On last week’s podcast we took a look back at the biggest Apple stories of 2014. With less than one week into 2015, I’d like to take a moment to think about some of the hardware, software and services I’d like to see from Apple in 2015.
I have an 11” MacBook Air from 2011 and it still performs like a brand new machine thanks to its rock solid SSD drive. It's virtually unnoticeable when I carry it in my bag, and yet it's a workhorse when I’m cranking out long documents or spreadsheets.
There have been rumors for the last year that Apple is gearing up to release an even thinner, fanless 12” MBA with retina display. And, if true, would likely be a worthy successor to my 2011 model.
However, there’s a part of me that is growing intrigued by the concept of a hybrid tablet/laptop, and on this front there’s a lot that Microsoft's Surface gets right: a built-in kickstand, a keyboard/cover combo designed specifically for the device and apps that can run side by side.
The chances of Apple releasing something like this are pretty slim, but perhaps not as slim as they were two years ago.
My prediction: the 12” retina MBA seems like a safe bet for 2015. An iPad that borrows elements from the Surface may be something they roll out gradually. Perhaps we’ll see a 12” iPad this year, and perhaps side by side apps in iOS 9 or 10, but kickstands and keyboards may be something they leave to third party manufactures for some time.
Apple’s native maps app has been without transit directions since 2012. Third party apps, like CityMapper, have matured into capable replacements, but if Apple wants their mapping product(s) to be taken seriously they can’t ignore transit directions any longer.
I’d also like to see Apple use their Beats acquisition to more fully develop a streaming music service. I’m a big fan of Spotify, but an Apple service has the potential to offer the best integration across their entire ecosystem, including with the Apple Watch and Apple TV.
Some of Apple's own desktop applications are growing a little long in the tooth and could use some attention.
iWork needs to address real time multi-user collaboration. Pages and Keynote produce beautiful documents, but with the rise of remote working, Apple users shouldn’t have to turn to Google Docs to work collaboratively.
And now that podcasting has gone mainstream, I’d like to see Garageband really up it’s podcasting powers. It would be great to record high quality multi-track FaceTime audio directly into Garageband rather than relying on Skype and third party apps.
Speaking of FaceTime, remember when iChat offered group video chat? I’d love to see that make a return to the Mac (and also iOS) platform.
It’s been nearly three years since Apple TV was substantially updated, and while there have been rumors of a wild overhaul to the device, and possibly even an actual television set from Apple, I think we’re more likely to see more modest changes: additional storage, third party apps, and a closer relationship with iOS using Handoff and Continuity.
Those are some of things I’ll be looking for from Apple this year. What would you like to see? Let me know on Twitter @danielkuney.