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Apple making every day better and the 1 thing that’s missing

It’s time to take a look at my apple-infused day from start to finish

Apple making the day better

The walled garden

We often talk about Apple’s ecosystem sometimes in a good light and at other times as if it strangling us. Whichever way we look at it though, it’s a tangible real thing and it affects our days and lives to differing degrees.

I sat and mused today just how my normal day-to-day life is touched by Apple and what I turn to and use every day.

So this is kind of a day in the life of. It will be interesting to hear how your day compares and measures up.

Getting going

Like many of us, I guess the day gets going with checking my phone (14 Pro). I’ll check Twitter, YouTube Studio and Insta before rolling out of bed to make coffee and head to the home podcast studio which is where I work until about 2pm every day. In there, I get my Apple Watch Series 8 on charge and settle down for the first half of the day.

As you may know, I was fairly late coming to Apple Watch only getting my first one late last year. I could never really see or understand how it would benefit me. Turns out though it wasn’t only me that was confused – so was Apple.

As we head into the new waters of spatial computing and Apple Vision we are reminded about the launch of the watch. No one knows where the headset will yet fit into our lives and routines and what if any, part it will play in our daily tasks. Apple has their ideas for it, but it needs time to mature and ‘bed’ down. That was true too for the watch.

At launch, Apple assumed it would be a mixture of a watch and a notification device. It was only after it had been around for a few years that the idea of using it for health & fitness started to resonate. The plight of new categories I guess!

Being just a tad of a nerd I want the watch to gather as much data on me as possible, so I wear mine through the night. Battery life has varied over the past 12 months. Mostly it has been just fine – I tend to workout a couple of times per day and on the whole, the watch has got through the day easily. I normally wake up with about 35% battery left. Then about two months ago, the battery suddenly started to die by around 10pm (it comes off from the charger at about 8am). It’s fine again now and the only thing I can put the sudden drain down to was I used an unofficial wireless charger for the first time.

I am normally pretty fastidious about only using genuine Apple gear and cables, but I had been sent a charger to review…it’s the only thing that ever changed and the watch is fine again now I’ve stopped using it. Last weekend I bought my first Belkin MagSafe wireless charger to get rid of cables and for convenience.

Admin o’clock

As the watch charges I get into the needed but most uncreative part of the day – admin and accounts.

The Macs get opened for the first time about now. The lineup for me is the 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro which is hooked up to the Studio Display and an M2 MacBook Air to the other side.

The MBA generally sits there for me to monitor emails and just to check what’s going on while over on the MBP, I get on with invoicing, sorting accounts out and general admin stuff.

I also use this time to reply to messages from viewers on YouTube or you guys that have commented on my blogs. I still try to reply to every comment on both platforms. I know there may come a time when that’s not tenable any longer but for the time being, I love chatting and responding to comments.

Next up for the day and still on the MacBook Pro is writing. That is always the first creative task for the day. I write in Ulysses which is a Mac-only writers app. I write everything in this app – blogs, scripts for long-form and short-form videos and even notes for ideas I have about other content. I used to use Apple’s Notes app, but Ulysses is just so much more robust and designed for purpose – and is one of my most used apps.

It syncs across all devices and is so simple to use. From a blogging point of view where it scores is in the fact it links directly to my WordPress account which saves me so much time. Before I used WordPress and Ulysses I wrote in Notes or Pages then had to manually copy, paste and format in my (then) Wix website. It just wasn’t automated enough and left room for error.

In an attempt to get rid of as many errors as possible, I am now using Grammarly and the inbuilt spell-checker in Ulysses. Even then I know the odd typo slips though…I do my best – promise! Writing takes more time than I ever give it credit for and I normally don’t have it all wrapped up until around 1pm.

All change

I have a studio about 10 miles from home which I head to in the afternoons.

My camera backpack is always packed and ready to take with me but it’s more a matter of what Mac I take. Where possible I try not to take the MacBook Pro with me. I come from the old school that stability counts. Yes, of course, it’s a laptop and by definition can be moved, but tech is always generally better left off being left in one place.

The basic metric on which Mac I take with me depends on what the afternoon has in store for me. Generally I will pack the Air with me. It’s such a bloody good performer that it can handle most of what I do – even in the basic config that I have.

I have a resident 27-inch Intel iMac at the studio but it is just so much slower than the tiny lightweight MacBook Air. It’s crazy to see how Apple silicon has changed everything.

The main reason for being at the studio is to shoot A-roll and B-roll for the week’s video. If that’s all I’m doing then the MacBook Air has me covered. I have Adobe Creative Cloud loaded on it so can use the apps I need. Normally that would be Audition for recording the main audio and possibly Lightroom to check out any images I’ve shot for thumbnails etc.

I could and have done some video editing on the MBA and for getting the timeline sorted and making basic edits it works just fine (when it’s hooked up to a larger monitor anyway). The only reason I don’t do more video work in Premiere on the MBA is only because the Waves plug-ins I use are on the other Mac and you can only have them assigned to one machine – which is a pain. Also, Waves has now gone the subscription route too….grrr! The MacBook Pro only come with me if I know I have serious video or audio editing to do.

Back at HQ

Back in the home studio later in the day, my Mac work is nearly done. I will grab the video from the Canon using the SD card reader on the MacBook Pro and from the iPhone via Image Capture and as a rule of thumb that is the day’s creative work done but Apple continues to be with me…

In the kitchen, I have a HomePod mini. I will normally have been listening to podcasts using Apple CarPlay driving back, so using Handoff I carry on listening to the podcast on the HomePod.

And let’s just take a moment to take our hats off to CarPlay. I know have written about the updates that are coming for it in iOS 17 later this summer but even as it stands it is a super convenient way of using your iPhone as seamlessly as possible. The car I have just switched to now has wireless CarPlay which suits my ‘neat’ needs and it seems as if it’s both latency and glitch-free. It does drink the battery of the phone though if say you are streaming podcasts and using sat-nav, but outside of that it works brilliantly.

All the main apps you want to use are available to you – Siri works and will even read out your messages and of course, everything is in sync as well. I know some swear by Google Maps but so far Apple Maps has never let me down.

Feet up

In the living room, the Apple affair continues with Apple TV 4K and the latest Apple HomePod.

This combination is the best I’ve had at home. I know it’s not super-high-end, but it takes the AV set-up at home up a level or two. I never had an original HomePod to compare my 2nd gen to but the audio to my semi-trained ears is good. The mids particularly are clear & present which means speech is picked up well.

The colour and definition of Apple TV 4K in combination with its audio just makes for a convenient high-quality home entertainment system.

Often times in the evening I will switch from the HomePod to AirPods Max. Later on, I’ll normally be catching up with YouTube content. The AirPods Max shine when I use them with Apple TV – if you’ve got a pair try them with Apple TV and you’ll see what I mean. With noise cancelling on you are in your own space and can hear every breath. For Apple TV I prefer AirPods Max to AirPods Pro.

The pros have it

The most used bit of Apple kit I have beyond doubt are my two pairs of AirPods Pro.

I bought my first pair in March 2022 even knowing that it was highly likely that AirPods Pro 2 were coming out later in the year. I just really wanted to step up from AirPods and get some noise cancelling.

The original AirPods were already great, but what Apple did with the H1 chip and the new drivers in the 2nd gen AirPods is nothing short of a miracle. The difference between the two is like day and night. If you’ve not tried a pair all I can tell you is to lay down the £250 needed knowing your mind is about to be blown. If you are anything like me they will be with you all day every day. If I were the sort to talk about my everyday carry, then AirPods Pro 2 would be the first thing I’d mention.

They come out with me on my workouts and I’ll even pop them in at home too from time to time. Convenient, great sounding and a battery life that lasts forever – I mean what’s not to love?

Oh, and the other pair of AirPods Pro is far from forgotten – I use those every night in bed when I listen to – you’ve guessed it, more podcasts as I nod off to sleep.

Wrapping up

Apart from the obvious that I’ve already mentioned there are other more less obvious ways that Apple touches my day too.

I use iCloud for storage and file transfer most days. For instance, the audio I record at the studio on the MacBook Air is saved into iCloud for me to process on the MBP at home.

I use Apple News every day, AirDrop, Apple Music and Podcasts too. The Photos app is something else that I overlook too. How well does that work huh? Recently I have started to use the Photos app on my Mac more too. It saves time transferring them from my iPhone and the full res ProRaw images are there waiting for me to edit.

It’s only by writing all this down today that I have realised how much of my day is affected by Apple. Am I complaining? Nope, not for a moment. For what I do working with Apple just makes my days easier, hassle-free and way more productive.

I mentioned at the top there was one thing missing. In a perfect world where money was no object, I’d have a Pro Display XDR here in the home studio and take the Studio Display to the other studio space. I’ve been so impressed by this 5K 27-inch display I can only wonder what the experience would be like on a 32-inch 6K display.

For the time being, I can dream on but Apple just makes my day work.

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