My 2018 Tech Wishlist
- MacBook Pro: I hope that the MacBook Pro get Intel’s 8th generation CPU so that the 13” MacBook Pro gets a quad-core option. A more powerful SKU that allows for 32GB of RAM would be much appreciated as well for development and VMWare Labs. I’m also crossing my fingers that FaceID makes an appearance across all the Macs to replace TouchID and we get a TouchBar 2 with haptic feedback…something I think the current TouchBar is badly missing.
- Pixel SmartWatch, Android Wear 3.0, and Google Fit: I hope that Google took 2017 off to revamp Android Wear. The Apple Watch LTE showed that focusing on notifications, fitness, and fast app interactions can make for a solid smartwatch experience. I hope that we do get a Pixel Smartwatch that rivals the Apple Watch in its hardware quality and feature parity, especially around LTE in a body that isn’t the size of a Hummer on your wrist. I think Android Wear 2.0 is a solid foundation, but Google really needs to beef up Google Fit and maybe provide insight about Health. They made a lot of hay last year during Google I/0 about machine learning. Why not apply to that to a noble pursuit like making people healthier? All the data in the world is useful without context. Google could revolutionize healthcare by making Android Wear accessible to millions of people and providing healthcare providers with richer information.
- Google Pods: A lot of my Android using friends were hoping for truly wireless EarPods like Apple’s AirPods, but were disappointed with Google’s Pixelbuds. I love my AirPods and I think that having that truly wireless form factor with a more useful Google Assistant would be a great product.
- Siri: Apple’s Siri needs to get a lot smarter in 2018 to compete with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana, especially since the HomePod is coming out soon. Siri really needs to gain the ability to work with multiple people in these scenarios and give me the option to let it learn more about me. I think that Apple is doing a great thing about being the privacy company, but I trust Apple not to sell my information. They don’t make their money from advertisements and I trust them with my data. I think that if Siri is going be as capable as Google Assistant it is going to need to know more about me. Also, can we get a version of Siri on the Mac that is not so limited? I would really appreciate being able to control Homekit devices through my Mac and control third party apps. Siri + Automator actions would be very powerful.
- Aperture X: My video editing friends have Final Cut X, my audio editing friends have Logic X, and I have….Photos.app? I really hope that Apple releases a more powerful photography solution for professionals because even as a filthy casual photographer I feel like I hit up against the limits of the Photos.app when I import a lot of images and video from my DSLR. I really like having my photos and video in iCloud and available across all of my Apple devices as an operating system-level feature across all the apps on MacOS and iOS. I really do not want to switch to something like Creative Cloud and pay Adobe $10/month for that right and have to move to a completely different ecosystem. I know it’s unlikely, but I would buy a modern version of Aperture with iCloud Library support in a heartbeat.
- Windows Mobile: *Takes drink* I know this isn’t really going to happen, but I can always dream of Windows Phone coming back and us having a viable 3rd platform. Progressive web apps give me a little bit of hope as does the Surface hardware announced this year in the form of the Surface laptop and Surface Studio. I would love a Surface phone and an Xbox Phone. One built for productivity (large screen, stylus-supporting, Note-like Phone) and one built for gaming (Large screen, great speakers, long battery life). I would love being able to log into Microsoft Teams on the phone and have it sync my chats, text messages, phone calls, and work from my phone and back. I miss having a phone with deep Office365 integration and I would love one with extra capable and integrated support for OneDrive, OneNote, Teams, Todo, etc. The thing I really loved about Windows Phone was it’s original focus on things like productivity, gaming, photography, music, etc and merging the experiences together. I think hubs are older ideas, but having a phone with deeper Windows and Office365 would be great if you work for a company that uses it deeply like at my last two jobs. I really liked Windows Phone as a good compromise between Android and iOS. You got the hardware choice and more flexible of Android (like a proper file system and more personal feeling phone) and the stability and speed of iOS. If Microsoft released a new series of Windows Phone that had support for the apps I use I would seriously consider jumping ship. I really like Windows 10, Office365, and the Surface hardware already.
- Microsoft Studio: Microsoft already has Microsoft Office and last year they released the “Creator’s Update” for Windows 10, but their applications are very pedestrian and basic for Photo and video editing with no solution for audio. Apple has the iLife suite and I think that if Microsoft is serious about courting creatives it needs entry and mid-tier level software for photo, video, audio, and 3D object editing. There needs to be some middle ground between the very basic photo editor that ships with Windows 10 and something like Lightroom CC or Adobe Audition. I think that maybe buying Adobe for the high-end would be a good move, but even if they did something like that they should develop software for the other 75% of the population that does not need something quite as powerful. There is something to be said about giving tools to people that they can easer into and learn more over time. I say they should buy Adobe and then release “Elements” versions of their creative software that gets people started off and then ease them into the professional creative cloud suite. Do it like Apple and Google though and give people the features that they need, but don’t artificially limit the feature set. I think have a consumer to prosumer level suite would go a long way of making people think about using Windows for their creative pursuits.
- HomePod: I would like the full HomePod to come out and a smaller one to be released.
So, that’s my quick and dirty tech wishlist for 2018. There are a lot more things I could cover like the iPhone XL or iPhone XS (Smaller iPhone SE version of the iPhone X) or maybe a Android apps finally making ChromeOS a Windows 10 competitor because I think Windows needs some real competition outside the mobile market. I don’t know what 2018 will really bring, but I’m hopeful things will get better.