As one who is all-in with Apple, it may be surprising that I quit using a few of its gadgets. My iPad is gone. And my AirPods are now just backup. Let me explain.
A year ago, I bought a refurbished MacBook Air M1 and still enjoy it today. Prior, I used an 8th-gen iPad with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard (non-Apple gear) as my “computer.” Needing and wanting more drove me to a proper laptop.
So in the past year, I basically never used my iPad. I tried some of its features that let me use it as a connected display for my Mac, but otherwise it stayed out-of-sight/out-of-mind.
My oldest son then told me how much he wanted his own iPad and that he’d use it for not only some games and movies but as a tool to practice digital drawing via Apple Pencil. He had saved up money for all of it and was ready to buy. So I made him a deal, selling my iPad to him.
I’ve blogged before about the tight space between an iPhone and a MacBook. Steve Jobs knew that to have room for a tablet, between a smartphone and a laptop, it had to be exceptional at key things. The iPad is great, but I just didn’t have enough real use for it along with my other Apple devices.
So far, I don’t miss it at all. I doubt I will. That said, it’s a little weird to me that I let such a cool Apple device go from my grasp. Yet I think it’s for the best.
I have used my AirPods (gen. 2) for two years now. By far, their convenience is the best thing about them. But the trade-off in audio quality is wanting, and their expense just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. I realized there are many other good quality yet affordable wireless audio solutions on the market.
Then for Christmas, I got a new pair of JBL (760NC) noise canceling over-ear headphones. So far they’re very nice. I really like their overall sound, having deep bass in my music, and that they block background noise, creating an inner-quiet soundscape. Plus, they can be wireless or wired!
They’re not perfect: the earcups are a tad small for my ear flaps, and their overall bulk makes them less convenient than AirPods — trade-offs. That’s ok with me; they’re also more affordable.
Now my AirPods are backup. I still use them sometimes while driving long-distance and for occasional phone calls. But once they die, I do not plan to replace them.
As mentioned, my iPhone and MacBook remain. I also still enjoy my Apple Watch — now with a non-Apple (inexpensive!) watchband. So, it’s kind of like small (watch), medium (phone), and large (laptop).
I do love my other Apple-less tech: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Nintendo Switch OLED. Sure, I’ve played games and read eBooks on my Apple gear, but the Kindle and Switch are devices dedicated to the task of reading and gaming, so they do it far better.
What device(s) would you drop in order to simplify your tech life?