Name me Nostradamus.
Yearly on this house I make a slew of predictions for the approaching yr, a mix of research and wishcasting that may be a enjoyable train in gauging our expectations and understanding what Apple is likely to be planning. And a yr in the past, I received it proper!
2020 didn’t go fairly the way in which all of us deliberate, however I predicted that 2020 would deliver the primary Macs powered by Apple-designed chips, and I received it proper!
I’ll grant you, it was one thing just like the third straight yr that I’ve made that prediction. However this time Lucy didn’t pull the soccer away from me! Actually, should you persevere and hold predicting the inevitable, you’ll ultimately be proper.
As for the remainder of the predictions… okay, perhaps don’t name me Nostradamus in spite of everything.
The Mac: Magic keyboards and M1 evolution
Final yr, I wrote that 2020 may probably be a revolutionary yr for the Mac, however that I wouldn’t guess on it. That equivocation appears largely justified: whereas the discharge of the M1 Macs was a milestone, they got here within the type of acquainted Mac fashions. The transition has begun, and I consider it will be revolutionary—however I count on extra dramatic modifications in 2021 and even 2022.
I accurately predicted that Apple would proceed its roll-out of its new laptop computer keyboard, eliminating the butterfly keyboard. And I accurately expressed skepticism in regards to the prospect that the 13-inch MacBook Professional would get replaced by a 14-inch mannequin.
I despaired in regards to the MacBook Air’s future, and I couldn’t have been extra fallacious. I assumed it was extra doubtless than not that Apple wouldn’t hassle bringing the Magic Keyboard to the MacBook Air in 2020, as a result of Apple had simply revised the Air in 2019.
Effectively—whoops! Not solely did Apple replace the Air to get the brand new keyboard, it up to date it a second time to usher within the M1. It seems that Apple loves the MacBook Air greater than I assumed it did.
I additionally utterly whiffed on my predictions that Apple would introduce a redesigned iMac. I used to be already dissatisfied by Apple merely dashing up the present iMacs in 2019, and it was the identical story in 2020. Certainly an iMac design is ready within the wings, however it hasn’t occurred but. It seems like I’ve predicted this identical transfer nearly as many instances because the ARM transition itself—and no cube.
Lastly, I predicted a “extra steady macOS replace cycle” after a tumultuous macOS Catalina beta. Whereas it’s true that Apple loaded a bunch of irritating modifications into Catalina, macOS Large Sur was an enormous change by way of design. Nonetheless, the beta course of this summer time was not almost as rocky because the Catalina beta was, and I feel Large Sur will in the end be embraced greater than Catalina was.
And did macOS Large Sur enhance Mac Catalyst, as I predicted it might? Primarily based on what I’ve heard from builders, it looks as if it has, although I’ve but to see the best instance of an amazing third-party app that wouldn’t exist on the Mac have been it not for Catalyst. Perhaps that’s extra of a 2021 factor.
iOS: A scarcity of iPhone creativeness
iPhone rumors start to flow into so early as of late that it’s fairly straightforward to make predictions. Final December, there have been already rumors that Apple would launch a brand new iPhone SE—I accurately predicted it might be the dimensions of the iPhone 6—and 4 new iPhone 12 fashions.
My mistake was not believing that Apple would launch a brand new iPhone SE and a smaller model of the mainstream iPhone in the identical yr. I predicted a pair of iPhone 12s with corresponding “Max” sizes. As an alternative, we received the iPhone 12 mini. What a pleasant shock! It makes the failed prediction damage just a little bit much less.
I additionally predicted that Apple would “proceed to be aggressive on iPhone costs, with the brand new iPhone 12 beginning at $649.” Not a lot. The iPhone 12 mini prices the identical because the iPhone 11, $699. And whereas I predicted that the bigger “customary” iPhone can be $749, it’s really $799. I feel I must be taught my very own pricing lesson—Apple will be aggressive about numerous its product choices, however at all times guess in opposition to issues getting cheaper.
Maybe my largest leap into fantasy in my 2020 predictions was one which… I type of received proper? “Maybe Apple may up the iPad Professional accent recreation this time round,” I wrote. “May Apple provide a second Good Keyboard, one with extra conventional keys?” I even urged that if Apple improved the cursor help on iPadOS, it may add a trackpad to that keyboard!
I swear I didn’t know something in regards to the Magic Keyboard for iPad Professional after I wrote these phrases. I actually was simply dreaming in public. Typically goals actually do come true, I suppose. For this iPad Professional fan, that Magic Keyboard accent was a dream given type.
However it’s finest to not get too cocky. I additionally mused that Apple may make an iOS laptop computer, with connected keyboard and trackpad. Until you contemplate M1 laptops operating a restricted number of iOS apps as “an iOS laptop computer”—and I positive don’t—I received this fallacious. In reality, since Apple has supplied macOS on Apple silicon with the flexibility to run iOS apps, and given the arrival of the Magic Keyboard for iPad Professional, I doubt Apple will ever make a laptop-shaped machine that runs iOS.
However by no means say by no means. Typically probably the most outlandish predictions do come true—so long as you retain predicting them yr after yr.