What to expect at Apple’s September 15th event

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Even though new iPhones aren’t expected for another month or so, it seems likely we’ll get updates on all of Apple’s upcoming software releases. According to Bloomberg’s Debby Wu and Mark Gurman, iOS 14 is still expected to hit iPhones this month. And if we get a new iPad, it would only make sense for details about the next iPadOS to be announced as well. Given the fact that iOS and iPadOS are still quite closely linked, both updates should drop around the same time. They have some pretty significant new features, too, including resizable widgets, a new App Library organization system for the iPhone, major updates to Messages, searchable handwriting on the iPad and much more.

Given that Apple is all but certain to announce a new Watch, we should also find out when watchOS 7 will roll out. Typically it arrives along with new hardware, so we should see it this month as well. As mentioned, watchOS 7 will add sleep tracking features to the Apple Watch for the first time. It’ll also include a handful of new watch faces, the ability for apps to include multiple complications, revamped workout and activity apps, a hand-washing app (yup) and a handful of other refinements. 

Apple doesn’t typically spend much time on the Mac at these September events, but it’s possible we get an update on when Big Sur will arrive. Last year, Apple announced macOS Catalina availability via a press release in early October, so it’s just as likely they take that route again. But after using the public beta for the last month-plus, it does feel almost ready to go. 

An Apple subscription bundle 

Ever since Apple announced News+, TV+ and Arcade all in one shot at a services-focused event in 2019, people have speculated that the company would bundle all them together alongside Apple Music. It hasn’t happened yet, but it could be announced next week — Bloomberg reported that an Apple One subscription bundle would be ready this fall along with new iPhones. That means Apple might sit on it for another month or so, but it’s not hardware-dependent, so it could easily be previewed at next week’s event.

A new HomePod or AirPods

Apple HomePod

Engadget

File these lower on the certainty list, but Bloomberg has reported multiple times that a smaller, cheaper HomePod would be released this fall. The original is starting to show its age, and though it sounds excellent for its price, a $300 speaker is still a tough sell for a lot of people. Combined with the fact that Apple has some much-needed software improvements on the way (like letting the HomePod work with music services besides Apple Music) and the timing for a new speaker does make sense. 

As for headphones, rumors have swirled about an Apple-branded, over-the-ear headset for a long time now. Bloomberg again seems to think that they’ll be ready for the fall, but there haven’t been many corroborating leaks. Apple’s success with the AirPods lineup makes an expansion of its headphone offerings likely — whether we see them next week is another story.

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