When Apple's iPad was first introduced in 2012, it was quite rightly hailed as a wonder of modern science. Lovely as it was, however, it was little more than a superannuated iPhone. Granted, a nice big touchscreen, but surely not a serious replacement for the laptop?
In 2016, Apple released the first MacBook Pros with a Touch Bar, which replaced the familiar top row of Function keys on the traditional qwerty keyboard with a touch sensitive display. Apple said that this much trumpeted innovation would unleash our creativity - on top of the function keys that it replaced, it would provide adaptive commands for supported apps as well as customisable emojis and quick access to many areas of the OS. All in all, you have to hand it to Apple for taking the plunge, but it proved to be a largely unpopular move - Apple have now ditched the Touch Bar in the latest M1 models and returned to the land of qwerty.
Many of us had never even heard of Zoom before the Covid 19 pandemic, but it's only taken a brief two years for it to enter the dictionary as a verb. We've all had to learn how to start and conduct video meetings, whether for business or connecting with loved ones (wine Fridays anyone?). We've also all had to learn how to end meetings too - the uncomfortable moments when everything has been said and time is up, or the business meetings where Gary from accounts dives into unnecessary details and the meeting drags on for what seems like hours. How we'll all look back and laugh! Or not.
Imagine that history were different, and Apple was based not in Cupertino but Basingstoke. Right about now, we'd all be considering upgrading to MacOS Bedford (from MacOS Norwich). As it is, we can all follow Apple's geographical wanderings through the vastness of the USA - welcome to Monterey, Jack!
To any creative who works with Apple products, the Mac Pro has always been the flagship desktop. The outstanding features of this product line has made it one of the powerful and flexible computers in the entire Apple range.
I clearly remember being on a tour bus back in the very early days of the iOS mobile phone era. Our drummer was the only one without a mobile (cue the drummer jokes). Our bass player (yes, the bass player) was showing him the dawning new age of iOS mobile apps and waxing lyrical about an imagined future where we'd all be making albums on the road on iPhones. Drummer Boy looked nonplussed as he gazed at the shiny screen - 'why ever would I use one of them?' he said.
The OS that comes with your MacBook Pro is a wonderful thing - regularly maintained, updated and kept more secure than its Windows counterparts. Add to that the many apps that come with it (and many more are available from third parties), and it's everything that you'll ever need. Or is it?
We’re all now long used to banking, paying bills and shopping online, but the last few years have seen an explosion of apps for managing, consolidating and synchronising our financial information on our iPads, iPhones and desktops. My MacBook Pro is perfectly capable of flying me to the moon, but recently I’ve been using it to budget and manage my finances way more effectively than I’ve been able to before. I’ve switched over to a bank that has no front door (or any doors, for that matter), and it works really well for me. No supercilious bank manager to patronise me, either. A major plus.
No. Simples. There are thousands of products out there, from freeware through donationware to paid for (modestly priced to eyewatering!), not to mention the generous bundles of plug ins that come with your DAW of choice. The options available can be downright bewildering. There is no definitive top 10, so this is merely my top ten go to plug ins. I’m sorry that I’ve left so many favourites out, but who wants to read a Top 100?
To the sound of virtual trumpets, Apple released their new flagship iMac 24” for pre-order on April 30th 2021. It comes with the new (much vaunted) M1 chip. It looks to have many welcome improvements all around – aside from the all new chip, new design and fruity colours. I won’t go into the details here - you can find all that elsewhere should you wish (and it isn’t the point of this blog!). It is undoubtedly a gorgeous, superfast machine, and the 27” (and rumoured 32” models) will undoubtedly follow soon. Happy days.