updated 09:00 pm EDT, Tue October 15, 2013
Further signals new OS X upgrade will debut October 22
In a further sign that OS X Mavericks (10.9) will debut on October 22 at the now-confirmed Apple Special Event, the company has sent out a notice for developers to prepare their apps for the debut of the new OS X upgrade, and submit them for review in the Mac App Store. Developers can obtain access to both the "Golden Master" of OS X Mavericks as well as a new Xcode 5.0.1 GM seed with which they can compile, test and submit updates and new applications.
The GM for Mavericks has been out for nearly two weeks, but Mavericks is not expected to be the sole focus of the October 22 event. The main object of attention from the gathering is expected to be the arrival of new fifth-generation full-size iPad models as well as an improved iPad mini.
Following in the footsteps of the company's top-selling iPhone line, the second-generation iPad mini is expected to offer mostly internal improvements over its predecessor and retain its slim and light design. The main point of speculative contention is whether the iPad mini will finally gain a Retina-quality display, while the full-size iPad is expected to offer improved cameras, a new slimmer and lighter design to better match the Mini, and the addition of Touch ID fingerprint security to the product.
Pundits and Mac buyers, however, are hoping for far more than just new iPads. In addition to the release of Mavericks, they are seeking the debut of Haswell-chip updated MacBook Pros that will offer substantially-improved battery life from the combination of Intel's latest power-sipping chip as well as processor efficiencies being introduced in Mavericks such as Compressed Memory, Timer Coalescing, App Napp and Safari Power Saver. Together, the technologies are likely to improve significantly on even the already-impressive improvement in battery life for Haswell-enhanced portables.
Also hoped for is the long-awaited release of the revamped Mac Pro, teased for well over a year and finally previewed at last summer's Worldwide Developer's Conference. The radically-redesigned mini-tower eschews traditional hard drives and internal expansion in favor of SSD storage, dual workstation-class graphics cards and Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections. It also features a central core with convection cooling assisted by a special topside fan to draw warm air out very quietly. Pricing on the Mac Pro has not yet been announced.
MacNN will provide live coverage of Apple's announcement, which will begin at 10AM Pacific time (1PM ET) next Tuesday.