Next Tuesday, November 10, Apple's holding its third online-only press event in as many months. Everyone assumes the event will largely focus on the world's first Apple Silicon Mac, which the company promised would arrive before the end of the year.
And yet, this being 2020, has me convinced Tim Cook and company might unwrap some secrets that could overshadow the company's latest computer reveals. Here's what I want to see at next week's event.
macOS Big Sur Max
My 2018 MacBook Pro is really getting tired of using a beta version of macOS. And yet, since June, when the new version of macOS was announced, my laptop has been living in various stages of the macOS Big Sur beta. After Tuesday, I have no doubt the first public version of macOS Big Sur will arrive for most Mac users on the planet. For those eyeing a soon-to-be-announced Apple Silicon Mac, I expect we'll be seeing a souped-up version of macOS Big Sur, also making its debut.
Ever since Apple announced it would begin transitioning away from Intel-based chips on new Macs, I've been wondering what the company would do to sell the new Apple Silicon architecture to the masses. The switch will eventually mean developers can create software that works across all Apple platforms, including macOS, iOS/iPadOS, and tvOS. That fact alone will be enough to make all Mac users celebrate, especially since it means buying and downloading one app for use across multiple platforms. And yet, Apple Silicon probably will need other high-profile tools and features to convince the everyday Mac buyer to make the switch.
I have no idea or insight on what these goodies exclusive to Apple Silicon might be. However, I expect we'll be hearing a lot about them during the Tuesday event.
The new Macs
In June, Apple promised the first Apple Silicon Mac would arrive before the end of the year. As I've noted often in recent weeks, I expect we'll be seeing at least two or more of these computers announced at the Mac-focused event. One of these is likely to be a new MacBook Air, while a new 13- and 16-inch MacBook Pro could also get revealed.
No doubt, the new computers will quickly be added to our list of the best MacBooks of 2020.
The biggest question heading into next week is whether a new Apple Silicon Mac means the current Intel model's retirement. For example, a new Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro launched earlier this year. Does this Mac get its walking papers if an Apple Silicon-based model gets announced? I'd say yes, although I wouldn't be pleased with this type of decision if I had only recently purchased a 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Apple TV+ is celebrating its first anniversary this week. Though COVID-19 no doubt slowed down production on many of its series and specials, the streaming service has a lot going for it heading into its second year.
First are the 18 Emmy nominations the upstart service received just nine months after its debut. Though it only received one win (for best supporting actor in a drama series for Billy Crudup in The Morning Show), more are probably coming in future years given its growing list of content.
New titles from Seth Rogen, Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey, Billie Eilish, and Patricia Arquette are launching, and that says nothing about the returning content, including new seasons of the previously mentioned The Morning Show, Dickinson, and surprise of the year, Ted Lasso, which recently received a two-season renewal.
All this suggests Apple might use next week's event to reveal something new on the entertainment front. Perhaps this will be new content or the unwrapping of a sixth-generation Apple TV.
Rumors about Apple releasing a Tile-like device-tracking tag go back almost a year. However, we have yet to see the new product launch at a press event or through a release. I'm somewhat confident in predicting AirTags will make their big reveal next week. And yet, I wouldn't put money on it any more than I would place a bet on who will win the presidential election in the United States.
Apple probably won't replace Beats ... yet
In recent months, we've heard rumors that Apple might soon retire the Beats Electronics name and release new audio products under the Apple name. This will probably happen, although I'm not yet convinced it's going to occur in 2020. Instead, I think Cupertino will wait until spring 2021 to announce the long-rumored AirPods Studio over-ear headphones alongside the new generation AirPods and AirPods Pro. A next-generation full-sized HomePod could also be in the offering next year to serve next to the recently announced HomePod mini.
The late Steve Jobs was notorious for announcing "one more thing" at the end of many of Apple's special events. I think we'll be seeing something similar revealed next week, if only because the invitation to the event includes those words in big letters.
The "one more thing" could be something we've already heard much about, like the AirPods Studio. Or it could be something much more significant that won't make its actual debut until 2021, such as Apple's long-rumored AR glasses product or a foldable iPhone. Regardless, let's hope the final product announced in 2020 is something huge that will allow this eventful year to end on a high note.
What new products do you want to see on Tuesday? Let us know in the comments below.