David Lewis Talking Tech & Audio
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Apple has got me cornered!

The ecosystem – once you’re in…

Apple's ecosystem
image courtesy of author

I’m doomed

Apple has had more than their fair share out of me this year.

I thought I was in deep already, but it dawned on me this morning that I’m now even further ensconced in their elaborately walled garden. It kind of creeps up on you, bit by bit, until suddenly, there is no turning back.

The wallet opened

So, I am trying to think back where my Apple kits was at, when the calendar flicked to 2022. I know it was a vastly smaller collection than it is currently. I think all had at that point was;

  • 27-inch 2015 5K iMac
  • 21.5-inch 4K 2019 iMac
  • 15-inch 2019 MacBook Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • Original AirPods
  • iPad mini

Obviously, I haver had other Macs over the years, but that was the everyday carry as far as Apple products went, I think. Not bad, and already enough to ‘trap’ you in to Apple’s ecosystem, but it was about to get worse…a whole lot worse!

Happy New Year

It was late last year, when the seeds of Talkingtech were first sown. At the start of this year, I began writing here regularly, I launched the website, and I was also uploading regularly to YouTube.

The idea was that I wanted to talk about audio & Apple gear. It’s what I like to read or watch videos about, so I thought I’d jump in with my own spin on it. Of course, the one factor I had not accounted for was, that to stay current with the latest gear would cost a tidy penny. That is never more true than when it comes to Apple gear, of course.

Although all the devices I’ve bought from Apple this year have been items that I knew I’d get use from every day, there was still a lot of the damned stuff!

As of writing this today, the Apple device count has climbed somewhat. It now runs to;

  • 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro
  • 4K Apple TV
  • M2 MacBook Air
  • 27-inch Studio Display
  • 2 pairs AirPods Pro
  • 2 HomePod mini’s
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • Apple Watch Series 8

It even makes me wince as I look at that little lot! I am not trying to in any way excuse it (well, by that very statement, I clearly am), but there is not one item on that long list that doesn’t get a regular, daily workout. Some items are naturally used more than others, but the fact remains they are all in daily use. And before you pick up on it, yes, even the two pairs of AirPods Pro. How come? The original pair are permanently by the bed, and the second gen ones are with me all day…so there!

Ah, so that’s the ecosystem, then!

It’s obvious, I know, but the more Apple gear you own, the more you are sucked in to this Apple world.

I am not moaning in saying that, but equally, I was unaware of my being reeled in still further with each purchase. I like to think I am reasonably smart, and aware of marketing, but Apple are the masters of subtlety. There is never a cry of ‘look how all this stuff talks to one another’, but, the trouble is, it does.

I used to think the fact that pics from the iPhone would be on the Mac the moment I took them and that Pages documents would sync across all devices was as far as the Apple ecosystem affected me. May be, in those simpler day it was, but now…

Watch this space

My latest acquisition, the Apple Watch 8 that I wrote about yesterday, is a classic example of the point I’m trying to make.

The art of the watch is the fact it is so unobtrusive, yet delivers such a fat punch. It gently chimes up, looking out for your welfare, that it’s probably time sir should stand. I find myself actively seeking to have it off my wrist as little as possible, to be sure it is monitoring my stats as well as it can. I check my sleep data, look to improve my exercise goals, and pay attention when it tells me it’s time to wind down. I may even subscribe to Apple Fitness, and then I can share my workouts with friends too.

Apple TV – seems innocuous enough, right? Don’t be fooled, that little black box is a demon in disguise. On the back of how mighty fine the picture & Apple’s original content is, I started to use Apple TV as my main streaming box. That meant I wanted better audio, so I bought my first HomePod mini. And what’s better than one HomePod mini? Why, two, of course. Oh, if you can’t be arsed to move to get the remote, fear not, Apple has you covered there too – you can control Apple TV directly from your iPhone. Aren’t the guys from Apple just lovely!

So, I have those two HomePod minis sitting under the TV, silly to not use them more, right? If I’ve been out on my morning cardio listening to a podcast, as come through the front door, I use HandOff and continue to listen on the HomePods. And of course, music for dinner, is streamed to them from iPhone.

Oh, and those podcasts that I was listening to…I can carry straight on listening to them, from where I left off, by playing them on Apple’s Podcast app on any of my MacBooks.

Every which way

I spend much of my day in AirPods. Surrounded, as I am, by Macs and iPhones, moving audio from device to device with AirPods is seamless. If the phone rings, the audio from the Mac stops, and I can take my call with them. Everything is just made so easy.

Later today, I will be filming this week’s ‘epic’ – my next YouTube video. Apple is at work there too. Taking b-roll, I will generally be transferring files back to the Mac via AirDrop. The thumbnail shots are taken on the iPhone 14 Pro, and are waiting for me to edit on the Mac.

Shooting a-roll, the phone is hooked up to the Mac and I record the camera footage in to the Mac using the native audio app, QuickTime.

Utilising both MacBooks on my desk is made stupidly simple by using Universal Control. It makes all the Macs seem all as one. If ever there was an exemplary bit of Mac engineering and ingenuity, that was it.

All that, and I haven’t even covered family sharing, shared albums, or shared iCloud storage.

It’s a wrap

Yup, I am deep in Apple’s grip now. It took me in slowly, step-by-step, but now, there really is no going back. To buy a device not in the ecosystem would actually affect my daily workflows.

Clearly, the fact they make hardware that ships with their software and apps, puts them in a unique position. I’ve no regrets, as it all pretty much does what it should for me every day, and improves my day too.

But, buyer beware – if you are about to buy your first iPhone or iPad, trust me, you are on a slippery slope. It’s a one-way ticket to Cupertino!

Enjoy the ride!

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Get in the vibe and listen along to today’s chosen soundtrack. I wrote this whilst listening to get in the vibe and listen along to today’s chosen soundtrack. I wrote this whilst listening tohttps://music.apple.com/gb/album/another-taste-expanded-edition/716630295

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