While iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is set for a September launch, Apple is planning to bring its next-generation Mac software, OS X Yosemite, into the wild a month later, in October, according to several sources. Apple plans to continue releasing OS X Yosemite Developer Previews every two to three weeks until a final Developer Preview is seeded on September 29th, according to the people. Apple is then expected to finish up work on Yosemite in early October and release a golden master build around October 10th, the sources said. Apple is also finishing up preparations to release a version of OS X Yosemite beta tomorrow to the first one million people who signed up for the public beta.
Following the currently planned golden master release around October 10th, Apple plans to release Yosemite for free on the Mac App Store toward the end of October. Like last year, it is possible that Apple will talk final details about the new OS X release at a media event. Apple is planning to unveil its long-in-the-works fitness and health wearable wristband at a media event in October, so perhaps Apple will discuss the final logistics of OS X Yosemite’s launch during that same keynote. Also in the cards for the Mac side, sources say, are at least a couple of next-generation Mac lines. Sources say that Apple is finishing up work on both a smaller MacBook with a high-resolution display and a new desktop computer, either an iMac or a standalone monitor, with a 4K resolution screen.
The new MacBook will include a Retina Display that is approximately 12-inches diagonally and it will include a much thinner and slightly lighter aluminum body, the sources said. Apple believes that this new Retina MacBook will be a significant step forward in the laptop industry, and it is currently unclear if Apple will label this machine as a smaller MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Air, or as an entirely new line. Analysts and foreign forum postings previously indicated that Apple is developing a new 12-inch MacBook. While it is possible Apple will market the aforementioned 4K desktop as a “Retina” machine, the technology for true pixel-doubling of the current 27-inch iMac and Thunderbolt Display’s 2560 x 1440 resolution is not ready for market.
Apple is said to be planning to push these new Macs with higher-resolution displays as a selling point for OS X Yosemite. Yosemite, besides new features for more tightly integrating with iPhones and iPads, includes a refreshed interface aesthetic that utilizes more colorful icons, thinner text, and sharper window corners. “Those interface elements appear especially optimized on higher-resolution screens, so it makes sense for us to debut new Retina Macs around the time of Yosemite’s release,” a source said.
In addition to the new hardware with higher-resolution display panels, Apple is said to be preparing updates to both iMovie and Final Cut Pro to bolster support for editing, exporting, and importing video taken with 4K resolution-capable cameras. The sources also stressed that the computers are currently on pace to ship either in late Q3 or early Q4 this year, but constraints to Intel chipsets as well as resources placed on developing other products for the 2014 pipeline could push back these Mac launches into early 2015. The new MacBook and iMac will likely join refinements to the MacBook Air line and all of the new Macs will be components of Apple’s best product line in “25 years.”