2016 was a year full of controversy around Apple. They released new MacBook Pros, but no new desktop Macs. They released a new old iPhone, and then two new iPhones later that year. Some people say Apple's software quality decreases, some don't. The FBI wants Apple to weaken their security, Apple gives a shit.
This is an incomplete, totally subjective wishlist of things I want Apple to do in 2017.
Even though Apple denies that it doesn't treat the Mac lineup equally well compared to the lineup of iOS devices, evidence tells another story. On the laptop lineup, there's not a lot to do. The MacBook Air can be sunsetted, it has an honourable successor with the 12" MacBook. The MacBook Pro has been updated significantly a few months ago. Release a spec dumped update later this year with Kaby Lake CPUs that support the fuckin 32GBs of RAM and maybe cut the prices a 100 bucks or so.
On the desktop computer lineup, there's much more to do. It's safe to say Apple will release spec dump updates for the iMac. The 27" iMac already had the most recent Intel CPUs (Skylake), the 21" iMac still ship with Broadwell. I guess both should and will be updated to use the new desktop Kaby Lake CPUs that were released this month.
Then there are the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro models that haven't been updated since 2014 and 2013 respectively. That's just a no go. Despite the models being terribly outdated, keeping them with their original pricing is ridiculous. Now, it's very well known that Apple doesn't cut prices on their products during their lifetime, so they should at least take them out of stock. The fact that Apple has chosen neither of these options - and not updated the models - makes me wonder if Apple really knows how to deal with their Mac lineup themselves.
The Mac Pro probably isn't a product that makes much business sense if you simply look at the (probably very low) sales numbers, but it's a much respected product category. If you excel at it, power users and fans will be yours.
The Mac Mini on the other hand represents a category of personal computers Apple doesn't want to keep alive anymore. The Mac Pro justifies its form factor by superior performance that needs more space and a more complex cooling system than an all-in-one device like the iMac. For a device in the performance category of the Mac Mini, this excuse doesn't work (iMacs have comparable if not superior performance). So you get a less integrated system than an iMac with less perfomance than a Mac Pro. Not very Apple-like.
Apple needs to decide whether they want to keep the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro lineups alive. I really like the idea of replacing both models with a new standalone desktop that is configurable from Mini to Pro performance.
- Update MacBook with Kaby Lake CPU
- Update MacBook Pro with Kaby Lake CPU, 32GB option and (minor) price cuts
- Update iMacs with Kaby Lake CPU and new GPUs
- Update, replace or remove Mac Mini and Mac Pro
iPhone & iPad
The current iPhones and iPads are pretty damn great. In my opinion, Apple doesn't need to change anything here. Keep up with the yearly updates we know and they'll be fine.
On the iPad lineup, I'd like to see a lower priced 9.7" model. The iPad Air 2 is a little old and the iPad Pro 9.7 is too expensive for non-business owners.
What I'm most curious about concerning the iPhone is whether they will update the iPhone SE anytime soon. I would like to see them integrate a 4" model into the main iPhone lineup, meaning yearly updates and equal hardware features. If the iPhone SE had existed when I got my current iPhone (6S), I would have chosen that because of its size.
- Release spec dump updates for iPad and iPhone
- Release lower priced 9.7" iPad
- Update iPhone SE or take 4" iPhone into the main iPhone lineup
All in all, I'm ok with the status of Apple's software. Quality might have decreased a little bit and I'm not a big fan of the flat, expressive-less user interfaces introduced with iOS 7 and Yosemite. But even though Microsoft gets a lot of praise for their recent culture shift and their catch up race to Apple, Apple is still far ahead in my opinion.
Here are some minor thoughts what Apple could do.
- Round off the excellent security model of iOS by also encrypting iCloud backups.
- End-to-end encrypt e-mails automatically between iCloud email accounts. This could be done completely hidden away from the user and would put pressure on other e-mail providers to enable encryption.
- Update Safari more than once a year.
- Sponsor homebrew or integrate it directly into macOS.
- Picture-in-Picture feature in tvOS.
Despite hardware and software, there's still no Apple Pay in Germany. I would love to use it, so hopefully Apple will bring it to Germany this year.