The year-in-reviews are flooding in (unless you are an Apple Music subscriber and don’t use a separate app!), along with looking back at all the things the company launched over the last 12 months.
Was this year as exciting as the last? Maybe! We might not have gotten a brand new iPhone design like last year and the iPhone X, but we did get the colorful options with the iPhone XR. More than that, though, Apple’s other iPhone manages to actually feature worthwhile specs across the board without shoving a huge price tag in customers’ faces.
We did also get new Macs with the Mac mini and the brand new, redesigned MacBook Air. And then what feels like forever ago we finally saw Apple launch its first smart speaker, the HomePod. And then there’s the sixth-generation iPad with Apple Pencil support, which is actually a really nice device in the hand and also doesn’t break the bank. The MacBook Pro saw itself a nice upgrade in 2018, and Apple launched new software for all of its devices.
One of the more exciting launches was the Apple Watch Series 4, which not only brought with it the new ECG app, but a new design as well. It’s a small thing, but the bigger display does go a long way to showing off more information. Apple already held the lead when it comes to the smartwatch market, and the Series 4 improves on the winning formula in all the right ways.
And then there’s the redesigned iPad Pro, which saw the inclusion of Face ID, the minimized bezels, the removal of the Home button, and even a brand new Apple Pencil with new feature baked in. On the surface, a brand new iPad Pro is a good thing! Especially considering it’s the most powerful tablet the company has made to date. Except we all know it’s not all good, don’t we?
So, that’s the good stuff (for the most part)!
I’m not going to catalog all of the issues Apple saw itself mixed up with this year, mostly because that sounds genuinely depressing. But let’s just take a brief look back. We can’t count the battery issues from throttling iPhones, even if the lasting effects –the battery replacement program– ran through this year. (And it probably kept a lot of older iPhone owners from upgrading to newer models, which is kind of hilarious in a karmic sort of way.)
I think Apple made it through most of the year without any major issues, right? Sure, the iPad Pro is very expensive and Apple didn’t go out of its way to make up some stupid rationale for it. But Apple didn’t get through 2018 without shoving its foot into its mouth, so to speak. I don’t know about you, but Apple’s response to the iPad Pro bending so easily, even right out of the box, is one of the worst to date. And this is a company that, I’ve come to realize, just isn’t very good at damage control.
A company that has executives tell us that we are holding the phone the wrong way, for instance.
And then there’s this year, where Apple really took the cake. They were handed the baton from their past terrible excuses and just went with it. It didn’t take long before 2018 iPad Pro owners discovered that their tablet was susceptible to bending. Not a lot, in some cases, but it’s definitely noticeable. And if you ask Apple? Well, they say it’s fine. Somehow, in 2018, the company that is so well known for its hardware is telling all of us that if it bends, it’s okay.
Just look at this screen grab from the promo video for the iPad Pro:
No bend! Could you imagine if Apple did this ad with an iPad Pro that had a bend to it? There’s just no universe where Apple puts that in front of a camera and calls it good. The whole situation is laughable, and yet Apple just . . . does its Apple thing. I don’t know if it made it worse or anything, but we did get to hear about the company’s former marketing director return his own iPad Pro so there’s that.
All that being said, I do think that the HomePod is a fantastic device and I’m glad it exists — even if I’m still using Spotify more than Apple Music and that’s more frustrating than it should be.
Did Apple have a pretty good year? Yeah it did. But then 2018 was ready to wrap up and Apple couldn’t go out without messing it up somehow. So, with all that being said I wanted to find out what you thought about Apple’s 2018. Do you think it was a winning 12 months for the company? How do you think they could have improved?