We also noted that while we expected to see more Retina displays on Apple's Macs, this would be a slow process. We explained that the rollout of Retina displays could be slower on the desktop front because it's still more cost-effective to use standard-definition displays and while a 24- or 27in a Retina display might be gorgeous, it would also be expensive. As a result we didn't expect that the iMac would go Retina, and indeed, it didn't. But we did see the Retina display come to the iPad mini, as expected.
One thing we were sure of at the end of 2012 was that there would be no Macs with touchscreens introduced in 2013. Apple's late Steve Jobs observed that the ergonomics for desktop touchscreens are all wrong. The interfaces of both Mac OS X and iOS did receive a complete overhaul in 2013 though, thanks to Jonathan Ive who is now responsible for Apple's Human Interface software teams as well as the design of Apple's hardware. As we expected it was the end of the skeuomorphic elements, but there was more to the redesign than removing these old-fashioned designs, and the two Apple interfaces are now even more unified, with Maps and iBooks coming to the Mac and improvements in terms of syncing.
However, we are still a long way from a completely unified interface: putting Ive at the helm might improve communications between Apple's software teams, but there are still some strange omissions, like the fact that AirDrop cannot be used to transfer files between a Mac and an iPhone.
We also noted that two new standards for networking were emerging: 802.11ac (the update to 802.11n) and 802.11ad (for in-room super high-speed streaming.) We predicted that Apple could add a preliminary version of 1Gbps 802.11ac to its base stations, and indeed it has.
802.11ad offers four channels with data rates of 7Gbps per channel, but these speeds are only available over distances up to 30 feet. We suggested that users could send video this way and watch it at the highest possible quality, but with the caveat that we didn't expect to see this standard until 2014 (watch this space).
The other one to watch, we noted, was LTE 4G. At the time of writing only EE subscribers had access to LTE 4G in the UK. The other networks spent 2013 acquiring the bandwidth to offer 4G with the roll out happening now, but it's no where near the 98% of the UK that Ofcom wants 4G to reach. It looks like 2014 will be the year adoption of 4G begins in earnest with some towns and cities not getting 4G until sometime in 2015.
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