Oh, hello, 2022!

I’m not sure about you, but I feel refreshed. Excited, even. Because regardless of the constant feed of negative, uninspiring news from the press, there’s an awful lot to look forward to this year.

This is particularly the case if you’re into Apple stuff, or tech in general. And, yes, I know that might sound rather materialistic in the face of what is an incredibly challenging world right now. But I’m a firm believer that tech can make you happier, more productive, and more successful, both personally and professionally.

So, why shouldn’t we get excited about what’s likely to be launched during 2022?

When it comes to Apple, I think there are four products we’re likely to see this year that absolutely fascinate me.

1. iMac Pro revival

Having spent considerable time with the 24” M1 iMac last year, I quickly drew the conclusion that the biggest version of Apple’s all-in-one would be just that – a bigger version; the same crazily slender profile, attractive colour options, and white bezels, just with a larger screen attached.

Now, I’m not so sure. Rumours point towards a more pro-focused version of the next big iMac, and that could mean a return of the iMac Pro.

When Apple killed off the Intel version in 2021, I thought that was it for the Pro moniker within the iMac lineup. I even referred to it as “one of the best decisions Apple has made”.

But the more I’ve used my M1 Max-powered 16-inch MacBook Pro, the more I’ve realised that the big iMac should sit squarely within the same bracket.

As I’ve noted previously, the 24” screen on the M1 iMac is perfectly sized for most users. There will only be a tiny subsection of regular consumers who will need – or want – to stump up considerably more for the privilege of having a larger screen.

The next big iMac will probably feature the same configuration choices between the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips as the new MacBook Pros. That’s why it’ll probably also include black bezels, high power modes, and, potentially, some form of advanced display technology.

It’s going to be a professionally-focused iMac with an equally professional price tag, because that market is far bigger than the minority of consumers who just want the biggest and ‘best’ iMac on the shelves.

2. The hold-onto-your-trousers Mac Pro

According to MacRumors, the next big update to the Mac Pro will be physically smaller than the current Intel version and feature up to 40 CPU cores, and 128 GPU cores.

The M1 Max chip is expected to sit at the heart of this new beast, and its performance is likely to eclipse that of the current model, several times over.

You’ll be able to alter the course of time with these computers, while simultaneously rendering 18 streams of 12K video in Final Cut Pro, and bouncing 512 tracks of three film scores layered on top of one another from Logic Pro.

Put simply, the new Mac Pro is going to be laughably powerful, yet entirely pointless for most of us mere mortals.

But that makes it even more exciting, in my book. After all, I really don’t have any need for a Lamborghini – nor would I ever extract even ten percent of its capabilities – but I still want one more than I want to retain the use of my right arm.

3. A new MacBook Air

It didn’t take me long to become completely awestruck by my new 16-inch MacBook Pro.

However, I’m nowhere near as fond of that computer as I am my M1 MacBook Air.

I’m aware that my public outpouring of love for the M1 MacBook Air is incredibly boring. But I really don’t care; I feel it’s my duty to reveal just lovable that laptop is – not least because it remains a great buy today.

Yes – even with ‘M2’ MacBook Air rumours constantly swirling around.

I have no doubt that we’re going to see an entirely new generation hit the shelves during 2022, but I’m not looking forward to the day when I have to retire my M1 MacBook Air.

Put it this way – if I wasn’t running this business, I wouldn’t upgrade to the new MacBook Air, regardless of how different, grown-up, or colourful it is. They are such amazing companions that only get better with age.

However, that makes the next generation particularly exciting for anyone who is yet to join the MacBook Air Fan Club*, and I cannot wait to review it.

*I don’t think this exists, but I’m considering starting it, complete with badges, fanzines, and everything. Let me know if you’re ‘in’.

4. Apple Watch Rugged Edition

Since trading my Apple Watch Series 6 for a Casio G-Shock last year (albeit temporarily), I’ve become less attached to Apple’s wearable.

It has turned into my weekday working watch, whereas the G-Shock is the watch I turn to at weekends when I have zero interest in wrist-based notifications or the need to charge the thing overnight.

As much as I’ve toyed with buying the Apple Watch Series 7, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Whether it was rushed out following production issues with the ‘real’ Series 7, or if this was simply a stop-gap year is increasingly irrelevant – it’s probably the most boring Apple Watch update we’ve been ‘treated’ to thus far.

Now we’re heading into 2022, my thoughts rest solely on what we’ll see next from the Apple Watch. It’s time for change, you see – not so much in the basic underpinnings, form factor, or utility of the Apple Watch, but within the lineup itself.

I would love to see a rugged version of the Apple Watch. Something akin to a G-Shock collab (although I know Apple is highly unlikely to team up with Casio) is what I think a great many people would love to see.

It makes sense. The Apple Watch is now first and foremost a fitness device, and that means people are increasingly pushing the boundaries of what it’s designed for.

For instance, a couple of years ago, I decided to wear my Apple Watch during a mud run. It was a silly idea; the screen emerged from that day scratched, chipped and looking rather sorry for itself. Yet, it tracked my workout perfectly, and proved to be a great companion during the run. It was so close to being the ideal mud run watch.

Slap it inside a more rugged casing, and there wouldn’t have been any lasting damage – or, if there was, it would have satisfyingly matched the aesthetics of the rugged design, like well-worn leather.

With the increasingly diverse range of workout choices available on watchOS, it’s only fair that the device itself allows people to be more carefree and experimental with it.

There have been no firm rumours on an Apple Watch that’s built like a tank, but I think it’s the most obvious evolution for the lineup.

What are you waiting for?

As always, I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to this year.

So, get involved in the comments and tell me what you’re most excited to see from Apple in 2022!