I was 13 years old when I was given my first cell phone. My mother’s second-hand Philips Savvy. I thought it was the greatest invention I had ever seen. Although it was so bulky that if you dropped it down the stairs, you’d have to shout a warning to anyone at the bottom!
Fast forward to my early twenties (now well over a decade ago) and I realized how wrong I was. After buying the very first iPhone I was blown away again, but this time it was like the cell phone and I bonded for life. Well myself and the brand of Apple at least. Since 2007 I’ve exclusively used Apple iPhones and writing this blog on the cusp of 2020, which means I’ve used them for 13 straight years.
The iPhone is one of the most useful gadgets I’ve ever owned, and it’s been fun to see how the iPhone has evolved over time. But I’ve evolved with it and the gadget has never lost its relevance or appeal. In fact, it’s only grown and become more useful.
While I’m sure it’s competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy are absolutely fantastic phones, something has kept me hooked to the iPhone all these years. I’ve owned an iPhone 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 11. Some I’ve sold after around two years use while others I’ve kept as business phones.
The iPhone basically helps me organize every aspect of my life, from my work as a writer, my family, and personal life to my own entertainment needs. I genuinely couldn’t be without it. It’s my constant companion, although it’s essential to keep it protected with a case.
Drops happen, and when they do a case can be the difference between just saying “oops” or something much worse when you see the screen has cracked.
As a person who has spent many years working in marketing, and as a creative person whose job it has been to identify gaps in a market, I can spot when a company is trying to sell me a solution to a problem I don’t have. But in Apple’s case; they’ve somehow sold me multiple solutions to problems I never knew I had! But I’m glad they did.
I’m someone who owns the entire Apply family’ of devices and each one not only makes my career and personal life easier but compliments the rest of my Apple devices. So, after gushing about how useful I find my iPhone here is what else I use on a daily basis.
Now unlike the iPhone, I was on the fence about the iPad for a few years. I didn’t really see the point of it. But wow, once I did, I revolutionized my life in a similar way to the iPhone. I’ve owned three of them in my time. The iPad 2, iPad 4 and most recently the iPad 6.
I traded my 2 in for my 4 and now use the 4 as a spare since buying the 6. I use it for nearly everything. From jotting notes, syncing with my phone, watching my favorite videos and TV shows to reading. Regular readers of these blogs will know I often use it alongside my Bone Conduction headphones to watch videos while my wife watches her reality TV junk.
I also use a keyboard that I can hook it up to at any time if I need to get some writing done. I usually prefer to do this on my laptop, but over time this has become a great alternative if I’ve ever been in a position where I need to write something but can’t get to my computer. As a full-time writer, you never know when you’re going to need to do this. Maybe a short story idea comes to you and you need to jot it down. Or a client needs something urgent. My iPad always has me covered.
The Apple Watch may be the most unnecessary gadget on the planet, yet I only take it off to shower. What I mean by this is the Apple Watch is a luxury item, never something you need, but once you have it you’ll wonder what you did without it.
I text nearly exclusively on my Apple Watch these days using the watches voice controls. It’s incredible and I barely ever do it on my phone anymore. I text my wife more than anyone and I tend to end every text with three kisses, “x x x”.
This is problematic. If you say “kiss kiss kiss” into the voice control, then it sends the words instead of the “x” symbols. Meaning I’m forced to say, “ex-ex ex” into the voice control so it appears on the message as “x x x”. Try explaining that to someone in the supermarket when they see you saying that into your wrist!
This is the main thing I use my Apple Watch for but there are plenty of other features I like. I love how it syncs with my phone and keeps me in the loop of my appointments and deadlines with a gentle haptic buzz when I need it. It’s fitness features and unique watch face designs are always excellent too.
I’d always recommend some form of screen protector though; I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve bashed it into a hard surface when walking past something. If it wasn’t for my protective case my watch would have been smashed into pieces many times before now.
A writer’s best friend, the MacBook Pro is the Dodge Challenger of laptops, full of muscle power under the hood, no need to tinker with it, it’s reliable and near-perfect from the moment you get it home, and it will last you years.
While the MacBook contains more power than “you could possibly imagine” (10 points to those who get that reference) when compared to the iPhone, it’s amazing to see how many iPhone features can govern and inform a MacBook from afar.
Once it’s been synced with a phone it updates itself based on what how and what settings you’re using on your iPhone. This makes them wonderful companion devices and allows you to update and make adjustments to things on your computer without going near it. Simply do it on your phone.
Calendar entries, notes, work tasks, whatever it may be. If the Apple Watch is an extension of your cell phone, then your iPhone becomes an extension to your MacBook. Using all three in tandem is very rewarding and fun.
Speaking of extensions then if you use an Apple Family’ of devices as I do then you’ll know the iMac desktop is the ultimate Apple experience. The MacBook Pro is powerful enough but if it’s a Dodge Challenger than the iMac is a Dodge Viper.
Sitting in my study and the computer that I spend several hours a day on, I can personally attest there’s nothing better for a full-time writer and Apple user. It can do everything my MacBook can, just bigger and better.
As we’ve touched on several times above, it’s often the accessories, we use that keep our devices healthy, looked after and looking new. Keeping it connected, protected and charged is the only way to be for a fast-paced Apple user.
A good quality phone case makes all the difference, and if you’re like me, let’s you fly the flag of your favorite sports team. A quality case is essential to keep the phone protected and this also applies to the Apple Watch.
After spending several hundred dollars on the new Apple Watch only to scuff the screen when you brush past something is incredibly frustrating, and expensive to fix.
When placing your iPad down a case and screen protector stops things damaging it. In an average family house, things get dropped or fall off tables, etc… all the time.
My iPad 2 fell victim to a wayward TV remote control falling onto the screen from above and cracking it. It could have been avoided if I had taken that extra second to close the lid on my iPad. This is why a case and screen protector are so essential.
Charging is also a frequent challenge for keen iPhone users. If I had a penny for every person in an office environment who’s ever asked me “do you have a spare charger?” over the years, then I’d be a very rich man.
If you’re the sort of person who forgets to plug your phone in at night to charge, then consider a wireless charger.
Then all you need to do is place it down on the pad at night and the charger will do the rest. Even if your phone has a thick case many wireless charging pads can still work with it. Although we’d always recommend you check first.
Maybe the day will come when I abandon Apple to pursue some new cell phone design that’s taken the world by storm. I did it to Nokia in 2007 and have never looked back. But the difference is, back then I wasn’t wearing a Nokia watch, using two different Nokia computers and spending my evenings staring at a Nokia tablet.
It will happen one day I’m sure, but until that day comes Apple and my iPhone will remain an integral part of my working and personal life. Oh and I still use an iPod Classic.
I guess I just like how the wheel clicks.
The story of the Smartphone is so amazing and interesting it would be hard to make this entire narrative up. It is so intricately entwined in the ingenuity of humanity and the necessity to continue to discover and grow as a species. There is always hope!
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The ultimate mission of cellular data has always been to be on par with Wi-Fi. 4G has come close in many ways, but let’s be honest; we know there are things we can do at home on our computers or tablets that we cannot do on our cell phones. When we are at home, we think nothing of streaming.
Depending on your internet provider and plan, if you have modern Wi-Fi, you may have no data allowance or cap, so some can go to town and binge as many Netflix shows as we like.
However, this abundance of data has not yet crossed over into our mobile lives. Many of us are on data plans, and it is always possible to use up all of our data before we know it. Streaming through our phones is one way we risk doing this, which is why most people are still relatively conservative in their mobile streaming habits, but this is becoming harder to do.
Before the holidays, we wrote a blog post called “How Can You Hear Something That’s Not In Your Ear?” The blog's title was inspired by my father-in-law asking me that very same question while we were on a family holiday. As a prolific writer and self-confessed workaholic, I was busy writing my latest article while listening to the Killer's latest album through my Bone Conduction headphones.
Due to Bone Conduction headphones sending the music directly into my inner ear, I was able to enjoy it while I concentrated on my work, but without shutting out my surroundings. I was on a family vacation; after all, one which included dogs and small children all running around together.
It was sensible to keep an eye (and both ears) on them just in case I was needed to do a spot of parenting. Fortunately for me, my Bone Conduction headphones allow this due to their design. Other headphones may have blocked out the sound entirely.
I live in remote Alaska where there is barley 3G and don’t see us getting to 4G, let alone 5G anytime soon. For most of my life, I lived in a large city with cutting edge technology and the benefits of living with 4G.
The 5G promise is very exciting for many reasons we list below but do we need a 5G Phone in rural Alaska? The answer is no because there is no connection and if you live in a rural area the answer is more than likely the same for you.
Nome Alaska is 143 miles from the Arctic Circle and you can see Russia on a clear day from Wales which is in the Nome census area and Nort of Nome. If you measure on Google Maps Lavrentiya Russia is 179 miles from Nome Alaska.