Apple's iPad and Mac event is upon us. Today at its Cupertino headquarters, Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, the company's latest tablets. Thanks to a last-minute leak (that came from Apple itself), we know that both will feature the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Beyond that, we're expecting updated hardware on the inside — led by faster processors and maybe more RAM — but the actual devices will look essentially identical to the models released one year ago. Rumors suggest you'll be able to buy them in a new gold color to match your new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, so at least there's that.
Expect the Mac and OS X to get plenty of stage time
Aside from iPad news, we're going to be hearing a lot about the Mac. OS X Yosemite, the latest version of Apple's desktop operating system, is expected to launch imminently. Yosemite introduces an all new design with plenty of visual flourishes (there are transparency effects almost everywhere you look) and a cleaner user interface. It's also going to bring your Mac and iOS devices closer together than ever before. Yosemite allows you to seamlessly make and receive iPhone calls from your Mac — even when your phone's in another room somewhere. The same holds true for texts; both iMessages and regular SMS can sent and received on a Mac. And Yosemite's "Handoff" functionality promises to let you start drafting an email on your iPhone and instantly pick up where you left off when you sit down at the computer, or load the last webpage you were looking at on your iPad on the larger screen of a Mac.
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One important thing to know about Yosemite is that it looks best on ultra-sharp displays. Apple apparently recognizes this, and the company is expected to unveil a brand new iMac with Retina display at today's event. Aside from what's likely to be a gorgeous screen, we know relatively little about what's coming in the new iMac; it's very possible that Apple will bring over more features aimed at prosumers from its MacBook Pro line, like Thunderbolt 2 for instance. It's safe to assume you'll pay a premium price for this new 27-inch iMac. Presumably Apple's non-Retina model will remain available for consumers who don't need all those pixels. But once you see Yosemite running on such a sharp screen, it may be impossible to resist.
Those are the announcements we're most likely to see at today's event. Beyond that, it's guesswork and some wishful thinking. Other possibilities include an updated Mac mini and a new iPod touch with the iPhone 6's larger display. Two oft-rumored Apple products — an "iPad Pro" and MacBook Air with Retina display — aren't expected to arrive until next year. But Apple's been known to surprise, so be sure to keep it locked on The Verge for every bit of news as we hear it live from Cupertino.
How to watch
Starting time: San Francisco: 10AM / New York: 1PM / London: 6PM / Berlin 7PM / Moscow: 9PM / Beijing: 1AM (Oct. 17th) / Tokyo: 2AM (Oct. 17th) / Sydney 4AM (Oct. 17th).
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