By Matt Birchler

Judging My Apple Predictions for 2021

On January 4, 2021 I made this video making a bunch of predictions and hopes for what Apple would announce in 2021. One day before their final event of the year, I wanted to check in and see how I did.

iPhone

12 Pro Max camera tech trickles down to the normal sized Pro

Ding ding ding! Yup, not only did the smaller Pro model get the bigger sensor and sensor shift tech from the 12 Pro Max, but it got all the additional improvements the Max got this year too.

Minor physical design update (new colors tho)

This was a safe bet, but with modified camera bumps, a smaller notch, and a new blue, but otherwise identical designs, this one was on the nose.

iPad

Big iPaOS 15 updates - fonts, a pro app, external monitor support

This one was very much a hope masquerading as a prediction, but this didn’t come to pass. Fonts still suck, no new pro apps from Apple, and the external monitor support is the same mirroring mess we had already. Even the addition of Thunderbolt on the new iPad Pros didn’t push that one over the finish line.

Pro lineup will get a notable performance boost

The M1 is notably faster than the A12X in the previous Pro models, so yeah, I’m gonna counts this one.

Minor iPad updates all around in terms of visual changes

2/3 on this one? The new entry-level and Pro iPads we got this year look the same as the models they replace, but the new Mini is a big update to that lineup. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting Apple to update the Mini this year, but I’m happy to be wrong if it means that awesome little tablet gets to be in the world.

Apple Watch

New physical design!

Some may argue this point, but a new physical case size, new display, and other minor updates all around count as a new physical design in the watch world to me.

Minor speed improvements

I’m a little unclear on this one…is the SoC the same as last year but with a different name? Is it technically a little better? Whatever the case, it’s not a major leap in speed.

No big new health trackers

Spot on, there’s nothing new in terms of sensors this time.

Square screens continue, no round faces

Spot on as well, although I assume we’re just weeks away from the first “the next Apple Watch will be round” rumor from circulating.

HomePod

Nothing, maybe some software updates

I didn’t expect anything to happen this year and I was mostly right (no new hardware), but I didn’t expect Apple to straight up discontinue the 3 year old HomePod.

Apple TV

Physical buttons for +/- 10 seconds

Yup!

Mute button on the remote

It’s there!

Bigger remote

Sure is, although still very svelte.

New hardware released

Yup! I mean it looks exactly the same, but new guts count.

Go aggressive gaming angle

And things were going so well…Apple hasn’t done anything to advance the gaming story on the Apple TV. I assume some Apple Arcade games still support it, but I haven’t even been remotely tempted to play anything on it, which isn’t a good sign.

Mac

Finally, the Mac section, which will get to be finalized tomorrow:

Apple Silicon in 16” MacBook Pro w/ fast M-processor

Seems like given at this point, but we’ll see tomorrow.

MBP and iMac have same physical design

I was totally wrong about the iMac, and I expect to be wrong about the MacBook Pro as well.

Hope: Portable Mac with touch, detachable screen…big jump in hardware

I mean, I’m sure I’ll be let down tomorrow when it comes to touch, but I will continue to shout from the rooftops that macOS should add touch support and Macs would be better for it.

Hope: iMac redesign more like XDR Display

I’m going to go with yes on this one, but you could argue I was wrong as well. I do think the new iMacs look more like the XDR display than the old models, but they’re really more like the iPad than anything else. Who am I to complain about Macs getting more like iPads though 😉

Apple Silicon in the iMac

In retrospect, a major “duh” call, but we didn’t know the timeline for these updates back in January, and I’m really happy with what we got.

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