Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Left to My Own Devices

My love/hate relationship with products from Apple Inc., has entered a new phase with my purchase of an iPhone SE. Here is a summation of my flirtations and consummations with the digital progeny of Jobs, Ivey and Cook (pardon my exclamation points!)

I’ve had various MacBooks for twenty years, the vast majority of FITK was created on one. I’m in my eighth year on my current one and, apart from replacing a few keys and routine battery changes, it has been a real trouper and still accepts the current MAC OS updates. There aren’t many other gizmos that actually get better with age. The newest MacBooks with the M1 chip are even better, but $$$$. Love.

About two years ago I thought an iPad mini might be useful for handling my photos and some other tasks. It was not. Outside of a Scrabble-like game app and a couple of nerdy sound apps, it has been a bust. It does do Kindle but I’d really much rather read a real book. Hate.

Last spring I got a new M1 iMac, with the next generation processor and a super-duper display. It is gradually becoming my go-to machine, a real advance in every way. Of course it isn’t very portable (and certainly not hand-holdable!), but that is the nature of a desktop. With an additional monitor, a Wacom stylus and pad, and a hub to tie all the peripherals together, it is simply dreamy. Love.

And now-the iPhone.

I had held off from getting any sort of smartphone until now, they were just too expensive and the mobile plans were no bargain either. Not anymore. I got a refurbished current model iPhone SE and a one-year no-contract mobile service for less than $400! While I probably won’t be burning through a ton of data if I do I can upgrade painlessly. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make on the phone is getting used to the operating system. Everything that is easy on my Macs is awkward on the phone, and not just because of the size. Many of the sites I visit feature a special mobile-view can usually be toggled back to the regular desktop view—which usually works better! Sometimes you have to turn the orientation sideways to get the best look—FITK works great that way—and a little pinch and zoom action tweaks it so it works just fine. Also, I can’t get an ad-block for Firefox that works on the phone and I think Safari is definitely a substandard browser. There is a new MacOS coming next week which might fix it.)  I’ll have to learn how to create my own custom home page icons on my iPhone, in only 19 easy steps! ½ Love, ½ Hate.

So… unless I get into reading on Kindle (or Libby or some other reading app) it looks as if the device that will be left out of the mix is my iPad Mini; it is already pretty obvious that the iPhone will supplant it. The MacBook Pro will probably be retired in a year or two for a newer model—Apple announced some M1 MacBook Pros Monday. A laptop is still the most versatile device, but my M1 iMac is the most elegant experience I’ve had on a computer.

By Professor Batty


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