Admittedly, I was the textbook definition of a Mac hater for years and years. Now I look around me and see more Apple products than ever. Not only do I own all these Apple products but I absolutely love them. That’s hard to admit since now I have to hate myself for being a hater. Do you want to know how bad my hate was? When Apple announced the iPad, I vividly remember commenting to my co-worker “Well, this could be the move that finally puts Apple out of business. Tablets? Nobody wants to buy those sh*((# things”. If you want more bold predictions feel free to ask, I’m sure I can get those wrong as well.
The pc and Android platforms have obvious issues, not to say the Mac and iOS platforms are perfect either. I’ve been dealing with the pc platform for years both at home and work. I never wanted to learn Mac as it was always a minority consideration since most businesses have been pc oriented. Few industries are geared solely on Mac as a platform. The last time I had a long-term exposure to Mac was in grade school and all we really did on the Apple IIe was use the Turtle program to draw. As far as Android is concerned, my first smartphone was a Droid X2 that was purchased out of my spite of Apple at the time. I would grow to regret this decision.
Since I already had the Droid X2 for my phone, I decided to buy an Android tablet to complement it. The Motorola Xoom was the device I landed on. The hardware was fine and there were good applications on it. The screen was crisp and clear as well. Quickly I found my affection for the Android platform waning. One of the greatest advantages of the Android platform is also one of its greatest disadvantages – open platform for both hardware and software. It started getting frustrating when you would browse the Google store, find an app you wanted, only to find out that your device was not supported. I think of myself as pretty tech-savvy and even I got confused trying to figure out what software I could run on my tablet. Does a common user know if they have a Tegra processor? No. Then imagine their disappointment when they can’t run the game or app they thought would be awesome. Add to the confusion that as people I knew got Android devices not being able to help them since the user interfaces vary by vendor. Some items and menus are standard but most manufacturers like to differentiate their product by tweaking the UI. This is a problem when you are trying to talk someone through checking something and the menus are not the same much less in the same place. My co-worker(same one previously mentioned) found this to be a huge pain when his wife’s menus were different and he couldn’t talk her through anything. Past the software itself, we go onto the support of the actual operating system. The Droid X2 was sold as a flagship Android phone for Verizon. However, within six month of my purchase they announced there would be no further software updates. It felt like a slap in the face to buy what was supposed to be a top-notch device and find it to be so quickly antiquated. I found that my Motorola phone had a lot less support than my Motorola tablet. The tablet continued getting constant, and annoyingly frequent, software updates. Finding myself in a condition where one device had too little support and another had too much did not help keep me as a proponent.
Then we starting getting iPads at work. This irked me to no end to be buying devices I didn’t like but I had to support for people who didn’t need them. Pretty sure the “C” in a lot of people’s title stands for cheap because they make their business buy all their stuff for them. However, I found that they were solid devices. I thought the non 16:9 screen was a downside until I had one in had and used it. Steve Jobs was on to something and I hope they don’t change it. The iPad screen has a better view for reading than the Xoom. The Xoom felt awkward to hold while reading or viewing whereas the iPad felt balanced. Even the bezel proved to be advantageous. I could keep a good grip on the iPad without interfering with what I was looking at but on my Xoom I was constantly finding my thumb in the viewing area. When we got our first iPad with the Retina display I was gone. I could not believe how much better the screen looked. I went so far as to compare the iPad 3 side-by-side with the Xoom. The competition was not even close. Thus the conversion began.
Slowly but surely, I began pricing and planning my iPad purchase. I felt kind of dirty doing it since I had done everything I could to slam Apple products. I found the opportune time when Wal-mart offered a bundle and Amazon would give me $150 for my Xoom. The iPad would turn out to be the gateway device. It was easy to use and looked great doing it. App support was never a question. As models age this will be an issue as we are seeing with iOS 7 not being supported on original iPads. Things went further when I convinced my boss to upgrade my BlackBerry to an iPhone 5. I argued that if I had to support these for our top-level users then I needed to have one to be better able to support them. I was wowed by the iPhone 5 – I have no other way to say it. Friends and colleagues had iPhone 4S’s but the subtle changes in the iPhone 5(namely the added screen real estate and drastic weight reduction) made the device a thing of beauty. Quickly, I found myself carrying my work phone just because I preferred doing things on it over my personal phone. The backfire was that work now found I was easier to get a hold of.
There were two things that greatly influenced my MacBook Pro purchase. First my HP laptop I had at home started acting up. I had intended to simply reload it but I found that in my attempts to dual-boot Linux I had deleted the HP recovery partition. Having not made the recovery DVD’s, recovery became a bit more difficult. Compound this with my family looking to get a laptop for home, I saw an opportunity/excuse to upgrade my own hardware. I watched AppleInsider and MacMall for weeks looking for the best deal. Happenstance took hold when one of my good friends drove himself to Best Buy and purchased a MacBook Pro before me. Therefore, I wasn’t the guy that flipped over first on the laptop level. Reason two: Windows 8. What the $&#@ was Microsoft thinking? The Metro interface, which they are not legally allowed to use that name anymore, is terrible. If you have Windows 8 do yourself a favor and load Classic Shell. It makes Windows Windows again. I’ve been the guinea pig at work for Vista and Windows 8 at work. Most of my issues with Vista were related to being on 64-bit but most of my Windows 8 issues were with the UI. How can I run WordPad when I can’t even find it? I’ve hated this interface since they put it on the Xbox. It is not a good thing that Apple is gaining business just by Microsoft driving people away.
The Apple TV was simply an extra. MacMall had it for under $100 when I bought my MacBook and I figured if nothing else I would have a box that would do Netflix on my tv without using one of my gaming consoles. I come to find that ESPN looks better on my Apple TV than my cable box. Hey Comcast, yes you…here’s an idea: make the Apple TV your set-top box. Get rid of the Motorola and ScienticAtlanta boxes. It will save you tons on inventory and development. Oh wait…Apple is already talking to content providers. Ooops!
Tick, tock, tick, tock…when is my phone upgrade due? This question hounded me for months. I knew exactly when it was but I felt the strain of waiting every day. I read the latest rumors and I weighed the options of buying the device at full price. Ultimately I waited until my contract was due. At 3:15am Eastern time on September 20, 2013 I made my order via the Apple store. No, I did not stay up all night pressing refresh on my browser trying to get my order in. Fighting the local respiratory plague that was making its rounds in work, I found myself up at 2:50am with a hacking cough. Figuring I would not get back to sleep quickly I decided to stay up and try to make my order. To my surprise I was able to get into the store and make my order on the first try. It wouldn’t be until September 25, 2013 that I received my Space Gray 32GB iPhone 5S.
The IPhone 5S was all I wanted and more. Being familiar with the iPhone 5, I thought I would not be very impressed. Go figure, wrong again. The touch sensor seemed like a novelty but works very well. On a regular basis, I find myself using it to unlock the phone but have not set it up to authorize App Store purchases. This is a personal choice more than anything. The screen is fantastic and I notice the same screen greatness on my iPhone 5 for work. I don’t know exactly what they did but it is good. My only complaint is that I cannot size my background image the same as before. I can live with that being my biggest complaint. It seems kind of crazy to be getting the same messages on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook but it does have its advantages when conversations get really long or complicated.
This was my meal of crow. A long admission of being wrong. If you’ve read the entire thing, thank you.