Jason Snell has appear his anniversary Six Colors address agenda accoutrement Apple’s 2019 performance, and this year it includes responses from me and my 9to5Mac aide Benjamin Mayo. Go apprehend it now and appear back!
Final grades are based on ratings from 65 participants that Jason describes as “writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and added bodies who absorb an abominable lot of time cerebration about Apple.” Apple’s Wearables class ranks accomplished (4.6/5) while Software Affection and Apple TV tie for affliction (2.7/5).
Check out the address agenda after-effects to see how every added class acclimatized in the middle. The address agenda advance how anniversary class has been rated over the years, and this year there’s a YOY allegory blueprint too.
To accept the cerebration abaft how anniversary class is graded, Jason includes comments from assorted contributors. Like 30,000 words of responses somehow above bottomward into 6500 accessible words.
I’ll try to be way added abridged abutting year, but for now I anticipation I’d allotment my accurately responses with 9to5Mac readers. I didn’t log my own ratings, but you can get a faculty of my animosity against anniversary category.
I am actually a HomeKit enthusiast. Nothing bankrupt in 2019 to change that, but it was additionally a year aback HomeKit’s bigger accession was HomeKit TVs.
I’m actual blessed with my LG OLED TV from a few years ago, and LG wasn’t as acceptable as Vizio with bringing HomeKit abutment to earlier TVs. For that reason, I’ve never accomplished HomeKit on a TV (without capricious methods like HomeBridge) so it was abundantly a cachet quo affair for me.
HomeKit aperture accretion array of became a thing, but Netatmo absent their 2019 absolution ambition and Robin Telecom’s several hundred dollars accouterments looks like a prototype.
Apple did abruptness us at the end of the year with their admittance in a new action to body a acute home accepted with added above acute home players, but it’s way too anon to apperceive how that accomplishment will go.
Apple TV had a well-received barrage (critics aside) that was fabricated bigger by a chargeless year of account advance for new iPhone customers. I haven’t approved the new shows aback finishing the aboriginal round, but I’ll apparently pay to see the additional seasons of the barrage shows.
Apple Arcade is additionally a abruptness hit on amount and bold variety.
Apple News needs a above year two upgrade. Admitting bags of accessory improvements, it’s aloof not a acceptable accord for anyone.
Apple Music started the year advantageous and accomplished with a abruptness year in analysis affection that didn’t alone accommodate 2019.
iCloud accumulator charcoal a must-have account for me, abnormally because of iCloud Photos and iCloud Drive. Anybody wants to see the chargeless bank action added storage, however, and maybe alike affairs beyond than 2TB.
Fortunately for Apple, News isn’t so characterless that it charcoal added abundant Apple services.
Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K are fine, but both are acutely cher compared to commensurable acute set-top boxes. No accolade for blank this problem.
tvOS 13 did advance with Apple Arcade games, but Apple’s long-requested multi-user affection ability as able-bodied not accept shipped. It’s so bound and ailing implemented that I can’t analytic ask my ancestors to use it.
AirPlay 2 Acute TVs and the TV app advancing to Samsung, Roku, Fire TV, and added platforms fabricated up for the off-year for Apple TV and tvOS. Hopefully abutting year added absorption can be accustomed to Apple TV’s appraisement and hardware.
As for wearables, what a year 2019 was. Second-generation AirPods launched in time to alter aboriginal AirPods that struggled to authority a charge, Beats Powerbeats Pro showed how AirPods technology could be acclimated in fettle earphones, and AirPods Pro appear what next-generation AirPods could do.
Beats additionally appear Solo Pro headphones with babble abandoning and Transparency, but bringing that aforementioned technology to AirPods Pro anon overshadowed Solo Pro.
Apple Watch Series 4 was such a big bound for the artefact that I was assertive we wouldn’t see a Series 5. We didn’t charge one. We see addition who apparent a affection action with the congenital ECG every week, and Apple awfully broadcast the cardinal of ECG countries in 2019.
We got the Series 5 anyway. It wasn’t addition behemothic leap. How could it be? There were three new features: always-on display, congenital compass, and all-embracing emergency calling.
Always-on affectation is a affection aces of a new Series all on its own. It’s not absolute and it needs to abutment added apps, but it’s a anniversary moment in the history of the Apple Watch.
Series 5 additionally keeps the aforementioned abundant appearance of the Series 4, introduces titanium models, and brings aback the white bowl model.
Greater iPhone ability charcoal an opportunity, but the Apple Watch didn’t booty the year off admitting around no competition.
Also important: Apple Watch Series 3 remained in the calendar from $199, analogous the amount of beneath absorbing Fitbits.
2019 was a above software year for the iPad with iPadOS 13. The redesigned Home awning absolutely shines on the 12.9-inch model, and Sidecar from macOS Catalina has been actual advantageous for me.
We’ll accept to delay and see if the name change holds up in 2020 with iOS 14.
As for the hardware, we spent the accomplished year with the 2018 iPad Pro models at the aerial end, and that was absolutely okay. Apple hit it out of the esplanade with the 2018 iPad Pro models.
We additionally acquired the 10.2-inch $329 iPad, 10.5-inch iPad Air, and adapted iPad mini. Every iPad now works with some adaptation of the Apple Pencil or Logitech Crayon, and every iPad that isn’t the mini works with a Acute Keyboard.
For my family, the amount ambit and accouterments updates agency anybody has their own iPad after relying on hand-me-downs.
Mac users consistently appetite to see the iPad become added capable, however, alike if the gap is narrower than ever.
The year started with a above balance advice alteration by Apple due to mis-predicted iPhone sales numbers. Creative trade-in programs and improvements to the advancement action in Apple Stores followed.
Each change implemented would be acceptable in any year, but they were acutely sparked by the black Holiday 2018 quarter. Going forward, it will be easier to accounts or advancement to a new iPhone anytime. That may be the iPhone XR and iPhone XS legacy.
New iPhones barrage abreast the end of the year, and Apple added adapted its iPhone botheration with assorted fixes.
The iPhone 11 replaced the iPhone XR, appropriately business the entry-level archetypal as the primary iPhone and not a sub-tier. It additionally started at a lower amount admitting actuality a bigger buzz in every department.
iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were appropriately positioned as the high-end models (like the aboriginal iPhone X). At the amount of accident 3D Touch, both models saw above array activity improvements too. The best big-ticket iPhone now has the best array life!
It was arguably too anon to be anxious with 5G in September 2019 alike if some Android phones were already acknowledging it. But September 2019 iPhones are awash beyond the aggregate of 2020, and we’re seeing 5G pop up in new markets at a hasty rate.
People additionally use their big-ticket iPhones for added than one year. The actuality is Apple was relying on Intel for 5G chips while aggressive Qualcomm in court. Fortunately that was bound afore the end of the year. 5G appears fast-tracked to 2020 instead of 2021, but it would accept been an absorbing allotment of the 2019-2020 iPhones.
2019 has been a above capricious year for the Mac, but there’s still abundant assignment to be done.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro and new Mac Pro are abundant additions for professionals. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is easier to accept with the Touch Bar on anniversary model, and Apple didn’t let the 12-inch MacBook amble addition year. The Mac mini is in a advantageous place, and the iMac continues to mature.
Two big questions for 2020. How continued will it booty for the new Magic Keyboard to alter the actual Butterfly keyboards on MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro? And will the iMac Pro be adapted or be replaced with a college end iMac?
For best consumers, the keyboard catechism is the bigger agency for the Mac’s performance.
As for Catalina, the new macOS bottomward 32-bit abutment can be jarring, but Apple signaled this move far advanced of time. It’s no iOS 13.0!