Two new iPads! Better MacBook Pros! The finishing touches on the cylindrical Mac Pro. OS X Mavericks for free. iLife. iWork. Apple announced a tonne of stuff during its iPad event. Stuff that'll dent your wallet. Stuff that will make your life better. Stuff that'll keep you happy. But what about all the stuff Apple didn't announce? There's still a bunch of... stuff.
Look. Apple was never going to unveil anything completely unexpected at this event. An actual Apple HDTV or iWatch or iCupertino would be deserving of its own event. Those have become more expected un-announcements for iPhone and iPad events than unexpected announcements. This list focuses more on what could have been announced. Or maybe what should have been?
Though we're on the third generation of the Apple TV (released in early 2012), the black puck Apple TV has actually existed since September 2010. The only difference between the second generation Apple TV and the third generation was that the third added support for 1080p support (and took away jailbreaking). Cool (and not cool). So it's been three years of effectively the same thing, plus or minus a software update.
And though we were never getting an Apple HDTV. And though a SDK to allow apps for Apple TV would make more sense to be released at WWDC. Something was supposed to happen with the Apple TV. Reports from reputable sources were saying a new Apple TV was coming out at this iPad event. It didn't. Rokus look more and more fantastic with each non-update.
Before the event, word had passed through the Apple rumour mill that Apple had been testing some giant 13-inch iPads. There was also mention of Apple creating a hybrid keyboard case a la Microsoft Surface. Both of those devices seem pretty Pro-ish. Both probably had no shot of moving beyond Jony Ive's desk. But with Apple shifting the flagship iPad into the iPad Air name, it makes you wonder what's to come.
You want to see something ridiculous? Go to the Apple refurbished store and buy an iPad 4 (that would be the same iPad that was very best, most powerfulest iPad until today). And then go to the Apple Store and buy an iPad 2. Compare receipts. The released-in-March-2011-iPad-2 will cost more than a refurbished iPad 4 that was the king of tablets yesterday.
You want to see something funny? Look at the price for the original iPad mini that's on sale for a mere £249. Then go look at the price of a 2013 Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle HDX. And then laugh.
Apple released many things at many different price points. Hell, it even gave us free software! But it did not release a cheap iPad. The 'cheap' big iPad is a joke and the 'cheap' price for the original iPad mini is hardly cheap.
The invitation was so colourful... and the iPhone 5C comes in colours now... and the iPhone 5S has goldpagne... but nope. No colours. If you want some pizazz in your tablet using life, you gotta spring for a smart case.
The iPhone 5S promised a passcode-less secure future for all Apple devices only to have the iPad Air and iPad mini ruin those dreams by not having the Touch ID fingerprint scanner built in. What's up with the hold out? Are there not enough parts in the supply chain to make Touch ID sensors for the iPhone 5S and the Air and Mini? Does Touch ID have to improve because of all the odd angles and gymnastics your thumb and fingers twist into to unlock a tablet? Is it a conspiracy to hold out on features to make you buy next year's model?
Touch ID was a minor yet monumental feature in the 5S: in one swooping change of the home button it made everything better. The iPhone was more secure, unlocking a phone was faster and the quality of the home button even improved. To not include it in the iPad Air and iPad mini is a little bit mysterious.
Maybe one day the Mac Mini will get shown some spotlight love in a keynote but the little runt of the Mac family didn't get any shine today. There haven't been any solid rumours about the oft-forgotten Mac but it's natural to assume a Haswell Mac Mini to give it more punch will be coming. Better integrated graphics, 802.11ac to zip up the wee fees could also be reasonably expected.
If you have a beast of a machine that supports 4K displays (that would be the new Mac Pro) it'd be nice if you could actually hook it up to a, I don't know, Apple Thunderbolt 4K display. But you can't, because it was never announced. The 4K may be too niche or too professional or too expensive for today's iPhone-and-iPad-for-everybody Apple but Wired does a good job explaining the oddness of leaving the Thunderbolt display untouched.