3) Something something privacy something
We’ve previously reported on Apple’s scrap with the FBI. Astonishingly, things have gotten even crazier in the weeks since, and we’re heading towards a terrifying future if Apple loses, and lawmakers force the tech industry to dramatically compromise device security.
It’s unlikely Tim Cook will go nuclear on stage about this, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple bigging up the importance of security and encryption, offering some hints regarding relevant upcoming iOS improvements — at least improvements as Apple sees them, because the FBI certainly won’t.
Tim Cook isn’t Steve Jobs in terms of barely contained fury, but he’s no pushover. And an Apple event is a great platform for outlining why device security is vital.
4) OS revamps
Updates to iOS, tvOS and watchOS are waiting in the wings. Expect them to drop once the event’s done or very soon thereafter. (And then for Apple’s servers to have their usual meltdown as millions of people simultaneously hammer ‘update’ buttons.)
None of these are major upgrades, but all include welcome new features. Night Shift for iOS will automatically adjust the temperature of a device’s display as night draws in, potentially interfering less with sleep patterns. The Apple TV will get app folders and voice dictation input (the latter enabling you to avoid the hideous single-line keyboard). And watchOS 2.2 will bring ‘nearby’ search to Maps, and the means to pair multiple watches to a single iPhone — great for rich show-offs.
These will happen, but updates might not be explored in detail at the event. It depends how many hours of your life Apple wants to steal.
5) A slightly better iTunes
In an interview with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, Apple’s Craig Federighi teased a “new refresh” of iTunes, which would make it “even easier to use in the music space”. iTunes updates have for a long time felt like Apple rearranging deckchairs, so it’ll be interesting to see what changes are in store.
We’ve long hoped Mac and Windows would get an iOS-style suite of smaller apps with less complexity, but imagine there’ll instead just be more papering over the cracks, iTunes continuing to struggle in being everything to everyone for a wide range of functionality.
It might get a mention and the odd slide, but we don’t see iTunes taking centre stage at an Apple event that includes new iPhones and iPads.