New Macs And A New iPhone

This week in Mobile Computing, two things happened. New Macs arrived; so did an iPhone.

First, Apple finally revealed the start of its move to the new brains and brawn of its Mac devices: their in-house custom built chip called “M1.” The hype was high in the announcement, with claims of high power/speed plus crazy long battery life. Initial benchmarks look promising if not surprising. Did Apple under-promise and over-deliver?

Second, after passing on my iPhone 7 to join the Android life with a new Moto G Power phone earlier this year…I switched back! Now I’m enjoying my new-to-me iPhone 8 Plus; I missed iPhone. 

M1 Macs

Not gonna lie: the new M1 MacBook Air and Mac mini are compelling devices. Apple kinda gushed on the big-picture tech specs during their announcement this week. This geek was impressed.

Apple already has big mind-share and market prowess as an aspirational brand of just-works mobile computing, and I see no signs of abatement. It’s hard to resist. Only time will tell, though, if their new custom Mac chips will land well. Will this be just another iterative change or a transformative one?

What’s the big deal, really, about an M1 MacBook Air, for example? Well, on top of what’s already good about the device, now it’s:

  • Quieter or silent (fanless)
  • Faster (speed)
  • Stronger (more powerful)
  • Longer (much better battery life)

So if the MacBook Air was only very good before, now it’s great. Or if you thought it was great before, now it’s superb. To me, it’s all looking to be a bigger change than the mere annual spec bump, by far.

And this is just the start.

iPhone 8 Plus

Over the years, almost all of my Apple purchases have been of used devices. Because Apple stuff is such high quality to begin with, buying a three year old iPhone like I did this week is hardly sacrificing anything. In fact, I got a fantastic smartphone for a fraction of its initial price tag.

The particular one I bought is in serious like-new condition too! It had been encased and screen protected, and it even included the original unused EarPods. It’s truly immaculate.

I’m extra happy for this iPhone since it’s my first dual-camera and phablet version (I previously owned an iPhone 4, 6, and 7).

While I did trade off a few things in leaving behind my Moto G Power Android phone (most notably the nice ultra-wide camera and mega-long 2 to 3-day battery), I gained some great stuff: NFC for contactless payments, great water resistance for spills and pool drops, a 2x telephoto lens, and wireless charging for saving wear and tear on re-plugging in a cable a million times.

Above all, though, I got an iPhone. I missed it. The system and apps and hardware are just so nice and easy to use. And the main draw in switching back, for me, was the fact my wife and son had kept their iPhones.

I was hoping and kinda planning on leading my family to switch over to Android with me, but that didn’t happen! So with my kids using my old iPhone 7 under the Family Sharing I had set up, and with my wife sticking to Apple Music and iMessage etc, I kinda had to go back. Practically, it just made more sense and works out better overall.

It’s the Apple ecosystem that pulls you in and keeps you. And frankly, I really like it. I had even quit using Spotify, embracing Apple Music beforehand. The switcheroo was a no-brainer.

For a moment, when I was prepping to leave my Android phone, I had some anxiety. I wasn’t sure I could de-couple from it, being so entrenched in the Google-verse. Long story short, I just went for it. And right away, I was so glad to be using an iPhone again.

Apple Centric

So yeah, I guess I give up. Take my money, Apple. I’m interested in more, because the Apple ecosystem of hardware and software gets better the more invested you are. AirPods, HomePod mini, Apple Watch, iPad, MacBook Air, MagSafe, rumored Tile-finding devices… What do I want for Christmas this year? Hmmm…

Yet I’m not too enamored. I’m still loving my simple and affordable Chromebook and, so far, am still relying on many Google apps and services or other 3rd-party ones.

Mobile Computing is my thing. It’s also Apple’s, and I think they do it best. Yet Google is strongest at cloud services. As always, I hope to pick what works best, not break the bank, and resist some marketing hype. But in the end, I’m still only human.

Hey, Siri! It’s me, Jason; I’m back.

What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “New Macs And A New iPhone

    1. Hey Brad, good question. Of course I have some thoughts! I’ve spent several years on both sides with phones and tablets. Briefly:
      1. Since all you know is Android, even if iOS is better, you may find you prefer what you’re used to.
      2. Overall, iPhone and Android are both great and capable. What you can do with either system is basically the same, but how you do it differs.
      3. iOS is simpler, cleaner, tighter, and I think, as do many, more cohesive.
      4. Given the variety of Android phones, you would find iPhone far superior if your Android exp. has been mostly in the budget to middle tiers. If you’ve been on flagship Android phones, iPhone may only feel slightly faster or better.
      5. An iPhone SE may be Apple’s “budget” model iPhone, but at $400 it’s value exceeds like-priced Android phones except maybe the Pixel 4A or maybe a mid-tier One+ phone.
      6. Going into an iPhone is likely to suck you in further, buying more Apple devices, which is a “the whole is great than the sum of its parts” situation. The Apple ecosystem synergy is greater, I think, than the Google one. But it’s more expensive overall.
      7. While you can still use all Google services on iPhone, you can’t use Apple services on Android except Apple Music. Apple’s iCloud web apps via the browser are limited to basic functionality.
      8. The more people you know personally that are already on iPhone, the better your experience will be on iPhone. iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, iCloud Photo Album Sharing, Find My, etc.
      9. Not everything in Apple land is rosy. There’s plenty to praise, but it’s not nirvana or euphoria.
      10. I think spec and quality wise, iPhones are objectively better than equivalent Android phones in general. I noted most recently how switching from my then 3.5 yr old iPhone 7 to a brand new Android phone (albeit a budget to mid-range) was overall a side-grade more than an upgrade. And now switching back to a 3 yr old iPhone 8 Plus is a side-grade in some ways and an upgrade in others.

      Of course, each has their pros and cons. The iPhone SE at $400 in particular is perhaps the best smartphone deal/value anywhere now. If you prefer a non-phablet phone at 4.7″ display size, the iPhone SE is excellent. I would have bought it but was happy to get a 3yr old like-new iPhone 8 Plus for less money. My wife is still using her 5 yr old iPhone SE! It just got the latest iOS 14 update and hasn’t slowed down. Only the battery life is degraded, but that’s just physics.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, thanks Jason! Yeah, my wife wants me to get an iPhone for Facetime. Everyone has an iPhone so…

        Also, I want/need a phone that isn’t too big. I put it in my pocket and it needs to fit. I’m not big on huge phones. I’ve been trying to use my phone a lot less these days so I don’t need the greatest. I feel the SE is a good fit.

        One more thing I like about Apple is that their products are seen as more private. I don’t know if it is true or not, but from what I’ve researched it seems more secure.

        Liked by 2 people

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