To start I want to get off the plate my perennial wishes for Apple that I know will never happen.
The first is for a nice $1,000 mini-tower that has room for a couple of hard drives and an optical drive. All it needs is an I5 processor but an I7 would be a nice option. It doesn't have to be designed to survive a nuclear holocaust like the current Mac Pro. Just a simple elegant case will do. I don't need to elaborate on the specs since this does not appear to be anywhere on Apple's radar.
The second wish that I know will never come about is a reasonably priced 15" laptop. I don't expect Apple to compete with low cost laptops but it sure would be nice to be able to get a 15" laptop from Apple for only 50% more than the competition instead of more than double the cost.
My third never-going-to-happen perennial wish is that Apple would establish real communication with customers. While I know that customers can be a pain in the rear when you are the most successful company in the world, I really think both customers and Apple would gain from having a dialogue instead of mostly one way communication.
I have no idea whether or not my last wish from previous years has been fixed since I still haven't figured out how to access iCloud without spending money for an upgrade that I don't want or becoming best buddies with someone using Mac OS X Lion. The holidays did not help in this respect since my adult children gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas.
Now that my old wishes are out of the way, what do I really hope for Apple in 2012.
Well the first thing that I would like to see Apple do is to focus on making things work really well instead of adding things that might be of questionable value. Changes to iPhoto are what I have complained about the most but there might be significant issues in OS X Lion.
While I wish I had hands on experience with OS X Lion, I don't. What I have heard from my valued testers has not been very positive and has kept me from installing it on my I5 iMac. This recent article in Slate confirmed what my tester-friends have been telling me, that Apple perhaps has stretched a little far with Lion. I'm not saying the direction they're headed is completely wrong, but it would be really nice if things just worked really well. That is usually the case on a Mac, and that is why most of use Macs.
My next wish is that Apple would quit playing the game of forcing people to buy more expensive products just to get what they want. Now I will give credit where credit is due. You no longer have to buy the iMac with the largest screen to get an I5 processor like when I bought mine in October 2010. My desk really didn't have room for the large screen, but I had no choice at the time if I wanted an I5 processor.
That being said there are still some nagging issues like having to buy a 13" MacBook Air to get a SD slot and having to buy an external CD drive for the MacMini. Just about the time the Mac Mini got updated enough for me to consider buying one, Apple takes out the CD-ROM drive
Now I understand Apple wants everyone to go to their online app store which most people seem to think has reduced prices but having an external CD-ROM sort of defeats the elegance of the Mac Mini.
Beyond that I don't have a lot of complaints about Apple, but that might be because I don't have both feet in the world of Apple. If I want to transfer photos from my Android phone, I just plug it into my computer and drag them over. I don't have to go through iTunes which I hardly use.
If I want to share files across multiple computers, I use DropBox which is a drop dead elegant solution that works on everything. My pictures are in Picasa Web Albums, and I am even giving Microsoft Skydrive a try since it also works on everything and seems very fast.
I know that the life blood of Apple is innovation, but I am hoping that the reign of Tim Cook becomes know as much for refinement as it does for the latest technology.
There is already an overwhelming amount of technology out there. Apple's core strength has always been making technology easy even when not everything was built by Apple. I hope to see that direction revitalized this year. It is something desperately needed in our world.
Finally I would love to see Apple take some of their cash horde and figure out how to help jump start the American economy. Certainly Apple can't do it alone, but by the same token Apple could become a leader in helping America retool for the future. Other Silicon Valley companies are used to following Apple's leadership, and this would be a great place for Apple to use it's influence.
If you are wondering about the donation button that is now on the Applepeels blog, you can read details in this post. It is just an effort to generate some cash to be able to review more products which will then be auctioned off to readers. Any donation from a buyer will be credited towards a purchase.