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2012 Predictions: Macworld's annual forecast of the year ahead

Macworld Staff | Jan. 9, 2012
At the end of every year, we take the requisite look back, and the end of 2011 was no exception—we reviewed the year in iOS, the year in Mac, Apple’s financial performance, the year in quotes, and Macworld’s most read and most loved and loathed stories.

At the end of every year, we take the requisite look back, and the end of 2011 was no exception—we reviewed the year in iOS, the year in Mac, Apple’s financial performance, the year in quotes, and Macworld’s most read and most loved and loathed stories.

But the new year is just as much a time to look forward. We started last week with Dan Moren’s Apple and the year ahead, but every January we also survey a number of Macworld contributors and friends for their predictions for the upcoming 12 months. Specifically, we ask our participants for their forecasts for Mac OS X, iOS, and Apple hardware, as well as for each person’s pie-in-the-sky wish for the world of Apple. You'll find such hopes and wishes below.

For those prognosticators who also participated in our 2011 predictions article, we’ve also noted how each fared last year, using a scale of 0 to 4, with each of the four topic areas worth one point—partial credit awarded, of course. Take these scores with a grain of salt, as they’re admittedly subjective; plus, how do you score The Macalope, really?

Jacqui Cheng, Senior Apple Editor, Ars Technica

Last year’s score: Mac OS X, 1.0; iOS, 0.5; hardware, 0.5; pie, 0. Total = 2.0/4.0

Mac OS X: My OS X-related prediction from last year—integrated cloud services—ended up coming true, so why not keep running with that? This year, I hope to see even further integration with cloud and Internet services. An obvious example is iMessage on the desktop (who doesn’t want that?), but I’m also thinking bigger, like the caability to set up a new Mac from a cloud-based backup or, at the very least, from your Time Machine backup at home while you’re out and about.

iOS: Siri made a splash when it debuted with the iPhone 4S, and I’d like to see Apple open up the Siri API to third-party developers. She (it?) already works reasonably well with Apple’s own apps and services; wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use Siri with your favorite third-party apps, such as one of my favorite CTA (Chicago) apps, Buster? (“Siri, when will the freaking Milwaukee bus arrive!?”)

We may also finally see the end result of all these recent—and mysterious—mapping-related acquisitions Apple has been making. What is Apple doing with Placebase, Poly9, and C3 anyway? Maybe the employees are still going through the hazing that Steve Jobs started when their respective companies were first acquired.

Hardware: We didn’t see any cosmetic changes in the iPhone in 2011, so 2012 is prime for it. What those changes will encompass is anyone’s guess, but thinner, lighter, and “sexier” will undoubtedly be on the checklist. More RAM and a better processor, too? Apple’s got this. Of course, this is a boring and predictable answer on hardware, but there are few things I’m more sure of than this. Want something a little crazier? Maybe Apple will even offer the 2012 iPhone in colors this time, laying waste to Colorware’s entire market. That would be enthralling, wouldn’t it?

 

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