It’s nearly halfway through the year already, and I’m surprised to say that apart from the odd accessory, I haven’t purchased any new gadgets this year. And the only big things last year was my new MacBook with Touch Bar and an Echo Dot (which I rarely use now).
That probably isn’t anything spectacular for most people, but I’m a young lover of technology, and a general fan of most things new and shiny. But with a mix of being a student, and the prolonged life of most devices nowadays, I simply haven’t needed to upgrade anything.
But there are a few things that I think may be due an upgrade in the next six months – my Apple Watch and my iPad.
As I’ve wrote about before, I’m still using my Series 0 Apple Watch. And while it’s providing me with everything I think I need from it, I was slightly tempted to upgrade to the Series 2. So if Apple were to come out with another updated model – the new features, speed increase, and the fact that my current watch screen has had a chip for about a year may push me to upgrade.
So there isn’t an immediate requirement for me to upgrade my watch, I think a Series 3 would be time to do so. I’ve had my current one for quite some time.
My iPad is another weird one, I’m currently using an iPad Air 2, so it’s still a relatively new device. But it’s not a pro.
Ever since the Apple Pencil was announced, I really wanted to get one, but this was when my iPad was still pretty new, so I knew I couldn’t warrant an upgrade so soon. And the 12.9" iPad Pro was also a thought, but with the "recent" purchase of a new MacBook Pro, I thought that I would simply not use it enough. However, I’m growing into using my iPad more and more everyday, and while I’m not Federico Viticci, CGP Grey, or Matt Gemmel, the iPad is becoming more of an important device in my life.
Usually the need to upgrade a device is because it is no longer fit for purpose. But that doesn’t apply to my iPad, and it’s mainly because of the software. Sure, Apple makes iOS available on a huge number of previous devices, but I’m talking about apps. I’ve started using a few apps recently that while have reignited my iPad usage, also reinvigorated my iPad, giving it a new sense of power.
These apps are Workflow, Magic Launcher, 1Password, Ulysses, and Todoist, just to name a few. Granted these apps have been available for a while, but I’m now starting to use them properly. Which has made a lot of difference to the way I see my iPad, and has now led me to understand even more how people have moved fully to iOS. One of the best parts of these apps are the widgets you get to use in the Today view. By seeing more at a glance, and to compile bigger actions together in Workflow/Magic Launcher, it lets you do more by actually doing much less.
Putting all of this in the simplest terms, my iPad has become so much more, and it’s leading me to want to use it to do even more of my daily tasks.
What I want in my future iPad is Pencil support, a slightly larger screen than my iPad Air 2, a smart connector for an external keyboard, and general speed improvements. Everything else is down to iOS. And in that regard I’m hoping to see a deeper Siri integration, native drag and drop, and a better way to handle choosing apps in split view.
Apart from these two apple devices, there’s nothing else that I particularly need. I think I’d like to get a Nintendo Switch, but then again I’d probably stop using it quite quickly, as I do with most other games consoles.
Then there’s the next iPhone, but for once I don’t have a desire to upgrade my phone at all. I’m using a 7 Plus, and it’s a mature device that I honestly can’t think of many features right now that would push me to upgrade.
What I’ve learned over the last 6 months to a year, is that hardware isn’t really ever the issue, software is. Which is what got me in this predicament having a bunch of old devices.
Software nowadays can be an elixir of life for old devices, and as much as hardware manufactures won’t like it, they’re lasting a lot longer than they used to.