Apple sends invites for 'Hello Again' MacBook event

Apple Hello Again

One week from today Apple will reveal its latest Macs during an invitation-only event in Cupertino. MacBook Pro updates have been highly anticipated this year, with several improvements in the pipeline. The "Hello Again" press event is scheduled for Thursday October 27, with the invitation harking back to 1984's original Mac introduction "Hello". The event marks the first major design changes to the MacBook Pro line since 2012. So what can we expect?

One of the biggest enhancements is expected to be the "Magic Toolbar". This OLED function bar above the keyboard is said to be a touch-sensitive display that will dynamically change depending on what application is currently running. Magic Toolbar would be capable of delivering information much like a status bar, or offering the option of contextual function keys that apply specifically to the task at hand.

Integrated into the Magic Toolbar will be the first realization of Touch ID technology built into one of Apple's computers. Bringing the biometric system to the Mac would make it possible to avoid passwords for login, authorize online payments with Apple Pay, and the like. The 2016 MacBook Pro is also expected to have a larger, pressure-sensitive track pad and a keyboard with flat butterfly keys similar to the MacBook.

A lighter, thinner chassis and the latest Intel Skylake processors will round out the package. Apple is expected to abandon its proprietary MagSafe charging port along with the SD card slot, HDMI port, USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports. Instead, the 2016 MacBook will sport four USB-C ports to take care of everything from charging to data transfer and peripheral connections. Unlike the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the MacBook will retain its 3.5 mm headphone connector.

Apple is also expected to refresh its MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro machines at the event next week.