Decoding the secrets inside Apple’s event invitations (2023)

Apple’s next event is just around the corner, and die-hard fans have been scouring the latest invitation for clues about what new products and features may be in the cards. It’s a long-held belief that Apple hides things inside its event invitations, but we wondered whether this search for secrets ever bore any fruit (sorry) — and if it did, what sort of hints there are.

To find out, we scoured every invitation over the past 21 years and compared them against the various products subsequently announced at each event. And it turns out, again and again, Apple buries clues in plain sight. But discerning their meaning is not so simple. Apple appears to use several frequently varied approaches to leaving hints that are often difficult to decipher ahead of time. In order to get anything out of the invites, we have to learn how to follow the trail of breadcrumbs in the first place.

Related

  • Apple’s iPhone 14 event live blog
  • Apple Watch Series 8 announced with temperature sensor, crash detection

Two distinct periods

Decoding the secrets inside Apple’s event invitations (1)

Early on, until around 2013, Apple took an approach best described as, well, blunt. Take the event from October 2001, when Apple sent out a paper invite promising the launch of a “breakthrough” new product. “Hint: it’s not a Mac,” the invite read. No subtlety. And the first-generation iPod followed shortly after. Or even more obvious was the March 2008 event invite, showing an unfolded map above the text, “Please join us to learn about the iPhone software roadmap, including the iPhone SDK and some exciting new enterprise features.” Any guesses about this announcement?

But that’s not to say this broad period lacked antics on Apple’s part. Take a look at the invite for Apple’s September 2005 event, which depicted a close-up of the coin pocket on a pair of jeans beneath some text reading, “1000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again.” Sure, the tagline is clear regarding a music announcement, but the image? The first-generation iPod Nano was just the right size to tuck into the coin pocket of the jeans and just the place that Steve Jobs pulled it from during the keynote. Clues hiding in plain sight.

And while other invites during this time were playful — think the plain blue background of the “There’s been a mix-up…” invite and the ongoing switch to Intel Macs — the majority were straightforward. “The spotlight turns to notebooks” paired with an actual spotlight shining on a MacBook. Hmm. “Come see what 2011 will be the year of” accompanied by the image of an iPad. Gee, I wonder.

But then came a new era. From 2013 on, Apple stopped giving clear indications of upcoming announcements and started sending more whimsical invites laden with winks and nods. These hints tended to be abstract, harder to decode, and often impossible to make sense of ahead of time. But looking over them, we found five clear approaches Apple takes when nodding at what’s to come.

Colors

One of the more apparent clues is the persistent color drops across invites. These started prominently in the September 2013 “This should brighten everyone’s day” event invite, with colorful polka dot-like circles sprinkled in the background of the invitation. Those circles ended up turning into several of the shades of the iPhone 5C lineup announced at the event. A few years later, Apple was back at it with its March 2016 “Let us loop you in” invite, which filled the Apple logo with shades of gold and rose gold that ended up reflecting the colors of the new iPhone SE. Right in front of us the whole time.

Colorful hints to enjoy: “Gather round” (iPhone XS); “By innovation only” (iPhone 11); “Time flies” (iPad Air); “Hi, speed” (iPhone 12).

Hidden imagery

Early invites were often accompanied by images of products or the date of events. But later years got more mischievous. Take, for example, “See you on the 7th” for its September 2016 event. Colorful, blurry circles in the vague shape of the Apple logo hinted at the upcoming release of Portrait mode. And the September 2015 “Hey Siri, give us a hint” event invite directly imaged Siri’s new hill-and-valley, brightly colored waveform, nodding at the forthcoming Siri remote for the Apple TV. Generally we found that, when hidden images were included in the invites, they almost always translated directly into images present during the keynotes.

Notable image-laden invites: “Back to the Mac” (Mac OS X Lion); “Hello again” (Mac wallpaper); “Let’s meet at our place” (iPhone X wallpaper); “Let’s take a field trip” (Apple Pencil support).

Shapes

Decoding the secrets inside Apple’s event invitations (6)

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Certainly not as common as the other categories but my personal favorite is that one great example can be seen in the aforementioned iPhone 5C invite. Not only did the colorful dots reference the colors of the new phones but they also referenced the hole-punch cases released alongside them. And those thick gray borders around the white dots were glaring hints about Touch ID debuting on the new iPhones. More obvious in hindsight, the “Hi, speed” invite showed an Apple logo centered in a circle, which turned out to be a replica of the bottom of the HomePod Mini. And one of my favorites, the September 2014 “Wish we could say more” event invite included a subtle shadow casting off the leaf of the Apple logo, evoking a sundial and alluding to the eventual Apple Watch announcement. When it works, it works.

Fun shapes to think about: “Spring forward” (Apple Watch digital crown); “Let us loop you in” (Apple Watch bands); “Gather round” (new Apple campus).

Text

Second only to the main images is the text of the invite where Apple frequently references new features and products or simply enjoys a bit of wordplay. Both the “Let’s take a field trip” event from March 2018 and the “There’s more in the making” event from October 2018 had the only two invites with handwritten typeface, and each led to announcements involving Apple Pencils. This category also encompasses Apple’s only repeated taglines: 2006’s “It’s showtime” and 2019’s “It’s show time,” referring to the release of the original Apple TV and the announcement of Apple TV Plus. And then there’s the not-so-subtle “Hey Siri, give us a hint,” which was always going to involve Siri, and “Hi, speed,” leading to the highly anticipated 5G iPhones.

Taglines to ponder: “This should brighten everyone’s day” (iPhone 5C); “Spring forward” (Apple Watch); “Let us loop you in” (Apple Watch bands); “Hello again” (MacBook with Touch Bar); “Time flies” (Apple Watch Series 6); “Peek performance” (M1 Ultra).

AR

And that brings us to the newest category of invites: augmented reality. The first of these appeared for the September 2020 “Time flies” event invite, depicting a multihued blue Apple logo unraveling to form the date of the event before reforming once again. The shades of the graphic referenced the soon-to-be-released iPad Air in sky blue. The best use of this new layer of invite, though, was the November 2020 “One more thing” event invite. The AR invite depicted the Apple logo opening like a laptop and color streaming from a veritable display, nodding to the widely rumored new M1 lineup. Then there’s the subtle (and admittedly maybe a bit of a stretch) April 2021 “Spring loaded” invite. The AR invite started out with a flat circle on the ground and then sent colorful lines swirling about the screen, mimicking the search for a lost device. And behold, AirTags were announced.

This year

So it seems the treasure hunt that has become Apple invites is indeed worth the speculation and hype. Just how hyped we should get is the only real question. Some invites hint at larger features such as 5G connectivity, while others hint merely at new wallpapers. And some are near impossible to guess ahead of time, even in light of the rampant rumor mill that reaches a fever pitch in the weeks leading up to a keynote.

So what does that mean for this year’s “Far out” invite? There seems to be clear, if warped, images of stars and galaxies — cheeky text that may mean both something physically far away from us yet also a new feature that is ‘70s-esque far out, man. And the AR layer centers us in a vast outer space environment. Given all the breadcrumbs, it’s no surprise that many are speculating about astrophotography. As for me, I’m thinking it’s hinting at satellite connectivity for either the iPhone 14 or the Apple Watch Series 8. Either way, it’s fun to keep guessing.

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FAQs

What will be revealed in the Apple event? ›

June 2022 - 13-inch MacBook Pro. September 2022 - iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. September 2022 - iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max. September 2022 - AirPods Pro 2.

Why are Apple events so successful? ›

Apple has particularly used the Apple event as effective way to announce new products as well as give a glimpse of its future products and strategies. Its increasing popularity over the years has helped the company gain a wider audience base as well as create a buzz around its current and future products.

How do I get invited to Apple events? ›

Attendance to the event is by invitation-only at the Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino. To submit your name for a chance to attend the event, go to the WWDC Special Event at Apple Park website. At the event, you'll be able to watch the keynote and the State of the Union keynotes.

How many Apple events are there? ›

Apple usually holds four such events a year, but some years there will be no spring event and other years Apple will skip the October event. Based on previous years, you can expect Apple's year to look something like this: March/April (often includes iPads, iPhone SE)

What was Apple event 2022 revealed? ›

Apple event 2022: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra, new AirPods Pro unveiled. Behold the new symbols of fall: Pumpkin spice and a new iPhone. On Wednesday, Apple unveiled its latest smartphone, the iPhone 14, during its annual September event from its California headquarters.

What is expected at the Apple event 2022? ›

September 2022 - iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. September 2022 - iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max. September 2022 - AirPods Pro 2. September 2022 - Apple Watch Ultra.

What was Apple biggest failure? ›

Apple iPhone 6, Newton, U2 iPod, Apple III, FireWire, Lisa, Homepod were some of the biggest failures of Apple.

Do Prices Drop After Apple events? ›

Just after an event isn't necessarily a great time to buy either, although in the US some networks offer their best deals just after a iPhone launches. It will be a few months before any resellers start to drop the upfront price of new Phone handsets.

Are Apple events recorded? ›

After Apple event recording has been turned on by a recording process, the Apple Event Manager sends that process copies of all recordable Apple events on the local computer.

Is the Apple event pre recorded? ›

Apple has been airing pre-recorded videos for its launch events since the outbreak of COVID-19.

What time does Apple send out invites? ›

Apple tends to send out invitations a week ahead of its events, which would fall on Tuesday, March 1, usually at around 9am PST. Last year, Apple chose to hold its spring event in April, but otherwise the company has consistently chosen March for its spring events.

How long do Apple events last? ›

If you look back at the keynotes of years past, the last six have all been well over an hour long. Previous runtimes for Apple's fall keynote were as follows: September 2021: 1 hour and 18 minutes. October 2020: 1 hour and 10 minutes.

How much are Apple event tickets? ›

[ Related: Apple's place is in the enterprise ]

WWDC tickets will cost $1,599, a price Apple has maintained since 2010. Apple will also give away 350 tickets to students -- up from last year's supply of 200 -- who can apply on Apple's website.

How do Apple events work? ›

An Apple event is a high-level event that conforms to the Apple Event Interprocess Messaging Protocol. The Apple Event Manager uses the services of the Event Manager to send Apple events between applications on the same computer, between applications on remote computers, or from an application to itself.

Can you trade your AirPods in? ›

Apple won't accept your used earbuds. While Apple accepts trade-ins for iPhones as far back as the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch -- and gives credit for several eligible Android devices -- trade-in offers don't extend to AirPods of any sort. In fact, your only option through Apple is to recycle your old earbuds.

Was the iPhone 14 revealed? ›

The iPhone 14-series was announced at September 7, 2022, at Apple's “Far Out” event, which took place earlier than usual (normally, Apple hosts its iPhone announcement events on the second Tuesday of September, which would have been September 13 this year).

Is the iPhone 14 worth it? ›

The bottom line: If you're still holding onto your iPhone 7, there's no question that you're due for an upgrade. A better screen, compatibility with iOS 16, longer battery life and more advanced cameras are just a few of the gains the iPhone 14 has to offer over the iPhone 7.

Will there be another AirPods Max 2022? ›

For the high-end AirPods Max model, which was released by the end of 2020, Apple has no plans to release a second generation yet.

How Long Will Apple hold a 2022 pickup? ›

Generally, it is 5 to 7 days maximum. Apples pickup policy states you can set a pickup date for select items, so I would see how far out you can set it (see https://www.apple.com/us/shop/help/shipping_delivery for more details).

Is 2022 a good year for apples? ›

The fruit growers expect a good apple yield of approximately 1,051,000 tonnes in 2022. Based on an estimate of July 2022, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that the apple yield is expected to be nearly 46,000 tonnes, or 4.6%, higher than a year earlier.

What is Apple biggest threat? ›

Although Apple as a brand has solidified itself, it still faces threats from competitors. With the advancement in technology, brands like Samsung, Google, and Dell are giving Apple tough competition.

What are the failed iphones? ›

A new study by a security firm finds that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S are much more likely to fail than any other iPhone model — however, Samsung has a failure rate higher than that of any other manufacturer tracked by the firm.

Which is the flop iPhone? ›

The iPhone 14 Plus is such a huge flop, that Apple has decided to stop its production.

Does Apple have a hidden price match policy? ›

Apple doesn't “price match” in a traditional sense, but they will “price haggle” a little. Here's how it works: If you find an Apple product at Target, Walmart, or Best Buy that's cheaper than the product in the Apple store, show an Apple associate the lower price.

Will iPhone prices drop in 2022? ›

However, according to reports, the price may go down further during the Big Billion Days Sale 2022 which is likely to commence around the same time as Amazon Great India Festive Sale.

Should I wait for Black Friday to buy iPhone? ›

Black Friday is one of the best times to buy an iPhone, especially if you're hoping to save on an older generation (like the iPhone 13, iPhone 12, or iPhone SE). Still, you'll find tons of Black Friday deals on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro this year from various retailers and phone carriers.

Is Apple recording my conversations? ›

But in order to continually improve the quality of its voice-recognition and artificial-intelligence systems, Apple does keep your voice recordings for up to six months.

How long will Apple record? ›

It's available on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple computers. And best of all, it's free. There's no time limit for recordings (it's dependent on the internal storage capacity of your device), so you can likely record that entire lecture without worry.

How can I tell when an iPhone calendar event was created? ›

You need to go to your username in Finder, then navigate to Library/Calendars, then find the calendar folder that contains the event, then open the Events folder, then figure out which event it is and look at the date on the file for that event.

What is Apple announcing on September 7 2022? ›

Apple (AAPL) announced, on Sept. 7, 2022, a new iPhone 14 series, a new version of AirPods Pro, and three new versions of the Apple Watch. All come with various new features and promise enhanced performance.

What will be announced at Apple event in September 2022? ›

Apple's "Far Out" event was a media event held on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, where the company unveiled the iPhone 14 lineup, new Apple Watch models, and updated AirPods Pro.

Will the iPhone 13 Pro price drop? ›

How much does an iPhone 13 Pro cost? iPhone 13 Pro prices start at $548 and cost $814 on average as of November 2022. iPhone 13 Pro prices will continue to get cheaper over time. Apple phones hold their value well, but prices will continue to drop as time passes and new models are announced.

How much will the iPhone 14 cost? ›

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus Pricing

Both models are available in blue, purple, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. Storage can be configured to 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB. The iPhone 14 starts at $799 and began shipping to customers on September 16, 2022. The iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899 and ships on October 7.

What does WWDC stand for? ›

Worldwide Developers Conference
CountryUnited States
Inaugurated1983
Most recentJune 6–10, 2022 (online-only due to COVID-19 pandemic)
Attendance23 million online viewers (2020)
6 more rows

How accurate are Apple arrival dates? ›

Mac will come well before the estimated date, you can track it and virtually see its progress to your destination. Apple care will come a couple days before. Apple normally gives a pessimistic date on shipping so they look good when you get it early 🙂.

Can you be late to an Apple appointment? ›

You can be 15 minutes late and you won't be punished.

Apple gives you 15 minutes to check in to your appointment. If you're late, you don't get your exact appointment time, but your priority position is maintained.

Can you be late to Apple pick up? ›

If you miss your Pickup Window, you can still pick up your items after this point in the store. If you would like someone else to pick up your items, select Someone else will pick up these items. To pick up your items in an Apple Store, you will need to bring the order number and a valid government-issued photo ID.

Does Apple delete old calendar events? ›

The reality isn't that the calendar app is deleting events. Rather it has stopped syncing them, and instead of leaving them on the device, it just removes them past a certain time frame. However, this doesn't mean your calendar events are gone. They're still there.

How do I clean up events on my iPhone? ›

Delete an Event
  1. From a Home screen, tap. Calendar. . If an app isn't available on your Home screen, swipe left to access the App Library.
  2. Tap the event you want to delete then tap. Delete Event. (at the bottom).
  3. To confirm, tap. Delete Event. . If this is a recurring event, options to delete may vary.

What is the Apple event on 9 7? ›

Apple will hold its iPhone 14 event on September 7, a Wednesday. The invitation teases an in-person event at the Steve Jobs Theater, although Bloomberg has reported a few weeks ago that Apple was already recording its keynote.

Are Apple sessions free? ›

Schedule a free session with a Specialist and cover the topics you want — from the basics to pro tips. When you shop with Apple, we'll help you get the most out of your new device.

Why are Apple Events so successful? ›

Apple has particularly used the Apple event as effective way to announce new products as well as give a glimpse of its future products and strategies. Its increasing popularity over the years has helped the company gain a wider audience base as well as create a buzz around its current and future products.

What is a jetsam event on Apple Watch? ›

The jetsam event report records how much memory each process used before jettisoning an app. The virtual memory system allocates and manages memory in chunks, called memory pages, and the report lists the memory use as the number of memory pages used.

How do I count events in Apple Calendar? ›

Change the calendar name to the name of the one you wish to count. Then click the run button in the toolbar. It will count the number of events.

What is Apple revealing on March 8? ›

March 8: Apple set to unveil a new phone, Mac and tablet.

As we've discussed, the company is planning to launch an updated iPhone SE with 5G and a faster processor, an iPad Air and at least one new Mac.

What was the main highlights of Apple WWDC 2022? ›

WWDC 2022: Highlights from Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
  • Apple – WWDC 2022 attendees at the personal event watching Apple's new releases.
  • Apple iOS 16 – Lock Screen: Customization and Live Activities.
  • Apple iOS 16 – Live Text: real-time currency conversion.
  • New displays for watchOs 9 announced by Apple at WWDC 2022.
17 Aug 2022

What new Apple products are coming out in September 2022? ›

On Friday, September 16, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 8, and the all-new Apple Watch SE landed at Apple stores around the world.

What will be announced at the Apple event March 8 2022? ›

The MacBook Pro will look identical to the current 13-inch model, and it will be a lower-end version of the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models that have ‌M1 Pro‌ and ‌M1 Max‌ chips. The M2 chip will feature the same 8-core CPU as the ‌M1‌, but speed and efficiency improvements are expected, as are GPU improvements.

What came out on March 8 2022? ›

A Massive Slew of Upgrades in 2022

A 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip. A Mac mini with an M2 chip. A 24-inch iMac with an M2 chip. A redesigned MacBook Air with an M2 chip.

Why is Apple giving me a privacy warning? ›

Generally speaking, your iPhone or iPad will say “Privacy Warning” when you haven't masked your device's media access control (MAC) address. As a result, others can see your MAC address. The Privacy Warning message usually appears because of an issue on or with your device.

What is the most popular Apple product 2022? ›

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's biggest and best smartphone, and in typical Apple fashion, it is both a powerhouse and an endurance beast.

What was Apple's big announcement? ›

Introducing an all-new iPhone lineup, rebuilt AirPods Pro, three new Apple Watch models, and an exciting update to Apple Fitness+.

Is Apple expected to beat earnings 2022? ›

AAPL Q4 2022 earnings expectations

This maker of iPhones, iPads and other products is expected to post quarterly earnings of $1.26 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +1.6%. Revenues are expected to be $88.43 billion, up 6.1% from the year-ago quarter.

Is the iPhone 14 waterproof? ›

The new iPhone 14 can withstand about 19 feet for up to 30 minutes underwater which means in the event that you do drop your phone in the water, you can jump in and save it. However, be careful around sand and the ocean as the salt water's corrosive nature can cause more damage than you bargained for.

Is Apple dropping a new phone 2022? ›

At a Glance

Apple's 2022 iPhones feature satellite emergency services, crash detection, an A15 chip, camera improvements, and more.

Is Apple dropping a new iPhone 2022? ›

Apple's newest flagship iPhones, available now.

Apple's 2022 "Pro" iPhones feature a notchless display with Dynamic Island, a faster A16 chip, 48-megapixel camera, Crash Detection, satellite connectivity, and more.

Does AirPods Max leak sound? ›

The Apple AirPods Max have a decent leakage performance. They leak a bit of sound across the range, but most of it falls below the noise level of an average office. It's unlikely that it should bother those around you, even if you're listening to audio at a high volume.

Are AirPods Max waterproof? ›

The AirPods Max is not waterproof. Unfortunately, it isn't even water-resistant.

Are the AirPods Max heavy? ›

Especially if you're wearing headphones for several hours straight, weight starts to have a real impact on overall comfort. Apple's new AirPods Max over-ear headphones weigh 13.6 ounces (384 grams), which might not sound like much, but that's relatively heavy compared to many premium over-ear headphones on the market.

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