8 best new Apple products coming in 2017

We think 2017 will be a year to remember for Apple fans. Here are the 8 best new Apple products coming in 2017

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Best new Apple products coming in 2017

For a company widely accused of stagnation and a lack of innovation, Apple had a pretty bold 2016. The Apple Watch Series 2 spits out water after being dunked; the iPhone 7 took a step unprecedented in the smartphone market and removed the headphone port; the MacBook Pro, released in October, is the first laptop with a touch-sensitive strip above the keys, while Apple continued its mission to switch its laptop line to USB-C - who needs MagSafe, anyway? You may not like everything the company did this year, but you can't accuse it of being dull.

After a rollercoaster 2016, we're eager to find out what Apple has in store for us in 2017. In this article we round up the headline launches expected this year, and link to more in-depth articles about each one. Happy New Year, everyone!

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Next Prev apple predictions 2017 1600

For a company widely accused of stagnation and a lack of innovation, Apple had a pretty bold 2016. The Apple Watch Series 2 spits out water after being dunked; the iPhone 7 took a step unprecedented in the smartphone market and removed the headphone port; the MacBook Pro, released in October, is the first laptop with a touch-sensitive strip above the keys, while Apple continued its mission to switch its laptop line to USB-C - who needs MagSafe, anyway? You may not like everything the company did this year, but you can't accuse it of being dull.

After a rollercoaster 2016, we're eager to find out what Apple has in store for us in 2017. In this article we round up the headline launches expected this year, and link to more in-depth articles about each one. Happy New Year, everyone!

 

Best new Apple products 2017: Apple Watch Series 3 (or at least watchOS 4)

The Apple Watch Series 2, unveiled in September 2016, is the classic second-gen product. Following on from an intriguing and generally pleasing original, it smoothed off the rough edges (not literally, of course) and squeezed in the specs and feature we would have liked to see the first time round: GPS, a two-day battery life, decent water resistance. Our reviewer considered it his favourite Apple product in years. (See Apple Watch Series 2 review)

It's too early to say how frequently the Apple Watch will be updated - there was a 16-month hiatus between first-gen and Series 2 - but we're moderately optimistic that the Series 3 will roll out late in 2017.

How can Apple improve on near-perfection? The really big step is going to be cutting the cord from the iPhone (something you might say Apple itself needs to do in the next three to five years, as the smartphone boom gently winds down) and setting the watch up as a truly standalone device; one that can connect to cellular internet and place calls off its own bat. It might be too early for that, unfortunately (there will be major compromises in terms of dimensions, price and battery life), but it's on our wishlist.

If 2017 sees only a minor update to the watch, or no update at all, at least we seem assured of a fourth update to the watchOS software, and after the delights and fundamental interface rethink of watchOS 3 that could be almost as significant an upgrade as new hardware.

Read more: Apple Watch 3 release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: iPad Pro 2

We're due something big on the iPad front in 2017. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro dropped in late 2015 and its 9.7-inch cousin debuted in spring 2016: the iPad Pro 2 is widely expected to make a spring or summer 2017 launch.

The iPad has become outshone in recent years by the newer Apple Watch and more lucrative iPhone, but we suspect Apple would like to fix that. 3D Touch would be a nice start.

Read more: iPad Pro 2 release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: iPad Pro mini

The iPad mini once felt like the future of the tablet, but cannibalisation by the new, larger iPhone formats have seen the line somewhat neglected. We think a 'Pro' rebranding and substantial redesign will put an end to that. And Apple Pencil compatibility wouldn't hurt.

Read more: iPad Pro mini release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: Tenth-Anniversary iPhone

The original iPhone was launched in 2007 - can it really be a decade ago? And while Apple tends not to be the sort of company that looks back (a fancy coffee table book being the obvious recent exception), the comparatively conservative updates in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 suggest there might be something bigger coming down the pipe for the anniversary.

Curved OLED screen? Wireless charging? Augmented reality features? Who knows what Apple's got up its sleeve for what could be the iPhone's last great hurrah?

Read more: iPhone 8 release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: Apple Car (or car-related software)

If you're looking for something really new, look no further than Apple's car division.

The company's car-related research is one of tech's worst-kept secrets: it's understood that several hundred Apple employees have been working on a project codenamed 'Titan'. But the great mystery concerns the form these developments will take.

It now seems less likely that we'll get an electric Apple Car or iCar in the near future, with moonshot-addicted companies like Google more likely to make the running until the concept goes mainstream. A better bet would be self-driving car software.

Read more: Apple Car release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: MacBook Pro 2017

The MacBook Pro got a major - and long-overdue - revamp in late 2016, getting a spec bump, a slimmed-down design and a cool new Touch Bar feature.

But as satisfying a product as the MacBook Pro 2016 is (we were keen on everything except the slightly cramped and shallow keyboard and the monstrous price tag - read our 2016 MacBook Pro review for more details), the spec bump wasn't quite enough to please Apple's pro and more demanding consumer customers. The timing of the launch made it impractical for Apple to include 2016's new Intel processor family - Kaby Lake - with the company plumping for the sixth-gen Skylake chips instead.

A further update to the Pro line in 2017 - maybe even early 2017 - would allow Apple to make minor tweaks to the specs on offer, potentially tempting the pro users who were put off by the limited allocation of RAM or the older processors.

Read more: New MacBook 2017 release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: Standalone Touch Bar keyboard

While we're on the subject of the 2016 MacBook Pro, spare a thought for the software developers coming up with appealing shortcuts and micro-functions for that machine's Touch Bar - an interface feature accessible to that tiny niche market that is able and willing to stomach the new Pro's price tag.

If Apple wants the Touch Bar to become an interface standard rather than a gimmick, it needs more people to have access to it: the more people are using a Touch Bar, the more software companies will have to pay attention. Which is why the second generation of Touch Bar-equipped products is going to be more important than the first. Next year's 12-inch MacBook may acquire a Touch Bar above its ultraslim keyboard; but more appealing still would be a standalone wireless or USB (or USB-C!) keyboard with the Touch Bar built in. That way iMac and Mac Pro owners can join in with the fun, without having to buy entirely new machines.

Read more: Apple keyboard with Touch Bar release date rumours

 

Best new Apple products 2017: Mac Pro 2017

Which leads us on to the final entry on our 2017 wishlist: the long-overdue update to the Mac Pro.

Prospects had been looking bright for a late-2016 update, with one well-placed source indicating to us that it would be with us by the end of November. But March now seems the earliest we can expect a new Mac Pro. It ought to be a good one, though, given that we'll have been kept waiting for well over three years.

Read more: New Mac Pro 2017 rumours

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