Posted by Ashleigh Allsopp 19 November 2014
Apple's 2014: A reflection
As we rapidly approach the end of 2014, it's only natural that we begin to reminisce about the year behind us before looking ahead to the year to come. I've been taking a look back at some of the Apple-related columns I've written this year, to see whether Apple met expectations and to discover how my opinion about the company has changed.
Keynote sorrow follows keynote joy
In June, I wrote about the WWDC 2014 keynote, which I absolutely loved, not least because 2014 has been a fantastic year for Apple's software with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite opening up their doors to developers. But the keynote was also funny, and it was the first time I'd really seen Apple's executives oozing confidence and excitement since we lost the legendary Steve Jobs. I wrote that I was already eagerly awaiting Apple's next keynote, dad jokes included, and I genuinely felt like my faith in the company had been restored after a slow and rocky few years.
Apple's September keynote, where it unveiled the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the Apple Watch, didn't stand out as a funny or entertaining one – Apple let the products take centre stage and, while I thought it was a wise move because the products were pretty darn awesome, a part of me missed the jokes.
I also felt that Apple was losing that confidence I'd seen before, particularly when CEO Tim Cook conducted two interviews directly after the event that felt like the company's way of justifying some of its actions to the doubters.
Then came Apple's October special event, during which it unveiled the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, Mac mini and the Retina 5K iMac. I'm sad to say that it bored me so much I almost nodded off during the first half an hour. The dad jokes came back in full force, but they were overdone, far too long and not actually relevant. It was among the most cringe-worthy things I've ever witnessed.
What happened Apple, what happened!?
iPhone 6 gets 3 out of 6 of my wishlist features
In July, after suggesting that Apple needs to pick up the pace of innovation, I wrote about what I thought Apple should do to help the iPhone 6 leapfrog its rivals.
I reiterated my point from my column in March that Apple needed to give the iPhone a bigger screen, and it did, of course. (In fact, I think it took things a bit too far with the iPhone 6 Plus's 5.5in display).
I also said Apple needs to give the iPhone a better display, which it did, kind of (Retina HD on the iPhone 6 is a bit of a strange term if you ask me, but I'll accept it for the 401ppi iPhone 6 Plus). But it's not the 534ppi Quad HD screen I was hoping for - Apple's still behind rivals there then.
The iPhone 6 also got a better camera – at least a bit. It's still 8Mp with 1.5 micron pixels, but it has improvements when it comes to focusing and image stabilisation.
However, I also said that Apple needed to add a MicroSD slot to the iPhone 6 (I knew it wouldn't but I still think it should), as well as front-facing speakers and a knock-out feature that we didn't see coming. Nope, none of those. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus really, really good smartphones but they don't beat the competition when it comes to specs and features, and they certainly don't leapfrog them.
At the beginning of the year, particularly after WWDC 2014, I thought 2014 was going to be Apple's year. And while I think some of the products it has launched are fantastic, particularly the iPhone 6, the 5K iMac and (finally) an update to the Mac mini, I fear that Apple missed the boat with the Apple Watch. Plus, despite my love of the iPhone 6, I still feel like Apple is slipping further and further behind in the smartphone race.
So, here's what I'm hoping for from Apple in 2015: A successful launch of the Apple Watch that doesn't leave us all waiting until the middle of the year; an update to the Apple TV (come on Apple!); a new smartphone that isn't an iPhone 6S and a new iPad that'll shake up the market (iPad Pro, perhaps?).
What are your thoughts about Apple's 2014? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? And what are you hoping for in 2015? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter.