Despite continually posting record revenue figures, I don’t think 2022 has been Apple’s best year.

This isn’t all bad news for people like me (selfish, I know). You see, as much as I’ve been cheesed off with its total lack of effort with the iPad lineup, Apple has given content creators like myself an awful lot to talk about this year.

Some of it, like the lacklustre iPad Pro and totally weird 10th generation iPad, has been frustrating, but there have been a couple of huge wins – namely the Apple Watch Ultra and the second-generation AirPods Pro.

Things do need to get better in 2023, though, and I think I’ve worked out what Tim needs to do if he wants to avoid the same levels of “why have they done/not done <delete as appropriate> that?” next year.

1. Get rid of Lightning

Enough is enough. I’ve heard every argument for Apple holding desperately onto the Lightning port for certain devices and none of them hold any weight, I’m afraid.

We have USB-C powered iPads, Macs that can be charged via USB-C, and even a brand-new Apple TV Siri Remote which now has that industry-standard port.

Why is the iPhone still Lightning? Why do I always have to search for a specific cable to charge my AirPods Max (resulting in them constantly running out of juice)? Why on earth didn’t Apple update the second-generation AirPods Pro case with USB-C?

It’s looking likely that EU regulations will force Apple into a corner with this. Which is silly, but if that’s what it takes for you to join the rest of the Cool Club, Tim…

2. Update AirPods Max (and lower the price)

I’ve compared AirPods Max against loads of other headphones. Some of those competitors have been cheaper (by quite a margin), while others have been more expensive (again, by quite a margin).

AirPods Max always lose those battles.

I wouldn’t mind if, for instance, this was because of the sound. The sonic performance of headphones is an entirely subjective thing; what makes a bad pair for one person might be a winner for another.

The real issue with AirPods Max is that they get the basics biblically wrong, and this results in a poor ownership experience – which is unforgivable given the price. They constantly run out of charge because you can’t turn them off and always force the search for a Lightning cable. The case doesn’t protect them. They are far too expensive.

Need I go on?

It’s a huge missed opportunity, but one that Apple can rectify next year – if they can be bothered. All we need is a lower-priced pair of AirPods Max (they don’t need to be all-aluminium and canopy-equipped, guys) that have USB-C charging, an off button, and a proper case.

Although, I really shouldn’t have to ask for this stuff, should I?

3. Complete the Apple silicon transition

This was a bit naughty, wasn’t it? Although they never explicitly promised the two-year transition to Apple silicon for the Mac, they did tell us that it would happen within that time frame.

It hasn’t. There’s one Mac that can still only be purchased with an Intel Inside: the Mac Pro.

We’re clearly not going to see the new Mac Pro this year – unless Apple drops the mother of all Christmas presents on us next month. But we do need to see it next year.

Unless they’ve abandoned the project entirely, of course. It wouldn’t be the first time, would it?

4. Launch an iPad mini Pro

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Since publishing my one-year-later review of the brilliant iPad mini 6, I’ve noticed increased calls within the comments section for a Pro version.

I laughed this off when people originally suggested it last year, but they really did have a point.

Imagine an iPad mini with a ProMotion display, an extra camera lens, and compatibility with a mini Magic Keyboard (or Folio). It would be utterly joyous and I’d hand over my money immediately.

If they can do it with the iPhone, they can definitely add the ‘Pro’ moniker to the end of the iPad mini’s name.

5. Give us something new

As noted recently, I still need convincing about the mass market appeal of a mixed-reality headset. Clearly, whatever Apple is working on at the moment is going to be aimed solely at professional use, early adopters, and those with deep pockets.

However, while I can’t fathom their reasons for jumping into the VR/AR game quite so early (and it remains ‘early’ in terms of consumer-readiness, I’m afraid) it would at least give me something new to test and talk about.

The iPhone has hit an innovation ceiling (it did a couple of years ago, really). The iPad, clearly, isn’t a major focus for Apple in terms of innovation. The Mac is back to its competitor-shredding best. The Apple Watch is as polished as it needs to be right now. The Apple TV is a great home entertainment device – it doesn’t need to evolve at this moment in time.

What’s next? A car? Nah. Let’s seen what you can do with this new paradigm of computing, Tim.

What are you looking forward to?

Those are my wishes for 2023. But what about you? What can Apple do to either keep you engaged with their brand, tempt you back, or make you even happier than you already are?

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