Apple never fails to amaze and disappoint. Sometimes at the same time. Apple events are like that. WWDC in late spring brings new operating system updates, but seldom new hardware. New iPhones show up in late summer to a heady mix of applause and disappointment.
This year we’ve had dual hardware events not even two months apart. iPhone X and Watch. iPad Pro and #2 Pencil, Mac mini for professionals, and MacBook Air with Touch ID.
Is that not enough? No. What’s missing?
AirPods – Almost two years ago Apple launched the AirPod and it has remained a hit as the world moves toward wireless earbuds. What do AirPods 2.0 need? Better Siri integration (think Shortcuts). Noise cancellation. Water resistance. And perhaps a few different sizes (they don’t fit my ears).
iPad mini – If ever there was a much beloved iPad it’s the mini. You see them everywhere. iPad mini is the little tablet that could; a near perfect size for mobility, but capable of what you expect from an iPad. An iPad mini Pro and an entry-level iPad mini (to match the $329 iPad) would round out the line. Bigger seems to be the trend– iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple Watch, so maybe the mini is a relic that costs more than it’s big brother iPad.
Mac Pro – About 18 months ago Apple acknowledged the current Mac Pro was a dud that professionals didn’t love so a new one was on the way. Timeline? Nope. Somewhere in 2019. In the interim, Apple launched iMac Pro and a very powerful Mac mini line. Is there no love for Mac users who tinker with modularity? Not yet.
Accessories – Tim Cook’s legacy for Apple seems to be set. The company gives away money in a lavish manner with stock buybacks and dividends, but can’t manage to get basic accessories out the door. AirPower? Apple introduced the triple charger more than a year ago. Since then, zilch.
What does a space gray professional style Mac mini really need? An Apple-branded space gray display; preferably in two models; 27-inch Retina, and 21-inch Retina. Where are they? Apple seems to be out of the Mac accessory business these days, and the mid-range and low-end Mac notebook line has become an embarrassment with new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and MacBook all priced within $100 at the base configuration.
At least the iPad Pro comes with a new age Pencil and Face ID. Oh, and what about Apple’s highly anticipated streaming video service to match YouTube TV, Sling TV, and others? MIA. Missing in action.