I’ve stared into my crystal ball once more, and here’s what I’m foreseeing for Apple’s Mac/macOS plans in 2019.
I think the first Mac we’ll see updated this year is the iMac. The all-in-one received no upgrade love last year even though it was its 20th birthday. That’s kinda sad.
But this spring we’ll see my favorite Mac get some love. You can count on it packing new Coffee Lake processors, probably one of the newest AMD cards, and perhaps even a high-end model with six or more cores. And it will be available in space gray.
As for the design itself, I’m not expecting a major revamp, but perhaps Apple didn't update the iMac in 2018 because it is working on a new design for its all-in-one. It has been suggested that by removing hard drive options and making some internal tweaks that the all-in-one’s “chin” could disappear.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted a 2018 update with “significant display-performance upgrades” during the fall. That didn’t happen, but I do foresee the all-in-one getting a ProMotion, TrueTone display (but not 8K). I’ll go out on a limb, and say the 2019 will be the first Mac to get Face ID.
It will also borrow some features from the iMac Pro (which will see an upgrade with, naturally, the latest Intel processors and beefier graphics cards).
The iMac Pro also has the first ever 1080p FaceTime camera to come on a Mac, compared to the 720p camera on the 5K iMac. It also has four microphones, compared to only one on the 5K iMac. This will change.
Finally, I’m 99% certain the next rev of the 27-inch iMac 5K will sport the Apple T2 chip that’s in the pro model. And, if Apple is really serious about the Touch Bar, look for a Magic Keyboard that implements it.
The Mac Pro
The long-promised Mac Pro will arrive this year, but not until the summer, when it debuts at the Worldwide Developer Conference. I have no idea what the design will look like, but it will be the most expandable, customizable Mac ever.
Along with it will come a new Apple display. It won’t be 8K, but will pack FaceID, TrueTone, and ProMotion features, along with a 1080p FaceTime camera and better speakers.
The MacBook Pro
I don’t foresee any major design changes to the pro laptop EXCEPT for the addition of FaceID. It’s also possible that Apple could introduce a new keyboard to replace the controversial “butterfly” keyboard, although I suspect it will simply tweak the current keyboard design.
The Mac mini and MacBook Air
The recently introduced Mac mini and MacBook Air will also receive spec upgrades in the fall, but no major design changes.
With the 13-inch MacBook Air, there’s little need in the line-up for the 12-inch MacBook. Unless Apple has special plans for it — and I think the company does. I think the MacBook will be the first Mac to sport Apple-designed “A” series processors. And we’ll see it arrive in late fall. However, it won’t have a touch screen (although in 2020….).
With macOS Mojave, Apple ported several iOS apps like Home, Stocks, Apple News, and Voice Memos over to the Mac, and in macOS 10.15, I expect the TV app will make the move. And this is the year that Apple has said it will provide developers with a way to bring iOS apps to the Mac.