What Apple didn't tell you today: MacBooks, iPads, wireless charging -- and more on the way

Today was iPhone and Apple Watch day. But there's more coming up on Apple's slate.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
3 min read
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Outside Apple's September 7 event, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

James Martin/CNET

No new MacBooks. No new iPads. No wireless charging. No "one more thing," unless you count a Sia concert!

As expected, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the stars of Apple's San Francisco event today, with better cameras and battery life, more storage and no headphone jacks. Apple threw in a new set of Apple Watches and a Super Mario game, too. But perhaps you were expecting more?

Here are all the most exciting things that Apple didn't show us.

New MacBooks

Were you expecting a shiny new MacBook Pro, perhaps one with an OLED touch-screen strip that replaces the function keys? So were we -- until Bloomberg reported that we wouldn't see any at Apple's September 7 event, and might not even get them this year!

(On the plus side, Bloomberg also reported a new iMac and MacBook Air could appear alongside them.)

Watch this: Everything you need to know about the major MacBook Pro upgrade

It's kind of incredible that Apple is still selling a four-year-old MacBook Pro, and that its flagship MacBook Pro with Retina Display is still using Intel processors that are two to three years out of date. Mac users are getting understandably antsy about when, or whether, they'll be able to upgrade from older systems.

Your guess is as good as ours, but know this: Intel's newest processors won't have MacBook Pro-grade variants (with quad-core and Iris graphics) ready until early next year.

New iPads

Apple also didn't announce any new iPads -- Pro or otherwise -- though we weren't really expecting them today.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a stellar track record for these things, said in August that we should see three new iPads in 2017: a more affordable 9.7-inch iPad, an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and even a 10.5-inch iPad for those who need a size in between.

AMOLED screens

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Samsung's AMOLED screens boast vibrant colors and deep, inky blacks. Apple hasn't caught up.

Sarah Tew/CNET

And weren't the new iPhones supposed to have gorgeous, dynamic, colorful, inky AMOLED screens like the ones you'd find on Samsung's Galaxy handsets? That's the rumor, to be sure -- and one such rumor suggested that Apple had secured 40 million AMOLED screens from Samsung itself (and more each year) to make it happen.

But AMOLED is just one of the many rumored features that probably won't arrive until the iPhone 8 arrives next year. Why? My colleague John Falcone already hazarded a guess: Apple's still trying to figure out how to make the iPhone's Home button disappear beneath that screen, or become a part of the display panel.

Until Apple figures out how to make that happen (and puts it into production), today's iPhone design may be locked in.

And as for a flexible AMOLED screen in your next iPad -- 2018 is the rumored time frame for that.

Wireless charging

Apple may finally be waterproofing the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (or at least making them water-resistant), but it still hasn't jumped on the wireless-charging bandwagon. Wireless charging is a pretty convenient way to keep a phone's battery topped up, and rumors suggested the tech was pretty high on Apple's agenda!

Watch this: Apple's working on a different wireless charging method for the iPhone

Not only that: a Bloomberg report suggested that Apple was working on long-distance wireless charging as well. Guess we'll have to wait for next year's iPhones to find out.

Virtual or augmented reality

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung are all pushing hard on VR and AR technologies, and the $99 Samsung Gear VR headset is a surprisingly decent reason to pick a Samsung Galaxy over any other smartphone.

But though Apple now has a pair of cameras in its iPhone 7 Plus -- theoretically opening the door to Project Tango-like augmented-reality applications -- Apple didn't actually claim a foothold in the alternate-reality arena today. (Unless you count Pokemon Go.)

That's pretty par for the course with Apple, honestly, given that the company usually waits until it thinks it's perfected a technology before it pitches that tech to the masses. (See: multitouch screens, app stores, LTE connectivity...) We know Apple has a decade of VR patents under its belt, so it's clearly thinking about the idea.

For all of today's Apple news, click here. For more on virtual reality, check out our VR hub.

Everything you need to see from Apple's iPhone 7 event

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