Why do I make such a heady claim? No new products of note were introduced, the iPhone, Macbook and Airpods still all look more or less the same as last year, so why say this was a great year? Aren’t we getting ‘boring’ Apple as usual?!
Well…. no. And let me explain why.
iPhone 11 was released in the fall and the leaks and rumors were exactly right. The weird camera hump was present, renaming to ‘Pro’ happened for the bigger phone and 3 cameras were present on said model. So, business as usual and Apple playing safe again, right?
Well, yes and no. Design language is the same alright, bar the (some say ugly) new camera bump on all models. iOS? Still the same, more or less. But the almost universally, the new gen iPhones’ are considered the best in years. Battery life is now stellar, a huge win for the company that always had renowned poor battery life on their phones. On the Pro varients, almost 2 day battery life, a huge deal for cord cutters.
Lets talk about that camera now. Lagging behind the Pixel Phones (Google’s baby) and sometimes even Samsung, Apple has not kept up pace in recent years when it comes to camera quality. Once the market leader, Apple struggles to make top 5 in the past few generations. This all changes with iPhone 11, they now have one of the best (some say THE BEST) cameras on any mobile device. Still images are as good as any other camera out there, new night modes have to be seen to be believed and Apple has unquestionable the best video recording on any mobile device.
iOS is still the same looking grid of icons, yet apps just work better on iPhone. The custom chip Apple uses makes everything fly along and dark modes are a welcome addition. When it comes down to it, Apple have released some damn good phones in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, the biggest improvements since iPhone 6s perhaps.
The new Macbook Pro 16″ is out and it is making waves. Not just an iterative update, it offers some genuine improvments and is really worth the upgrade if you are a Macbook fan.
Let’s talk about that kewboard. Gone are the butterfly switches(thank the lord) and back is the ‘regular’ keyboard switches. And boy, do they feel good to type on. A nice amount of travel and satisfying click makes typing on the new Macbook Pro a pleasure. It has been years since anyone could say that!
The screen is also bigger, bezels smaller and of course with an Apple laptop panel, best in class brightness and color accuracy. Throttling seems to be under control with the new latest gen Intel CPU’s getting cooled correctly and making performance excellent. Not a cheap laptop by any means – starting at over $2k and going up to over $6k depending on options chosen, but spec for price is comparable with high end Windows machines.
Best Macbook Pro in years? You bet, and by a long way!
So the 2nd gen Airpods were released and were definately under the heading of an uninspriing update. Wireless charging for the case, newer chip and some really minor improvments were the very definition of ‘meh’. Then, in the autumn, AIrpods Pro arrived, almost out of the blue. New shape, lower profile, earbud tips and noise cancelling. All the good stuff people wished for from the original Airpods was here, in a slick Apple package. Of course there was the usual price bump but in the mid 200 dollar mark, not too expensive.
Of course being an Apple product, they just work seamlessly with your chosen Apple device. Pairing is quick and intuitive and they work just as you expect. The noise cancelling is really good and can be controlled as the user desires. The charging case is a little bigger again, but still quite dainty in comparison to most Android rivals. Sound quality is really good – Apple like with no heavy bass and an even overall sound, and the microphone works pretty good for calls.
The best wireless noise cancelling buds on the market? Well yes, probably. If you have an iPhone, iPad or Macbook they are a no brainer – best buds out there.
Best of 2019 Verdict
All of these great products, coupled with the iPad and Apple Watch improvements and it does indeed point to 2019 being one of Apples best years. The iPad’s ability to be used as a laptop replacement (more or less), means it can only streak further ahead of every other tablet on the market. Apple Watch has also consolidated it’s position as the number 1 smart watch out there; no Android watch or otherwise is fit to tie it’s bootlaces!
It was not the ‘one more thing’ product, or the game changing new update that has won it for Apple in 2019. They simply did what they do best, better than ever. Devices that just work now just work better. Best in class phones, cameras, laptops, earbuds and tablets mean the entering the Apple ecosystem is a better option than it ever was. No other single manufacturer was seamlessly link their business and leisure devices together so well.
And that is the best anyone could ask for.