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  • Updating Apple Products Part II

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on December 30th, 2016 (All posts by )

    In a recent post I discussed the spate of updates that have occurred in my Apple products including a new iOS for my work and home phone, a new iOS for my iPad, a new iOS for my Apple Watch, and a new operating system for my Mac.

    Apple Watch

    Let’s start with the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is an evolutionary product and the jury is out on whether or not it will be a giant part (“move the needle”) of the Apple portfolio. Personally, I find the Apple Watch to be very useful because I can get notifications when big events occur (for instance, I was the first to say “Prince is dead” in a big meeting) or just to be reminded when texts happen and I don’t have my phone on. It also is good for sports score notifications and tracking workouts. Finally, you can also always know if someone is calling you even if the ringer on your phone is off, and you can answer it “Dick Tracy Style” on your wrist (if you want to annoy everyone around you).  Here is my review of the Apple Watch from 2015 when I bought it.

    Apple Watch iOS 3.0 is OK. The watch seems a bit faster. They made it easier to utilize some popular apps like the workout app and incorporated some other improvements here and there. I can’t take advantage of all the iOS 3.0 features because my older Apple watch doesn’t have some of the features like the built in GPS that comes with the new watch.

    Mac OS Sierra

    There has been a lot of noise in the press about Apple not updating their core computers and even letting Microsoft steal their thunder with the new Surface tablet.  However, Apple deserves immense credit for making their OS upgrades work effectively even on older model machines – for instance the Macbook that I am writing this blog post on is from 2011 (my friend Brian installed an SSD and more memory which I documented here).

    The most important elements from my perspective are the continued integration of the Mac OS with the iPad and iPhone devices.  With this upgrade I now can easily share a single photo stream (which will get its own post since it is so complicated), use Apple music easily across devices, and use key apps like messenger, notes, ibooks, contacts and Facetime (mostly) seamlessly.  Siri also works on the Mac now which is fine for most people but I don’t use Siri much so it is irrelevant to me.

    In parallel – Microsoft finally released a new version of Office for the Mac.  I am on Office 2011 which still works fine and gets security upgrades all the time.  I haven’t upgraded to the new version of Office because Word / Excel / Powerpoint are all fine and I haven’t moved my personal docs to Office 365.  I am going with iCloud instead (for cloud documents).

    Generally I am very happy with my Apple universe of products.  I went to the store to look at new laptops (I should never have bought a CD / DVD drive with this one, it is heavy and of course I never used it) and certainly eyed them for a while (they are so light and the screens are so bright!) but there is no pressing need for me to upgrade so I will just keep using this one as long as the OS upgrades from Apple keep working.

    Cross Posted at LITGM

     

    9 Responses to “Updating Apple Products Part II”

    1. Mike K Says:

      I have a CD/DVD drive that plugs into the USB port on my MacBook Air and never use it.

    2. dearieme Says:

      Happy New Year, one and all. May your Mr Less-bad-than-Hellary turn out to be a big improvement on Mr Obama.

    3. Mike K Says:

      “May your Mr Less-bad-than-Hellary turn out to be a big improvement on Mr Obama.”

      It would be difficult not to improve on Obama. Have a prosperous New Year,

      We are looking forward to getting out of California before it becomes completely crazy.

      Help is on the way.

      We were there the past three days meeting with painters and contractors who will do some work before we move on the 15th of this month.

      900 mile round trip but worth the trouble. I will be back on Tuesday but this time at government expense. Obama has nothing on me,

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Michael, good fortune with your move.

      Carl, thanks for your post. Apple products seem generally well designed, made and supported. However, the MSFT/Google stuff seems to work well enough and satisfies my DIY tendencies. Happy new year.

    5. Mike K Says:

      “Apple products seem generally well designed, made and supported.”

      My daughter has been interviewed twice by the Apple design team for a possible job with them. We all wish her the best of luck this year.

      We have been told there are only 20 members. She did not apply but they reached out to her. She is quite involved in the art world.

    6. Carl from Chicago Says:

      Yes I think that you can do well with either a complete MSFT or a complete Apple setup. Obviously if you are skilled you can just go down the complete DIY / Linux route as well.

      Computers are merging with tablets and mobile devices and wearables and the cloud and data and that is a very interesting story. I will try to get to it in a few components.

      Would be a huge opportunity to be part of the Apple team I’m sure!

    7. PenGun Says:

      There is no cloud. It’s branding. It came from load balanced server clusters, which were later branded as clouds. It’s servers on the internet, same it ever was.

      The merging is almost pure software. Google syncs all my crap, hooks my devices, that do various things together and treats that as a single thing. I like it so, I allow it onto my machines. I could chose Apple, I never will, for a similar experience.

    8. Richard Says:

      I have a practice of not buying andy tech device, until it’s absolutely necessary or nearly so. I visualize the buying situation riding a carousel. One looks at all the pretty “horses” pass, and decide ride one, but just as one is about to mount, one sees a prettier horse come round, etc., so one waits according to one’s need and mutes the market hype.

      Presently, I using a MacBook unibody vintage 2008, improved some years ago with increased RAM (8GB) and storage (240GB SS), using OTW kits, and it’s snappy. I have been able to upgrade to all OS-X except Sierra, but there’s an app for that.

    9. Trent Telenko Says:

      Top end successful US designs tend to be mass produced, reliable and easy to use.

      This has always been true of US gear from the outset as the US always invested more thought into both usability and maintainability, vs. UK or Germany tech.

      You could almost treat that as a given :-)

      Call it the “US style of design”.

      There are usually two prices for the “US Style of Design.”

      1. It take longer to get out there.
      2. It costs more and people quickly copy it with cheap knock off’s.

      If you have smart US management you win on better service and continually improving design [See the Apple Mac computer, Apple I-Pod and Apple IPhone one through three].

      That smartness has been lacking the last couple of decades as Marketing departments and MBA bean counters have displaced good engineering departments in many companies.

      MS-Windows vice Apple II and The F-22 vice the F-35 are examples of this MBA CFO/Marketing Dept versus Engineer department cultural war inside American industry.