Friday, December 30, 2016

Updating Apple Products Part II

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 Chicago Boyz

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