I recently took the plunge and decided to jump into the world of Apple!
This is my story...
I have been quite strong in my feelings towards Apple products and services in the past. I always felt that it was a total lock into their ecosystem, and once in there would be no going back.
I prefer the openness of Google, which is why I've been an Android user for the last couple of years. Before that, I was quite immersed in the world of BlackBerry.
However, one day, a few of weeks ago I made a decision. I decided to buy myself a MacBook Pro.
Yes, I know it was a dramatic decision; but I needed to get a personal laptop for work, and as much as I wanted to use my Chromebook (which I still love, by the way), it just wasn't up to the task at hand.
I knew I didn't want to buy a Windows laptop; I've been burned many times before with the endless updates and sluggish performance; not to mention virus checking!
That left me with one viable option. Apple.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have never been anything less than complimentary about their design. Beautiful machines.
I was only concerned with their walled garden approach to the environment.
However, it was pointed out to me that most of what I do is “in the cloud”, so really, what's the issue? I could continue to work the way I want, without being restrained by a closed ecosystem.
So it was, one Saturday afternoon when I went to our local Apple store and bought a MacBook Pro. Why the Pro? Why not the Air; or even the MacBook?
Simple - I needed an HDMI port. That was it. The new MacBook as no external ports; and the Air doesn’t have the HDMI.
MacBook Pro - First Impressions
I found the learning curve from Windows OS to be quite steep. To begin with, the keyboard layout is different, and there are many other nuances. You could argue that the Chromebook keyboard is also different; but the controls are the same as a Windows version.
My muscle memory is learning to adapt to the changes and I no longer use CTRL+C etc to copy and paste. I also like the on screen view of the various keyboard views, which has helped to find certain characters.
Regardless of the layout; the keyboard is one of the best I've used - just the right amount of travel, and with the back-lit keys in a dim room, there are no arguments from me.
Overall, the build quality is phenomenal. The aluminium casing just reeks of quality and the retina screen is clear and bright.
Trackpad gestures are also very useful, and the multiple desktops allows for a more organised working environment.
Swipe in from the right and notifications are presented.
All in all, a very pleasing and polished experience.
Transition from Windows complete, I then thought about moving from Android!
Going All In
I knew I was setting myself up for ridicule. As I mentioned earlier, I have been quite vociferous in my feelings about the Apple “world” and changing now would only serve others the chance to make fun of me. I have even said, in the past, that I’d never have an iPhone!!
Well. Never say “never”!
Here's the thing. I'm big enough, and ugly enough, to admit I may be wrong.
Two weeks after buying the MacBook, I went back to the store and bought an iPhone 6s!!
I should add that I was quite very nervous about it. I like the way that Android gives freedom and flexibility to set the phone up how I like. Using widgets on the home screen and quick actions to get things done, not to mention a first class notification centre. How would I cope with being told how to use my phone?
To prepare myself, I replicated an iOS screen on my HTC one m8. I removed all widgets, moved apps out of folders (well, most of them) and cancelled all shortcuts. I then continued to use my phone.
Surprisingly, I didn't miss the widgets and found I could navigate quite easily.
Still, nerves nipping away at me, I headed for the store. I questioned the sales guy, told him my concerns and he blew them away.
Totally. I mean, I know he's in sales, but that was incredible.
10 minutes later, phone in my hand, I was heading home to get it set up.
iPhone - First Impressions
Two weeks on and what's the verdict?
Well - set up was a breeze; at least the phone part. The installed apps automatically updated, Siri switched on and I was busy downloading the apps I need to use my phone efficiently.
The major sticking point was in setting up email. This was not as intuitive as I had hoped.
Sure, setting up my Gmail account was simple, as was my work Exchange account. The issue came when setting up a POP3 account for the Cub group I run. That was, and still is, troublesome. I never get notifications about my emails, they just appear as read… So if I don't check regularly then I miss them. Not really acceptable. However, until a change happens; and I’m not hopeful of one in the near future, this seems to be an age-old problem, I'm learning to live with it.
From an app perspective, it's no surprise that 99% the apps I've used before are available and in that respect there's no change.
Battery life. Much has been written about the iPhone being wall huggers. That it's not possible to go very long without charging. I have to say I don't find that to be the case. I'm not a light user, I also don't play games, but I have found to be able to go a day without plugging into the mains.
Am I pleased to have jumped onto the iOS bandwagon?
I was more than interested to hear the announcements at WWDC16. It seems there's some good stuff coming.
As for now. It's still early days and it may be a little while longer before I'm totally comfortable, but each day that passes brings me closer to a resounding “Yes”.