Expectations: Apple 2017

In the 2nd post of this series of expectations for 2017, I am focusing on what I want to see from Apple next year.

Apple has had in my view somewhat a mixed 2016 when it comes to what they released, which includes an iPad Pro 9.7inch, iPhone SE, iPhone 7/Plus, AirPods (delayed), Apple Watch Series 1 & 2, new MacBook Pro and new software across the board.

Anyways getting back on track, I am now going to give you the top 10 things I want to see from Apple in 2017 beyond what we would usually expect, all in no particular order.

Near Bezel Free iOS Devices:

The Xiaomi Mi Mix has a screen to body ratio of 83.6%, compared to 67.7% on the iPhone 7 Plus.

Xiaomi has started to push a trend for a new form of smartphone design that is likely to carry over into all major smartphone manufacturers in 2017 and this needs to include Apple.

I don’t know if I am the only one out there, but I don’t like screen bezels from a practicality perspective as they exist on devices mainly to make the device a bit bigger to hold of the components for the device to work, but why can’t they better use the screen space?

Taking this approach with a say 95% screen to body ratio, means Apple would be able to put a 5.5inch display within a near iPhone 7 (4.7inch) sized phone, which would easily push me to go for the phablet, or Apple could go down the route of same sized phones but larger displays, time will tell.

Long Distance Wireless Charging in iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch:

Apple is without a doubt working on a Long Distance form of wireless charging. Thinking of it as Wi-Fi for charging your device.

I see Apple taking the approach if and when they announce this by saying that other devices have fast charging and wireless charging, but you have to leave your phone in a single location when you charge it, but there devices you won’t have too.

This is expected to come to the 2017 iPhone but I really hope to see it for the next iPad and more so for the Apple Watch, which will make charging devices a thing of the past and more importantly for the watch, it would make it a more compelling purchase so it lasts more than a day or two on a single physical charge.

I also hope to see this in MacBooks in the future, but I’m not counting on it for next year as it seems more like a piece of tech that is better suited for smartphones, tablets and wearables.

Also hope Apple gets a lot of partnerships with local businesses, governments and councils etc. to distribute these wireless charging stations everywhere to make it a seamless experience. So if you go to your local shopping centre for example, your phone will charge while you shop, which would be an incentive to keep shopping retail.

OLED Displays:

S7&S7Edge
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge with AMOLED Displays

I am now in the boat that wants an OLED display on my next iPhone providing they make sure the colours are not oversaturated, which I expect Apple will have found a solution, but I hope to see OLED displays on as many devices as possible next year, especially on iOS devices.

OLED Displays would allow the device to turn off pixels that have a black colour to make a) the other colours stand out and b) make the display more battery efficient which will go hand in hand with my next prediction.

Dark Mode on iOS:

If anyone is able to pull of this feature across the entire OS and make it easy to adopt by 3rd party developers, it’s Apple.

Dark Mode would turn apps that have a white background with black text to be a black background with white text. Think of this as comparing the Apple Music app to the Clock app on iOS.

Having a Dark Mode option even if it is restricted to OLED iOS devices, would make a lot of sense when it comes to saving battery life and yes I am one of those people that prefers the Night Mode feature in the Twitter app on iOS.

Apple Watch Series 3:

applewatch2
Apple Watch Series 2

Apple Watch Series 2 is a very compelling update in my opinion, so much so that I have almost been on the verge of getting a Sport model.

Apple Watch Series 2 is basically the best of the technology that is available today, so what should we expect from Series 3?

Honestly, I reckon it will be the thinner, lighter and faster iteration of the watch. Series 2 was about 1mm thicker than Series 0 & 1, and has a larger battery but expect Jony Ive to say nope it needs to be thinner without compromising battery life.

Expect an Apple S3 chip that is moderately faster than the S2 in the Series 1 & 2 watches, and is more energy efficient with a smaller nanometre process.

I also expect there to be long distance wireless charging built into the device as the main selling feature for this watch.

People are hoping that there will eventually be a watch that can act as a standalone phone without an iPhone, but I am not anticipating it in 2017 at the earliest, as they’ll want to sell a lot of the latest iPhones particularly because it will be the 10th anniversary of the device.

Apple TV 5th Generation with 4K Support, Hey Siri:

apple-tv-hero-select-201510
Apple TV 4th Generation

The Apple TV 4th generation was a great update with the inclusion of tvOS, the Siri Remote and a dedicated App Store.

Apple recently announced a new TV app which will be your go to place for all of the TV shows and movies you want to watch and are recommended based on the streaming services you have linked up to it.

I am not bargaining on Apple releasing a streaming TV service anytime soon, but I do hope that they release new hardware sometime in 2017 that has:

  • 4K Support (even if it’s just for videos and streaming services)
  • Hey Siri support built into device to make it a central hub for your smart home and control tvOS without the Siri Remote.
  • Apple A10 64-bit processor for better graphics and to get 4K Support working seamlessly.
  • Gigabit Ethernet Support.

New Mac Hardware:

macbookproretina
MacBook Pro Retina 2012 Design

The new MacBook Pro is certainly a nice piece of kit, even though it’s not perfect.

One thing we did not get at the Mac event in October 2016, was more than 1 Mac hardware update.

I am hoping to see a new Mac Pro, Mac Mini and iMac all released at some point in 2017, likely with just updated specs and nothing dramatically different.

3D Touch on new iPads:

3dtouch
iPhone 6s with 3D Touch

One thing that surprises me a lot is that developers have slowly adopted the use of 3D Touch because it is only on the iPhone 6s/Plus and iPhone 7/Plus and not on any iPads.

You would think incorporating 3D Touch into an iPad would just make all of the features more worthwhile being implemented by developers and this could very well be one of the reasons a lot of people are holding off updating their iPad hardware until this is incorporated.

New Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar:

The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro looks really good even though it looks a tad like a gimmick, but it’s built into the MacBook Pro keyboard itself and there is no option at the moment for any desktop users to get this similar setup.

I hope that at some point in 2017 that Apple brings out a separate version of the Magic Keyboard with the Touch Bar included in it, even if they charge a premium for it above the original keyboard. This would increase the adoption of the hardware, get more people use to the idea of using it regularly that they can’t live without it and it would mainly give developers more of an incentive to add support for it.

Apple Pay with all major Australian Banks:

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iPhone 6 and Apple Watch with Apple Pay

One of the main features I want in my next smartphone or in a smartwatch is support for mobile payments.

At this stage in Australia, ANZ supports Apple Pay and Android Pay but Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and NAB all are lobbying against supporting these platforms likely due to paying a royalty fee to Apple for the service.

These 3 banks all asked for Apple to release an NFC API with support for Apple Pay so they could incorporate it into their own apps so they do not need to pay Apple a couple of cents for every $100 done through Apple Pay and quite frankly, this will never happen!

I really hope that Apple can get an agreement with the rest of these banks so we can then incorporate our debit and credit cards into our devices which is more secure than an open API for developers to incorporate into their own apps.

Conclusion:

I’m sure that if I put my mind to it I could probably come up with another 10 things I want to see from Apple in 2017, but these are the things I want to see from Apple the most in 2017. That being said knowing my luck, only half of these will probably end up happening but I hope it’s all of them.

I haven’t included much in this list in regards to what I want to see in the new software in 2017, but I will likely make separate blog posts for those in the future that go into a lot of depth.

What do you want to see from Apple in 2017? Be sure to let me know in the comments and if you like this and want to see more of these in the future, be sure to give it a like and follow me here and on Twitter @neilh_apps.

 

 

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