Begrudgingly an Apple Fan A Year On

A year ago I never really thought of owning an iPhone or a MacBook. I appreciated the quality of the hardware and software combo but the steep price was too high for me. Especially when I can get alternatives for cheap. So most of my college life my tech revolved around Google and Microsoft’s open arms. Now it’s 2017 and I have a 2015 MacBook and an aging iPhone 5S. They’re not both actually the best to have right now but I loved using them both more than my old laptop and Samsung phone. When did the change of heart start? Let’s rewind a year.

A dramatic shot of my lovely Lenovo Ideapad Y410p. He’s named Caleb because I was a sophomore when I got this and we needn’t discuss my life choices now.
My trusty Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) that I dubbed Kyrios after my favorite Gundam, along with some other gadgets. As of writing only the Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker at the top is the only one to survive while the others have been sold or lost to the void.

During my last year in college we were already on the last leg of our thesis. I could probably say the same for the state of my laptop then. It was already loaded to the brim with thesis files and programs. While it still worked as advertised I already knew if I didn’t think of a contingency plan I might not be able to finish my thesis (ironically enough the final build of our thesis was only on this one).

My brother eventually let me borrow his MacBook Pro. And it was a jarring experience at first.

For one being a Windows User for most of my life I already accustomed to all its nooks and crannies. I knew how to customize a Windows Computer to my specific needs. The symbols were all new for the alt and command keys (honestly seeing the keyboard shortucts in the menu bar was akin to mysterious hieroglyphics at the time). Swapping the control key for the command key was another muscle memory to unlearn. Also losing the backspace and separate key for delete. Lastly the needing to quit the app instead of just closing the windows? That was a new thing too. Thankfully the program we used to develop our thesis was multiplatform so learning curves aside I went back to work.

Slowly I was making a home in Apple’s walled garden. My mouse laid forgotten on my desk. The glass trackpad worked well enough especially with the supported gestures. Battery life was finally something I could hold on to, only needing to charge when I got home. There was no fear in forgetting the charger! What also amazed me was the level of detail in all the software running on the Mac. You would know that almost all adhere to a design language that simulates the native apps. You could just see that the apps made were more polished compared to their Windows counterparts.

The majority of my thesis was finished on my brother’s MacBook and it handled beautifully. There were rare occurences of Unity crashing but that was miles away from what I had in my own laptop. And good lord I was now a believer of the Retina Display. Just being able to have more real estate on a similar screen size made me think twice of going back to my old laptop to do the final build of our thesis. It was a sad goodbye when I had to return my brother’s MacBook.

During my last term after successfully defending our thesis there was a big sale going on in our local distributor for Apple Products. Think of it as some kind of a black friday sale. Of course I skipped a day of classes just to go there. At first I was there to get a MacBook Air. It was a decent buy before and the steep discount it had then almost made it a must have. Ironically after grueling hours of waiting I ended up getting one of the last stocks of the Early 2015 MacBook.

Based from the reviews people were recommending everyone to just get a MacBook Air instead of a MacBook, The former was more powerful, had the best battery life, and has more ports than the lowly USB-C port on the latter. What were the MacBook’s pros? A Retina display, thinner design, and a better set of speakers. The controversial keyboard wasn’t recommended. There were events that my wrists actually ache while typing it didn’t feel as good as the other MacBooks. The lowly Core M wouln’t be able to work with the dev tools I need. Basically the MacBook was exactly the opposite of the laptop that I would recommend. Buyer’s remorse was setting in.

After graduation, I was already looking for a replacement for the MacBook. There wasn’t really a sense of satisfaction of getting the right product for me. Windows Laptops began to look like a better choice yet again.

Months after I saw that my usage habits on a laptop was already changing. I wasn’t coding everyday. Nor did I even play any PC games. I was mostly on Tumblr, Netflix, Social Media and a writing app for my weekly journals. Basically my lifestyle didn’t need a powerful laptop. It just needed one that wasn’t problematic with software issues. My MacBook started to shine again and dear old Caleb laid forgotten. The portablity made one of must-haves whenever I traveled. The retina display along with the speakers made netflix binges a joy. The battery still wasn’t the best but it was average 8 hours of usage. There were still some nagging issues like the heat from the processor. It wasn’t uncomfortable but still something to take note.

The only picture I have of my MacBook, currently named “Mikey’s Mac and Cheese”. Fight me (please do not).

Then in the beginning of this year my sister upgraded to an iPhone 7 and thus continuing the tradition of hand me down gadgets. Yours truly got the now vintage iPhone 5S with a paltry 16GB of storage.

Current daily driver phone named Lasagna. Pictured with the case my sister made and after an unfortunate water incident was subsequently replaced.

Let’s start with cons. 16GB of storage and a 4-inch screen. The former made me cringe because my old phone had a 128GB microSD card. The latter irked my big-ass fingers. This was an even tougher sell compared to the MacBook. Also the inability to select default apps is still getting on my nerves. And I won’t lie I’m still looking for a new phone to replace this.

iPhones are hella expensive. It’s a tough pill to swallow considering the vastness of options you have with Android. Even the SE is still considered an upper midrange device. So the only way I would actually be able to get an iPhone was if someone would be able to give me one.

You do get what you pay for though.

I need to reiterate again the polish the apps have compared with Android. And the user experience is consistent across the board. It’s amazing to think that while loading times are slower the experience was still smooth 4 years after its introduction. And the camera was still adequate for social media.

Thankfully I was already using Spotify and Google Photos so the storage problem was alleviated a little bit. The small screen still isn’t adequate for me but the phone was better in one-handed usage.

So here I am now a prospective Apple convert. I still appreciate the MacBook and the iPhone but I don’t think I would be using the latter long-term. I still want my expandable storage and some configurable options that Android happily gives me. And the Surface Laptop is something that I’m interested in Windows 10 S notwithstanding.

Would I recommend people to get an iPhone or a MacBook? If you have the resource by all means yes. Just be prepared to pay the Apple tax. Or better wait for big sales on these devices! Apple still continue to have the skills in creating quality hardware coupled with great software. The good thing is that Microsoft and Google are already catching up so who knows maybe it’s time to jump ship by then.