The 2013 iPhone event has passed, and now we know all about the iPhone 5S & 5C. That leaves the next generation iPads ready to take the stage next month in Apple’s next event. The iPhone event went as expected, and if the iPad event follows expectations, we will be looking at an iPad 5 with an iPad mini like form factor, and iPad mini 2 with a retina display. Both upgrades bring the devices closer together with the only real distinguisher being the 9.7” vs 7.9” screens. The iPhone event did offer a few things that have us looking forward to the iPad event, especially since you can buy new iPads every year without having to worry about two year contracts.
One of the big new features of the iPhone 5S is the 64-bit A7 processor that doubles the processing speed and graphics performance of the powerful current A6 chip. The iPad 5 is likely to feature the A7X chip, which offers quad core graphics for the 2048 x 1536 retina display. 64-bit architecture seems like overkill on the iPhone, but it can potentially allow for an all new class of iPad apps. The 64-bit nature of the A7 has been taken for granted thus far in reaction to the iPhone 5S, but it could be a platform changing announcement for iOS with desktop computing possibilities on Apple’s mobile devices.
Apple also mentioned that iOS 7 is built for 64-bit processing, and there still may be a special iPad version of iOS 7 ready to leverage the larger screen and the new processing structure. During the iPhone event, Apple specifically mentioned that, “iOS 7 takes great advantage of the expanded iPad canvas”, without showing any examples. It was an iPhone event with the iPhone version of iOS 7 on display, and with new iPad hardware coming next month, we could also see iOS 7.1 with iPad specific features for the new powerful iPad 5. We would like to see a two finger swipe from the right to bring up notification center, similar to on the Mac. Also, imagine if specific Apple apps like Mail, Calendar, Safari, and Pages could run side by side in a special landscape mode in iOS 7. 64-bit processing opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities, and running a single app shouldn’t be a restriction on the iPad any longer.
The iPad event is also likely to not just be about iPads, as iPods, the Apple TV, and Macs can get some of the showtime. The iPod line has been left unattended for awhile, and there are no signs that Apple will change that, but we can hope to see a better iPod touch. The Apple TV is rumored to be getting a new model that may push it from the A5 chip to the A6 chip to offer even better streaming and AirPlay capabilities. The Mac line will be getting updated by the end of the year with OS X Mavericks shown off at WWDC, and set for launch in the fall. Apple likes to have new hardware with a new OS, and the MacBook Pro with retina display line as well as the iMac line are due for the new Intel Haswell chips. Finally, Apple showed the completely redesigned Mac Pro at WWDC, and it may get an official release date.
Apple is getting their entire product line ready for the holiday shopping season, and only iPhones have been covered so far. That means there’s a lot to look forward to in October, with iPads leading the charge.