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.

Apple Watch

On September 9, 2014, Apple finally unveiled its long-rumored wearable device, the Apple Watch, aka Watch. While many expected the wearable to be called the "iWatch," Apple actually opted to use the Apple symbol () followed by "Watch" for the device's name. According to Apple's head of design Jony Ive, Apple has been working on the device for three years.


The Apple Watch is designed to be both functional and fashionable, available in two sizes of 38mm and 42mm (1.5 and 1.7 inches), with six different casing materials and six separate interchangeable band options. Organized into three separate collections, from the simple "Sport" to the high-end luxury "Edition," the Apple Watch has been created to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Prices for the device, which will be available in early 2015, start at $349.


Apple is positioning its Apple Watch as a fashion accessory, and has thus far partnered with French design boutique Colette to give a one-day preview of the Apple Watch ahead of its release. It's likely Apple will partner with additional designers to promote the device, and the Apple Watch will even make its editorial debut on the cover of Vogue China in November.


Designed with either an ion-strengthened or flexible sapphire display (depending on model), all of the Apple Watches include an HD Retina screen, sapphire-covered sensors built into the zirconia backing, and an NFC chip to allow the devices to work with Apple's new Apple Pay mobile payment service.


iPhone 6

Apple has launched two new iPhones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Along with larger screens and a completely new iPad-style design with an ultra thin body and rounded corners, the two new phones offer faster processors, better cameras, and Apple's new Apple Pay payment system.


Apple's new iPhones are available in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray, and are available in 16, 64, and 128 GB capacities. The iPhone 6 pricing starts at $199 on contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus pricing starts at $299.


While both models include the same 64-bit A8 chip and the same general design, there are several differences between the two phones. The iPhone 6 measures in at 6.9mm, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly thicker at 7.1mm. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus also has three major differentiating factors: optical image stabilization for the camera, and a longer battery life, and an iPad-style landscape mode that displays more content on the screen.


Though the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization, both phones got some major camera improvements in form of sensor upgrades, improved tone mapping, better noise reduction, and new "Focus Pixel" technology, which improves the phone's ability to select autofocus points. For videos, there's a new 240fps slo-mo option, along with support for shooting in 1080p at 60fps. The front-facing camera was also upgraded, with an f/2.2 aperture that lets in more light and new burst mode capabilities.


Apple Pay

Apple Pay, aka Pay, is Apple's new mobile payments service. Like the new Apple Watch Apple has adopted the Apple symbol () followed by "Pay" for the service's name, though the company also refers to it as "Apple Pay."


Apple Pay was released to the public through an update to iOS 8.1 on Monday, October 20. Apple's retail partners and several of its app partners were ready to go with Apple Pay support on launch day, allowing customers to head right out to try the new service.


Apple Pay is designed to allow iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users in the United States to make payments for goods and services with their iPhones, both in stores and within participating apps, using an NFC chip built into the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the upcoming Apple Watch.


Apple Pay also lets users make one-tap purchases within apps that have adopted the Apple Pay API. Devices capable of using Apple Pay within iOS apps include the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 3. All of these devices contain an NFC controller where the "Secure Element" of Apple Pay is located, keeping customer information secure.


OS X Yosemite

Apple released OS X Yosemite to the public on Thursday, October 16, following a media event that saw the unveiling of new iPads, a new Retina iMac, and a new Mac mini.


OS X Yosemite can be downloaded from the Mac App Store at no cost. Prospective users will need 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage space, along with Snow Leopard at a minimum as Mac App Store access is required.


Originally unveiled during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, Yosemite went through several months of beta testing before it saw its public release. Apple also launched a public beta for OS X Yosemite for the first time, allowing more than a million users to test the software before its release.


OS X Yosemite introduces a number of visual changes, including a flatter, more modern look that emphasizes translucency, streamlined toolbars, and smarter controls.


iOS 8

iOS 8 was initially unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2 and launched to the public on September 17. The release for existing devices came two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.


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.


Along with sharing tasks with Handoff, iPads and Macs can both place and answer phone calls using the iPhone as a relay. Using this same functionality, Macs and iPads are able to receive SMS messages via the Messages app, which was previous limited to iMessages on those platforms.


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 released iOS 8 to the public on September 17, 2014, two days ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Prior to the public launch, the software went through five developer betas before a golden master was released on September 9.


The current version of iOS 8 is iOS 8.1.1, a minor update released on November 17 with several bug fixes. Prior to iOS 8.1.1, Apple released iOS 8.1 with several new features like Apple Pay and SMS Call Forwarding. Apple has also seeded iOS 8.2 to developers, with the WatchKit SDK.


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


Black Friday

Black Friday, which takes place on November 28th 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 in recent years, retailers have offered some fantastic deals. We will gather up a list of all the retailers offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and more.


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.


Sam's Club will begin offering deals before Black Friday even begins, with some of its iPhone discounts available as early as November 15. The retailer will begin offering online deals on Thursday, November 27, with in-store deals beginning on Friday, November 28 at 7am.


iMac

At its October 16 media event, Apple introduced the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display. Starting at $2499, the new iMac is an addition to the previous lineup and includes a 5120 x 2880 display. The remainder of the lineup is unchanged in specs or pricing.


The new Retina iMac is very similar to the non-Retina version in most respects, with the obvious exception of the display and higher-end processor and graphics options to help drive the massive screen. As had been rumored, the Retina iMac adopts AMD graphics and high-end Haswell processors as Intel has yet to launch its next-generation Broadwell chips.


Rumors accurately suggested at least the 27-inch model will move to a Retina display at 5120 x 2880 pixels, but it did not appear a similar upgrade was in store for the smaller 21.5-inch model, and that did turn out to be the case. A Retina update for the 21.5-inch machine could appear in 2015.


References to all-new iMac models first began appearing in OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 betas earlier this year, but the release schedule at that time was unclear. Apple's brand-new operating system launching alongside the new iMacs, OS X Yosemite, also suggested 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.


iPad Air 2

Apple's original iPad Air was impressively thin, measuring just 7.5 mm thick, similar to the pencil that it was compared to in an array of advertisements. On October 16, Apple introduced the iPad Air 2, which is significantly thinner, at just 6.1 mm thick. According to Apple execs, it's the thinnest tablet in the world, and it's even thinner than both the iPhone 6 (6.9 mm) and the iPhone 6 Plus (7.1 mm).


Aside from a thinner body, the iPad Air 2 retains the same general design elements of the original iPad Air, but it has gained some impressive under-the-hood improvements. For one, the tablet now comes with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor first introduced in the iPhone 5s, and it also includes an upgraded A8X processor that's even faster than the A8 in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and 2GB of RAM. There's an M8 motion coprocessor as well, which pulls in data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and a new barometer.


Using a laminated gapless display let Apple shed unnecessary bulk from the iPad Air 2, and it also let the company improve the display, offering enhanced contrast and more vibrant colors. Apple also added an anti-reflective screen coating that cuts down on up to 56 percent of glare.


The iPad Air 2 has gained an 8-megapixel rear camera that includes an Apple-designed image signal processor, an f/2.4 aperture, and support for 1080p HD video. For the first time, the iPad can capture large panoramas up to 43 megapixels, it can capture 720p 120FPS Slo-mo video, it has time-lapse video capabilities, and it can take burst mode photos.


iPad Pro

Apple is planning to expand its iPad lineup with a larger tablet, which the media has taken to referring to as the "iPad Pro." Expected to measure in at 12.2 to 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro will be Apple's largest tablet, dwarfing both the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3. At 12.2 to 12.9 inches, the iPad Pro would be closest in size to the 13-inch MacBook Air.


While rumors on the larger iPad are somewhat scarce, it's believed the tablet will closely resemble the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, offering a thin chassis and slim bezels. The iPad Pro may measure in at 7mm, and it will likely include several iPad Air 2 features like an A8X processor, 2GB of RAM, Touch ID, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.


It may also ship with an "ultra" high-resolution display and speakers and microphones at both the top and bottom edges of the device, creating an improved stereo audio experience.


Rumors of a larger iPad first surfaced in mid-2013, suggesting Apple was working to expand its iPad lineup with a bigger offering aimed primarily at its enterprise customers.


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.


iPad mini 3

Apple unveiled the second-generation Retina iPad mini (aka the iPad mini 3) alongside the iPad Air 2, but unlike its larger sibling, the iPad mini saw no updates aside from the addition of a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a gold color option.



Except for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the iPad mini 3 has the same form factor as its predecessor, and it also continues to offer the A7 chip introduced with the first Retina iPad mini. With Touch ID support, however, the iPad mini 3 can be used to make online Apple Pay purchases in participating apps.


Many reviews have suggested that because the iPad mini 3 only gained Touch ID support and a gold color option without any other upgrades, the new tablet is not worth purchasing over the iPad mini 2. iPad mini 3 pricing starts at $399 while iPad mini 2 pricing starts at $299, so customers who purchase the mini 3 are paying a $100 premium just for the new fingerprint sensor.


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.


Apple's MacBook Air is best known for its compact size and portability. The notebooks were last redesigned in 2010, and weigh just 2.38 pounds and 2.96 pounds for the 11-inch and 13-inch models, respectively.


Mac mini

The Mac mini is Apple's smallest desktop computer, positioned as a "bring your own" machine that comes without a mouse, keyboard, or display.


As Apple's least powerful desktop, it only comes equipped with a dual-core processor like much of the company's lineup of portable computers, while its more powerful siblings, the Mac Pro and the iMac, are available in quad-core and higher configurations.


Apple last updated the Mac mini on October 16, 2014, after the compact desktop went more than two years without a refresh.


While the machine did gain several upgrades like Haswell processors with integrated Intel HD 5000/Intel Iris Graphics and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the upgrade was a disappointment to many Mac mini fans as Apple ceased offering both a quad-core processor option and support for dual hard drives.


Mac Pro

Intel appears to be set to launch new "Grantley" Xeon E5 v3 processors appropriate for a next-generation Mac Pro next month. The chips are the successors to the current "Romley" Xeon E5 v2 chips used in the existing 2013 Mac Pro.


While pre-orders have already begun for a set of E5-2600 v3 series chips that could be used as an upgrade to the top-of-the-line 2.7 Ghz 12-core E5-2697 chip in the high-end Mac Pro, E5-1600 v3 series chips that are successors to the E5-1600 v2 chips used in the rest of the Mac Pro lineup are said to be launching next month. The expected lineup is as follows:


- 4-core: 3.7 GHz E5-1620 v2 moves to 3.5 GHz E5-1620 v3 or 3.7 GHz E5-1630 v3
- 6-core: 3.5 GHz E5-1650 v2 moves to 3.5 GHz E5-1650 v3
- 8-core: 3.0 GHz E5-1680 v2 moves to 3.2 GHz E5-1680 v3


Both the E5-2600 and E5-1600 v3 series chips come with higher thermal ratings than their predecessors and they all support faster DDR4-2133 memory, which will provide improved performance.


Thunderbolt Display

Apple's Thunderbolt Display is over 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 2013 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 the same 5120 x 2880 pixels seen on the new 27-inch Retina 5K iMac. 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 alternative 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.



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.


MacBook Pro

Apple's 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros were last updated on July 29, 2014, delivering a speed-bumped version of the machines launched on October 22, 2013. These models include Intel Haswell/Crystal Well processors designed to improve battery life and overall performance. While the 13-inch model use Haswell processors, the 15-inch version includes Crystal Well processors, a variation of the Haswell.


With the new family of processors, the 15-inch model 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 pre-Haswell generation.


The Haswell-based 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro retains the same form factor as its predecessor, but the 13-inch version has been slightly redesigned with a slimmer chassis to match the thickness of the 15-inch model. Both Retina MacBook Pros are now 0.71 inches thin.


Along with new processors, the Retina MacBook Pros feature Intel's "Iris" integrated graphics, which are a big improvement over the previous Intel HD Graphics 4000. According to Apple, Intel's Iris graphics deliver 90 percent faster performance. While the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro features Intel's Iris 5100 graphics, the 15-inch model incorporates Iris "Pro" HD 5200 graphics. An NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics card with 2GB of video memory can also be added to the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.


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.



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.




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.


iPod classic

The iPod classic was 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 its last few years was to provide customers with an iPod product option offering significant amounts of storage for their music collections. The final version of the iPod classic contained a 160 GB traditional hard drive, offering significantly more capacity than the 64 GB of flash memory found in the high-end iPod touch. With the iPhone starting to offer a maximum of 128 GB of storage with the iPhone 5 and 6 Plus, however, Apple discontinued the iPod classic on September 9, 2014, five years to the day after its final update.


The final generation of the iPod classic was introduced in September 2009, and while the product's demise was rumored a number of times over the years, the product lasted a full five years with silver and black color options at a $249 price point before being discontinued.



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, it was not until 2014 that the iPod classic was finally retired from Apple's lineup.


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.


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


iWatch Rumors

Apple Watch Announced!: See details in our Live Coverage on MacRumors.com.




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 an introduction reportedly taking place September 9 alongside the iPhone 6. Apple has confirmed the event date, but not whether the iWatch will be introduced at that time.


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.


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.


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.


iPhone 6 Rumors

iPhone 6 Announced!: See details in our Live Coverage on MacRumors.com.


Apple's new iPhone 6 devices will be introduced at a September 9 media event at the Flint Center, the same location where Apple debuted the original Mac 30 years ago. An overwhelming number of iPhone 6 rumors and part leaks have given us a near-complete look at the two devices ahead of their launch.


With the iPhone 5, Apple increased the screen size of the device from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, and with the iPhone 6, the phone's display is going to grow even larger. Though Apple experimented with a range of screen sizes, the company settled on 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches for its two devices, which will bring the next iPhone in line with competing Android and Windows phones that have adopted larger displays.


Over the course of the last several years, consumer preference has shifted towards bigger screens, and Apple is now prepared to meet consumer demand for larger devices.