Happy birthday, Mac. Apple CEO Tim Cook has tweeted a photo of the first Mac, which was unveiled by Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984 – in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Mac.
“35 years ago, Macintosh said hello,” he said. “It changed the way we think about computers and went on to change the world. We love the Mac, and today we’re proud that more people than ever are using it to follow their passions and create the future.”
As much as I love my iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple TV, etc., if I had to keep only one Apple product, it would be my iMac. I find it invaluable for both work and play.
The iMac, will most agree help to “save” Apple after Steve Jobs returned, turned 20 last year. We didn’t get a 20th anniversary all-in-one to celebrate, which disappointed me. But I’m hoping for a 35th anniversary Mac to make up for it.
So what can we expect from such a system? Following is a round-up of what I’ve previously predicted/hoped for (in addition to, of course, even more powerful processors and graphics cards):
A major form factor redesign would be exciting, but I’m not anticipating one (more on that, in a sec). What I AM anticipating is a “non-Pro” iMac available in space grey (and, less probable, in a hue of colors). I also expect some other iMac Pro features to come to the non-Pro model, including better speakers and an enhanced FaceTime camera.
The iMac Pro also has the first ever 1080p FaceTime camera to come on a Mac, compared to the 720p camera on the 5K iMac. It also has four microphones, compared to only one on the 5K iMac. This needs to change. And here’s hoping Apple brings Face ID to the Mac.
I expect the next rev of the 27-inch iMac 5K to sport the Apple T2 chip that’s in the pro model. According to Apple, “by redesigning and integrating several controllers found in other Mac systems — like the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller — T2 delivers new capabilities to the Mac.”
The chances of Apple choosing OLED for the iMac 2018 display is very slim since the technology is still in the developing stage. Which means, it would be quite pricey for a 21-inch or 27-inch monitor.
On my wish list (though I don’t think it will happen) is the addition of dual cameras on top of the display. Dual cameras would make 3D facial recognition possible, and could even be used to capture 3D video. Not only could our FaceTime chats take on a deeper, richer experience, but 3D capture could help those who have difficulty interacting with their computers.
Dual cameras could more easily track eye and facial gestures allowing for much more precise input for those who need this type of interaction. A whole new way to interact with the iMac would be possible.
As for accessories, I expect to see an optional Magic Keyboard with a Touch Bar offered for the iMac. And since Apple has repeatedly said there won’t be a touchscreen on a Mac, I’d love to see an optional, super-sized Magic Trackpad with Apple Pencil support.
The current iMac has had the same design since 2012. Apple may make some internal changes that slim the all-in-one down even more — and perhaps shave off some of the “chin.” Or, if Apple really believes in the Touch Bar, it could add one to the all-in-one’s chin.
Perhaps we’ll see a revved all-in-one this spring? If not, the next gen iMac probably won’t arrived until this summer at the Worldwide Developer Conference.