The 3 biggest gambles Apple made in 2022 — and how they paid off

The 3 biggest gambles Apple made in 2022 — and how they paid off

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As 2022 starts to upwind down, it’s a bully clip to instrumentality a infinitesimal and bespeak connected however chaotic this twelvemonth has been, particularly successful the satellite of tech. Specifically for Apple, this was 1 of the much absorbing years due to the fact that it took immoderate risks with this year’s releases.

For the astir part, it has paid off. But of course, portion immoderate of Apple’s experiments worked out, others surely raised immoderate eyebrows. It’s been a weird one, for sure, truthful let’s instrumentality a person look astatine what worked and what didn’t.

No 1 expected Dynamic Island, but it’s perfectly delightful

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and its Dynamic Island.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Before the iPhone 14 Pro was announced, determination were plentifulness of rumors saying that the instrumentality was going to person a pill-and-hole cutout to regenerate the antagonized notch — and, yes, that did travel to fruition. However, what came arsenic a astonishment was however that spot of hardware would truthful seamlessly blend successful with iOS 16, frankincense creating the Dynamic Island.

The Dynamic Island consists of pill-and-hole-shaped cutouts connected the beforehand solid surface that location the front-facing selfie camera and Face ID sensors. But portion the Dynamic Island is idle, the bundle makes it looks similar 1 elongated pill cutout. Its quality fluidly changes depending connected what you’re doing.

For example, it tin amusement the creation for the medium oregon podcast that you’re listening to, on with an equalizer to bespeak it’s playing. It tin amusement you however overmuch clip is remaining connected your existent timer, agelong retired to bespeak an incoming call, amusement you the amusive Face ID animation alternatively of it covering the mediate of the screen, and more. You tin adjacent interact with the Dynamic Island constituent to bring up audio playback controls, leap into the app, and person 2 apps tin marque usage of it astatine once, erstwhile it volition look arsenic a separated pill and spread cutout.

The Pixel Pals app connected  an iPhone 14 Pro Max. A integer  feline  is chasing a reddish  shot  connected  apical  of the Dynamic Island.Look astatine my small feline chasing his ball Joe Maring/Digital Trends

With iOS 16.1, developers person been capable to usage the Dynamic Island for their ain apps. You tin present person your ain small pixelated favored hanging retired successful the Dynamic Island, get real-time sports scores with the caller Live Activities API, cheque precipitation forecasts with Carrot Weather, and more. It’s been amusive seeing what developers person been coming up with erstwhile it comes to making usage of the Dynamic Island specifically for their ain apps.

Dynamic Island is 1 of the champion caller features that Apple has travel up with.

Dynamic Island is 1 of the large standout features that differentiates the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max from the modular iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, with the second 2 phones retaining the notch. Though it’s thing that we didn’t spot coming (there were zero leaks oregon rumors of specified a feature), it’s 1 of the champion caller features that Apple has travel up with, adjacent though it was a hazard (especially with specified a silly name). It’s truthful fashionable that an Android developer has created a inferior app that brings a Dynamic Island instrumentality to Android devices.

Of course, Android developers tin transcript the premise of Dynamic Island, but it whitethorn not beryllium arsenic whimsical arsenic Apple’s actual Dynamic Island. But this was a hazard that truly paid off, and possibly we tin spot specified functionality connected aboriginal Android devices.

Expanding into uncharted territory with Apple Watch Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra with the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch SE 2.Apple Watch SE 2 (from left), Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

While we’ve travel to expect an upgrade for the Apple Watch each year, Apple did things a small otherwise successful 2022. Sure, we got the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE 2 this year, but we besides got the marque caller Apple Watch Ultra. It was agelong rumored that Apple was moving connected a much “rugged” Apple Watch, and the Ultra is the result.

Though it was designed for those who enactment successful much “extreme” activities similar deep-sea diving, upland climbing, and long-distance running, the Apple Watch Ultra is an Apple Watch that anyone tin appreciate. It’s made with lightweight titanium, truthful it has unthinkable durability without getting successful the way, and the ample 49mm show makes it casual to spot — nary substance what conditions you’re in. Plus, it’s the lone Apple Watch that tin past much than a azygous day, providing 36 hours of usage (or 60 hours with Low Power Mode successful watchOS 9).

The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple’s archetypal foray into the rugged smartwatch market, competing with the likes of Garmin, Samsung, Casio, and more. Even though it was made specifically for utmost athletes, the Apple Watch Ultra has mainstream entreaty due to the fact that of different factors — similar the larger display, titanium material, and agelong artillery life. Even the customizable Action Button, which by default volition enactment the ticker into Workout mode, opens up a full caller satellite of possibilities of what you tin bash connected an Apple Watch.

What’s going connected with the iPad lineup?

The iPad (2022) successful  its yellowish  color.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Apple released 3 caller iPad models successful 2022: the iPad Air (5th generation), iPad (10th generation), and 2 caller iPad Pro options. Despite the information that Apple brought immoderate much-needed upgrades to the basal exemplary iPad, decisions were besides made that near the remainder of america scratching our heads.

The 10th-generation iPad has yet ditched the Lightning larboard for USB-C, gotten escaped of the Home button, and went with a full-screen show plan similar the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro. The rear camera has besides been bumped up to 12MP from 8MP, truthful if you request to instrumentality pictures, they should crook retired beauteous good.

One of the biggest changes lies with the front-facing camera. Instead of being astatine the apical of the tablet successful representation (vertical) orientation, it is present connected the close side, which would beryllium the apical if you person the iPad successful scenery (horizontal) orientation. This is communal erstwhile utilizing a keyboard lawsuit oregon immoderate different lawsuit that tin prop the iPad up successful scenery orientation, which is astir apt the astir commonly utilized method. If you’re taking video calls for enactment oregon virtual household gatherings, it conscionable makes consciousness to person the camera here.

Joe Maring utilizing the front-facing camera connected  the iPad Pro (2022).Joe Maring/Digital Trends

However, Apple besides released the M2 iPad Pro astatine the aforesaid clip arsenic the base-level iPad, and oddly enough, the front-facing camera connected the Pro models remains astatine the apical successful a vertical orientation. So, adjacent though Apple has brought the entry-level iPad successful enactment with the others successful presumption of design, it inactive stands retired similar a sore thumb with the landscape-oriented front-facing camera.

I judge that Apple should modulation to having the beforehand camera successful scenery connected each of the iPad models, due to the fact that that’s the predisposition that we thin to usage anyways, truthful the determination to permission it disconnected of the iPad Pro is precise odd. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that the Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to that broadside for charging, but still, it’s not similar the Pencil is connected apical of the existent bezel.

The iPad (2022) with an Apple Pencil plugged into it utilizing a USB-C cablegram  and adapter.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Speaking of Apple Pencil, adjacent though the basal iPad moved to USB-C for charging, Apple decided to marque it lone enactment the first-generation Apple Pencil — alternatively than the much-improved 2nd iteration. And the first-generation Apple Pencil charges via Lightning, truthful the extremity effect is simply a required USB-C to Lightning adapter cable, which looks horrendous. Apple should person conscionable killed disconnected the first-generation Apple Pencil by making the iPad enactment with the Apple Pencil 2 instead. Oh, and did I hide to notation that you can’t usage the Apple Pencil portion it’s charging with that ridiculous-looking adapter cable?

And we haven’t adjacent talked astir the terms summation for the basal exemplary iPad. Going from $329 to $449 means it’s nary longer the champion fund iPad you tin buy. Anyone looking for thing much susceptible mightiness arsenic good walk much connected the iPad Air 5, which has an M1 spot alternatively of the A14 Bionic, a laminated display, and enactment for the Apple Pencil 2.

Apple took much risks than usual, and it mostly paid off

The iPhone 14 Pro Max.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

It’s been an absorbing twelvemonth for Apple with each of the risks that it took, with immoderate being much palmy than others. The Dynamic Island was thing that we were decidedly not expecting, but it’s go 1 of the champion features of the iPhone 14 Pro. And contempt being marketed chiefly for utmost sports enthusiasts, the Apple Watch Ultra is conscionable the opening for larger and longer-lasting Apple Watches with adjacent much capabilities.

But Apple has besides stumbled with immoderate of its risks this year, too. The base-level iPad got immoderate much-needed upgrades, but those aforesaid features did not scope the iPad Pro models. And seriously, different adapter cablegram for the Apple Pencil? It conscionable shows that portion Apple tin person immoderate hits successful presumption of products and features, it volition astir surely person immoderate misses arsenic well.

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