7. Opening up AirPlay
AirPlay is a potentially revolutionary technology for the media obsessed, but it's currently hugely constrained. At present, you can live-stream video and audio from an iOS device to an Apple TV, but only from a very limited number of Apple's own apps. Developers have shown this limitation has been imposed by Apple itself, for reasons unknown; happily, when responding to a MacRumors reader's query regarding AirPlay video working in Safari and third-party apps, Steve Jobs reportedly said: "Yep, hope to add these features to Airplay in 2011".
8. Improvements to MobileMe
MobileMe hasn't exactly set the world on fire. Many users cite that it's unstable and unreliable, often bettered by free solutions available from Apple's competitors. In iOS 4.2, Apple surprisingly freed Find My iPhone from the paid MobileMe (at least for owners of 2010 iOS devices- cynically, anyone with an older device was blocked from creating the required free account), and in response to another MacRumors reader's email about MobileMe products, Steve Jobs reportedly replied: "Yes, it will get a lot better in 2011".
IT'S HERE: Find My iPhone is now free for 2010 iOS device owners; MobileMe in general might offer more free tools in 2011
Given that Apple's building a massive data centre, there's hope MobileMe might become an integrated part of its operating systems, becoming the backbone for enabling you access to your content from any Apple device or computer.
9. iTunes streaming
It's the rumour that never dies, but perhaps 2011 will finally be the year Apple augments its existing iTunes Store music purchase options with some kind of streaming service. This could come in the form of Spotify-like streaming, but that would potentially eat into Apple's iTunes Store sales; therefore, we could see an alternative service, such as enabling you to stream your own collection to a device, using the Lala technology Apple acquired, in combination with the in-progress giant data centre.
10. Doomsayers rebuffed
Despite all of these things and, perhaps, the odd surprise or two, doomsayers will continue to predict Apple's imminent death, ignoring the massive profits the company's generating, the boost in headcount and store outlets, and the innovative products it's producing.
STAIRY EYED: Apple's Covent Garden store wowed the public. Expect many more new stores to open in 2011
Unless Steve Jobs goes crazy and turns Macs into Windows boxes or has the iPhone 5 made out of puppies, this cycle will continue into 2011 and beyond, with Apple offering modest expectations, analysts providing bizarre predictions that bear little relation to what Apple stated, Apple revealing new and huge piles of cash every quarter, Wall Street going berserk at Apple having not revealed a pile of cash 50 times bigger than the moon, hacks saying Apple is doomed for some spurious reason, and Apple stockholders and board members happily watching Apple shares continue their upward trajectory.
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