It was the perfect of instances, it was the worst of instances. Okay, for many of us 2020 wasn’t the perfect of instances. However on the iOS entrance, Apple undoubtedly appeared to be in a feast-or-famine mode.
The corporate launched 5 new iPhone fashions (did you neglect the second-generation iPhone SE?), and there was a serious iPad Air revision that mainly turned it right into a low-end iPad Professional. The iPad Professional acquired an underwhelming replace—however a tremendous new accent within the Magic Keyboard for iPad!
There was extra to cheer than boo within the iPhone and iPad world in 2020, and that places it just about forward of a lot of the world. However can 2021 ship one thing higher? It’s time for some predictions.
Fortunate quantity 13
The final two years have seen Apple increment the iPhone’s title by a single quantity, going to iPhone 11 after which iPhone 12. This could usually make me sure that an iPhone 13 was on the horizon, moderately than an iPhone 12S. However we dwell in a world the place some buildings don’t label their thirteenth ground because the thirteenth ground due to… boogins? Dangerous mojo? Superstition, that’s the world.
Will an iPhone 13 ever exist? I can’t see Apple leaping over it and going straight to 14, and Apple can’t tread water by including letters to the tip of the iPhone 12 ceaselessly. My cash is on Apple calling it the iPhone 13, making a joke about superstitions on the product roll-out, and transferring on as common.
After a serious exterior design refresh with the iPhone 12, I anticipate Apple to go away issues be in 2021. The brand new iPhone will look roughly like the present fashions, albeit with some new colours, some textural variations, and possibly a smaller “notch” for the TrueDepth digicam stack.
It looks like it’s most likely going to be one other yr or two earlier than Apple tries its hand at a folding iPhone, however I wouldn’t be shocked if we acquired a”portless” iPhone created by omitting the Lightning port. If it occurs, Apple would most likely revise the MagSafe connector launched this yr to additionally assist information transfers and toss one within the field. But when I needed to predict—and I do, that’s why I’m right here—I’d guess that the much-rumored portless iPhone received’t occur in 2021. Why power your self to incorporate a MagSafe charger when you possibly can promote them as profitable add-ons?
In case you wager on Apple rolling some digicam enhancements into the brand new iPhone you’ll by no means go broke. I’m certain the subsequent iPhone cameras will probably be higher, greater, extra able to capturing stills and video, you title it. The sensor stabilization characteristic launched this yr within the iPhone 12 Professional Max may discover its manner all the way down to the iPhone Professional. And I do predict that Apple will maintain rolling super-high-end options into the Professional Max.
Lastly, I’m going to foretell that the worldwide pandemic will lastly have its influence on the iPhone product line. Due to the prevalence of masks in society, and the unlucky barrier they type to Face ID scans, I predict that Apple will roll the button-embedded Contact ID from this yr’s iPad Air into the subsequent iPhone, as a praise to Face ID.
iPad updates for certain
I don’t wish to sound ungrateful, however that 2020 iPad Professional replace was underwhelming. The iPad Professional’s A12Z processor is now based mostly on two-year-old expertise. The entire replace felt like a placeholder, and in 2021 we should always get a correct iPad Professional replace, one which makes use of an A14X processor that provides efficiency much like what we see on the Mac with the M1.
The opposite addition I’d prefer to predict for the iPad Professional is its show. I don’t suppose the iPad Professional will get bigger—as somebody who makes use of a 12.9-inch mannequin day-after-day, it’s already fairly massive. Making both mannequin any bigger would power Apple to additionally produce new fashions of the Magic Keyboard, which is a ache.
However what in regards to the show tech contained in the iPad Professional? There are conflicting rumors about whether or not Apple goes to make use of mini-LED expertise within the iPad Professional. However it certain looks like having the ability to declare the iPad Professional a real HDR show could be one thing Apple would shoot for, no?
OS updates coming
Apple at all times surprises us with OS updates, and iOS 15 will undoubtedly deliver some stunning new options and tweaks of previous requirements.
What I’m most all in favour of, nonetheless, is an iOS 13 characteristic being dropped at the iPad for the primary time: A redesigned house display with the power to position Widgets wherever, moderately than in a sidebar on a single web page. I can see why Apple didn’t try and rebuild the iPad’s house display throughout the identical cycle because the iPhone’s, however now’s the time. It’s time for a rethinking of the entire thing, maybe diverging much more from the iPhone’s design than one may anticipate. I believe it’ll occur.
Past that, although, I believe we could also be in a comparatively quiet yr for iOS. To make certain, an infinite quantity of labor will probably be occurring underneath the floor—Apple wants to enhance the circulation of apps from iPhone and iPad to the Mac, work to raised unify iPad and Mac Catalyst growth, and develop SwiftUI because the multi-platform way forward for writing software program for Apple software program platforms.
However to the common person, I believe it is going to seem to be a smaller replace yr. A number of surprising enjoyable additions, developer upgrades, and bug fixes. After a yr like 2020, I believe it may be sensible for all of us to deal with therapeutic wounds, fixing bugs, and including as little drama as attainable to the proceedings.