Tag: Apple

Love the tech you own

I’ve seen a lot of people feeling cheated or ripped off by Apple releasing a new iPad less than a year after the latest one was released.

Are you enjoying your iPad any less today than you did yesterday?
Are you getting less value from the device?
What can it no longer do that it could before the announcement on Tuesday?

The reality is you wanted the iPad enough to buy it. You’ve owned it for a few months and used it. You’ve loved the screen and the speed and the apps. You had the newest toy on the shelf.

And now you don’t.

It doesn’t make your iPad any less valuable. It doesn’t decrease your enjoyment of it. It hasn’t slowed down or stopped running the games and apps you bought it to run. Nothing has changed with the device you own.

It is still the same product you happily bought. Your iPad is not obsolete There is a model that’s newer than yours and there will also be a model newer than yours.

This is the reality of the Android world. Whenever a new, speedy phone or tablet is released, it gets one-upped within the month if not the week.

Apple is in the business to make money. They’re also in the business to put out the best product they can. And if that means putting better components into an iPad 7 months after the last model is released, then so be it.

Your iPad is still just as good as the day you bought it. I get along fine with my 1st Generation iPad that can’t run iOS 6 and the newer apps like iPhoto. Instead of blaming or buying new technology, sometimes the best upgrade you can make is you.

Choosing a Platform

Choosing a platform

Tonight I read Gnorb’s article on how he views the smartphone landscape. The problem with choosing a smartphone is no longer as simple as choosing the phone and what the phone can do for you.

With the major players producing tablets, integration into that ecosystem is something to consider. In addition, there is the possibly integration with the computer of choice sitting on your desk or on your lap.

Google Android

Android as a platform has unlimited options, choices and freedom. Android is shopping mall. It offers a variety of wares at prices all across the board and you can get exactly what you want at the price you want to pay.

Android also struggles with fragmentation and being forgotten a year after its release. When I had an Android phone my problem was there was always a bigger, better, more amazing Android phone being released the next week.

Every. Single. Week.

Apple iOS

Apple’s platform is the opposite of Android. Apple is the high-end boutique. It offers a couple of variations on a theme but overall, the quality is high and the choice is small.

Where Apple shines is control. It controls the vertical, it controls the horizontal. To use Apple products is to not just use a single product but to play in Apple’s playground and live in their world. Apple has built an experience.

Because of this totalitarian control, Apple is able to offer longer support and a consistent experience across all the devices in their playground. Apple’s control wrinkles the noses of those who feel there is not enough freedom across the platform.

Apple’s control also assures nearly no malicious applications are released to the platform and they have safe guards in place to resolve any issues that may arise.

Microsoft Windows Phone

The last Windows Phone I used was a disaster running Windows Phone 6.5 which was basically Windows XP crammed into a smartphone body. It came with a stylus and extreme frustration.

Since then, they’re built a respectable platform and have embraced Apple’s control to make the hardware and software which should help the platform. I haven’t used or had experience with any of the new phones so that’s as much as I’ll say for the platform as I don’t feel it fair to talk about a platform I’ve not used.


So what is a consumer to do? Buy into the Apple iLifestyle? You’ll pay a hefty price but will be rewarded with multi-year support and a consistent ecosystem. You’ll also be subject to the whims of the big red fruit and their seemingly arbitrary removal of support for features in older hardware. The tight integration between the mobile and computer platform can be real benefit to those living in both. However, if you only use one or the other, there is a lot of missing value.

What about the Open Android platform? There are phone sizes, speeds and carriers for everyone. There are a vast array of tablets. There isn’t a desktop companion but they play decently with the big players. The initial price is low but quality is all over the place from excellent to appalling. The overall lack of support could mean your shiny new toy get abandoned a year later and never see another update.

Then there is Windows phone which has some real potential. Microsoft is putting together a cloud-based ecosystem and is betting big on Windows 8 which features a lot of integration and visual similarity with their Windows Phones.

My experiences

I owned an original Motorola Droid. I was very happy with it though the lack of support from Motorola was disappointing. I had to root the phone to install an Android Operating System update after Verizon claimed the phone could not support it. There was also a large gap in the availability of applications in the earlier days of Android.

Many things were iOS only and Android support was more promised than delivered on. This was before the Amazon Android store and Google’s integrated Play store. This was before Android was a household name and more the domain of nerds and Blackberry refugees.

After the Droid, I got an iPhone 4 which is the phone I still use today. The instant upgrade in camera and software quality was welcomed. At the time I had a Mac laptop so the integration between phone and computer was a welcomed change, since there was no good way to sync media to Android and DoubleTwist was just being released. Though I used the Droid as my phone and primary device, I had an iPod Touch for all my music because Android was so frustrating to use.

I had an Android in the dark days of the platform and it has come a long way since then. However, it still has many of the same issues as it did when I had the Droid. Specifically, the lack of support from carriers after purchase, lack of OS updates to hardware that can handle it, the fragmentation meaning not every phone can run every app, or run it well and the constant New Big Thing means support quickly gets forgotten for the phone you choose in weeks instead of years.

What works for you

What is comes down to is what works for you. What is the best choice for what you wan to do. Are you a writer? Are you a photographer? Are you a technologist?

What phone best fits your lifestyle and what are you going to enjoy using for the next few years since most of us can’t afford to get a new device every year.

What I have

I have the iPhone 4. My contact is up in December, though I am eligible for an upgrade now. I am looking at the iPhone 5 because while it doesn’t overwhelm me, I do get all the features that came with the iPhone 4s as well. I still like the iPhone over the Android choices because of the ecosystem I bought into starting with an iPod Touch. I feel like I know what I am going to get with Apple. Like it or not, they’re consistent and I know I will see a new operating system in a year and possibly another one after that. With Android, I don’t know if I’ll ever see an upgrade, and when the carrier loses interest, so too goes the support.

I have a Lenovo Y570 laptops running Windows 7. My plastic MacBook died years ago and I wanted to get a laptop I could play PC games on, had enough power to last me a few years and have some room for upgrades. The biggest selling point was price since I had a small amount of money to spend on a computer and a new Mac or even used Mac was out of the budget. I work in IT Support so I live in Windows and Mac OS all day so I don’t have any allegiances to one or the other. Operating Systems are tools.

I also have a 1st Generation iPad which I did not buy. It was a Christmas present a few years ago. It is also easily my most-used device and my go to reading and chill out device and the device I am itching to upgrade the most.

I have a Google CR-48 Chromebook I was lucky enough to receive for free when Google first announced the new project. I use it from time to time and while I love Chrome on all my devices, the Chrome OS is not enough to be an everyday use platform. At least not for me. The CR-48 is a decent machine albeit under-powered and with a terrible track pad. I like the keyboard and the lightness. I wrote this post tonight on it because it was sitting next to my bed and within reach.

This is what I use and what I like. It’s not going to be perfect for everyone but it works for me. And that’s all that is really important.

Apple Fanboy

Apple fanboy: Someone who is tired of technology being difficult and knows there is something better; someone that loves to get the job done instead of working on their machine; a person that isn’t afraid of breaking the status quo; someone that appreciates quality design and workmanship; a person that realizes cheapest isn’t always best.

via Definition of an ‘Apple fanboy’ and those that use the term.

I bought my first MacBook because I was tired of tinkering.
I was tired of fighting malware.
I was tired of half-assed software.
I was tired of program that never worked quite right.
I was tired of using subpar solutions.
I was tired of things that never lived up to their promise.
I was tired of my computer being something to be worked on.
I was tired.

When I bought my first MacBook I used my computer.
I abused my computer.
I left it running for days.
I designed.
I wrote.

I had a computer that got out of my way and let me work. I didn’t have to worry about it. I didn’t have to wonder if I’d come home to a blue screen. I didn’t have to wonder if one of my applications had mysteriously stopped working. I didn’t have to wonder if I would have a working computer. I spend my days as a computer technician so fixing computers has never been a problem. However, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was work on another computer.

It sounds trite, but Apple computers just work.

iPod Mini: My Apple Gateway Drug

This was my gateway drug.

The iPod Mini. I bought it in blue despite swearing I would buy the green one. I even went to the Apple Store with the promise I would not buy one unless they had the green one in stock.

I had saved my money for quite a while and I was excited.

They did not have the green one. They did have the blue one. So I caved and bought it.

I had broken a promise to a friend to not spend the money unless I got exactly what I had wanted. However, in the end, I did. I got precisely what I wanted.

The green iPod was not the shade of green in person I was hoping for as I saw on the display model and I was afraid the Blue would be too powder blue. But it wasn’t. It was a beautiful, rich, metallic blue that called out to me.

That little iPod wanted to come home with me, so I granted its wish and fulfilled my wish to own what I was coveting most at the time.

I had my little blue iPod Mini and it served me well for many years. I was very happy with it and it did not fail me. It fell out of fashion when I picked up a black 30GB iPod Video years later. It eventually got sold to a student at VCU who replied to my Craigslist ad because I needed the money.

I will always remember the little Blue iPod Mini as my gateway drug into the Apple universe. It was solid, indestructible even in my possession, which was a major plus as I am hard on my things. It never died. It never gave up. It was scratched and worn but it still performed perfectly.

I came across this one recently at a friend’s house and had to grab a quick shot of it since it reminded me of that happy day I bought one of its kin into my home and into my life.


Thank You Steve Jobs and the thousands of people who helped your vision become reality.

This is how I found out about the passing of Steve Jobs.

I have no great words this evening. I have no stories or anecdotes. Yet, I sit here typing on an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, beside a Magic Trackpad. I type onto the screen of an iMac with my iPhone not far away.

My wife is laying in bed with her MacBook and her iPhone.

I am saddened. I feel there was a passing of a true visionary tonight. Say what you want about Apple and how Steve Jobs ran it, but he changed the face of technology. He changed how we think about, write about and interact with technology.

Technology is no longer a tool or a menace or an inconvenience. Technology is a part of who we are. Technology is a part of our daily lives. It is woven into the fabric of who we are and how we think and act. How we shop and conduct business. How we communicate near and far.

Technology became much friendlier after Steve.

The smiling Mac, a welcome face to the beginning of my journey into the Macintosh Apple IIe I spent so many hours playing with in elementary school. The PowerMac G4 I spent countless hours producing newspaper layouts in college. The original MacBook I carried with me everywhere I went for nearly 4 years.

Steve Jobs made the world a better place. He taught us how tech is not cold metal and plastic. He brought it into our homes and into our hearts.

He did this. He did this with the help of thousands of Apple employees past and present.

Thank you Steve Jobs. Thank you Steve Wozniak.

Thank you for setting into motion a vision of what technology could be.