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Gadget Docket: New iPads, MacBooks, Nexus Phone and Smartwatch?

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By William Peacock, Esq. on October 16, 2013 11:06 AM

October is set to be a busy month for gadget freaks. We were all pretty excited by last month's new iPhone releases, but over the next two weeks, the biggest names in Silicon Valley are set to release a bevy of products, from tablets to phones to laptops, in time for the holiday season.

What are the biggest products lawyers should keep an eye out for?

Apple's October 22 Event

On Tuesday, Apple sent out invites to its next big launch party. What are we expecting? New iPads are a near-certainty at this point, with the last refresh coming 364 days prior to the planned event. MacBook Pro laptops are also expected, as a refresh is long-overdue for the high-end laptop line.

According to Tech Crunch, the iPad 5 will likely be thinner and lighter, and we'd expect a faster processor (possibly 64-bit, like the new iPhone processor) as well. Rumors have been swirling for a high resolution iPad mini for years, so that may happen as well. The biggest question is whether the iPhone 5S's fingerprint sensor will carry over to the new iPads.

As for the MacBook Pros, the company's lower-end MacBook Air line received Intel's latest and greatest Haswell processors earlier this year, while the Pro line has been running on dated silicon for some time. Expect the processor upgrades, which bring ultra-long battery life.

Google's Rumored Late October Event

There have been a lot of casualties of the government shutdown, but is it to blame for the delay in Google's release of its next Nexus phone? Rumor had it that the phone would be announced yesterday. Now, rumors are saying November 1, due to a delay in FCC certification.

There might not be a less secret device in the history of tech. Nexus 5 leaks include service manuals, spy videos, and nearly every spec of the device, though some mysteries remain. The most intriguing rumor is that the phone will have touchless control, much like the Moto X released earlier this year, reports C-net.

Touchless control is more than voice input -- it requires an always-listening low power processor, which allows you to say "Ok, Google" and command the phone from afar. Let's hope we can't turn off our alarm clocks by yelling "Ok, Google" followed by a string of profanities. Otherwise, I'm never making it in to work on time again.

The new Nexus 5 may be the least exciting of the multitude of rumored products (besides the expected refresh of Google's Nexus 10 tablet and update of the Android OS to "Kit-Kat"). The oddest rumor is a Nexus Shining (an Android-powered light switch ... yes, a light switch), while the most intriguing is the Nexus Gem smartwatch, reports International Digital Times.

The Gem could be powered by the same voice and search technology behind Google Glass, the Moto X, and Google Now's instant search on recent Android handset. Google purchased WIMM Labs, an Android-based smartwatch maker, last year, so the smartwatch rumors have some basis in reality.

Any of these gadgets got you excited? Can you think of a way to ask your law firm to purchase a Nexus smartwatch to promote more accurate billing? Help us think of some more excuses to pass to the bosses at FindLaw for Legal Professionals on Facebook.

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