Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

John Gruber’s Prelude to Tomorrow’s “Hey Siri” Event

Gruber is going against the grain and betting on two events, as with the past few years:

iPhones, Apple Watch, new Apple TV this week. That’s a full event, but not a crowded event. Then we all come back in mid-October for a second event, almost certainly at a smaller venue, where Apple reveals the new iPad lineup, new Mac hardware (like, say, the retina version of the 21-inch iMac) and Craig Federighi gets on stage to demonstrate all the new features in El Capitan. If “new iPads and Macs” were worth their own October event last year, why not again this year, when Apple is purportedly set to announce the iPad Pro?

This is all going to be revealed in twelve hours, so taking a bet at this time is a little silly, but roll with me here. There’s a lot to talk about with the Apple TV and it’s a big upgrade, so it’s probably going to be the last item on the agenda (aside from the special musical guest), and will probably consume half an hour or so of stage time. The iPhone will certainly see a fair amount of time as well — perhaps 30-or-so minutes as well, right at the top of the event.

That leaves 30-40 minutes in the middle. iOS 9 probably doesn’t need too much time to demo, mostly because the demo-friendly features are probably limited to Proactive and Spotlight, Notes, News, and the iPad enhancements. There’s nothing very demo-friendly in watchOS 2, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they show a few screenshots and move along. Apple Watch enhancements may merely garner a mention, too; the rumours say that there will likely be some new Sport Band colours and perhaps shades of aluminum Sport models to match all of the iPhone case colours. All of this can’t take much more than 10-15 minutes, leaving a reasonable chunk of time to talk about the iPad Pro.1 There’s probably enough crossover that it doesn’t require a large amount of explanation — it’s an iPad, but bigger and more capable — so there’s probably enough time in there to talk about side-by-side apps, hardware, and how it will make your life better.

This would make for a large event, sure, but not one that’s too stuffed. Gruber doesn’t have any sources for his two events theory, while John Paczowski, Mark Gurman, and Federico Viticci all say that a new iPad will be announced tomorrow. I’m going with the grain.

So what about El Capitan, the forthcoming 4K iMac, and any other new Mac hardware or software Apple wants to announce? My hope is that there’s enough left for a very significant October event. In effect, I’d love if the rumour mill has been so busy trying to keep up with all of the “Hey Siri” event leaks that some crazy new Mac hardware or software has slipped under the radar. My hunch, though, is that both El Cap and the iMac will be launched without an event. Neither has enough public mindshare to warrant much more than a press release and an update to the Apple.com homepage hero image.


  1. Mark Gurman’s sources have said that a new iPad Air won’t be released this autumn. I bet the new iPad Mini will get a mention at the event, though. ↩︎