2016 was a very mixed year for Apple. It was a year that many decried Apple’s lack of innovation, but others noted that at least Apple’s products didn’t explode in your face (see Samsung Galaxy Note 7). Many blame Apple’s alleged “lack of innovation” on Tim Cook, while others think people are expecting too much from Apple, who consistently delivers good products that, more than anything, just work.
Let’s take a look at Apple’s biggest releases in 2016…
In April, Apple updated its 12-inch MacBook with some minor improvements, including an updated processor, an update to battery life, and an even better screen. Apple claimed to make improvements to the Butterfly keyboard as well, but that has been debated. Even though the MacBook received decent reviews, it didn’t make much more of an impact than 2015’s MacBook did.
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
Long before the release of Apple’s 2017 smartphones, there were rumors that Apple would completely eliminate the headphone jack. Unfortunately, at least for some, those rumors ended up being true. BGR thought that Apple did a bad job of justifying leaving this out, while The Verge thought Apple was being downright hostile to users. It ends up Apple provided a simple dongle for headphone compatibility, but people still complained.
By most accounts, Apple released a solid update to the iPhone, and the iPhone 7 Plus — especially — received great reviews. Computerworld said that the 7 Plus was the best iPhone yet, and CNET gave the 7 plus an almost perfect four-and-a-half stars.
Apple Watch Series 2
The first Apple Watch failed to conquer the marketplace the way Apple thought it would, but the Watch still had a loyal following. In September, Apple released the Apple Watch Series 2, which was more powerful, faster, and had a better battery life than the original. It also had its own integrated GPS. The only thing the new Apple Watch didn’t have was cellular capabilities, but that can very well change with the Apple Watch Series 3.
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Over the past month and a half, the new MacBook Pro series has proven to be Apple’s most controversial product this year. It may even be Apple’s most controversial product ever. Both the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros have been called innovative by many and awful by others.
CNET says that the 13-inch version is Apple’s “second screen dream machine,” while Consumer Reports says they can’t recommend either the 13-inch or 15-inch versions because of poor battery life. An Inquisitr article noted that the battery life isn’t perfect, but that Consumer Report‘s article could be “fake news” clickbait.
Most new MacBook Pro owners have praised their new notebooks. It appears as if the biggest critics of the new MacBook Pro don’t own or haven’t even tried out the device. Apple is currently working with Consumer Reports to find out what is causing the tests to show poor battery life.
It looks like Apple is ending the year on a high note. When the AirPods (the wireless version of Apple’s regular EarPods) were first announced, many laughed. After all, several different companies such as Samsung have tried wireless earbuds, and have only received collective yawns from consumers. But Apple is known for taking what others have failed at and making those products marketable.
“The AirPods are pretty great. Their strange design does present some problems—but not the ones everyone’s complaining about,” says David Pogue of Yahoo Finance. He adds that not only do the AirPods not fall out of your ears but that the sound is also really good as well. It looks like a lot of people agree with Pogue; Apple’s AirPods are nearly impossible to find in stores just seven days after the initial release date.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]