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6 things we want to see from Apple in 2023
Compared to Apple’s blockbuster 2021, 2022 has been one of careful deliberation and a series of upgrades that were long expected but not all that surprising. Some might even claim that Apple hasn’t innovated much and resorted back to its iterative ways.
This year, the Apple Silicon-based MacBook Air received a long-expected upgrade in design as well as an all-new M2 chipset. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro was a bit of an oddball with the questionable Dynamic Island and a much-delayed and much-needed higher-resolution camera sensor. Beyond that, the year had a ho-hum spate of updates to accessories like the Airpods. There was also the Apple Watch Ultra, a product that I personally quite like, but it isn’t dramatically different from the Apple Watch Series 8, barring its use of enhanced protective materials and better battery life.
No matter which side of the coin you favor — innovative or iterative — there’s little doubt that it’s been a hot minute since Apple released a groundbreaking product. However, 2023 brings new possibilities, and here are a few products and announcements that we would like to see from Apple in the year ahead.
For a company that has built its reputation on simplifying the end-consumer experience, Apple’s insistence on sticking to the Lightning rather than USB-C connector for the iPhone is beyond disbelief.
Thunderbolt & Lightning, very very frightening.
Looking back at our 2022 wish list, USB-C was among the top features we wanted from Apple. Fast forward to the end of 2022, and that remains the case. In fact, more so. The iPhone is now the only product in Apple’s updated portfolio to use the Lightning connector. With the European Union mandating USB-C support across the board in 2024, it’s practically guaranteed that Apple will have to comply sooner or later. Unless it decides to throw a curveball and introduce a wireless-only phone.
It isn’t just the connector that concerns us though. As iPhones become ever more capable photography and videography tools, the restrictive transfer speeds of the Lightning connector pose a significant bottleneck in enabling quick transfers of files. Additionally, switching over to USB-C should allow Apple to offer faster-charging speeds. Although that’s not a given, the latest iPad (10th gen) is still painfully slow in that regard.
Making a return from our 2022 wish list is faster charging. Look, I’m all about longevity and keeping battery cycle counts low. However, that’s not much of a consideration when you’re running low on charge and need to head out in a hurry. While the iPhone 13 Pro added slightly faster 23W and 27W charging, depending on the model, the 14-series hasn’t moved the needle forward.
I’d happily settle for a middle ground where Apple disables fast charging out of the box and offers a warning every time I choose to use it. While we’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to remove the 7.5W charging restriction on some of the best third-party wireless chargers.
Pro apps for pro iPads
It’s a recurring theme, but with the second generation of M-series equipped iPads out, the need for pro-focused apps on the iPad has never been so obvious. We’ve seen some movement on that front with DaVinci porting over the Resolve app, but it’s a long road ahead. For example, Adobe’s apps don’t have feature parity with the company’s desktop apps. Similarly, I’m yet to find a music production suite that can go neck and neck with the array of apps I use on my Mac.
Apple needs to lead by example if it wants developers to embrace iPads as productivity tools.
For developers to take the iPad seriously as a first-class citizen for desktop-class apps, Apple will also have to commit to the platform entirely. And that starts with the essentials like Logic and Final Cut Pro. Either way, Apple needs to showcase the iPad as a tool that is as good as a full-fledged Mac. Instead, what we have today are essentially dialed-down versions of prosumer applications. Perhaps 2023 will be the year that switch finally happens.
Get rid of 64GB models
There are many good things to be said about the iPad, but the meager amount of storage on entry-level units is not one of them. Entering 2023, there’s next to no excuse for Apple’s entry-level iPads to ship with just 64GB of storage. This is doubly true for the iPad Air, which is nearly as competent as the Pro-variant thanks to the M1 chipset.
Apple itself proclaims the iPad as a productivity and creation tool. For a device capable of both everyday number crunching and increasingly a reasonably competent media creation tool, thanks to LumaFusion and DaVinci Resolve, 64GB of storage barely cuts it.
Shipping a high-end product with 64GB of storage in 2023 would be embarrassing.
Not much of a professional user? Well, even a few of the best Netflix movies stored offline for a long flight or vacation, some Spotify playlists, and reading material will have you well on your way to filling up that storage.
Apple’s oddly tiered storage options don’t help much, either. By the time you’ve upgraded to the 256GB iPad Air, you’re not all that far off from the iPad Pro. While it makes business sense, the constant push towards upgraded models for features that are table stakes is decidedly anti-consumer. In 2023, I’d like to see Apple upping the base storage of the iPads to at least 128GB.
More smart home products
Making a return from our 2022 list is a request for more smart home products. Apple makes great speakers. The original Homepod remains one of the better-sounding smart speakers on the market, and the Homepod Mini is equally capable of output that belays its size. However, even Apple’s DSP magic can’t outrun physics, and we’d love to see a bigger and better speaker in the portfolio.
Moreover, as the Matter transition begins, there’s growing interest in deploying smart speakers and displays as Matter and Thread border routers. The Homepod mini is a capable addition to any smart home due to its offline controls and Matter integration. However, the one-size-fits-all approach is far from ideal for making it an excellent fit for every Apple-centric household. Just look at the various smart displays or what Google is rumored to have planned for the Pixel Tablet; it’s clear Apple’s smart home portfolio could be more adventurous.
Periscope zoom lenses aren’t new to smartphones. Huawei, Oppo, and Samsung have all used the technology to let users reach further with smartphone cameras. Meanwhile, Google combines a shorter 5x periscope zoom lens with AI magic to go the distance. In comparison, the iPhone’s ho-hum 3x zoom limit is downright embarrassing.
Much as I like Apple’s deliberate choice of photographer-centric focal lengths, the fact of the matter is that most buyers aren’t professional photographers. A smartphone is a tool, and I’d love the ability to zoom in further at a soccer game or perhaps catch exciting angles of a skyline. Rumors suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro might deploy such a lens, and in my opinion, it can’t come sooner.
You tell us: What do you want to see from Apple in 2023?
What do you want to see from Apple in 2023?
It’s intriguing to see that our feature wishlist for Apple is highly centered around additions that fans have been asking for years. Some, like fast charging and high-zoom cameras, are taken for granted in the Android world, which makes Apple’s lack of feature parity even more puzzling.
AR/VR and EV's are exciting, but Apple needs to cover the basics first.
Sure, I’d love to see Apple delve deep into the AR/VR world, and an Apple Car would undoubtedly be one way to shake up the electric vehicle industry. Still, our wants from Apple are more grounded in the immediate future. What other features would you like to see from Apple in 2022? Let us know in the comments section.