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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM APPLE’S IPHONE 14 RELEASE

Apple’s iPhone 14 launch event is just some weeks away, and it’s expected to showcase a range of new devices — not just a new iPhone. We’re also on the lookout for three new Apple Watch models and even a refreshed pair of AirPods Pro earbuds.

Apple’s holding a small in-person event at its Apple Park campus and will stream the show online, similar to what it did with WWDC in June. Here’s what we might see at Apple’s hardware-heavy event, which is slated for September 7th, 2022 at 1:00PM ET.

THE IPHONE 14 PRO AND PRO MAX GET SOME MAJOR UPGRADES

Apple will, of course, reveal the brand new iPhone 14 in September, but the standard model likely won’t be the star of the show. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are expected to carry the bulk of the new and exciting features. 

A 48-megapixel rear camera with a bigger sensor, an always-on display (which Android phones have had for years), and a screen that does away with the notch in favor of smaller camera cutouts are three major features that are anticipated for the 14 Pro and Pro Max. A16 processor upgrades for the phone are also expected. Apple might use this long list of features to support a potential price increase.

The iPhone 14’s regular version doesn’t appear to include many significant modifications, though. The addition of a larger 6.7-inch display option is anticipated to be the non-Pro model’s major update. Previous speculations from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claim that the iPhone 14 (with the Pro and pro max) may also have a better selfie camera that uses autofocus. Performance-wise, the base iPhone 14 will likely use the same A15 processor used in the iPhone 13 series.

And if you’re a small phone lover, I’m sorry to say that a new Mini likely won’t make an appearance this year.

NEW APPLE WATCH MODELS: SERIES 8, SE, AND “PRO”

Apple’s gearing up to launch three new Apple Watch models: the Watch Series 8; a refreshed SE; and a new rugged “Pro” model designed for athletes who partake in extreme sports.

Let’s start with the Series 8. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the next-gen watch will come equipped with a new S8 chip, but it won’t offer a notable performance upgrade over the S7 and S6 chips. While Apple isn’t expected to include a way to monitor your blood pressure just yet, it may come with a temperature sensor that will detect if you have a fever.

The Apple Watch Series 7 in green.

Meanwhile, the new Apple Watch SE is expected to replace the budget Watch Series 3. It will likely come with the same S8 chip, an upgrade over the S5 chip the 2020 SE model uses. Other than that, it doesn’t look like any other huge changes are in store — it’s expected to retain the same display size as the current SE.

Gurman predicts that the expected tough Apple Watch “Pro” will have a larger, “almost 2-inch display” that is “more shatter-resistant.” In addition, it might have a “strong metal” case rather than the previously suggested rubberized cover. Gurman estimates that this watch will cost between $900 and $999, so don’t expect it to be cheap.

THE UPCOMING MODEL OF THE AIRPODS PRO
Since their first release in 2019, the AirPods Pro have not undergone any updates. After almost three years, the AirPods Pro 2 may finally be released.

First off, be prepared for a change in appearance. With an in-ear wing tip design that eliminates the stem, the new AirPods Pro might resemble the Beats Fit Pro.

They could also have a focus on fitness tracking thanks to the potential for upgraded motion sensors.

Kuo also hinted at the possibility of the AirPods Pro supporting lossless audio, allowing for higher-quality sound. This would also make the AirPods Pro 2 the first model to use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) — even the high-end AirPods Max don’t support it. If the AirPods Pro 2 do end up supporting the Apple Lossless Audio Codec, it’ll be interesting to see how Apple manages to get around the limitations of Bluetooth, which generally requires compressing audio quality.

The AirPods Pro 2 charging case may also get an upgrade. It may come with a small speaker that makes a sound when you try to locate it via the Find My app. Only the AirPods themselves make a sound right now, and adding the capability to the case could come in handy if it ever gets separated from your AirPods.

WE MAY GET IOS 16 AND WATCHOS 9 LAUNCH DATES

We first heard about iOS 16 when Apple announced it in June, and we have a pretty good idea of what to expect based on what we’ve seen from the public beta. Gurman says Apple wrapped up development last week, and the company is likely to launch a finalized version of iOS 16 within about a week of its iPhone 14 event.

iOS 16 brings a number of new features, including the ability to edit and unsend messages as well as a customizable lock screen. It also introduces repositioned notifications that appear at the bottom of your lock screen and a Live Activities lock screen widget that provides updates on real-time events, such as sports scores or food delivery progress. Oh yeah, and battery percentage is back… but not in the way you might expect (or like).

Apple Watch Series 7 showing the Create Workout screen for custom runs

Apple may possibly introduce watchOS 9 along with its three new smartwatches in addition to iOS 16. The watchOS 9 beta has been available for a few months and is expected to make significant changes to the Apple Watch. This offers improved watchface customization, new running stats, medicine reminders, sleep stage tracking, and passive AFib monitoring.

ARE YOU SURE?
It appears that this is the final Apple event, but fortunately, there won’t be any more new Apple items unveiled for a while. It’s anticipated that Apple will resume its pre-pandemic timetable, holding an iPhone event in September and a second event to unveil its new iPads and Macs in October.

A new iPad Pro with Apple M2 chip and an entry-level iPad with an A14 processor are both anticipated at that time. Three new Macs, including a Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro, all powered by Apple’s M2 chip, are also expected to be released by the company. Around this period we also likely see the release of iPadOS and macOS Ventura.

It would be a long shot to expect Apple to unveil its long-rumored mixed reality headset this year. We are still waiting for it. But it appears like Apple is moving forward. The device apparently underwent testing by the company’s board of directors earlier this year, but Kuo believes the product won’t be on sale until January 2023.

Update August 24th, 12:05PM ET: Updated to confirm that Apple’s event is happening on September 7th.