Archive | Apple

Happy birthday to my MacBook Pro

Let’s all wish my trusty retina MacBook Pro a happy birthday. I purchased it on 22 December 2012 in the Belfast Apple Store with cash from redundancy pay after I left Northgate Managed Services. It’s still the best computer I’ve ever owned or used. Very fast, even today five years later, and I see no need to replace it for the next few years. Assuming nothing breaks to force me to get a new one. The battery is still in good condition. I usually use it with power plugged in, but get four hours plus on the battery when required. The i7 Quad core processor is still more than enough for all the tasks I throw at it; the 8GB RAM has never been a problem. They didn’t sell 16GB models in the Apple Stores in 2012, and I didn’t want to be without a Mac over the holidays by ordering online to get the extra RAM.

It’s no wonder that Mac laptop sales slowed for a few years around 2012 and later. I used to replace my Mac every two years, or sometimes sooner. But the mid-2012 retina MacBook Pro got to a level where it was so good people didn't need to change them so often. They might be the best laptops ever made. When I do have to replace it I might go for a desktop iMac Pro beast and use an iPad Pro for my mobile computing needs. We’ll see.

One final note: the cost for the MacBook Pro in 2012 was £1799. Not cheap. But as the adage goes “You get what you pay for!” Spread over the five years that works out at 99p a day. Bargain. Or as was pointed out to me on Twitter, when the resale value of the MacBook Pro is factored in (about £500) then the daily cost drops to about 71p a day.

iOS App equivalents for Mac Apps I use

I regularly use 70 different Apps on my Mac. With the advent of iPad Pro there has been a lot of talk about using one as a Mac replacement. It’s also possible that I may have to use a Windows PC in work at some point. Could an iPad Pro give me the apps I really like, if I can’t use the Mac versions in that scenario?

The table blow shows the 70 Apps I use and what iOS equivalents I have, to could get. Not to bad actually. Nearly a 1:1 ratio of Mac app to the same iOS App. I could survive on iOS if I had to. Luckily I don’t, and can choose OSX or iOS depending on circumstance.

Mac AppiOS AppNotes
1Password 61Password
Airmail 2Spark
Audio Hijack
Citrix ReceiverCitrix Receiver
Day One ClassicDay One
DVD PlayerVideos
Fantastical 2Fantastical
Google ChromeSafari
iA WriteriA Writer
iTunesApple Music
Logic Pro XGarageBand
MailStewardLiteCan archive mail on Mac periodically
Marked 2
Microsoft ExcelMicrosoft Excel
Microsoft OutlookMicrosoft Outlook
Microsoft PowerPointMicrosoft PowerPoint
Microsoft WordMicrosoft Word
OmniGraffleOmniGraffleDifferent. The Mac version is better
OmniPlanOmniPlanDifferent. The Mac version is better
OmniPresenceOmniSync Server
Papers 3.4.3Papers
Parallels DesktopRemote Desktop to VM could be used. Azure Maybe
PDF ExpertPDF Expert
PopClipBuilt into iOS
ScrivenerScrivener for iOS is in beta
Toolbox for KeynoteExists for iOS if I want it
TransmitExists for iOS if I want it
Xojo 2016

Keyboard for use with iPad Pro

I love my Matias keyboards. But they are too heavy for portable use with iPad Pro. I’m not sold on the Apple Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro. Instead I will get an Apple Magic Keyboard to use with it. It will be cheaper, lighter, won’t drain the iPad Pro battery, and allows the iPad and keyboard to be further apart. Which will be better for getting a good typing position.

And I might get one of these in the future.

Update: Got it. It was the right choice.

Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple in the Enterprise

Today was an interesting one for anyone advocating for the use of Apple devices in business. Two announcements that will make it easier.

First up. Microsoft changed the licensing required to use Microsoft Office apps on iOS. Previously an Office 365 subscription, or an in app purchase, was required to enable the creation of new Office documents, or the editing of existing ones. That requirement was removed today. Now it is possible to create new Office documents, or edit documents on iOS, just by having a free Microsoft account. Dropbox is now available as an intigrated Cloud storage solution too. I like the way the new Microsoft is going. They are back on a path of having their software and services available everywhere. As they say themselves: The world has changed. The Microsoft announcement is on their Blog

Next. Apple and IBM announced the first fruits of their Enterprise partnership. Namely, AppleCare for Enterprise. It seems to have the things that businesses need from a vendor: Named Account Manager, 24/7 coverage with 1-hour response for priority issues, helpdesk offloading for Apple related issues, next business day onsite support, device replacement for 10% of devices in costs. Businesses that use over 100 Apple devices will be very interested in this I think.