My Features Wish List for Future Apple Products
I love my Apple tech, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things I wouldn’t like to see improved.
And yes, I did start this story off with a triple-negative.
As I’ve been getting accustomed to Apple’s devices in my day-to-day life, I’ve begun to think about what I would like to see in the next versions. With some devices potentially getting a refresh in the very near future, I thought it would be interesting to come up with my “wish list” for what I’d liked to see next.
Keep in mind, none of my thoughts here are based in any way on rumors or leaks that have been going around; for the most part, I avoid reading about rumors, because I’d rather wait to see what Apple itself says it is doing. So some of my wish list items may be something that has been rumored to be in the pipelines, and some may not, and honestly, I probably won’t know how close any of my “suggestions” are to the current hubbub.
I’m going to break this down by device, and more specifically by the devices that I personally have used. So if I miss your favorite Apple gear- like the HomePod or the AirPods Max- it is simply because I don’t have enough experience with the device as it is to know what I’d want to improve.
Let’s dive in.
I’ve used a few different iPads in the last year, from the basic iPad to the Air to both sizes of the Pro. I personally ended up with the iPad mini, which I found to be the best size for my personal needs.
And while one of the selling points for choosing this device for myself was the bezels (which I argue gives me something more to hold onto when using the device), I wouldn’t mind for the iPad mini to join the Air and the Pro in Apple’s more modern design language.
This, of course, is a rumor that I’m aware of, and if it comes true, it might be the only thing that will get me to trade my current iPad mini for the next generation. I also wouldn’t mind seeing some version of the Magic Keyboard come to the iPad mini and the basic iPad, since this typing experience is far superior to the Smart Keyboard Folio or any other keyboard you can get for these cheaper tablets (but I’ll get to peripherals more in a bit).
But I think my real wish for the iPad is that Apple finally moves all of their iPad modes to USB-C charging. While I don’t mind Lightning, I feel that having the iPad mini and the basic iPad still using this type of charging is going to become limiting in the future; for any manufacturers making peripherals or accessories that use the charging port to connect (like a portable hard drive), they are either going to have to make one for each connection or omit one of them- and my money is that they’ll opt for the USB-C option over Lightning since that could also be utilized by the MacBook or even other computers, tablets, and phones.
Ok, so the iPad mini is damn near perfect, in my opinion. Aside from needing a bigger battery, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Well… I might trade it for a folding iPhone. But that’s probably going to be a reality one day anyway, so that’s not really on my wish list for the iPhone. Not yet.
My biggest wish for the iPhone 13 mini is that Apple makes an iPhone 13 mini; my hope is that despite the fact that the 12 mini hasn’t sold as well as they’d hoped, they continue to embrace the small phone as an option. And I want it to stay just as good as the iPhone 13; I don’t want the mini’s form factor to go the way of the SE, continuing the design but staying a step behind the flagships (especially in the camera). I promise, Apple, that I will continue to buy every iPhone mini as long as its camera is just as good as whatever the other current iPhones have.
But Apple, can the iPhone 13 mini please please please have a matte finish like the 12 Pro? Cause the glass on the back of the 12 mini is a fingerprint magnet, and that’s not what MagSafe is for.
And speaking of MagSafe… I’ve already written about how MagSafe is one of my favorite features of the iPhone 12 series, and I really want to see Apple embrace this feature. We’ve got cases, wallets, and car mounts, and rumors of a battery pack, but I think Apple could really get creative with MagSafe and make it one of the iPhone’s standout design perks. Apple, I don’t have any specific suggestions, but I eagerly await whatever Apple is going to do with this. I hope it doesn’t go the way of Force Touch. Or… you know… the first MagSafe.
iOS and iPadOS
While we are on the subject of iPhones and iPads, let’s talk software.
iOS 14 has been my favorite iteration of the operating system thus far, with its app library and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.
For one thing, the app library could really use some customization options. I don’t mind Apple’s categories, but they seem to change on a whim from time to time and that makes it difficult to remember where my apps are located. So I wouldn’t mind the option to create my own folders in the app library so that I can put my apps where I want them.
iOS could also benefit from multitasking. Granted, this wouldn’t make sense on my 12 mini, but I very nearly chose the 12 Pro Max instead, and with that massive screen, the option to open apps in split-screen view would have been nice.
On the iPadOS side, my biggest wish list item is something that I feel Apple left out in iPadOS14: the app library. I don’t know why Apple didn’t include this in iPadOS, and I would really like to see it come to it in the future. I may complain that Apple’s categories leave something to be desired, but I still prefer it over having cluttered apps all over my home screen.
My bigger wish for iPadOS, however, has little to do with the operating system itself, but rather the introduction of the M1 MacBooks. Because macOS is now running on Apple chips and can support iPad apps, I would really like to see an iPad that runs macOS, or at least that has the ability to run macOS programs within iPadOS. I’m sure something like this will be coming in the future- Apple’s only just opened this door- and I can’t want to see what comes next.
Honestly, the M1 MacBook is about all I could have ever wished for the MacBook line-up. Granted, I’ve not had much experience with Macs in the past; my very first Mac was the Intel Core i3 MacBook Air from 2020, but in that short time I had a lot of things I wanted to see improved about the MacBook and the M1 delivered on all of it. Faster speeds, much greater processing power, and most importantly no heat, no fan noise, and- at least in the MacBook Air- no fan at all.
But we are looking to the future, aren’t we? And though I love my M1 MacBook Air, there are still a few things I would like to see in the next one. For this one, it all comes down to design.
Look, the design of the MacBook Air is tried and true, but it’s also looking a little long in the tooth. While I appreciate how thin and light it is, it could stand to have a few things modernized. The screen could definitely use thinner bezels; with the likes of Dell’s XPS computers and even the Surface Laptop 3 having thinner frames around their screens, the thick bezels on the MacBook look very dated for 2021. But beyond that, something that the MacBook Air needs- especially now that iPad apps are supported on the Mac- is a touchscreen. It absolutely needs a touchscreen in order to make full use of these new capabilities that the M1 brings to the table. And while we’re at it, Apple Pencil support wouldn’t be out of the question.
More than anything, I’m hoping that we start to get more form factors for the Mac, or even a blending of the iPad and Mac lineup. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Mac with a detachable keyboard or one that can flip around to be a tablet (maybe even such a device would switch from macOS to iPadOS in the transition). Of course, if Apple ever does this, I expect them to put their own signature on it.
Now, let’s talk about peripherals.
Starting with the iPad, there are two peripherals that I think could use an update: the Magic Keyboard case and the Apple Pencil.
Now, I’d love for them to make a Magic Keyboard for the next version of the iPad mini, but even if they don’t, there are two things I would really like to see with the next version of the iPad’s Magic Keyboard case. Firstly, they have to make it out of better material. Don’t get me wrong, the keyboard is one of the absolute best I’ve ever typed on, but the rubbery material surrounding the keys leaves a lot to be desired. It picks up way too much dust for one thing, and it feels way too easy to damage. I’d love for Apple to give a little more thought to the feel of the keyboard, kinda like how Microsoft has done with the Alcantara keyboards for their Surface Products.
The second wish list item for the Keyboard is the inclusion of a TouchID button; I know this won’t matter to anyone who uses the Magic Keyboard with their iPad Pros, which include FaceID, but for those trying to use it with the iPad Air, it feels a little clunky to have to reach up from the keyboard to use the TouchID scanner embedded in the iPad’s power button. The Magic Keyboard can charge the iPad through the passthrough connector on the back of the tablet, so I’m sure they can figure out a way to pass a fingerprint scan through to authenticate (again, this is something that is available on some Surface Keyboards).
Moving onto the Apple Pencil, well, here’s another place I want Apple to take the lead from Microsoft; the Apple Pencil needs an eraser. Sure, a double tap on the Pencil 2 will get you to the eraser feature (unless you’ve programmed it otherwise), but I’m always impressed when I use my Surface Go 2 and can just flip the Pen around to use an eraser, just like I’d do with a regular №2 pencil. This would benefit the Pencil by freeing up the double-tap gesture for other things (or allow you to disable it altogether… I find it to be finicky at times), and I think it would be more natural for most people to get used to.
Next up is the AirPods. Honestly, I love both the AirPods and AirPods Pro, and I don’t really know of anything I’d change about the former (though I am intrigued by the concepts I’ve seen for the AirPods 3). But the Pro could use one tweak: I can’t get a good fit on any of the included ear tips. I think Apple should consider making some foam tips or making them out of a different material, as they just slip out of my ears constantly.
While I haven’t tried the AirPods Max, I do have one wish for them: I wish Apple would make a cheaper version of them. Yeah, that’s it. I’ll try them if they aren’t so damned expensive.
And finally, the Apple Watch. My biggest wish for the Apple Watch is better battery life; it would be nice if it could last a couple of days before I need to charge it again.
Beyond that, I would be interested in seeing different form factors. A round Apple Watch, I think, would be really cool to see.
So there you have it, my wish list for the next Apple products. I don’t know how many of these will become fact, or if they will all stay fiction, but whatever Apple has planned for their next devices, I cannot wait.
And if I don’t get any of these things, I really won’t mind; after all, the gadgets that I currently use from Apple are the best they’ve ever been.
But you can’t blame me for wishful thinking.