Another year is winding down, making it the perfect time to reflect on what Apple has done right (and wrong) during the past 12 months, and offer our wish list for 2016.
A suitable candidate for technology product of the year, the iPad Pro could help restart the stagnant tablet industry — or, at least, slow its recent decline. Featuring a 12.9-inch screen with 5.6 million pixels, the iPad Pro offers 4K video editing, a multi-touch subsystem, and more. Still, the iPad Pro isn’t perfect as we highlight below.
Much of what makes the iPad Pro special is the introduction of the Apple Pencil. Universally praised for its responsiveness, the $99 device could reshape key industries including health, education, and design.
Not surprisingly, iPhone remains the most important product for Apple. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus could have been minor updates, but they were not. Featuring 3-D Touch technology and Live Photos, the handsets offer an excellent preview of what we should expect on future iOS devices in 2016 and beyond.
In 2015, Cupertino finally refreshed the Apple TV. Now packed with actual apps, the one-time “hobby” device could get even better in 2016 when Apple is expected to unveil a video-streaming service.
First introduced in 2014, Apple’s Swift is an intuitive programming language for iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS. It’s also now open source. We can’t wait to see what Swift developers come up with in the years to come.
The iPad Pro and iPhone 6s/6s Plus feature next-generation chips, the A9X and A9, respectively. The iPad Air 2? Apple’s flagship tablet remains stuck with the A8X. The company really should have introduced an “iPad Air 3″ this year, no?
We continue to enjoy Apple Music and have high hopes for the music streaming service, which arrived in June. The service’s imperfections, however, place it on our miss list.
Not every song in the iTunes catalog is on Apple Music. Additionally, there isn’t a free, ad-supported option like the one offered by Spotify. And despite a lengthy support document, the difference between Apple Music and iTunes Match remains confusing, at best.
Remember the high marks the Apple Pencil received? That’s only coming from folks who have had the opportunity to get their hands on the accessory. The Apple Pencil, like the iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard, remain in short supply, nearly a month after the tablet first arrived in stores.
Early supply constraints are nothing new for Apple products. But Apple had called these accessories essential for the iPad Pro. Shouldn’t they had made them available when the tablet was released?
Hopes for 2016
We hope next year brings with it a new “padOS” that will provide tablet users with tools not needed on iPhone. This new padOS should feature home screen customization tools, a new way to organize apps, and more.
Apple iTunes on a Mac or PC remains a bloated mess. Still, it remains the place many go to purchase movies, music, and apps. What can’t be purchased on iTunes are Apple TV apps, which can get very confusing when an app or game can run across different devices including iPhone/iPod touch and iPad.
Until Apple gets serious at making iTunes leaner, the company needs to make sure all apps can be purchased from this location. Otherwise, confusion remains.
We had high hopes for Apple Watch and were very impressed with watchOS 2.0 when it arrived earlier this year. Unfortunately, since then Cupertino has largely forgotten about the wearable device. The “Apple Watch 2” should give us a better idea where this product is heading, good or bad.
How can the Apple TV become even better? By adding keyboard support, of course. Better yet: Apple should upgrade the Remote app to work with the device.
Third-party apps such as djay 2 for iPad can’t work with Apple Music. For $9.99 per month, they should be able to. We hope this changes in 2016.
Finally, we’re left with the “iPhone 7″ and “iPhone 7 Plus.” We know they are both coming and can’t be more excited. The biggest question: How much blowback will Apple receive if they remove the headphone jack from the company’s flagship handset?
What do you hope Apple brings to the table in 2016?