Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

Stuff’s predictions and hopes for Apple over the coming year
Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

You don’t need a crystal ball to know at least some of what Apple will unveil over the next 12 months.

Apple Watch is imminent, and unless Tim Cook goes mad and decides Apple really needs to scrap everything and get into the spooky porcelain clown business, we’re going to see new iPads, iPhones and Macs.

So what follows isn’t just Stuff’s predictions about what Apple will do in 2015, but also our wish-list for the company over the months ahead.

READ MORE: Apple in 2014 - the good, the bad and the hideous

Make a smaller iPhone 7

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

Plenty of people were clamouring for bigger iPhones and Apple gave us two. Now we’re being awkward and asking for a smaller one as well, for those who don’t possess banana thumbs, and who are quite happy with a smaller screen.

It needn’t be cheap and it shouldn’t replace other models - we’d gladly see an iPhone 5s-sized iPhone 7 ‘mini’ sitting alongside the standard model and the gargantuan Plus.

READ MORE: iPhone 6 review

Figure out the iPad

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

This one's easier said than done, given that the iPad was never well-defined in terms of its use-case, sitting halfway between an iPhone and a MacBook Air. But devs gave us great apps, and the device cemented itself in niches from medical work through to music creation. Oh, and tens of millions of normal people bought one too.

Sales have stagnated of late, though, and Apple's response appears to be a scattergun approach, flinging out as many iPads as possible. In 2015, we hope Apple is more 'Apple', focusing on only the very best hardware, and not trying to fight Android tablets at the lower end of the market.

READ MORE: iPad Air 2 review

Get Retina everywhere

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

As soon as you see a Retina display, you’re forever spoiled. It’s like individual pixels from low-res displays cut into your very eyeballs. In 2014, Retina made it to desktops in the shape of the 5K iMac, but the device we're hoping for is the MacBook Air Retina. And, yeah, we know: blah blah technology limitations blah. But if anyone can pull off this feat of engineering, it's Apple.

READ MORE: 5 things you need to know about the iMac with Retina 5k Display

Don’t let Apple Watch suck

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

We're pretty sure 'Make it suck' isn't in fact on Apple's list of things to do regarding Apple Watch, but we really want this device to be brilliant.

First, it'll shut up people who bang on about how Apple never releases new things any more (for at least *several* minutes); secondly it'll give the rest of the wearbles market a much-needed kick up the bum - but only if it's any good.

READ MORE: Apple Watch: 11 things you need to know

Take Apple TV seriously

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

We love the Apple TV. It’s a great little unit, with a simple user-interface that certain TV manufacturers *cough*Samsung*cough* would do well to ape instead of whatever hideous nightmares they’re concocting for the next generation of smart TVs.

But Apple’s also being overtaken by its rivals in terms of functionality and scope; the Apple TV needs more apps (especially outside of the US), and could do with better gaming smarts, even if it remains a conduit to your telly, with the rest of the set-up being an iOS device and a controller.

READ MORE: Why every Apple fan should own an Apple TV

Sort out iOS gaming

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

Speaking of games, it still feels as if Apple’s bemused by them, despite their success on iOS. There have been hints at better things during 2014, such as the Indie Games Showcase on the App Store, but Apple needs to do more to surface objectively great titles, stop pushing freemium garbage, and make finding games you might want to play a non-hellish experience. Some more granular gaming categories and a big dynamically updated list of titles that support controllers would be a good start.

READ MORE: iCheapskate: 38 amazing free games for iPad and iPhone

Dial down the keynotes

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

Apple’s still king of keynotes, but that’s only because everyone else’s are so awful. Recent Apple keynotes are hardly among the classics. Although they admittedly feel a touch more human than when Steve Jobs was calling the shots, they also bang on for far too long, and too often spend excruciating chunks of time playing out truly awful dad jokes. The odd bit of humour is fine, but flab isn’t; cut them back, Apple!

READ MORE: Why you'd be a mug to believe the iPhone microwave hoax

Refine OS X Yosemite — fast

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

In this writer's experience (and there are those in the Stuff office who would disagree), OS X Yosemite hasn’t reached its potential. It’s oddly buggy, and it visually feels like a bit of a hodgepodge of styles. You have a kind of iOS minimalism and translucency butting up against gaudy, cartoonish icons.

The dark mode is also sub-par, not affecting enough OS X elements and failing from a readability standpoint. It all feels a bit OS X 10.0 rather than 10.10; OS X 10.11 needs to settle down, Apple ensuring its desktop OS matches the sleekness of its devices.

READ MORE: 7 things you need to know about Mac OS X Yosemite

Be a bit more open

Apple in 2015: Apple Watch, the iPhone 7, and figuring out the iPad

We’re not suggesting Apple should open-source everything, nor inform the press about its every move. But it does need to be at least a little more open in 2015.

It’s untenable that App Store screw-ups appear to best be fixed by devs trying to kick up a PR storm, and we wonder whether everyone’s best interests are served in iOS devices still only being able to install apps from the App Store.

Time for an Apple Store VP, and an ‘Anywhere’ install switch, albeit buried deep in Settings, to keep it away from the Muggles.

READ MORE: 35 best free apps for Android

Ignore everyone and do what’s best

Yes, ignore everything we just said, Apple. In fact, ignore what everyone else says, too. Just carry on doing great things, because that’s worked out pretty well for you so far.

It’s easy to be a keyboard pundit, banging on about what Apple should or shouldn’t do, but often the best route for any company is to make what people *need* rather than what they *want*.

That said, we *really* won't say no to that shiny new 4in iPhone 7.

READ MORE: 10 great apps for your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus