All year long, we’re treated to new products from the big guns in the tech industry. Some of them are great, others have their flaws, and yet others fall flat completely. One of those companies is Apple, which has given us a lot to like this year, but there have been some gaffes as well. Not only that, but every company could use some fresh ideas from a new set of eyes now and then. So, in the true spirit of the holidays, we’ve compiled a list of gifts (in jest, I assure you!) we’d like to offer up to Tim Cook and company this holiday season.
1. A new shirt for Jony
It’s a mystery that has dogged those of us who watch the tech industry for a while now: does Jony Ive’s wardrobe consist of just one t-shirt, or a collection of eerily similar ones? Virtually every time we see the Apple design guru make an appearance, on camera or at an event, he seems to be sporting a non-descript blue or grey shirt. Yes, on occasion we’ve seen Jony rocking a button-up or even a tuxedo. But nine times out of ten, we’re staring at that familiar tee.
That’s not to say we’re suggesting a radical change. Quite the contrary: we just want to mix up the color palette a tad. Maybe a green or purple - or dare I say, yellow? Perhaps the shirt could even harken back to the early days of the Apple logo with a nice rainbow pattern. In any case, feel free to keep on rocking the tee, Jony. Just spice up the rotation with a splash of extra color.
2. A block of rubber
Does rubber come in a block? A cylinder? A pile? Either way, the iPad Pro’s stylus, erm, Pencil could certainly use an eraser on the top. After all, if you’re going to adopt a name that calls back to a writing utensil people have been using for ages, you may as well include one of its trademark features: the rubber eraser.
Of course, this would be for more than looks alone: people are trained to flip a pencil around to erase mistakes, and that round plastic cap just isn’t doing anyone any favors. So, Apple, have a block of rubber, figure it out, and get back to us. Heck, feel free to create an extra eraser accessory out of it if the charging port can’t be subverted somehow.
3. Speaking of the Pencil...
Alright, so we’re not sure what to do about the awkward way you charge the Apple Pencil right now, short of pulling a Microsoft and loading it with replaceable batteries. So in the meantime, let’s make the most of a potentially stabby situation. Perhaps Apple should go so far as to include extra little accessories with the Apple Pencil to make it useful while it’s jutting out of the iPad Pro’s charging port.
There are different forms this could take. Maybe a complementary set of meats and vegetables to roast on the pencil like a shishkebab. The iPad Pro itself could even serve as an interactive handle of sorts, letting you browse Facebook while you hold your meal over the fire. “Surely the Pencil wouldn’t hold up under the heat,” you say. Fine, maybe we could go a little more mundane and turn it into a flagpole with a mini Apple flag that attaches to the tip while charging. This one is your choice, Apple. I’ll be waiting by the phone.
4. A hammer
Apple took a lot of heat when it introduced its own Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s, which, to the dismay of many, features a prominent “hump” on its back. Now, to be fair, it’s not as if any competing battery cases are particularly beautiful, but many were expecting something a little more elegant out of a company known for its design prowess. So maybe that hump could use a little hammering. Just take a mallet to it until it lies flat and evenly spread across the surface of the case; problem solved.
Okay, so maybe our approach is a bit on the crude side, and it’ll actually do more harm than good. Just take it as a symbolic gesture.
5. A 4D Touch controller
Though some questioned the amount of hype it received at first, 3D Touch has actually proven to be a pretty cool concept on the iPhone 6s. Just press a little harder than normal, and you get access to all kinds of cool new ways to access content, breeze through photos and more. But let’s face it, the tech world moves fast, and 3D Touch is going to be old news soon.
So why not get ahead of the game? Introducing 4D Touch: a new way to experience media content. Just as 4D has been billed at certain gimmicky amusement park attractions, 4D Touch on the iPhone will bring content to life. Watching a video of a thunderstorm? Your iPhone will now jettison water at your face so you get the full effect. Browsing pictures of your friends’ latest meals on Instagram? Now you can just tap to smell them! Consider this idea a gift, Apple.
6. Dance lessons for Eddy Cue
During WWDC 2015, there was a bit of confusion after the introduction of Apple Music due to a presentation that seemed a little muddled. In the end, however, we ended up with a passable service that’s pretty good, if not an outright contender for streaming champion. One portion of that June presentation that has yet to be addressed, however, has to do with the dance moves we saw from Apple’s SVP of Software and Services, Eddy Cue.
During a portion of the presentation, which already felt a little disjointed, we got a peek at some of Cue’s dodgy dance moves to some Latin music. It was just as uncomfortable to watch as it looked, which is why we want to pitch in and spring for some dance lessons for Cue. Knock our socks off at WWDC 2016, Eddy!
7. Advice on how people use mice
In October, we were treated to the new Magic Mouse 2 from Apple. Honestly, standing in stark contrast to the questionable design of the Smart Battery Case, the Magic Mouse 2 looks and feels really nice. Unfortunately, the company may have skewed a bit too far towards aesthetics at the detriment of function due to the location of the charging port.
Yes, the switch to a rechargeable battery powered by a Lightning port is a great move, but that charging port shouldn’t be located on the bottom of the mouse. The fact that the mouse is unusable while it’s charging just feels like a glaring oversight. The good news is that Apple says the battery lasts 2 months and charges fairly quickly, and it may not end up being a problem for many. However, the location of the charging port is bound to frustrate some when the battery inevitably ends up dying in the middle of a work session.
8. A diagram of a watch
Look, the Apple Watch is a fantastic gadget. Smartwatches are in their infancy, but their utility for everything from passive activity tracking to notification triage is clear. And using Apple Pay with just a button press and a tap in the span of 2 or 3 seconds simply feels like the future. However, there’s one possible big barrier to the wearable’s future success: its shape.
The round shape of most analog watches is a pretty classic trait. Seeing it on a wrist evokes a certain feeling that the Apple Watch doesn’t with its square shape. Simply put, the Apple Watch’s current shape looks a little too gadgety, which may end up shutting out a certain portion of customers that just want a watch to look like a watch. A number of Android Wear watches are doing some great things already with elegant, round designs, and it would be nice to see Apple take some cues. So, study up on some classic watch designs, Apple, and see if there’s room for a round variant.