16 August 20159to5Mac:
The images, unfortunately, do not show any notable new design details on the devices (save for what appears to be a small power switch on the top left side of the keyboard), but it would make sense for the accessories to be tweaked externally in someway. With new iPad-centric Bluetooth keyboard controls in iOS 9, perhaps the iPad-compatible Apple Wireless Keyboard will receive new special keys for access to iPad applications or features. As for the mouse, some readers have speculated that Apple could be using the new accessory to port Force Touch support over the desktop. Internally, however, the new input devices are certainly set for a significant upgrade: Bluetooth 4.2 Low-Energy.
I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard right now with my Retina MacBook Pro. My muscle memory likes the consistency between the keyboard on the laptop and the external keyboard at the desk. The layout and spacing isn’t identical but it’s close, closer than any other third-party keyboard for sure.1
This ‘updated’ keyboard isn’t earth-shatteringly different but it seems to be powered by internal batteries, rather than swappable AA’s. I assume the new one will charge by USB or something. From the FCC drawings, it looks like Apple has removed the circular barrel completely. As such, the keyboard will now sit flat which is disappointing — I like how the current one is naturally inclined because of the battery compartment.
1 Apple’s wireless accessories are overpriced for what they are but hey … some things never change.