Author: Ashleigh Allsopp

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The Legend of Zelda UK release date rumours, price, gameplay & trailer

The Legend of Zelda UK release date rumours, price, gameplay & trailer

At E3 2016 Nintendo offered the first in-depth look at The Legend of Zelda – watch the new Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild trailer here. Plus, everything we know so far about The Legend of Zelda, including the UK release date, price and gameplay details.

Everything we know so far about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, plus the re-release of Twilight Princess HD for Wii U


By [1] | 51 mins ago

At E3 2016 Nintendo offered the first in-depth look at The Legend of Zelda – watch the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild trailer above. Plus, here’s everything we know so far about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including the UK release date rumours, price and gameplay details.

You might also like: The most anticipated games of 2016 and 2017[2]

Latest update: Last updated to include a new rumour which suggests that Zelda: Breath of the Wild won’t be a Nintendo Switch launch title. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild release date: When is Zelda for Wii U coming out?

The Legend of Zelda UK release date: Summer 2017

Despite the below, which is still interesting to read, The Legend of Zelda will now launch in March 2017 alongside the upcoming Nintendo Switch[3] – or so it was believed, anyway. While all reports suggested that Breath of the Wild would be a launch title, the most recent report from notorious Nintendo tipster Emily Rogers claims that[4] localisation work on the game has gone on for longer than first expected, with a current ETA of December 2016.

While this is still months before its rumoured March 2017 release, Rogers goes on to explain that it would be followed by a period of testing which would last for between four and six months. Why? The latest Zelda game is also the largest game Nintendo has ever made, and will take a while to test in all the different languages it’ll be available in. This puts the release of Breath of the Wild at some point during Summer 2017.

Rogers also noted that the upcoming Nintendo Switch will provide better performance than the Wii U variant, and that the adventure has a higher difficulty than preview builds have suggested. 

The Wii U version was playable at E3 2016[5] and was ‘the focus of Nintendo’s presence at E3’.

“The Legend of Zelda: The latest instalment in this classic series is scheduled to launch simultaneously for both Wii U and NX, and both versions of the game have been in development in tandem. Because developers need more time to polish the game, it will launch in 2017, but it will be the focus of Nintendo’s presence at E3,” said Nintendo in a statement.

Original release date rumours below…

Nintendo had planned to release The Legend of Zelda for Wii U in 2015, but it didn’t happen. In fact, there’s still no word on when it will launch, aside from Nintendo ‘confirming’ it would be launched in 2016.

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If you’re wondering how things are going, series producer Eiji Aonuma said “busy” in reply to that question in the latest Famitsu (via Kotaku[6]).

“When we did Skyward Sword for the Wii, at the end stages of development, I was in charge of the characters’ dialogue and the in-game text. And, now as well, it’s like it was then. I had to work on text today, too,” he said with a laugh.

“But, the game has really taken shape, and things have gotten easier. That means things are progressing well.” so that seems like a good sign for a 2016 release date.

Aonuma added that the keyword is ‘something new’ explaining that Ocarina of Time has always been ‘the base of our secret sauce’ but this time “the change in flavor will be like going from Japanese food to Western style food. Perhaps, players will be surprised.”

“Please look forward to it, because I think we’ll be able to make ‘something new’ like Ocarina of Time was,” said Aonuma.

While we’re still waiting on a specific release date for The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, Nintendo has re-released an older game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for Wii U, joining The Wind Waker HD.

Twilight Princess HD launched on 4 March. You can buy it from Nintendo’s site. Here’s some gameplay footage from the game:
[7]

[embedded content]

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild price & preorders: How much will The Legend of Zelda cost?

There are several pre-order options already available for The Legend of Zelda game in the UK.

Game is offering a pre-order for £44.99[8], while Amazon’s price is currently £42.99[9] with a pre-order guarantee. ShopTo has a Price Promise pre-order option[10] of £42.85, too.

We’d suggest that it’s worth waiting a few months before pre-ordering The Legend of Zelda for Wii U though, as it’s possible that special collectors editions and pre-order bonus bundles will be announced in the coming months that you won’t want to miss out on.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Gameplay features

This next instalment of The Legend of Zelda series will be the eighteenth main title that Nintendo has released for the franchise. It’s among the only Zelda games to have HD graphics (the remake of the GameCube classic The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for Wii U is the only other HD title so far), and will feature an open world, an exciting development that we can’t wait to experience for ourselves.

The Legend of Zelda designer, Eiji Aonuma has explained that the developers have decided to go for an open world game to give the players more freedom rather than defining exactly where the player must go, and where they must enter and exit dungeons, for example.

Players will be able to explore the open world on foot or by riding on Link’s horse Epona. Epona is a pretty cool animal, capable of allowing Link to get a better aim at enemies thanks to its artificial intelligence that’ll steer while you’re otherwise occupied.

At the top of this page you can watch The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild trailer from E3 2016, which is amazingly just 1 percent of the game! This is one you’ll pick up and won’t put down for a very long time.

Playing The Legend of Zelda will be like escaping into a whole new world – exactly the impression Nintendo wanted to create at its awesome E3 2016 booth. (The below image is borrowed from engadget – click here[11] to see more Zelda E3 booth shots from Nathan Ingraham.)

Zelda booth E3 2016

Zelda booth E3 2016

More recently, Nintendo has posted a short clip of Zelda Breath of the Wild gameplay on Twitter. This follows a Nintendo Direct[12], which was all about 3DS games, and shows link paragliding through the stunning scenery but also some combat with monsters.

Explore new horizons with the paraglider in The Legend of #Zelda: Breath of the Wild.pic.twitter.com/xoGO7NGgrq[13][14]

— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) September 5, 2016[15]

Podcast discussion: Games at E3

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Screenshots

 The Legend of Zelda for Wii U release date

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U release date

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U release date

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U release date

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Videos

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References

  1. ^ (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best games 2016 and 2017 (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  3. ^ Nintendo Switch (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  4. ^ claims that (arcadegirl64.wordpress.com)
  5. ^ What to expect at E3 2016 (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  6. ^ Kotaku (kotaku.com)
  7. ^ buy it from Nintendo’s site (store.nintendo.co.uk)
  8. ^ pre-order for £44.99 (www.game.co.uk)
  9. ^ currently £42.99 (www.amazon.co.uk)
  10. ^ Price Promise pre-order option (www.shopto.net)
  11. ^ click here (www.engadget.com)
  12. ^ Nintendo Direct September 2016 (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  13. ^ #Zelda (twitter.com)
  14. ^ pic.twitter.com/xoGO7NGgrq (t.co)
  15. ^ September 5, 2016 (twitter.com)
Warehouse Discounts 0

How to use Instagram: Set up Instagram, Instagram Stories, Instagram Zoom

Instagram is getting bigger and bigger, with celebrities and brands among those sharing images on the social app. If you’re new to Instagram, it can be a bit overwhelming, so here we take you step-by-step through how to use Instagram in our complete guide.

In May, Instagram rolled out a new UI update to its iOS and Android apps with a new icon and a new minimalist design. Check your Instagram app now to see whether you have the updated UI.

Looking for information on Instagram’s changing algorithm that’s caused everyone to share photos asking you to turn on notifications? We’ve got that covered in our Should you turn on Instagram notifications[1] article.

How to use Instagram: Download the app

The first thing you’ll need to do in order to use Instagram is download the app. There is an Instagram website but it’s very limited – you can’t upload new images there, only view them and like or comment on them.

You can download the app from the iOS App Store[2] or Google Play Store[3].

Once you’ve downloaded Instagram, read on to find out how to master the app.

Article updated on 2 September to include the pinch to zoom functionality.

References

  1. ^ Instagram notifications (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ iOS App Store (itunes.apple.com)
  3. ^ Google Play Store (play.google.com)
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How to get free Amazon Prime

How to get free Amazon Prime | Amazon Prime reduced to celebrate The Grand Tour

Amazon has slashed the price of its Prime subscription from £79 to £59 to celebrate the launch of The Grand Tour. Here’s how to get the cheaper deal and how to get Amazon Prime for free ready for Black Friday.

Amazon has slashed the price of Prime to celebrate the launch of The Grand Tour. How to get cheap Amazon Prime & free Amazon Prime


By [1] | 59 mins ago

Amazon has slashed the price of its Prime subscription from £79 to £59 to celebrate the launch of The Grand Tour. Here’s how to get the cheaper deal and how to get Amazon Prime for free ready for Black Friday.

Don’t miss all of the Black Friday action from Amazon and other retailers on our Black Friday Deals 2016[2] page.

Amazon’s The Grand Tour (which stars former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May) is set to kick off on Friday 18th November, and will be exclusive to Amazon Prime Video. To give more fans a chance to join in with the action, Amazon has reduced the price of its Amazon Prime membership[3] to £59 from £79, and that’s for an entire year.

Click here to go to Amazon’s Prime sign-up page[4].

For that £59 you’ll get a year’s access to Amazon Prime Video, as well as unlimited one-day delivery, Prime Music and, importantly in the lead up to Black Friday and Christmas, early access to Lightning Deals.

Amazon doesn’t offer Prime for £59 often, so take advantage of this deal while you can if you’ve been considering signing up. The offer runs until the end of 18 November, which is The Grand Tour release date[5].

How to get free Amazon Prime: Sign up for a free trial

If you’re not convinced that you want to spend £59 for a year of Amazon Prime but do want to watch the first few episodes of The Grand Tour or get early access to Lightning Deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you should sign up for a 30-day free trial.[6]

If you’ve never tried Amazon Prime before you’ll have no problems signing up for a free trial, which you can do so by clicking here[7] and following the on-screen instructions.

If you’ve tried Amazon Prime before, you’ll be able to get access for another free 30 days if it has been a year or more since your last trial.

Don’t miss all of the Black Friday action from Amazon and other retailers on our Black Friday Deals 2016[8] page.

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Complete guide to Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime and what you get with Prime

Complete guide to Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime and what you get with Prime

A complete guide to Amazon Prime including Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Music (and Amazon Music Unlimited), Amazon Prime delivery and more. What is Amazon Prime and what you get with your Prime subscription.

A complete guide to Amazon Prime including Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Prime delivery and more.


By [1] | 14 mins ago

Amazon Prime[2] is continuously growing, both in popularity and in features. To begin with, Amazon Prime was simply a way to get unlimited next day delivery at no extra cost, but it now encompasses a video streaming service, music streaming service, access to the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle First, unlimited cloud-based photo storage and more. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Amazon Prime, including its latest new features and how much Amazon Prime costs.

Quick links
Amazon Prime Free Trial
Amazon Prime Music Free Trial
Amazon Prime Video Free Trial
Amazon Prime Student Free Trial[3][4][5][6]

BLACK FRIDAY 2016: Amazon has today begun its Black Friday sale[7] (yes, we know it isn’t Black Friday until 25 November). Amazon Prime members will get early access to certain Amazon Black Friday deals, and they will also benefit from free one-day delivery. If you haven’t already, it’s well worth signing up to Amazon Prime[8] just for Black Friday, but if you aren’t sufficiently convinced by the features outlined below to continue your subscription then you’ll need to cancel Amazon Prime[9] before the trial expires and you are charged £79 per year.

Also see our pick of the Best Black Friday Deals 2016[10]

What is Amazon Prime: What do you get when you sign up for Amazon Prime?

In this section, we’ll be listing all of the different benefits you’ll get if you decide to sign up for Prime, and you can read on further to find out how much it costs and more detailed information about each feature.

The core feature of Amazon Prime is delivery. You’ll get unlimited one-day delivery at no extra cost for millions of eligible items. In some postcodes, which we will go into more detail about below, you can even get unlimited same-day delivery on some items.

Plus, if you’re not in a hurry you can choose no-rush delivery to get promotional credit as a thank you.

Amazon’s Netflix Rival is called Amazon Prime Video, and there you’ll find thousands of films and TV shows, some exclusive, to stream ly. Better yet, you can download them to watch offline.  See: Best movies to watch on Amazon Prime[11].

Additionally, you’ll get Prime Photos, which gives you a secure way to store unlimited photos in the cloud.

Prime Music is a fairly new addition to Amazon Prime but it is one that is rapidly growing and improving. It’s Amazon’s answer to Spotify with thousands of songs available to stream.

(Amazon has now unveiled Amazon Music Unlimited in the UK, too. It differs to Prime Music by offering more songs but at additional cost – subsidised for Prime members. See Amazon Prime Music vs Amazon Music Unlimited[12] for more.)

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If you’re a bargain hunter you’ll like the Prime Early Access feature, which means you’ll get 30-minute early access to Amazon’s Lightning Deals to ensure that you don’t miss out.

And for readers, you’ll enjoy Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which lets you borrow a book per month for free, as well as a book from the Kindle First picks.

Amazon Pantry is another benefit that offers access to purchase everyday essentials in a virtual box for just £2.99.

Some of these benefits aren’t limited to one individual, either. With Amazon Household, you can share delivery, Prime Video and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library books with one other adult member of your household.

What is Amazon Prime: How much does Amazon Prime cost?

To get all of the benefits listed above for a year, you can pay an upfront sum of £79, which works out at £6.58 per month. Don’t forget to take advantage of the 30-day free trial first, though[13].

Some users will have the option to pay the the full Amazon Prime service monthly for £7.99 per month, but Amazon tells us that this is limited to a select group of users for now.

There is an option to pay monthly if you only want the Video benefits, but that’ll still cost you £5.99 per month so we think it’s worth paying the £79 if you think you’ll make use of any of the other features.

Read: How to cancel Amazon Prime[14]

What is Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime Student

For students, there’s a brilliant Amazon Prime six-month trial[15], after which you’ll pay £39 per year. Amazon Prime Student members do miss out on a few benefit during their free trial, though. You won’t get access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library or Kindle Frist, and you can’t share the membership with another member of your household.

And of course, to get access to Prime Student you’ll need to actually be a student! After you graduate, or at the end of your fourth year of the membership, your membership will become an Amazon Prime membership at its full price of £79 unless you cancel.

What is Amazon Prime: Amazon Family

Another option is to join Amazon Family, which in addition to all of the Amazon Prime benefits listed above gets you 20% off nappies subscriptions and exclusive offers and discounts. The trial is 30 days just like Amazon Prime and costs the same £79. You’ll need to provide a few details about you and your family in order to qualify, and only one membership is available per household.

Below, we go into more detail about each of Amazon Prime’s different services to give you a better idea of what you’ll get if you sign up.

What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime Video?

Amazon Prime Video started life as LoveFilm but was purchased by Amazon and transformed a few years ago. It’s a Netflix rival that provides unlimited streaming of more than 15,000 films and TV shows for a monthly fee of £5.99 or as part of the Amazon Prime £79 membership (£39 if you’re a student).

You’ll find many exclusive Amazon Originals available, including the hugely popular The Man in the High Castle and Mr Robot. You’ll also find the likes of The Walking Dead and Arrow as well as films like The Dark Knight and Paddington. See: How to download Amazon Prime videos[16].

However, it’s worth noting that not all content is included in the monthly fee, which is where it differs from Netlfix. If the film or TV episode has a Prime banner and you’re already subscribed to Prime, it won’t cost you any extra, but within the service you may also see films and episodes within Amazon’s library that are available to watch ly but require you to cough up some extra cash if you want to buy or rent them.

An added bonus is the fact that you can download many (but not all) of the shows and films available on Amazon Prime Video to watch offline whenever you choose to, perhaps on a commute or on a flight. You can download videos to iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Amazon Fire devices at no additional cost. For more, read: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video[17]

NEXT PAGE: Amazon Prime Now, Amazon Prime Now Restaurant Delivery, Amazon Prime Air, Amazon Prime Photos, Amazon Prime Music (and Amazon Music Unlimited), Amazon Household, Amazon Pantry and more

References

  1. ^ (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ Amazon Prime (www.amazon.co.uk)
  3. ^ Amazon Prime Free Trial (www.amazon.co.uk)
  4. ^ Amazon Prime Music Free Trial (www.amazon.co.uk)
  5. ^ Amazon Prime Video Free Trial (www.amazon.co.uk)
  6. ^ Amazon Prime Student Free Trial (www.amazon.co.uk)
  7. ^ Amazon Black Friday Deals (amzn.to)
  8. ^ signing up to Amazon Prime (amzn.to)
  9. ^ cancel Amazon Prime (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  10. ^ Best Black Friday Deals 2016 (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  11. ^ 38 best movies and TV shows to watch on Amazon Prime (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  12. ^ Amazon Prime Music vs Amazon Music Unlimited (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  13. ^ Don’t forget to take advantage of the 30-day free trial first, though (www.amazon.co.uk)
  14. ^ How to cancel Amazon Prime (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  15. ^ Amazon Prime six-month trial (www.amazon.co.uk)
  16. ^ How to download Amazon Prime videos (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
  17. ^ Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video (www.pcadvisor.co.uk)
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New MacBook Air 2016 UK release date rumours

The MacBook Air 13in got a tiny update in April 2016, but that’s not the overhaul we’re waiting for. We round up all of the rumours about a proper update for the MacBook Air, including its likely UK release date and tech specs, as well as rumoured new features. Latest: No MacBook Air model announced at Apple’s October 2016 event – here’s everything you need to know.

When will the new MacBook Air be released in the UK? What tech specs and new features will the new MacBook Air get? Is the ‘Air’ brand being killed off? Will the new MacBook Air get a Retina display at last?

The MacBook Air has had an update in 2016, but it was such a minor and frankly disappointing update – merely including an optional RAM upgrade in the standard package for the 13in model – that we’re looking ahead to the next MacBook Air update. Will we have to wait until 2017 for a proper update to the MacBook Air lineup, or was the 2016 announcement just a teaser for something bigger near the end of 2016?

In this article we round up all the rumours, hints and clues about the new MacBook Air for 2016 or 2017, including the new MacBook Air’s UK release date, tech specs, new features, design, along with speculation that Apple may be phasing out the ‘Air’ lineup completely.

After the Apple event that took place on 27 October 2016, it seems unclear if the MacBook Air line has been completely killed off. No new MacBook Air was announced at the event and the new MacBook Pro 2016[1] was compared in size, performance and weight to the MacBook Air. The new MacBook Pro is smaller in dimensions, and is also thinner than the existing MacBook Air. 

It should also be noted that the 11in MacBook Air has now been discontinued, with the 13in variant, receiving a £100 price bump – taking the basic model from £849 up to £949 and the 256GB model up from £999 to £1,099 – this is likely due to Brexit. Meaning the older MacBook Airs are more expensive to buy now! We see this as Apple’s way of completely cutting the Air product line, as not many people will want it with more powerful, and thinner, Mac laptops available.

Read next: Best MacBook buying guide[2] | Best Mac buying guide[3]

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: UK release date

Updated 27 October 2016: Apple chose not to update the MacBook Air line, suggesting either a refresh in March 2017 or a termination of the line.

Apple hosted a special event on 21 March 2016, and ahead of the event we (quite naturally) expected new MacBook Air and MacBook models. After all, the spring event represented one year since both were last updated (or one year since it was first launched in the MacBook’s case) and before that new Air models arrived in April of 2014. But instead, Apple used the event to show off the iPhone SE[4] and the iPad Pro with 9.7in screen[5].

Instead, we had to wait until 19 April for Apple to release new MacBooks and the updated MacBook Air. But the MacBook Air update was underwhelming, to say the least. While the MacBook got a power boost and a new Rose Gold colour option[6], the MacBook Air simply got a new 8GB onboard memory standard, and that’s only for the 13in model.

So when will we get a proper update to the MacBook Air line-up? There were two main theories: tonight (27 October 2016), and March 2017 – we hope that the Air line will remain come March 2017.

However, if the lineup isn’t getting the chop, we assume that Apple will stick to its yearly upgrade cycle and should release the 2017 MacBook Air at some point in early 2017, possibly between March-May like with previous years. 

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See also: New MacBook Pro release | New MacBook release | New iMac release | New Mac Pro release | New Mac mini release[7][8][9][10][11]

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Will the MacBook Air be discontinued?

Update 27 October 2016: There are strong suggestions that the MacBook Air line will be completely discontinued. This does mean that the entry level MacBooks are now a little more appealing, but does mean that a 11in MacBook Air will now be missed by some who were hoping for it to be replaced by a similar variant – we presume Apple didn’t see a huge market for 11in laptops and thus decided to axe the product line.

Read on to see what our predictions were pre-October 2016 event.

Tech Blogger Jack March claims to[12] have spoken with a source close to the situation who says that Apple is about to ditch the Air brand completely, including the MacBook Air and iPad Air products in its lineup.

Right now, we think that Jack could be absolutely right. There are rumours that Apple won’t release an iPad Air 3 now that the iPad Pro has a 9.7in option, and the MacBook Air doesn’t seem to fit naturally in Apple’s line-up now that the new MacBook is here and is thinner and lighter than ever.

With the advent of the 12in MacBook and the 12.9in iPad Pro[13], it’s no surprise that rumourmongers are starting to predict that at least the 11in MacBook Air, with a smaller screen than either of those devices, will be discontinued. The iPad Pro may indeed be viewed by Apple as a replacement for the 11in MacBook Air if Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments[14] to the Telegraph are taken into account (published on 1 December 2015). 

Following the launch of the iPad Pro, Cook told the Telegraph: “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?

“Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.”

New MacBook Air 2016 release date rumours

New MacBook Air 2016 release date rumours

However, should Apple discontinue the 11in MacBook Air, it does remove the lower price of entry from the line-up.

But as mentioned, it may not just be the 11in MacBook Air that is discontinued. When the new MacBook launched on 9 March 2015, analysts began to suspect that the MacBook Air might not be around for much longer.

“This wasn’t the MacBook Air, but instead leaped past the Air,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “They kept the MacBook Air around just as they do with older iPhones, but the MacBook is now in the same position as the newest iPhone. That makes me wonder if the Air will go away over time.”

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of US business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech, also predicted a contraction of Apple’s line-up. “All [notebooks] need to be more mobile, so something like the Air doesn’t need to be branched out any more,” she said of the differentiation Apple made for the line since its introduction more than eight years ago. “And it’s to Apple’s benefit not to have so many ‘families’ of Macs.”

More recently, KGI Securities analyst and Apple guru Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple is planning on launching a 13in MacBook[15] to sit alongside the 12in MacBook, which would serve as a replacement to the MacBook Air going forward.

In a note obtained[16] by AppleInsider, the analyst forsees an end to the meaningful development of the MacBook Air. Apple won’t remove the line from its stores just yet, though – it’ll serve as an entry-level device for Apple adopters, much like it did with the original MacBook before it was discontinued in 2011. 

Over time, it seems likely that the MacBook Air range could be discontinued and eventually replaced by a Retina MacBook range at a lower price.

MacBook Air 2016 release date: When was the MacBook Air last updated?

We originally expected the MacBook Air to be updated with a Retina display back on 9 March 2015 at Apple’s Spring Forward event[17]. And were quite surprised when we got something else: a Retina MacBook[18], yes, but one with a 12in display and a USB-C port (and very few other ports), a new strand of products for Apple’s MacBook laptop line-up.

Less glamorously, Apple’s MacBook Air did get an update at the same time, with new, faster processors, faster flash storage and better graphics, and was updated more recently in April 2016 with increased RAM, but the screen and overall design remained the same, with no Retina display[19] for the Air line.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Price

The last time that there was a Mac laptop that had more advanced specs than a more expensive model was the old MacBooks (aluminium, then white and black, and then eventually aluminum again). These older MacBook models were eventually discontinued and the price of the MacBook Air was reduced to make it the new entry level (when the MacBook Air initially launched it was quite overpriced for the specs, just like the current Retina MacBook).

New MacBook Air 2016 release date rumours

New MacBook Air 2016 release date rumours

It seems likely that the same will happen with the new MacBook models eventually replacing the MacBook Airs, at a lower price, but for now that seems a long way off.

The 11in MacBook Air started at[20] £749, while the entry level 13in model was £849 – this has now changed with the 11in axed – making the new 13in model, with a £100 price hike start at £949[21].

If the 11in MacBook Air is removed from the line up perhaps the cost of entry of the 13in model will reduce to the level that the 11in model is currently, with a rumoured 15in model coming in at a higher price at some point in the future.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Dimensions 

If Apple does update the MacBook Air range, what dimensions should we expect?

As mentioned above, rumours suggest that the 11in MacBook Air will be discontinued, after all, the 11in MacBook Air is both smaller than the MacBook and the new iPad Pro, and didn’t receive an update when the 13in model did.

However, 9to5Mac points out[22] that the new 13in and 15in MacBook Air models could be additional sizes to the MacBook range. That site predicts that some time in 2016 or 2017 we will have just two ranges of Mac laptops: the MacBook at the ultraportable level, and the more advanced MacBook Pro. Maybe the 17in MacBook Pro will make a comeback too, with a 4K display.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Specs & new features

These new MacBook Air models are said to be thinner and lighter, with internal spec enhancements. Apparently, the new MacBook Air will feature new batteries, cooling modules, and chassis, according to the Economic Daily News.

We also expect to see USB Type-C across the range, especially now that Intel has integrated Thunderbolt 3 into USB-C – more on that below.

Processors

The next-generation MacBook Air is likely to feature next-generation Intel processors, as well as graphics and RAM upgrades. Intel has started shipping its Kaby Lake processors – that’s the generation of chips after Skylake, and offers support for Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 and DisplayPort 1.2.

But here’s a leftfield alternative. The Dutch-language site Techtastic[23] has posted a reference in the kernel of macOS Sierra to “ARM HURRICANE”, a chip family that is now supported.

This isn’t a chip that anyone has heard of, but it would make sense for this to be an Apple custom ARM chip, fitting in as it does with the company’s previous naming conventions: the A7 (in the iPhone 5s[24]) was codenamed Cyclone, the A8 Typhoon and the A9 Twister. Those are iPad/iPhone chips, of course, so does this mean Apple is going to let iDevices run macOS Sierra? Certainly not – but it might be about to put ARM chips in the MacBook Air.

New MacBook Air: ARM chip rumours

New MacBook Air: ARM chip rumours

Image courtesy of Techtastic[25]

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: E-ink keyboard

Rumours are rife concerning Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro and, more specifically, its OLED touch bar. The OLED touch bar is rumoured to provide contextual shortcuts to the user based on the application that they’re using at the time – but the most recent report suggests Apple isn’t happy enough with the feature. 9to5Mac[26] and TrustedReviews[27] report that Apple has been in talks to use a laptop variant of Sonder Design’s dynamic keyboard technology.

Sonder Design is famous for developing an E-ink keyboard, using E-ink to change the key labels on the fly. This means that the entire keyboard is customisable, providing multiple languages as well as contextual shortcuts from a single keyboard. It allows users that are, for example, editing in Final Cut Pro to look down at the keyboard and see exactly which tool they need to use without having to memorise them before hand. 

What isn’t clear is how Apple is planning on implimenting the software, or which laptop it could be featured on, leading us to believe that it could possibly make an appearance on the 2017 MacBook Air. Sonder has confirmed that talks between Apple and the company has taken place, although it won’t comment on whether or not it’s a deal – it has only confirmed that it’s “closing B2B procurement contracts” with three laptop makers.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Retina display

When Apple updated its MacBook Air[28] in March of 2015, we had been convinced that the company was about to give the laptop a Retina display. Instead, it launched a brand-new MacBook line[29] that’s super-thin, super-light and does offer that high-resolution display, but does that mean Apple won’t enhance the MacBook Air with a Retina display in the future? With the 2016 update only adding more RAM to the basic 13in model, it may be the case.

The suggestion that the MacBook Air will feature a Retina display has been long running but those rumours were prior to the launch of the 12in Retina MacBook and the iPad Pro – suggesting the sightings of the Retina display some thought was destined for the MacBook Air was instead for these models.

Does this mean that there will be no Retina display on the new MacBook Air when (or if) it launches? If Apple wants to keep the price down maybe not. Or perhaps the newly rumoured 15in Macbook Air will feature a Retina display, while the 13in model will lack the high-res display, but come in at a lower price, one similar to the current price of the 11in MacBook Air.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: MacBook Air to feature USB-C port

While we assumed the next MacBook Air would feature USB-C ports, a recent report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes seems to confirm our theory – if believed, anyway. The publication claims that Apple is planning to release a MacBook Air with USB-C ports in future, but doesn’t provide a launch timeframe for the upgraded laptop. 

“Currently, Apple has decided to adopt the USB Type-C interface for its MacBook Air, while Asustek Computer and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are upgrading one of their notebooks’ regular USB port to the Type-C. Lenovo, Acer and Dell are still evaluating the option.”

The issue with DigiTimes is that it isn’t always accurate – the site has previously claimed that Apple would start shipping ultra-thin 13in and 15in MacBooks by the end of Q2 2016, which ended in June with no appearance, although the site’s sources have proven reliable at times in the past. So, how accurate is this report? We’re not 100 percent sure, but we imagine that if Apple wants to keep the MacBook Air alive, this is the road it’ll be headed down. 

However, Bloomberg reported in August 2016, one week before the reported iPhone 7 launch, that Apple is preparing a MacBook Air update ‘as soon as October’. This might mean that the MacBooks are announced at the 7 September event, but won’t ship until the following month.

This seems a logical step; the MacBook[30] has just one USB-C port and the rumoured new MacBook Pro[31] will also feature this connection type. It would still represent a bold move overall for Apple however – it’d mean all of its laptops would no longer support standard USB-A connections, a move sure to annoy a few people, but ultimately shape the future of mobile computing. 

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Apple Pencil-enabled Trackpad

While this isn’t a new patent (it was originally filed back in 2014), a patent application[32] has recently been granted that allows the Apple Pencil to work with Mac trackpads. What is most interesting about the patent is that it depicts a more sophisticated Apple Pencil than the one currently available, suggesting that the accessory is due to get an overhaul at some point in the future. It even goes as far to describe the Pencil being used as a general input device like a joystick or an ‘air mouse’.

“Inertial sensor input may be gathered when operating the stylus in one or more inertial sensor input modes such as an air mouse mode, a rotational controller mode, a joystick mode, and/or other inertial sensor input modes.”

What isn’t clear is if the upgraded Apple Pencil will only work with certain trackpads – if this is the case, we imagine that the technology would make its way to the next-gen MacBook Air. Although with this being said, Apple has a habit of applying for a patent and then doing nothing with it, so it isn’t set in stone that we’ll be seeing this featured on the next MacBook Air – but we can sure hope. 

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Touch ID and Force Touch

Update 27 October 2016: We expect this feature to come on the Air model – if it isn’t already discontinued! 

There are also reports to suggest that it’ll boast Touch ID[33] within its Trackpad, which may also get the Force Touch[34] upgrade that was given to the 13in MacBook Pro back in March 2015, and comes with the new MacBook.

Touch ID is the fingerprint sensor that’s built into the Home button of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also used to make Apple Pay more secure and with the recent announcement of Apple Pay coming to Mac as part of macOS Sierra, this rumour makes a lot of sense.

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Force Touch

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: Force Touch

According to an Independent report[35], Touch ID for the Mac line would require a dedicated chip to be built in to the device.

The rumour started with Taiwanese blog[36] AppleCorner, which cited sources in the supply chain. Apparently the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad may get a biometric update too, enabling users to make Apple Pay payments on the web, but both those accessories were updated alongside the launch of a new 4K iMac[37] so that seems unlikely to happen any time soon. 

We’ll be updating this article as more information about the rumoured Retina MacBook Air emerges so check back from time to time for the latest news.

Wondering which MacBook is best for you? Read: MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro comparison review: 13in Apple laptops compared[38]

You might also like to read our New 12in MacBook 2016 review | Which Mac? Best Mac buyers guide | Apple rumours and predictions for 2016[39][40][41]

New MacBook Air 2016 rumours: How to re-watch Apple’s 27 October Mac launch event live stream video

You can watch Apple’s 27 October Mac launch event live on Apple’s website[42], and follow the announcements here on Macworld, where we’ll analyse what it all means for you.

To stream the event on Apple’s site you’ll need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on Mac OS X v10.8.5 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. Yes that’s right, even PC fans can watch the Apple event.

You can also stream the keynote on Apple TV. If you’ve got a 2nd- or 3rd-gen Apple TV it’ll need to be running software 6.2 or later. A 4th-gen Apple TV will be fine. A 1st-gen Apple TV won’t be able to stream the event.

We’ll be liveblogging the event throughout the night and adding our expert independent views. The liveblog is embedded below.

References

  1. ^ new MacBook Pro 2016 review (www.macworld.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best MacBook buying guide (www.macworld.co.uk)
  3. ^ Best Mac buying guide (www.macworld.co.uk)
  4. ^ iPhone SE (www.macworld.co.uk)
  5. ^ iPad Pro with 9.7in screen (www.macworld.co.uk)
  6. ^ MacBook got a power boost and a new Rose Gold colour option (www.macworld.co.uk)
  7. ^ New MacBook Pro release (www.macworld.co.uk)
  8. ^ New MacBook release (www.macworld.co.uk)
  9. ^ New iMac release (www.macworld.co.uk)
  10. ^ New Mac Pro release (www.macworld.co.uk)
  11. ^ New Mac mini release (www.macworld.co.uk)
  12. ^ claims to (jackgmarch.com)
  13. ^ iPad Pro (www.macworld.co.uk)
  14. ^ comments (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  15. ^ 13in MacBook (www.macworld.co.uk)
  16. ^ obtained (appleinsider.com)
  17. ^ Apple’s Spring Forward event (www.macworld.co.uk)
  18. ^ Retina MacBook (www.macworld.co.uk)
  19. ^ Retina display (www.macworld.co.uk)
  20. ^ started at (www.apple.com)
  21. ^ £100 price hike start at £949 (www.apple.com)
  22. ^ points out (9to5mac.com)
  23. ^ Techtastic (www.techtastic.nl)
  24. ^ iPhone 5s review (www.macworld.co.uk)
  25. ^ Techtastic (www.techtastic.nl)
  26. ^ 9to5Mac (9to5mac.com)
  27. ^ TrustedReviews (www.trustedreviews.com)
  28. ^ MacBook Air (www.macworld.co.uk)
  29. ^ brand-new MacBook line (www.macworld.co.uk)
  30. ^ MacBook (www.macworld.co.uk)
  31. ^ the rumoured new MacBook Pro (www.macworld.co.uk)
  32. ^ patent application (patft.uspto.gov)
  33. ^ Touch ID (www.macworld.co.uk)
  34. ^ Force Touch (www.macworld.co.uk)
  35. ^ report (www.independent.co.uk)
  36. ^ blog (www.apple.club.tw)
  37. ^ new 4K iMac (www.macworld.co.uk)
  38. ^ MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro comparison review: 13in Apple laptops compared (www.macworld.co.uk)
  39. ^ 12in MacBook 2016 review (www.macworld.co.uk)
  40. ^ Which Mac? Best Mac buyers guide (www.macworld.co.uk)
  41. ^ Apple rumours and predictions for 2016 (www.macworld.co.uk)
  42. ^ Apple’s website (www.apple.com)
       
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