568: Looking Toward 2021


One can only hope that 2021 is a much better year…

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My 2021 hardware pipe dream is a common one: the affordable Mac Pro, gaming Mac, tower Mac, or whatever you want to call it. I just want the affordable, upgradable, Mac. Something where I can replace the video card, add memory, and add internal drives as needed.

And this goes hand-in-hand with an Apple external display. As an iMac user, I really don’t need/want to buy a new display every time I buy a computer. So I would like these separated.

It will never happen of course, but if they did, I would pay way too much money for it. (Just not full Mac Pro prices).

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The pipe dream conversation reminded me of this Calvin and Hobbes strip:


Very much accurate! :laughing:

My big hope for Apple hardware 2021 is a big iMac (27" or larger) powered by Apple Silicon and a new standalone display using the same panel. A new industrial design would be nice and FaceID would be the icing on the cake.


My pipe dream continues to be glucose monitoring on the Apple Watch.


Along with blood pressure monitoring?

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Integration with CGMs might be a reasonable thing, actually.

Just having bought a new M1, and hardware/software currently meet my needs…not really any big ones for 2021.

Small/possible ones:

  • upgrade my scanner (Epson Perfection V600)
  • upgrade drone
  • upgrade my external monitor to 4k

What I would like to see:

  • Monitor Calibration will be possible on M1s
  • something (software) that combines DevonThink+citation manager. A knowdledge manager that also can cite.

Personal goals:

  • get back to the physical shape I am in
  • start a 3rd master’s
  • learn Swift
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“I got my wish” :smile: An iPad Pro and a mini is perfect for me.

But I’m still curious about the future Macs and I keep picturing the new iMac as an updated version of the 2002 “Pixar lamp” design. The screen resembling a large square edged iPad with a rounded rectangle base.


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Indeed. That’s an area of frustration as Dexcom said a couple years ago that they’d be launching a direct connection to the watch, using the Bluetooth access that, IIRC, became available in the Series 4. That hasn’t happened yet, and it’s not clear whether the watch, Dexcom or the FDA is holding it up.

OneDrop has the only diabetic medical device I know of that directly connects, and it provides much less data and doesn’t have to alert the user, so my personal theory is that power management, reliable watch notifications, and speaker volume are FDA concerns. I hope remedies can be found.

There are also some interesting workarounds available with Android wearables and open source apps that intercept the data from the body. Reliability varies.

Independent of those efforts, though, I t’d be much better to bring even light CGM ability into the device itself as it’d raise awareness of the concept, not require maintenance, and potentially save a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars in traditional CGM costs. That would have a huge public health benefit.

Is there a way to do CGM without an implanted sensor? Or is that where we get into “pipe dream”? :slight_smile:

Simple but possible pipe dream - would love to see Apple TV support FaceTime natively. I know there are some workaround hacks using mirroring, but native support would be better. AppleTV already has a USB port to add an external webcam (with a built in microphone, e.g. Logitech C920) combined with the TV speakers then you have perfect FaceTime setup. This would be terrific for families or friends to ‘hang out’ in these COVID times.


That’s an interesting idea. My main wish for the next Apple TV box would be supporting the spatial audio features of the AirPods Pro and Max. The hard part with that would be that depending on your home theater setup the Apple TV box isn’t necessarily co-located with the TV screen. A webcam that goes on top of the TV that would allow FaceTime and serve as a location reference for spatial audio would be pretty neat.

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a remote that in no way resembles the current :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: Siri remote.


One thing I’ll add: I think that Apple moving away from the yearly macOS upgrade cycle falls more in the “pipe dream” category. A more realistic wish is probably for a “Snow Leopoard” release that polishes and refines Big Sur.

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With the caveat that I’m far from knowledgeable in this field, yes! It can be done with spectrophotometry (photospectronomy?) on capillary blood. It requires a more precise measurement than pulse ox that can be done based on color.

Research is miniaturizing and reducing cost of the equipment. Accuracy is poor but I’m hopeful that a good ML approach could make up for that, similarly to how the watch’s heart rate data is useful despite any particular reading not being as accurate as dedicated equipment.

The pipe dream part is getting it small/cheap enough to be done with the existing Apple Watch. The slightly more realistic pipe dream is getting some kind of band that can do it (supposedly Cook was seen wearing this on the Apple campus.)

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That’s hopeful though - this is exactly the sort of widespread health problem that people need a good solution for, and that Apple might be in a position to solve. The main challenge, I would think, is to be reliable enough for people to actually count on it for glucose measurement. The FDA is probably going to be much harder on this than they were on heart rate, because people actually adjust medication based on blood sugar numbers.

Although the outlook definitely looks positive. :slight_smile: Thanks for the info!

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Something like a Microsoft Surface Studio with narrow bezels, touch/pencil support running Mac OS, fully accessible on the back to add RAM and SSDs.