Predicting 2010: iLife, iWork & iTunes

With 2010 around the corner, Apple is poised to begin a new year that should yield lots of great advancements in its consumer software arena. Here’s our predictions for what could be in store for the latest versions of iLife, iWork and iTunes. (These predictions are not substantiated by rumors or other “inside evidence” and are purely speculation based lots of experience with these applications and their histories.)

iLife X

Probability: Guaranteed
When the last version of iLife launched, it adopted the moniker “iLife ’09.” Recently however, Apple has modified most of its website to drop the date from the title. Now simply called “iLife,” I wonder if Apple will be quick to release a new “yearly” iteration at the outset of 2010.

Based on previous versions, the next iteration of iLife will require Mac OS X 10.6. By requiring Snow Leopard, this does make iLife an Intel-only release. Though some users will be left behind, significant performance gains should be recognized by taking advantage of 64-bit technology included in Snow Leopard.

Within the apps themselves, I believe we’ll continue to see significant updates. Here’s the roundup. Read More about Predicting 2010: iLife, iWork & iTunes

Predicting 2010: Apple and the Cloud

Going into 2010, the landscape of computing continues to be dominated by the slow, but inevitable, move towards the cloud. For a computing platform company like Apple (s aapl), this move presents a particular challenge. Apple’s expertise is producing the best computing experience by controlling both the software and the hardware. This is antithetical to the whole concept of cloud computing, which is generally agnostic towards both the software and the hardware.

Not surprisingly, then, Apple’s moves towards cloud computing have been cautious. MobileMe, iWork.com and in some ways iTunes, can all be seen as cloud-based services, but none of them have offered ground-breaking solutions. It’s obvious that Apple’s cloud strategy is based mostly around complementing its computer based-solutions. It continues to feel strongly that the best place to create and/or edit files is on your computer, where you can take full advantage of today’s hardware and the power of OS X. Looking forward to 2010 I don’t expect this general philosophy to change, but I do expect Apple to move more aggressively towards tying its services even more closely to the cloud.

So, without further ado, here are my 2010 predictions for Apple and the Cloud. Read More about Predicting 2010: Apple and the Cloud

Predicting 2010: iPod and iPhone

The dawn of a new year never fails to make me excited about all the potential for new devices we’ll inevitably see released. This year is no different, and for Apple’s (s aapl) iPod and iPhone, there are some storms that have been brewing for quite a while that should break in 2010. Hope you packed a raincoat.

I recently came across my still functional (including decent battery life) 30GB iPod Video while rooting through my drawers looking for a proprietary USB cable. After I charged it and booted it up, the palpable feeling of the HDD platter spinning up, and the faint sound that accompanies said action reminded me of just how far we’ve come, and of how far we’ve yet to go with Apple’s portable devices. Here’s where I think we’re headed next. Read More about Predicting 2010: iPod and iPhone

Predicting 2010: Mac Lineup

January 2010 will mark the four-year anniversary of Apple’s (s aapl) first Intel-based (s intc) Mac, the MacBook Pro. With Snow Leopard officially dropping support for PowerPC Macs and the next version of iLife and iWork likely to do the same, a perfect storm is brewing where Apple can begin to really push OS X to maximize the potential of the Intel hardware it supports. 2010 looks to be a big year in terms of hardware updates from Apple; here’s our roundup of predictions on what’s to come.

MacBook Pro

Just like where it started four years ago with the first Intel Mac, the biggest and most exciting updates will happen to the MacBook Pro. The good news? With the classic MacBook seeing updates recently that peg its specs a little too close for comfort with its older brother, the new MacBook Pro update should arrive sooner rather than later. Read More about Predicting 2010: Mac Lineup