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Apple's Plans for Fall: Yosemite, Retina MacBook Air, 4K iMac?

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

We had planned to make today's column a preview of OS X Yosemite, as the public beta was released yesterday to the first million people who signed up. Alas, Apple is popular and this error happened repeatedly. (Tip: Supposedly, deleting the Yosemite file from your applications folder and restarting the download does the trick. It's still not working for us, but we'll keep trying.)

But Yosemite isn't Apple's only big plan for the fall. In addition to the iPhone and iOS 8 rumors that we've gabbed about, there are rumors that upgrades are coming to the company's desktop and laptop lines as well -- including the long-awaited "Retina" MacBook Air.

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Mac-ing on 4K?

According to 9-5 Mac's Mark Gurman, Apple is prepping a 4K ("Ultra-HD") iMac or standalone monitor for release this fall. The rumor makes sense, considering the impending release of the next iteration of the company's desktop and laptop OS: OS X Yosemite, which has a number of visual tweaks that are optimized for higher resolution displays.

The 4K rumors don't stop there -- Apple is reportedly working on iMovie and Final Cut Pro updates that will make it easier to work with 4K files in the two video-editing programs.

But there is a possible wrench in the works: Intel's Broadwell chips, the successor to the company's current top-of-the-line Haswell chips, are reportedly delayed, reports MacRumors. Along with other supply chain issues, this could push the 4K hardware into next year.

MacBook Air With Retina Display

A thinner and lighter 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution display is also in the works, according to 9-5 Mac. Though this 12-inch laptop has long been rumored to be a replacement for the company's current 11-inch and 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Air models, according to Gurman, there is no word whether it will be branded an Air, a MacBook Pro, or some other designation.

There's also the possibility that the non-Retina Air line, updated earlier this year, will survive past the new device's release, though that would be a curious move considering Yosemite's move towards high-resolution and Apple's traditional reluctance to release "cheaper" computers.

Where's the MacMini?

Just saying: We haven't heard anything about a Mac Mini update in years.

According to MacRumors' Buyer's Guide, the standalone mini-desktop hasn't been updated in 640 days and its internals predate Intel's release of its Haswell chips. With a European price cut back in June, Apple may be trying to clear inventory ahead of an update.

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