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Apple’s ecosystem has a hold on me!

It finally dawned on me this morning, just how much Apple is with me morning to night…and it will only get worse…

Apple ecosystem
image courtesy of author

And the day starts

I am going to get two phrases, or words out of the way now, that I hate, but are hard to avoid when writing about Apple.

Ecosystem.

Daily driver.

You have been warned, these may well crop up a few times today because, much as I hate them, they segue very neatly to what I am about to cover.

If you’ve taken the time to read some of my articles recently (articles or blogs…never sure!), firstly, thank you, and secondly, you’ll know I have one or two Apple products around me. I know – that alone is hardly a stop-the-press moment, but it truly dawned on me this morning, just quite how much my Apple tech is a part of my life.

I realise have brought it upon myself. From the first iPhone and MacBook through to the HomePod minis (which currently number two!), no one has been there holding a gun to my head. I have made all those choices totally voluntarily.

I count myself as reasonably sassy and marketing–smart, but I have been reeled in to the (here we go…) Apple ecosystem. I am not regretting it, but man, I am in an Apple walled garden for life now!

How the addiction starts

For me, as many I dare say, it was with an iPhone. It didn’t even cost real money, as it was given to me on a carrier subsidy. Once you start to use the phone, the gateway Apple drug of choice, it quickly leads to an iPad. Then you see how well they integrate, so you figure, may as well give a MacBook Air a go.

That brings in Handoff & AirDrop. You sign in to Apple Music, then you add AirPods to the list. But you would rather not be wearing AirPods around home, so a HomePod mini, or two, soon enter your life.

Without labouring the point, I am sure you get my gist of where I am coming from. As much as it may seem a little far-fetched, do you think, 10 or 11 years ago, the Apple execs sat down, and had this masterplan in mind? I know it sounds the stuff of fancy, but, you have to admit, it almost looks that way now, right?

My Apple day

Before writing this, I sat down and made a list of just how, why and when I use or interact with my Apple devices through the day.

For me, it starts with that ‘gateway’ device – my iPhone. The alarm goes off, and then it is the first fumble through of a brand-new day. Delete the overnight junk emails, and make a mental note of which ones to which I need to respond. Check YouTube Studio, my stats here on Medium, and for a reality check, the bank as well. And that is before even leaving bed!

Next up is my morning cardio session – and for me, that means the iPhone and AirPod Pro come out the door with me as I catch up on podcasts. When I get back home, I generally use Handoff to the pair of HomePod minis as I continue listening to those podcasts, whilst showering & grabbing some breakfast.

And time to get in the car

The Apple ecosystem (eek – sorry, but you see what I mean), continues on my short drive to the studio.

CarPlay is just so damned convenient, even in its current guise.

After WWDC in June, we know it is due a major upgrade in the not-too-distant future. But, even as it stands today, it’s super convenient.

If you’ve not experienced it, think of it like this; a display screen of your favourite apps, laid out in a friendly, car-safe manner. iMessage gets readout to you via Siri, and you can even reply using the Apple voice assistant too – a true licence saver! You can listen to your Spotify playlists, choose your favourite album from your Apple Music library, check out BBC Sounds or your favs on Apple Podcasts. The best thing about Apple CarPlay is, all the interaction is done via the steering wheel. No grabbing your phone, and rapidly scrambling to find what you are after.

And so to the office…

The Apple fun continues

…and this is where my Apple day gets serious.

It all depends on what the day holds for me as to what Mac and Apple devices I use. Pretty much the first bit of work I tend to, is writing this blog. Until recently, I used to write on the 27-inch iMac. However, since buying the M2 MacBook Air, I now tend to write on that instead. It has rapidly become my daily driver (sorry!). I love its keyboard, and it is just so damned convenient to use. As much as the app I use to write with, Ulysses, is available on all my Apple devices, it just somehow feels ‘right’ on the MacBook Air.

I generally write with a Spotify playlist running, which means the AirPod Pro once again come out of their case. For writing, I find the Active Noise Cancellation is just brilliant. It cuts you off from the outside world, and lets me enter the ‘zone’. Geez – does that sound as affected as I think it does?

At the studio, the 27-inch iMac is now used for audio editing. For instance, if I am working on my podcast, I will work on the iMac. On that Mac, I have my Scarlett 2i2 interface hooked up with a pair of powered, neutral studio monitors. I also have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones here as well. It’s like editing home from home, as I have the same set-up back at my home studio. Using these bits of kit in both places’ means I have good knowledge of the reference sound I am after. The 27-inch, 5K display is great for editing audio on.

I recently transitioned to shooting the majority of both my A-roll & B-roll for my YouTube videos here. There is just so much more space to shoot, and mix-up the locations. It helps to keep everything fresh. If it’s a video shooting day, then I will use the iPad Mini as a reference monitor to help me see the framing, and what I am shooting.

Time to edit

Time to go back home and edit. You’ll know that I have been editing some recent videos on the M2 MacBook Air, but that was really just to demonstrate that it can be done.

Most of my editing is carried out on the 16-inch M1 Max MacBookPro. The power and sheer grunt of that Mac is second to none. Generally, it’s linked to the Apple Studio Display, meaning I am running dual monitors at the home studio. Rarely does the 16-inch MacBook leave home. There is no real need, and it is a bulky bit of kit.

And once the edit is done, it is finally time for me to switch off for the day, but the Apple ecosystem will still be in play for a while yet.

The end of the day beckons

On the sofa and time to relax – with my new go to option for consuming content – Apple TV 4K with a pair of HomePod minis. I watch pretty much everything through it now – SkyTV, YouTube and of course Apple + and their awesome original content.

For sheer quality of audio and colour, this Apple 4K box is the best viewing experience I have had by far. And, if I feel like it, the AirPod Pro pair effortlessly with the Apple TV box as well – in fact, you can even pair two sets up. Socially, not so good, but it is great for really hearing everything…

There is a rumour floating about that another, cheaper version of Apple TV may come out later this year too. If it does, I will be checking that out as well.

I was a slow convert, but now, there is no turning back for me from Apple TV.

As yet another Apple day comes to an end, it will go full circle, with my iPhone coming with me to bed, along with my AirPod Pro. I’ll generally listen to another podcast as I get ready to fall asleep. Hell – I do listen to a lot of podcasts right? Is that another addiction? Must be in my personality eh?

Concluding

Earlier, I mentioned that my addiction and implementation of the Apple ecosystem will only get worse.

By that, I meant I am pretty seriously thinking of buying an Apple Watch 8 this fall. Like Apple TV, I have held out, for a long time, but having seen first hand just how useful they are, and I reckon the time has finally come. Watch this space (sorry for the awful pun)!

Just when I’d have thought I was all Apple’d out, it seems there is always space and time for just one more Apple device in your life…

Please – tell me I am not alone? How does your Apple addiction compare?

Getting involved

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