Apple tech adjustments that could help in a post-pandemic world

These last several weeks have meant a lot of adjustment for all of us, whether it be working from home, dealing with the challenges of childcare on top of our jobs, or simply not being able to connect with friends, family, and colleagues.

While technology is one resource that can potentially help with these challenges, there are definitely places where it either doesn’t go far enough, or, in some cases, where it just gets in the way.

In dealing with these changes like everybody else, I’ve definitely started to identify a few places in my post-pandemic life where Apple might be able to improve its technology, adapting it even better to this world we’re all living in.

The height of iMac design

Even before the current world situation, I spent a lot of time sitting at the desk in my office and working on my iMac—that’s where I’m writing this very column right now. And while I love this 27-inch 5K model from 2017, one thing I find frustrating about the design of Apple’s all-in-one desktop—which has been largely unchanged since the iMac G5 came out back in 2004—is its lack of physical adjustability.

2019 imac family Apple

iMac family

I discovered this when I recently considered mounting the iMac on an arm on my desk, in order to have more flexible screen height adjustments. Currently, the iMac is sitting in an older version of Twelve South’s HiRise, which raises it from a totally untenable neck-cricking height to a barely passable height. But even the highest setting in the HiRise isn’t quite enough to bring the iMac’s display to where it should be ergonomically (at or just below my eye height). Especially as my desk is an adjustable sit-stand desk that I use in both configurations.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I can’t easily mount my iMac, because only the iMac Pro supports adding the VESA adapter that most mounts use—the iMac line requires you to specifically select a VESA-equipped unit at purchase.

The worst part is that Apple used to have an iMac that made this easy: the Pixar-lamp-esque iMac G4, which had an adjustable arm that let the display float above the computer’s guts. Admittedly, this would be trickier to use in the current generation of iMac, but frankly, we know it’s possible: after all, Apple built an amazingly adjustable arm into its thousand-dollar Pro Display XDR stand. Here’s hoping that what Apple learned from that experience can come back around to the consumer line.

One PIN only

Reports about the upcoming version of iOS suggest that Apple is trying to accommodate the many of us who are now wearing masks by having Face ID recognize face coverings and prompt users for a passcode more quickly. But, like many people, I use Face ID as an excuse to have a long, complex passcode that I don’t want to enter every single time I use the phone. Only now, when I’m be-masked at the grocery store or out on a walk, that insistence on security is coming back to bite me.