“Back to the Mac” Event: TUAW’s Expert Predictions

As anticipation builds for Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event, speculation is rampant. Here at TUAW, we’re venturing some educated guesses about what Apple might unveil, with a dash of humor for good measure.

Michael Grothaus: It’s a safe bet we’ll catch a glimpse of Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”, though it likely won’t be ready for release until next spring. Expect updates to the MacBook Pro lineup, possibly featuring slimmer designs thanks to Apple’s acquisition of advanced metal alloys. The current MacBook Air might be replaced by a new 11.6-inch model with 3G capabilities. Also, expect a revamped iLife 2011, just in time for the holiday season, featuring a redesigned iWeb that supports HTML-5.

FaceTime for Mac and Windows could also make an appearance, possibly as an update to iChat or as a standalone client.

Chris Rawson: The lion icon hints at OS X 10.7 taking center stage. Beyond FaceTime support, it’s hard to predict what else we might see for Lion. I’m skeptical about a spring 2011 release; delays are likely.

It’s possible that Lion could be the final “big cat” OS X version.

Hardware-wise, don’t expect major changes for the MacBook Pro and MacBook beyond processor upgrades. The MacBook Air, last updated in mid-2009, is due for a significant overhaul. Imagine a MacBook Air with an iPad-like screen that switches to iOS at the press of a button.

Dave Caolo: Expect a detailed preview of Mac OS X 10.7, showcasing a handful of its numerous updates. Snow Leopard was a refinement; Lion will be revolutionary. I anticipate a new MacBook Air, smaller in size, possibly only available with SSDs.

Mel Martin: FaceTime integration in Mac OS seems likely, along with a new MacBook Air. Expect enhancements to MobileMe, possibly improving its outdated features.

Kelly Guimont: Predictions include new hardware, possibly a revamped MacBook Air, and software updates like iLife and iWork. FaceTime might also arrive on Windows.

Steve Sande: I’m optimistic about the release of iLife ’11 and iWork ’11.

Expect modest improvements across the iLife suite and a focus on cloud integration for iWork. Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” will likely be previewed but not released until after WWDC 2011.

Michael Jones: FaceTime integration with iChat is probable, leveraging MobileMe for simplicity. Expect announcements for iLife ’11 and iWork ’11, with a focus on improved syncing with the iPad.

Mike Schramm: The MacBook Air refresh seems certain. We might also see some form of content sharing between OS X and iOS, laying groundwork for future integration.

Michael Rose: Expect a new MacBook Air with SSDs and possibly two screen sizes. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will be a major focus, potentially including an iOS emulator and a revamped Finder.

Erica Sadun: It’s time for iWork ’11, with better cloud and mobile integration. On the hardware front, a consumer Mac tower would be exciting but unlikely. Expect OS X 10.7 to bridge further into iOS territory.

Victor Agreda, Jr.: The spotlight will be on OS X 10.7 and its integration with cloud services.

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Brian is a dedicated writer for TUAW, where he shares his insights and expertise on all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Brian covers a wide range of topics, from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the intricacies of macOS and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics accessible to all readers. Brian’s enthusiasm for Apple products shines through in every article he writes.