What will Apple announce at the 'Back to the Mac' event?

Apple's "Back to the Mac" event is happening tomorrow. Like everyone, we're sitting at the edge of our seats in anticipation for what the guys in Cupertino are planning to unveil. We've rounded up all the rumors and "leaks" of what could potentially go down tomorrow so you don't have to.


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1. Redesigned MacBook Air

Cult of Mac claims they have confirmation from a trusted source that the MacBook Air will see a redesign at tomorrow's Apple event. Two models will potentially be shown off, one with an 11.6-inch screen and one with a 13.3-inch screen. Cult of Mac has their own mock-up of the new MacBook Air here.

Engadget also posted up a photo of what they believed to be the new MacBook Air's guts. All signs point to a battery that will last from 8-10 hours on one charge, two USB ports (up from one), Mini DisplayPort and an SD card slot. A new type of storage — possibly flash-based — will reportedly be used in the new Mac allowing instant boot-ups that are similar to the iPad's quick return from sleep mode. Engadget also says that the new MBA could possibly still use the old Intel Core 2 Duo processors instead of the new Ultra-Low-Voltage Core i3 or Core i5 CPUs. Graphics could still be powered by a special Nvidia integrated chip.

The MacBook Air was last refreshed over a year ago in June 2009. A smaller chassis and hopefully cheaper price than the current $1,499 might actually persuade some people to buy the Air instead of a regular MacBook.



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2. Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion"

Apple's Mac OS X is expected to see an update. The invitation alone shows a lion peeking through the Apple logo. Common sense suggests that the next version of OS X will be called "10.7 Lion," in keeping with Apple's big-cat theme for its OS names. Some bloggers are even saying that because Apple is choosing the king of the jungle, this version could be the last real revision for Mac OS X. We disagree. Despite Apple selling more iPads than Macs for the first time, the Mac is still central to connecting all iOS devices — you can't even activate an iPad without a Mac. Getting rid of OS X would be too radical a change to the Apple ecosystem, even a year or two from now.


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3. Mac OS X will pilfer from iOS

Macstories says that they have confirmed from one of their reliable sources that 10.7 will lose the "Aqua" scroll bars and will get something similar to the "inertial scrolling" on iOS devices.

Quick Look will also get a makeover to white from its current translucent black. In addition to the color change, Mac OS X's system search, Spotlight, will also gain "popovers" that show little bits of info. Macstories has created a mock-up here.


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4. FaceTime for Mac

Steve Jobs stated previously that he expects Apple to ship "tens of millions" of FaceTime-enabled devices by the end of the year. The iPhone 4 and latest iPod Touch are currently the only devices that support the video chat. Integrating FaceTime into iChat or giving it a dedicated Mac app would certainly help bring some truth to Jobs' numbers.


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5. iLife '11

9to5Mac says they've been told by a few retail staff that Apple Stores are running low on iLife. In the past, when the well was drying up, it usually meant that a new version was on the horizon. The current iLife '09 was released in January 2009 — a new version makes sense. A makeover for popular apps such as iMovie and iWeb would be greatly appreciated.


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6. Repositioned iPhone 4 antenna and white iPhone 4

Pocket-Lint spotted a man with a white iPhone 4 at a press event in New York City last week and managed to snag a few shots. According to the man with the elusive iPhone, Apple's HQ is stacked with them, waiting to be shipped out — calling the delay a problem with the white home buttons not matching the white on the faceplate. Completely plausible.

Ubergizmo noticed that there appears to be a slit (external antenna) on the side of the white iPhone 4's steel band that is positioned higher than on the black iPhone 4 tha'ts being shipped right now. Jobs has previously said that the external antenna design will not change. Repositioning the antenna higher could evade the "grip of death" that has been the focal point of antennagate.


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No way: MacBook Touch, MagSafe iOS devices, iPad 2.0

The rumors we've already listed all seem like logical announcements (though the iPhone one doesn't have much to do with Macs, in that case there's hard evidence), but what about all the crazy patents such as MacBooks with touchscreens, iOS devices with MagSafe power connectors and FaceTime iPads with two dock ports? Oh, we think Apple's going to eventually release these things, but tomorrow? Not likely.

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