Three Things I’d Like From Apple This Year

My Apple wish list is really not very long. Just a very few things I believe Apple could accomplish very easily that would make my life, and that of a great many others, much easier and cause us to snuggle even more tightly into the warm, accepting embrace of the closed garden. And here they are without further ado.

First, give us the choice to work natively with Microsoft Office formats in iWork applications like Libre Office does. It’s just fine that I can import and export MS Office Formats to Numbers and Pages, but that little bit of friction is enough that I don’t bother to use the applications at all. Why? Because almost zero people in the business world even know what Numbers and Pages are much less what formats they use. If I am going to share a document with anybody it needs to be an xlsx or docx file. And if I need to share that document I need to do it now, not after exporting, figuring out where the file is and sending it along its way. And if an associate wants me to edit a file, I don’t need to import the file, work on it, export it and send it back as many times as are required.

But this issue goes further than just the use of Numbers and Pages. MS Office products work so badly with the Files app on iOS that it is hindering the uptake of iCloud storage. MS office apps do not like to show files in iCloud in their file choosers and work poorly with files selected directly from the Files app. This leads people to purchase Office 365 both to get applications that work with their preferred file format and the storage that works with those applications, eschewing iCloud.

Nobody is clamoring to work in Numbers and Pages formats, but they are clamoring to work in an Apple supported environment/application that supports the file formats they need and natively uses the better security of iCloud and better interactivity with their Apple devices it brings. Apple could kill two birds with one stone by implementing native use of MS Office formats.

Second, release a version of Apple TV hardware that permits the connection of a camera and microphone and can make and receive FaceTime video calls. People like to talk in groups when they are at home. What they they don’t want is to do it hunched over an iPad or Mac with their heads jammed together. What they’d like is to do it from the sofa with plenty of personal space. Sure everyone could do it on an individual device, but have you ever tried that? The lag and the feed back mean that everyone at the same location on the call needs to be in a separate room. It also takes away the spontaneity of the space, nobody can really just walk into the frame.

This would be more for families than businesses. But there are sufficient business products on the market for meetings/group chatting, but really none that cater to families. Families need TV’s and set top boxes (organizations not so much). Want a way to differentiate and sell more Apple TV boxes? Give families a way to talk to each other spontaneously and comfortably as part of the deal.

Last, give us an Apple designed monitor that costs less than $5,000. Nobody wants that crappy looking LG monitor Apple has been pushing for years, they want a monitor that looks like an iMac that they can connect to their Mac mini or use as a docking station for their MacBook Air. That’s what I had with my Apple Thunderbolt Display from 2012. If fact I still have it, its connected to my M1 Mac mini using a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter. But it needs to be updated to support current expectations for display resolution.

In its prime the Thunderbolt Display was a docking station for my MacBook Pro that allowed me to easily connect my laptop to my wired internet connection, large monitor, and external drives with a single connection and to power with an also included MagSafe connector. That was awesome. My laptop was a desktop, was a laptop almost seamlessly. Isn’t that what Apple is supposed to be all about, reducing friction in interactions with computers?

Apple, give me these and take my money. Please.