As 2015 draws to a close, I want to cover everything Apple has done this past year. I will give you my positive and negative opinions on all of the products and services that they introduced this past year.
In March, Apple hosted their Apple Watch Event where they discussed in depth their latest product. As discussed in my previous post, I believe that this device has tons of potential, but it still has some growing to do. A recent rumor released by 9to5 Mac states that Apple will host another event this upcoming March to unveil the 2nd Generation Apple Watch. Hopefully, this will bring about some additional beneficial features.
During the March event, Apple also unveiled their extremely thin 12” MacBook. I managed to get my hands on it and I was so impressed with the force touch trackpad (a new technology which allows a user to press harder into a device) and the butterfly mechanism in the keyboard (a new way the keys are pressed). However, the biggest problem for me was the fact that Apple did it again; they made a device as thin as possible, and removed some necessary ports that have been around for years. Most of the industry isn’t up to the USB 3.1 type C connection quite yet so if you want to plug in a printer, then Apple will be happy to sell you a $30 adapter.
In June, Apple hosted their WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) where they unveiled OSX El Capitan, iOS 9, and Apple Music. With El Capitan, performance enhancements come to the Mac. After a huge update such as Yosemite, many bugs were present which finally got corrected in the latest update. In iOS 9, stability and performance enhancements were introduced. In addition to that, iPads received new multitasking features which I really enjoy. Siri also got smarter with Proactive Assistant which means that Siri learns your daily habits and tries to aid you in your everyday tasks. (An example of this could include Siri suggesting a contact or an application that you commonly use)
The announcement that stole the show would have to be the announcement of Apple Music. This service allows users to stream music just as one could do with Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, and others. Apple decided that a 3 month trial would be the way they would lure in customers, but Taylor Swift had other ideas! In an open letter, Taylor politely requested that Apple pay artists during the free trial period. She stated, “We don’t ask you to give free iPhones why should we give away free music.” That same day, Apple agreed, and Taylor also agreed to make her music available to Apple Music users. This streaming battle has been going on for months between artists and services such as Spotify.
In September, we saw the Apple TV get an upgrade, as well as the introduction of the iPhone 6s, and the iPad Pro. With the Apple TV running TvOS, apps could now be downloaded to the set top box. You can purchase this product in two different capacities which had never been done before. With Siri integration, Apple truly made a device that is worthy of competing with the likes of the Roku, Google Chromecast, and the Amazon Fire TV.
As per norm, Apple released the iPhone 6s with a faster processor, 3D touch, and a 12 megapixel camera. Are these features worth upgrading to? I would honestly have to say no, and the reason for this is that with 3D touch, only a small portion of applications even support it. If you are going from a 5s or higher, then speed difference is hard to tell. Finally, with 4K, as a blind individual, it can be very difficult to see a difference. Unless you do professional videos or photography, it is truly not necessary to upgrade to this device.
The iPad Pro is truly an iPad Air 2 blown up to be larger. The very few differences are that it has four speaker grills for an immersive sound experience, and the ability to work with the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard (costing another $100+ each). Currently, it is not at the point where it can serve as a primary computer. If you want a tablet that serves as a great notebook for the same price, check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Hopefully, Apple can give us some true noteworthy features that could revolutionize the PC/tablet industry.
Apple did have some silent releases throughout the year that if you didn’t look for, you would not have even known about. Apple upgraded their Mac lines with new processors which promise faster speed and performance. The iPod Touch line finally got a refresh after almost 4 years. This device is what got me into Apple products. I started out with the 4th gen of this device and later purchased a 5th gen. This product gave me many years of enjoyment, and I truly believe that Apple should keep it alive for children who are not quite ready for an iPhone. The new version includes a better camera, faster processor, and new colors. Just recently, Apple unveiled their own battery case. However, I cannot recommend one purchasing this product. (1) It only gives you an additional 80% charge; (2) It is expensive, starting out at $100 (there are a few other choices, but the one with the best value would have to be the Mophie Juice Pack Air); (3) It is just ugly! (this case has a hump in the back that holds the battery pack, and it is just not a design I would expect out of Apple)
That’s basically my summary of this past year, and I cannot wait to see what Apple choses to do next year. They have laid the foundation for many great products. It all comes down to how Apple choses to implement features into those products. What was your favorite product this past year? What do you think could have been done better? What do you hope to see next year? I cannot wait to hear what you think! I hope everyone has a merry Christmas!!!