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Apple's non-iPhone plans reportedly include new MacBooks and a 5K monitor

Source: TechRadar
August 29, 2016
Apple's non-iPhone plans reportedly include new MacBooks and a 5K monitor

Looks like the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 aren't all we have to look forward to from Apple in the coming months.

A report from the reputable Mark Gurman and Jungah Lee of Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, signals new Macs are in the offing for later this year, while enhanced software features for the iPad could arrive has early as the first half of 2017.

Apple is said to be preparing updates to the iMac desktop, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, along with a sharp new 5K monitor. LG is reportedly working with Apple on the standalone monitor. Its arrival would mark the iPhone maker's return to the standalone display biz after discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display two months ago.

Like we've heard rumored for the MacBook Pro, the upgraded MacBook Air will reportedly feature a USB-C port, while future shoppers can pick up a version of the 5K iMac monitor with an AMD GPU.

Neither development is all that surprising given the current computing landscape, but considering the high-performance punch of a 5K display and that Apple hasn't refreshed all but one MacBook in over a year, any upgrade is welcome.

The report also reaffirms an earlier Gurman filing that a thinner MacBook Pro will feature a strip of capacitive touch keys beneath its display. An interesting note - apparently the strip will display commands specific to the application you're using, such as controls specially made for Safari and iMovie.

iPad goes pro

Turning to the iPad, while sales have consistently declined, Apple has seen the amount spent per tablet rise thanks to its iPad Pro.

Clearly, the seed has been planted to offer more robust capabilities for professionals who are willing to pay more, because that's the direction Apple is reportedly headed with its tablet.

New iPad software enhancements will look to appeal to professional users, Bloomberg notes, and include such back-end improvements as greater OS support for the tablet's stylus, a.k.a. the Apple Pencil.

Right now, apps that support the Pencil are few and far between, so Apple hopes to expand its capabilities to such services as Mail, Safari and iMessage with an update.

Apple could push out the new features as part of an iOS 10 bump in the first half of the New Year, or it could wait until it lifts the veil on iOS 11 (or whatever its next mobile operating system is called) to introduce the features.

The report also includes some morsels on faster and smoother display tech for the iPad, though we likely won't see a new Apple tablet until sometime next year.

Apple is holding an event on September 7 to introduce its new iPhone, along with an upgraded Apple Watch. We'll also have the official launch of iOS 10, Bloomberg says, but chances are we won't see the new desktops, laptops and monitor at the event.