Every year about this time, everyone who writes for a living dusts off the old crystal ball and attempts to figure out what is going to happen in the next 12 months that will affect his/her interests. Here are my predictions for 2020, some of which will probably be right on target, others that will miss completely. Of course, who’s going to check on this next year?
5G Deployments Begin in Earnest. This is really kind of an easy one, since all of the major US carriers are making a big deal out of their 5G plans. Of course, this won’t make a difference to iPhone users until at least September or so when the next generation phones arrive with 5G capabilities. My guess is that we won’t see too much of a difference in 5G adoption in 2020. A surprising number of uninformed people seem to think that they’re going to be harmed by 5G transmissions, so expect a lot of protests and concerned articles in the press. Since widespread use of 5G will require many more cell towers and smaller cells, expect to start seeing antennae in places where you’ve never seen them before, like on top of street lights. Me? I won’t be happy until I can get rid of my Comcast Xfinity Internet service and use faster 5G on all of my devices.
3D Photos Will Be The ‘Next Big Thing’ for iPhones. Right now, the cameras on recent iPhone models do depth mapping that enables Portrait Mode. Take a Portrait Mode photo and send it to Facebook, and it’s posted as a 3D image that “moves” as you scroll. My prediction is that Apple will use a similar technique to make photos that show depth and react to your iPhone or iPad being moved.
Apple Services Bundle. Right now you can get a bunch of separate subscriptions; one for Apple Music, one for Apple News+, one for Apple TV+, etc… My guess is that Apple will bundle all of its services into one package — let’s call it Apple+ — and then discount that. Unlimited music, news, Apple TV+ service, Apple Arcade and more for $12 a month? Let’s also add unlimited movie rentals to Apple TV+. Oh, and I’m betting that Apple Books becomes a service. Pay a few bucks a month for unlimited borrowing of books from the Apple Library.
Time Machine in the Cloud. Hey, we back up our iPhones and iPads to iCloud every night. The need for a physical hard drive to back up our devices is antiquated. In macOS 10.16, Apple will build in the capability to back up the Mac to iCloud. Think of it as similar to services like Backblaze, where you can pull down old files on an as-needed basis, or get a complete restore on a drive that’s shipped to you overnight in an emergency. By the way, this will be a service offering from Apple, so it might be part of that Apple Services Bundle I just talked about…
MacBooks and iMacs with Face ID. I was rather upset with Apple after they introduced the 16-inch MacBook Pro without Face ID, but I now think it’s because they’re perfecting a module that can be used in any Mac. iPhones and iPad Pros already have this feature, it’s a shoo-in for new MacBooks and iMacs released in 2020.