Sunday, September 18, 2016

Updating Apple Products

I started out as a Windows user and was actually a Windows programmer (using MS Access) for quite a long time. I resisted the siren call of Apple products and stuck with Windows for years and years, for work and for personal use.

Finally I gave in and bought a MacBook Pro in 2011 which turned out to be a great purchase (and got rid of my Windows Desktop PC). I always have used iPhones for personal use, and when I turned in my work Blackberry (a sad day at the time) for an iPhone, that meant that I had two iPhones. For a while I also used a Mac at work, although I ended up switching back to a Windows laptop because password resets, system upgrades and a lack of compatibility for applications built for Windows made it too much of a pain in the rear.

Then over the years I of course bought an iPad and then upgraded that iPad, and an Apple Watch, which I really like (although the jury is mixed on that one). Here is an Apple Watch article and review that I wrote.

Thus I now have five (5) Apple products - a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an Apple Watch, and two iPhones. And now it is time for all the updates... iOS 10 is out now which means I need to update my iPad and both iPhones. Apple Watch OS 3 is also out and I am downloading that right now (downloading the operating system into the watch, from the iPhone, seems to take a long time). My MacBook Pro will get updated to the new Sierra OS when it comes out on Tuesday, September 20th.

Here are some initial thoughts so far. For the iPhones, I don't think iOS 10 is that big of a deal. It does seem faster, and the fonts / icons look a little better, but I don't see much that is significantly different. I do like the easy ability to "unsubscribe" from email lists with a simple swipe. I guess most of the enthusiasm in this area is for the new iPhone 7 launch, but I won't be getting an iPhone 7 for a while due to my current phone contract.

I do like the iPad upgrade to iOS 10, because you can set the widgets on the front page and see items like the weather, travel times to work, emails from your VIP list, my Netatmo for localized weather, etc... at a glance. This is a nice feature because you should get all the main updates immediately and not have to go through different apps to see them. This is sort of like the old "Portal"-type functionality I used to have on my main web page way back in the day.

I will do a thorough review of the Apple Watch OS 3 update. I think that will have many powerful features and it will be much faster and easier to use. I think that Apple is still trying to "figure out" the Apple Watch which means that upgrades tend to have a lot of changes, hopefully for the better. At some point I will probably get a new Apple Watch (the new version has GPS built in) and then my existing watch will be a hand-me-down to someone else in my family who wants it.

Apple has really done a great job of keeping older hardware relevant. I have a MacBook Pro from 2011 which my friend Brian helped upgrade with an SSD hard drive and additional memory (I wrote about that here). My Mac should be able to run the new OS Sierra, and I will review that as well after the upgrade.

I particularly like the integration across Apple devices that you can do today through iCloud. For instance, my contacts, photos, and notes all synch across my Mac, iPhone and iPad (the Apple Watch is linked to the iPhone). You can also use Messenger (basically text messaging) from your Mac, iPad or phone - this is great when you want to type longer or faster texts because you can use your Mac to create them quickly or your iPad if you have an attached (third party) keyboard.

Cross posted at Chicago Boyz

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