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2021 Annual Rickies Halftime Report

22nd September 2021 at 9:51am

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Forecast terminology

  • "Locked In": indisputably settled, no room for argument
  • "Very Likely": practically settled, but subjective language or a hypothetical scenario prevents it from being a lock
  • "Leans": speculation, but with evidence pointing in a particular direction
  • "Tossup": Who knows?

🏆 The Rickies 🏆

🇬🇧 Myke

Myke Regular "Apple announces a new Mac Pro powered by Apple Silicon" 0
New Mac Pros have a good chance of coming out this year, but they might be one last round of Intel machines. Myke's other chance is if the rumored Mac Pro Mini with Apple Silicon is announced in 2021, which would satisfy this pick as well.Tossup
Myke Regular "iOS 15 gives users more home screen customization options" 1
  • Specifically not iPadOS 15.
  • This was granted but the customization options were not extensive, just turning on and off home screens, both manually and with focus modes.
iOS 15 doesn't offer much in new home screen features, but it will have home screen reordering and automatic showing and hiding of home screens with different Focus settings. Myke may have to debate whether these are "customization" of the home screen itself, but the pick is vague enough that he will probably be successful.Very Likely +1
Myke Risky "A Mac gets a screen that supports touch and/or Apple Pencil input" -1
Rumors don't seem to have touch or Apple Pencil support in the works for the Mac, and it runs counter to Apple's statements about ergonomics in the past, so this remains a risky pick.Leans -1

🇺🇸 Stephen

Stephen Regular "The iPad mini does receive the new design language" 1
  • "Originally, Stephen said it would not receive it", but the other hosts criticized him for his negativity.
Stephen may need to thank his rivals, as they bullied him into being positive about the iPad Mini and now rumors indicate he might get this point after all. If this is true, it's just a matter of whether it happens before the end of the year.Leans +1
Stephen Regular "No in-person WWDC 2021" 1
WWDC was indeed not in person this year.Locked in +1
Stephen Risky "Apple has Apple Silicon versions of all of its Intel Macs on sale by the end of 2021" -1
  • "No Intel Macs are available for sale without an Apple Silicon counterpart." Myke points out the iMac Pro as a potential spoiler.
  • (For pick complexity purposes, I'm counting this as 1 condition for each Mac line that still had no Apple Silicon counterpart at the beginning of 2021: The larger MacBook Pros, the iMac in both sizes, the iMac Pro, and the Mac Pro. The Mac mini is 1 line with a high end and low end, so it already had an "Apple Silicon counterpart" although the high end Mac mini was still Intel.)
  • The iMac Pro left the lineup entirely, but the Mac Pro remained on Intel by the end of the year.
Apple would have to move ahead of their stated schedule to ensure that every line of Mac has an Apple Silicon offering in 2021. The MacBook Pro and higher end iMacs will probably make the jump this year, but the iMac Pro and Mac Pro remain more questionable. And since the iMac Pro is its own distinct line which is unlikely to continue in the Apple Silicon era, if Apple keeps it around to the end of the year then Stephen will lose this point.Leans -1

🇮🇹 Federico

Federico Regular "Apple launches at least one iPad model with a new display technology" 1
  • He initially picked mini LED specifically. And after further discussion it was agreed that this meant a new display technology for the iPad, so for example OLED would also count.
The 12.9" iPad Pro did get new display technology.Locked in +1
Federico Regular "Apple launches 'AirTags' accessories for tracking physical objects" 1
  • The name was allowed to be different, but Federico nailed it.
AirTags were released, and even the name was right.Locked in +1
Federico Risky "Apple will release a new programming app for iPad" -1
  • Federico asks to be quoted as "very very positive" that he will win on the strength of this Ricky Pick.
  • Not Swift Playgrounds, that is not new. As it turns out, they added this functionality to Swift Playgrounds.
  • This was deemed not a reuse of a previous pick since it is even riskier and more specific.
As was mentioned as a potential stumbling block for Federico at the beginning of the year, Apple did add new programming functionality for the iPad, but it's in the existing Swift Playgrounds app and not "a new programming app". While Apple could still make this pick happen, it would be a very confusing rollout for programming on the iPad.Very Likely -1

🔮 Rankings

  1. Federico
  2. Stephen
  3. Myke

With 2 points already locked in, and no one's Risky Picks looking very promising, Federico is the current favorite to win.

Stephen has also locked in a point, and his iPad mini pick is starting to show up in the rumor mill which is encouraging. If any host is going to get their Risky Pick, Stephen probably has the best chance, needing Apple to once again complete a chip transition ahead of schedule.

Myke has one point that he can probably already argue in favor of, but if Apple does indeed get the Mac Pro line onto Apple Silicon, it becomes much more likely that Stephen's Risky Pick comes true too. His paths to victory are narrower than the others, putting him in the toughest spot.

💪 The Flexies 💪

🇬🇧 Myke

Myke Flexie "Another variant of over-ear headphones will be released" 0
  • Technically Apple wasn't specified, but of course that wasn't the intent.
To my knowledge, there are no rumors one way or the other about new over-ear headphones from Apple. There is potentially a question about whether Beats headphones would count.Tossup
Myke Flexie "Apple releases a weather API" 0
  • The revamped weather API was announced at WWDC in 2022.
Apple has kept Dark Sky's old API active for another year, a strong indication that a new one isn't coming any time soon.Very Likely 0
Myke Flexie "New Apple TV released" 1
This happened, complete with a new remote as well.Locked in +1
Myke Flexie "iPad multitasking is overhauled again" 1
iPad multitasking got a big update, with more discoverable ways to get in and out of the various multitasking modes that already existed. But with a subjective word like "overhauled", we will need to wait for final grading.Very Likely +1
Myke Flexie "A new iMac has adjustability that is reminiscent of the Pro Display XDR" 0
The higher-end iMac is expected to get an update with what we're all calling the M1X chip fairly soon, but so far no leaks about the stand.Tossup

🇮🇹 Federico

Federico Flexie "Apple releases its own game controller" 0
Apple releasing its own game controller was always unlikely, but with the Apple TV getting an update and no word of a first party controller, chances are looking slim.Leans 0
Federico Flexie "iOS gets a native feature to change icons for any app you want" 0
iOS 15 was revealed without native icon changing beyond what apps can already offer. They'd have to add it in the middle of the OS update cycle now.Very Likely 0
Federico Flexie "Apple releases a bigger iPad Pro" 0
The iPad Pro has already had an update with no larger size. It could still happen, but the most likely chance to release it has passed.Leans 0
Federico Flexie "At least one new iPhone model has both Face ID and Touch ID" 0
We don't have much about the new iPhone hardware, but the security and user interface complexity of two biometric authentications in one device make it seem like an un-Apple move.Tossup
Federico Flexie "WidgetKit will support new widget sizes and more interactivity" 0
  • The boolean operator "and" ends up taking this pick down.
WidgetKit did gain new widget sizes on iPadOS, but no more interactivity. The word "and" is going to lose this for Federico unless Apple makes a surprise change in a point update toward the end of the year.Very Likely 0

🇺🇸 Stephen

Stephen Flexie "Apple puts a cheaper display on sale as a sibling to the XDR" 0
Rumors indicate that Apple is working on a new, cheaper display, but no indication yet on when it may come out.Tossup
Stephen Flexie "There will be a chip named M1 followed by a letter" 0
A few of Apple's YouTube videos may have spilled the beans early. M1X was always a likely name for the more powerful chip anyway.Leans +1
Stephen Flexie "The new iPhone will be the 12S, not the 13" 0
At this point, no rumors about what the new phones will be named.Tossup
Stephen Flexie "Apple ships an AR, VR, and/or MR dedicated device" 0
It's a given that Apple is working on AR/VR hardware, but will it be out this year? Most rumors seem to indicate 2022.Leans 0
Stephen Flexie "No Mac gets a cellular data option" 1
So far, so good for this pick, but the MacBook Pro is likely to move to Apple Silicon soon and could pick up this feature.Tossup
Stephen Flexie "The iPod Touch will be cancelled" 0
The iPod Touch continues to be a product in Apple's lineup.Tossup

🔮 Rankings

  1. Myke
  2. Stephen
  3. Federico

Myke has 1 Flexie point locked in, one that looks good, one that looks bad, and two tossups. We could see a score anywhere from 20% to 100% for him. With the most upside of the three, Myke has an edge on his cohosts.

Stephen has once again made an extra pick above the minimum, putting him at a disadvantage: he has to get one more correct than his rivals to beat their ratios. All of his picks are still up in the air with a lot of uncertainty, so almost anything could happen.

Federico made some very passionate picks, and that may be why he's a favorite to be donating to charity this year. Two of his picks would require some surprise new OS features to be announced as point releases before the end of the year, and a larger iPad and game controller were missing from the recent Spring Loaded event, which otherwise featured iPads and Apple TV.