Apple's sole focus at today's education event in Chicago was on the new iPad 2018 and the specialized iOS software and accessories it can run. It didn't deviate much.
That's okay. It just means there's another Apple event to come, with the next one being Apple WWDC 2018 on June 4. We expect a lot of newness there – and at the next iPhone event likely in September – that we didn't see today.
Specifically, in 2018, we're anticipating new Mac computers, new mobile devices, new wireless accessories, and new software for all of your Apple-made technology.
Here's everything Apple still has to announce this year.
1. The new MacBook Air
A new MacBook Air would have been a great addition to Apple's education event, but it would have also instantly distracted from the new iPad 2018. That's why we feel as though the company's entry-level computer may debut at WWDC instead.
Apple's affordable 13.3-inch laptop is expected to get a refresh, with modern specs (the current Air is stuck at a 5th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors; other laptops are up to 8th gen) and finally bump the screen resolution up to Retina.
2. AirPower wireless charger
It's not hard to find wireless chargers, but Qi chargers that can recharge multiple devices are a rather new thing. We're seeing a few come onto the scene now, including Lxory Dual Wireless Charging Pad and, soon, the Belkin Boost Up Dual Wireless Charging Pad.
That's all the more why Apple should be weeks away from finally launching the AirPower charging pad it previewed at the iPhone X launch event last year. It can charge up to three devices at once, including an iPhone (iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus so far), an Apple Watch, and the new AirPods case.
3. AirPods 2 with wireless charging
Going along with the AirPower charging pad, if you really want to wireless charge your AirPods, you're going to need the new AirPods wireless charging case. Whether or not Apple calls this AirPods 2 remains a big mystery, but it's definitely going to be a new iteration.
We expect Apple to start selling the new AirPods with and without the untethered EarPods. The latter option is ideal for all of the current AirPods owners who just want the wireless case without the extra expense.
- Previous news: Apple AirPods 2 and 3 could be coming in 2018 and 2019
4. iPad Pro with Face ID
Apple's education event wasn't the last we've heard from the iPad in 2018, according to the most recent rumors. We also expect a redesigned iPad Pro before the end of this year.
It was too soon to launch a new iPad Pro today – we just got the iPad 10.5 and iPad 12.9 tablets at WWDC last year. We're thinking Apple may be ready for a new set of slates at a September iPhone launch event. That's much better timing. New features could include a TrueDepth camera for Face ID and Animoji, and less bezel. Hopefully that makes the bigger 12.9-inch iPad Pro body smaller without actually reducing the screen size.
5. Mac Pro 2018
Apple promised that we'd get a new Mac Pro by the end of 2018, and it's previously teased the new rig as an 'upgradeable’ and ‘modular’ desktop computer.
This isn't a rumor. Apple called it "a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design." That's a big change in direction since the trash can design of the Mac Pro 2013 didn't offer much in the way of upgradeable space. Apple had admitted as much and is out to change that with the new Mac Pro 2018.
6. iPhone XI, iPhone XI and cheaper iPhone
Apple skipped over the iPhone 7S name and we're not sure what's happening with the iPhone 9 moniker. But we fully expect there to be a new iPhone X this year, and it could be called the iPhone XI or iPhone X2. Whatever the name is, expect it to be rather iterative with the same 5.8-inch screen.
The true standouts of 2018 will be a larger iPhone XI, rumored to have a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen, and also cheaper iPhone X with a 6.1-inch LCD at a less intimidating price. The latter option could be Apple's next-generation take on an iPhone SE.
7. Apple Watch 4
The Apple Watch 4 may finally give us a redesign to Apple's iPhone-compatible smartwatch – the first new look since the original Apple Watch launched in 2015.
It'll have a 15% larger screen and more battery life, according to the most recent report by one noted Apple analyst. That doesn't mean the body will be 15% larger, thankfully. The current Apple Watch 3 (and all Watch models) have bezel to spare. And more battery life could allow Apple to issue its own sleep tracking software, too.
8. New software
The real star every year at Apple's WWDC keynote is software. It's why Apple app developers show up to the San Jose event – to make good app you'll download.
This year, we expect to see iOS 12 with fewer new features in favor of more stability and allow iOS apps to run on macOS computers. Ideas like a home screen redesign and default app revisions may be saved for iOS 13. Going along with this, we expect to see macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 at WWDC, too.