Apple will kill the Macbook line and drop the MacBook Air in both 11 and 13 inch models in its place. This is to further cement the place of people moving away from traditional notebooks and into either iPads or the higher margin MacBook Pros.
iLIfe 11 ( preferably int he new 64 bit variety ) or whatever they call the next version will only have one significant change and that should be int he iWeb MObile me integration and publishing. Otherwise the big news will be iLife for iOS which will include some versions of all the iLife Apps for the iOS. This isn’t so much of new apps as it is renaming the apps on the current platform and adding some small features. For example
Photos – iPhoto – and and some edits like one touch effects, crop, redeye remove, and social network integration sharing.
iPod – iTunes – merges the store and the media playing app into one, similar to iBooks.
Voice Memo – Garageband – adds line in recording, podcast quick session recording, still does memos, and again social network integration publishing.
iMovie – is already there and as a reminder iMovie was the first iLife App as well and nobody thought it was all that cool as well, at least not until YouTube came around.
iWeb – I would really like to see Apple push forward with Ping and make it a more robust platform for all of your iLife sharing needs, and make iWeb into a Ping platform app.
Mac OSX 10.7 Lion – I would really like to see them integrate the iPad as a full multi touch controller interface for the OS. Not really a needed feature but more of a hey this is cool and it’s where we are going, without having to give up too much in terms of the familiar OS and how it functions. I would really like to see some more in terms of customization options, like themes and everything that Tinkertool does. This one is a bit tough because everything is so focused on iOS right now and no one has any real major complaints about how Snow Leopard is working. There are always bugs to be worked out but feature wise it seems to be just fine.
I would also really like to see Apple make a push into the “cloud computing” area that wasn’t a half assed effort. Believe me, after working for Google for awhile I can tell you Apple doesn’t have a clue about the “cloud” as it were and really needs to get the ball rolling on this. These kind of platforms take a long time to get right and lets face it, so far nothing Apple has done has been a success in this area. iWork.com is still a beta of which I know of no one who uses it. MobileMe is alright but has never sold really well, never seems to do everything you want it to do, and is marketed so poorly that most Apple Store employees don’t even know how to describe it as anything other then cool email and online storage. And of course they just introduced Ping, the social music network that is off to a rather shaky start. It’s almost as though Steve Jobs said, ‘Oh I don’t care about this Facebook thing, it is useless” and since then no one has bothered to tell him about the emerging market. More realistically though Apple has always been a hardware company that happens to come with great software. Other then iTunes they really don’t have a clue about services. Well maybe with the continuing success with the iOS App Store, they really won’t need to. After all they can let the rest of the world do all the hard work developing and they can still make boatloads off selling cool hardware.
The problem with this is that eventually other manufacturers will start selling decent hardware and cheaper most likely running on Windows or Android. Apple really does have the best mindset for making great customer experiences which is why they could dominate this market. More importantly, they can bring the Apple level of quality associated with their other software and make a platform that people don’t complain about every time it changes something. More often then not when Apple does change something most people embrace it whole heartedly.
So that about wraps that up and we shall see how I do.