Connectivity: Wouldn’t it be great if…
- Like the iPhone & iPad, MacBooks will support SIM-cards for on-the-go surfing. Apple’s cost on SIM-card hardware is dirt cheap now.
- When carrier-exclusivity with AT&T ends, Apple will enable MiFi base-station functionality on all hardware capable of receiving data via cellular networks. The best consumer experience means not paying for more than one cellular data plan, and not needing another gadget (MiFi) just to share a connection.
- When carrier-exclusivity with AT&T ends, Apple will allow any app that can run well over 3G to do so.
Standardization: Pretty cool, huh?
- The Apple Keyboard will get backlighting similar to that found in the MacBook Pro.
- The Apple Keyboard will lose its numeric keypad, just like the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
- The Apple Keyboard will have 2 optional magnetically attachable modules: numeric keypad & magic trackpad. They attach to either the left or right of the keyboard, or both can attach to the right, linked to one another. They are powered by the keyboard. The numeric keypad module will also work with MacBooks.
- All Apple displays will be retina displays (iPad, iPod, MacBook & Cinema Display).
- GPS will come to the Mac & iMac. Location is important, even when you’re stationary.
- All Macs support multiple-user accounts. Soon, iDevices will too. This will help when deploying to schools, small businesses, and in families that can’t afford multiple devices.
FaceTime: Just hangin’ out
- FaceTime will come to the iPod & Mac, and phone <-> computer calling will be ‘normal’. The concept of a ‘phone’ will fade away. The iPhone was a trojan horse which let Apple get its tech onto carriers networks, but it is not the endgame. Non-phones on their networks is the endgame (i.e. iPod Touch with mic, iPad with mic, MacBook with mic).
- All Macs & iDevices will have iSight built-in, with a front-facing LED light for when lighting sucks. This will help FaceTime look good AllTheTime.
- All Macs & iDevices will ship with a noise-cancelling microphone, to ensure crystal clear calls.
Depth & Speed: Next-Gen computing for mere mortals
- The iPhone4 & all recent Macs have OpenCL-capabilities, which is designed to help them process data MUCH faster, especially visual data such as 3D. Apple will start using it, probably with some innovative 3D or augmented reality interface (I’ve yet to see one that wasn’t lame, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Apple). It will also be brought to the iPod & iPad.
- All iDevices & MacBooks (portables) will gain the iPhone4’s six-axis sensors
- Apple will release a new input device, similar to the Wiimote/PSMove/Kinect, optimized for interacting with 3D & augmented reality interfaces. We may also be able to use our iDevices as input devices for our Macs.
- All iDevice & Mac displays will gain pressure sensitivity, again, facilitating depth interaction, but also catering to artists — Apple’s longtime base.
- All iDevice & Mac displays will gain haptic feedback. You feel what you touch. It touches you back (in a good way).
- All iDevices & Macs support bluetooth & Wi-Fi. Based on patent filings, Apple may be designing an immersive glasses-based display & earphones that connect wirelessly to your existing device, which it will rely on for sensing & processing. This could be the key to a 3D or augmented reality interface that isn’t lame, and it’s why propagating iPhone4’s gyroscopic sensor to other devices is key.
Sync: It’s like magic
- Syncing will be moved out of iTunes and into its own application.
- Huge updates to how file syncing works. iDisk will be re-engineered to be more ‘dropbox-like’.
- Over-the-air sync will happen sooner than later
- Some things will begin to be streamed on-demand, instead of sync’d ahead of time (Apple is building a huuuge data centre to facilitate this). This will help reduce the storage requirements of its portable devices.
iLife & iTunes: Boom!- iTunes goes back to being all about audio. - iVideos is the new home of all your videos (iLife now consists of: iTunes, iVideos, iBooks) - iLife apps are about consumption, not production. For this reason iMovie will be merged into Final Cut, which will have 2 operating modes: beginner & pro. Alternately, Apple could bundle iMovie as part of iWork, which is also about creating things. This would have the additional benefit of bringing more users to the iWork suite.
One More Thing…
- Just as iDevices are touch-optimized & Macs are mouse-optimized, AppleTV’s final incarnation will be optimized for remote control by an iDevice running touch-based apps from the AppStore. The apps control what the TV displays, completely replacing Cable Channels & TV Guide. The remote device will have very limited storage, no cameras, no extra sensors, and no mic. It will be very basic, and will come bundled with the AppleTV. Also available separately for about less than $100. (I wrote this yesterday, before the rumour of an app-capable AppleTV surfaced, but didn’t publish until today, because Google had flagged my site as containing malware, and that took a little while to resolve).)
If you have any more predictions, I’d love to hear them. Please post’em in the comments.
Comments from my old blog:
Ian said: Nice predictions. I think I agree with most of it. I won’t make any revolutionary predictions.. But it’s fun to think about it. The problem with revolutionary things is there are too many potential problems that can get in the way of having something new come to market. Engineering things. So, I’ll stick to thinking about things that are certainly possible. I think MobileMe will become largely free and it will include some easy things like contacts and calendar sync for free. They will have some variant of iDisk that will be much easier to sync data from idevices. I say “some variant” because I think they will still hide any type of file system. It will only be used for apps that need to sync data, but it will be easy for third party apps to take advantage of this storage since everyone will have it. It will be “type” dependent, much as it is now. Just like there is currently, a music database, a movie database, etc that the idevices can access, manipulate, this will just get extended to other database types, and those types are what can be transparently synced to the cloud and other devices. What will be especially interesting to me is exactly how the ipad line will change. There is a strange difference between small devices (ios devices) and large screen devices (macs) in their product line. Different in terms of form factor, input methods, and os. Macs have very low marketshare, and I suspect that will always be the case. They have never really gained much traction outside of north America. To me, it even seems possible that the Mac won’t exist in 10 years (the name anyway). So, I think that there will be large screen idevices that will be more “console-like” than a pc. And they will all have the app store. at 2010-08-12 02:42:06
(Zye)[http://www.zaidrasid.com] said: Damn those some gooood predictions! at 2010-08-19 14:06:49