost as Intel's next-generation Broadwell chips are not slated to ship until 2015.


Apple's 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros were updated on October 22, 2013 with new Intel processors, designed to improve battery life and overall performance. While the 13-inch model gained a Haswell processor, the 15-inch version was updated with a Crystal Well processor, a variation of the Haswell.


With the new processors, the 15-inch model now offers eight hours of battery life while the 13-inch version offers nine hours of battery life, an overall increase from the seven hours of battery life of the previous generation.


iMac

Following rumors of a lower-cost iMac in 2014, Apple did indeed launch a new low-end model on June 18 priced $200 below the previous entry-level model. The remainder of Apple's iMac lineup remained unchanged, however, and further updates are expected later in the year.


References to all-new iMac models have appeared in recent OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 betas, but it appears that their release is still some time off. Apple's newly unveiled operating system, OS X Yosemite, also suggests that Retina iMacs may be in the works. A file included in the OS offers a series of resolution options for a machine identified as an iMac, maxing out at 6400 x 3600 pixels, or 3200 x 1800 as a Retina display.


It is unclear when Apple might release an updated iMac as Intel is said to be experiencing significant delays with its next-generation Broadwell chips. Processors suitable for the iMac may not ship until Summer of 2015.


Aside from the new low-end model introduced in June, which actually features an ultra-low voltage Intel processor also used in the MacBook Air, Apple last refreshed its iMac line on September 24, 2013, announcing the update via a press release rather at the October media event where the company debuted refreshed iPad and Mac models. The current iMac models feature Intel's Haswell processors (up to 3.5GHz) with the 21.5-inch low-end models sporting Iris Pro or Iris 5000 integrated graphics rather than a discrete graphics chip.


iOS 8 Features

While our main iOS 8 roundup focuses on the major changes announced by Apple, this iOS 8 roundup highlights some of the more interesting but smaller additions and refinements made to Apple's mobile operating system throughout the beta testing period. Apple has thus far released three developer betas of iOS 8.


Many of the tidbits noted below have been culled from the MacRumors forums, where our readers are discussing and sharing feature enhancements and tweaks in the "iOS 8, All The Little Things thread." Here is a collection of the more interesting ones, followed by a more comprehensive list. If you find any to add, please contact us at tips@macrumors.com


Send last location to Apple before your battery dies - If you've ever lost your iPhone, this new feature allows your iPhone (or iPad) to send its last known location to Apple when the battery drains to a critical level. iCloud presently holds this information for 24 hours, but this new setting will allow Apple to access location information for a lost device for a longer period of time.



OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 2, 2014. A beta version of the next-generation software was made available to developers that same day, with a public launch coming in the form of a free upgrade in the fall of 2014. Since June, Apple has released several new beta iterations of Yosemite, and the current version, Developer Preview 3, was seeded to developers on July 7.


Apple is highlighting a number of changes for OS X Yosemite in the company's feature page on the release, starting with a flatter, more modern look for OS X. Emphasizing translucency, streamlined toolbars, and smarter controls, the base OS X system also includes a number of feature improvements such as a "Today" view in Notification Center, that offers a wider variety of information including integration with third-party apps. Spotlight search has also been improved with new data sources, behaving more like a search engine by pulling in data from Wikipedia, Maps, movies, news, and more.



Apple also highlighted improvements to a number of core OS X apps in Yosemite, including Safari, which features a streamlined toolbar, a new "Favorites" view for bookmarks, and frequently visited sites. A new Tab View also makes it easier to manage multiple open tabs across various sites, while the more robust Spotlight functionality brings more power to the Safari search bar.


iOS 8

iOS 8 was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2. A beta version of the software was made available to developers that same day, with a public launch slated for the fall of 2014. At this time, three betas have been released to developers, with beta 3 being the current version of the OS.


Improved integration between Apple devices, both mobile and desktop, is a major focal point of both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Apple introduced several new "Continuity" features that are designed to connect the iPhone, iPad, and Mac "like never before."



AirDrop, Apple's peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, now works between iOS and Mac devices. Handoff, a newly introduced feature, works on the same sharing principles and lets users start a task on one device and instantly pick it up on another.


iOS 7

Apple revealed iOS 7 during the WWDC keynote on June 10, 2013, featuring a brand new design and a number of new features. iOS 7 launched publicly on September 18, 2013. Users can obtain the update either by connecting their devices to iTunes and clicking the "Check for Update" button or checking for over-the-air updates on their devices via Settings -> General -> Software Update.


iOS 7 is available as a free upgrade for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch (16GB/32GB/64GB) and the iPad 2, iPad with Retina display (third- and fourth-generation), and iPad mini. iOS 7 will come pre-installed on the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices. Owners of the iPhone 5s will also find several new features that are specific to that device. These include: 64-bit support, Touch ID fingerprint sensing, Camera image stablization, Burst Mode and Slow-Mo video.


iOS updates are generally recommended for all users, but in the past, users of older hardware have found that performance of the latest iOS versions on their devices can be sluggish. If you are on older iPhone hardware (iPhone 4), you may want to wait to see how will iOS 7 runs on your device. Our discussion forums are a good resource for specific questions/answers, and we've also gathered some tips to help users discover less well-known features. Over time, we expect new apps and updates will start requiring iOS 7 to take advantage of the new features and interface.


iOS 7 was designed to be compatible with all existing iOS 6 apps, and user testing has found this to generally be true. If you rely on a specific "mission critical" app, it would still be prudent to make sure that that app runs before upgrading.


OS X Mavericks

OS X 10.9 Mavericks introduces a number of new features aimed at extending both battery life and responsiveness. Apple has promised 200 changes in Mavericks, including both minor cosmetic updates and major performance enhancements. The new operating system was released just after Apple's October 22, 2013 media event and is a free upgrade from the Mac App Store for all OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard users.



Mavericks has several new features developed for power users, with enhanced multi-monitor support and expanded finder capabilities. All users will experience improved power usage, a new iCloud Keychain function for secure cross-device passwords, and better Safari performance.


A new iBooks app and a new Maps app are both bundled into Mavericks, allowing users to read books and access maps within native apps for the first time. While Mavericks has not gotten the same drastic visual overhaul found in iOS 7, a number of skeuomorphic elements introduced with Mountain Lion have been removed.


iPod touch

Apple updated its iPod touch lineup on June 26, 2014, unifying features and lowering prices across the board on all three capacities. The iPod touch in 16, 32, and 64 GB sizes is now priced at $199/$249/$299, with all three models available in six different colors. In July, the new 16 GB iPod touch became available in several international countries in addition to the U.S. and Canada.


Apple had previously offered its 16 GB iPod touch only in silver and without a rear camera or support for the Loop wrist strap, with pricing set at $229. Full-featured 32 GB and 64 GB models had been available for $299 and $399 respectively. With the update the 32 GB and 64 GB models were unchanged with the exception of $50 and $100 price cuts respectively.


The current fifth-generation iPod touch was originally introduced in September 2012, with shipments beginning the following month. The launch marked a significant enhancement for the iPod touch, moving to the same 4-inch Retina display found in the iPhone 5 while also upgrading to a dual-core A5 chip and adding a "Loop" wrist strap and an improved 5-megapixel rear camera, all in a thinner design than the previous generation.



iPad mini

While KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo initially predicted Apple would not launch an updated Retina iPad mini in 2014, he reversed course and now expects Apple to release an upgraded version of the tablet with the same form factor, an A8 processor, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.


Hints of Touch ID support for the iPad were also recently found within the code for iOS 7, further suggesting the next-generation iPad mini with Retina display will include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. According to a recent report, TSMC is already shipping Apple's suppliers Touch ID fingerprint sensors for inclusion in the second-generation Retina iPad mini, the iPad Air, and the iPhone 6. The iPad mini's fingerprint sensor may be even more durable than the sensor used in the iPhone 5s, thanks to the use of tin.


The Retina iPad mini update will likely come during the third quarter of 2014, possibly in September or October.


At its October 22 media event, Apple introduced its second-generation iPad mini, bringing a new Retina display as well as upgraded internals including the A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor introduced in the iPhone 5s.


Apple TV

First introduced in 2007, Apple's set-top box has always been described as a "hobby project" for the company. Designed to provide consumers with access to movies, TV shows, sports, music, and more, the device has never been a top seller. Despite that fact, Apple has continually supported the Apple TV, introducing new versions on a regular basis.


Over the course of the last three years, Apple has taken an even greater interest in the Apple TV, heavily boosting its functionality through both content offerings and hardware improvements. In addition to content from the iTunes Store, the Apple TV now offers more than 20 different channels, ranging from HBO GO to Netflix, with further deals in the works.


Apple's growing focus on content deals, along with specific comments from Steve Jobs on the company's interest in the television arena, has spurred countless rumors questioning the future of the device. Speculation has suggested that the Apple TV could be expanded into a gaming device, a cable box replacement, a full-blown television set, or a combination of all three.


Though the exact future of the Apple TV is still up in the air, it is clear that Apple has ambitious plans for both the device and its ultimate role in the television industry. As Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeated multiple times, television remains an area of "intense interest" for the company.


iPad Air

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to introduce a new iPad Air in 2014, offering an upgraded A8 processor along with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It may launch in the third quarter, possibly in September or October, and some components are said to be already in production.


Hints of Touch ID support for the iPad were also recently found within the code for iOS 7, further suggesting the next-generation iPad Air will include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. According to recent rumors, TSMC is already shipping Apple's suppliers Touch ID fingerprint sensors for inclusion in the second-generation Retina iPad mini, the iPad Air, and the iPhone 6. The Touch ID sensors may be even more durable than those used in the iPhone 5s.


In addition to Touch ID and an A8 processor, which would likely improve both performance and battery life, the iPad Air may gain an 8-megapixel camera, similar to the camera module used in the iPhone 5s.


With iOS 8, the existing iPad Air and future versions may gain support for split-screen multitasking, allowing the device to display two apps at once for the first time.


Mac Pro

Apple's professional-level desktop users have been waiting quite some time for a major update to the Mac Pro, and an update finally came on December 19, 2013 in the form of a radical redesign embracing a significantly smaller form factor, Ivy Bridge E processors, dual GPUs, fast PCI Express-based flash storage, and an emphasis on external expandability via Thunderbolt 2.


Apple's Mac Pro, which users were given a sneak peek at during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote in June 2013, includes a unique cylindrical design that wraps all of the machine's components around a unified thermal core which absorbs heat from throughout the machine and disperses it through a vertically-oriented fan that draws air in from the bottom of the machine and vents it out through the machine's top.


At the heart of the new Mac Pro lies a single Xeon-class Ivy Bridge E processor with up to 12 cores, paired with dual AMD FirePro graphics chips for maximum performance. PCI Express flash storage offers data transfer rates of up to 1250 MB/s, while four-channel DDR3 EEC memory running at 1866 MHz delivers up to 60 GB/s of memory bandwidth.


Connectivity includes six Thunderbolt 2 ports delivering data transfer speeds of up to 20 Gb/s and daisy-chaining of up to 36 devices, four USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Thunderbolt 2 and the dual-GPU setup, the Mac Pro will be able to support up to three 4K displays. Wireless support includes the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard as well as Bluetooth 4.0.


Thunderbolt Display

Apple's Thunderbolt Display is nearly three years old now, having been announced in July 2011 but not shipping until two months later. Apple display updates have always been very hard to predict due to their erratic update cycle, and while Apple's October 22 media event or the Mac Pro launch seemed like an opportune time for Apple to launch an upgraded standalone display, no such product surfaced.



At the extreme end of possibilities would be a true Retina Thunderbolt display, offering four times as many pixels as the current Apple Thunderbolt Display, coming in at 5120 x 2880 pixels. A display at this size would be able to offer the same amount of screen real estate as the current display but with a much sharper appearance, using the same technology as in the Retina MacBook Pro.


A more achievable goal would be "4K" resolution of either 4096 or 3840 x 2160 pixels. Apple has touted its new Mac Pro as being able to drive three such displays simultaneously, leading to speculation that the company is planning to launch its own 4K display at some point in the relatively near future.


Mac mini

Apple's Mac mini was last updated in October of 2012, gaining quad-core Core i7 processors, upgraded RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 4000. The desktop computer is now due for another update, which at this time would include Intel's higher-performing Haswell processors and Iris integrated graphics.


While the Haswell processors would likely result in modest speed gains as seen in MacBook Air benchmarks, graphical performance should see solid improvements. According to Intel, its Iris integrated graphics are able to double or triple the performance of existing Ivy Bridge chips.



The Mac mini will probably see a minimum hard drive increase to 1TB, and will continue to offer traditional hard drives and Apple's Fusion Drive, combining a standard 1TB hard drive with flash storage for shorter boot times and quicker file access. Apple's recently introduced iMacs can be configured with faster PCI Express-based flash storage options (including the Fusion Drive), and it is likely the same upgrades will be offered for the Mac mini.


WWDC 2014

Apple just completed their 2014 keynote address at WWDC and introduced a number of new features in both OS X and iOS. A full transcript of the event is available, as well as a video stream of the keynote address.



Apple today announced the latest version of its Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. The sequel to last year's OS X Mavericks, Yosemite includes a user interface redesign, as well as major new features focusing on seamless integration between Mac and iOS devices, a new cloud storage system called iCloud Drive, as well as the ability to make phone calls and send text messages through an iPhone.


Read More


iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c is essentially a repackaged iPhone 5 with a new plastic enclosure. The new device is available in five different colors -- green, yellow, blue, white, and pink.


The phone uses the same A6 processor and rear-facing camera as the iPhone 5, but does contain a few upgraded parts -- such as an improved front-facing FaceTime camera and support for more wireless LTE bands.


The new iPhone 5c starts at $99 (with 2 year contract) in the U.S. and is now available for order from Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Radio Shack and Target are also offering the iPhone 5c, and many have been discounting the price of the 16 GB model to $50 or less with a two-year contract.


On Friday, October 25, Apple launched the iPhone 5c in 35 additional countries, including Russia, Spain, and Mexico, and a third wave launch took place on November 1. The iPhone 5c is now available in more than 60 countries, online, via Apple resellers, or through brick and mortar Apple Stores.


iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is the same size and design as the current iPhone 5 but features improved specifications and is available in three colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.


The iPhone 5s uses a 64-bit A7 processor which is as twice as fast as the previous generation. The new device also incorporates a "Touch ID" capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the home button that's capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers. Touch ID can be used to unlock an iPhone and authorize iTunes purchases.


The rear camera in the iPhone 5s has a new 5-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a sensor that is 15% larger than the current iPhone 5, as well as a dual-LED "True Tone" flash that will adapt to the existing lighting to provide better colors and more accurate skin tones. Other new camera features include Burst Mode, capable of capturing 10 pictures per second and automatically selecting the best shot, and Slo-Mo 720p video capture at 120 frames per second.


Apple launched the iPhone 5s in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK on September 20, 2013. In the U.S., the iPhone 5s costs $199, $299, and $399 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models respectively with a 2-year contract. Non-contract, unlocked SIM free devices are available for $649/$749/$849. Pricing for other individual countries is available on Apple's online store.


iPod classic

The iPod classic is the direct descendent of Apple's original iPod released in 2001 and offers the traditional click wheel interface introduced nearly a decade ago on the iPod mini before making its way into the fourth-generation iPod. With the iPod classic lacking iOS and touchscreen support, the device's main function over the last several years has been to provide customers with an iPod product option offering significant amounts of storage for their music collections. The current version of the iPod classic contains a 160 GB traditional hard drive, offering significantly more capacity than the 64 GB of flash memory found in the high-end iPod touch.


We expect that the current iPod classic will simply be discontinued at some point in the future rather than being updated, but it is unclear exactly when that event would occur. Speculation has suggested that Apple is looking to wait until it can offer the iPod touch in a 128 GB capacity before it discontinues the iPod classic, but that jump has yet to take place.


The current generation of the iPod classic was introduced in September 2009, and while the product's demise has been rumored a number of times over the past several years, Apple has so far continued selling it in silver and black color options at the same $249 price point.


Back in early 2011, Toshiba introduced a 220 GB 1.8-inch hard drive that could have allowed Apple to increase the capacity of the iPod classic, and tightening supplies very soon after led to speculation that the device could see an update or discontinuation. By September 2011, Apple had removed its click wheel iPod games from the iTunes Store. No such games had been added to the store since February 2009, but the complete removal of the games section from the iTunes Store fueled rumors that the iPod classic would soon be discontinued. Ultimately, however, no changes were made to the device or its availability.


iPod nano

At its iPhone media event on September 10, 2013, Apple introduced a new Space Gray color option for its iPod lineup, replacing the previous black or slate option on the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The color was featured as part of the iPhone 5s introduction, but also quietly made its way into the iPod lineup.


No other changes were made to the iPods at or just after the event, but the minor color option change suggests that no additional updates to the products should be expected for some time.


Perhaps more than any other iPod product, the iPod nano has been the subject of significant experimentation by Apple, with the company trying out a number of different form factors based on a click wheel interface before moving to an iPod shuffle-shaped design centered around a multi-touch screen and eventually settling on a design more like a miniature iPod touch with the current seventh-generation models released in October 2012.



iPod shuffle

What's new? In short, not a whole lot. At its iPhone media event on September 10, 2013, Apple introduced a new Space Gray color option for its iPod lineup, replacing the previous black or slate option on the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The color was featured as part of the iPhone 5s introduction, but also quietly made its way into the iPod lineup.


No other changes were made to the iPods, but the minor color option change suggests that no additional updates to the products should be expected for some time.


Apple's iPod shuffle has gone through several design changes since its introduction in January 2005, with the current form factor having been introduced in September 2010. Priced at $49 and offering 2GB of storage, the only changes made to the device over the past three years have been in color options.



AirPort

Apple's AirPort Express is its entry-level AirPort base station, designed to be easy to use and affordable. Priced at $99, it offers dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi along with AirPlay for wireless music playback and wireless printing.


At $199, the AirPort Extreme is Apple's mid-level base station, offering dual-band higher-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi, printer and hard drive sharing, and a stronger signal due to its high-rise design and six antennas.


Apple's AirPort Time Capsule, priced at $299 to $399, is essentially an AirPort Extreme with a built-in hard drive that facilitates automatic wireless backups using Apple's Time Machine software. It offers 802.11ac and all of the features of the AirPort Extreme, with the addition of a 2 or 3 TB hard drive.


All of Apple's AirPorts include a built-in Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall to create a barrier between a network and the Internet, along with password encryption and closed network options.



Archived Roundups

Black Friday 2013

Black Friday, which takes place on November 29 this year, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. During the event, retailers around the country drop their prices on thousands of items, hoping to lure shoppers to their stores.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and this year, retailers are offering some fantastic deals. We’ve gathered up a list of all the retailers offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and more. Each entry lists the item and the savings off of the price that the store normally sells the product for.


As it is still early, we are expecting additional information on other notable Black Friday sales to surface, from retailers like Apple. We will continue to update this roundup to add deals as they become available.


The best deals thus far are from the major retailers, as seen in the chart below (which includes gift cards). Target is offering the best price on the iPad Air at $379 ($479+$100 gift card) while Walmart has a $199 iPad mini available. Walmart also has the best deals on both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. It remains unclear which stores might offer the Retina iPad mini, but if Target has stock on hand, they will be available for $399 with a $75 gift card. Make sure to check out our detailed guides on where to get the best prices on Apple's lineup of iPads and Macs.