Experiment Time! Living on iOS Alone

The acquisition of a 10.5” iPad Pro yesterday has me thinking about the iPad in a more serious way again. This thing is fast, beautiful, and exceedingly portable. It’s the perfect computer for me.

With that in mind, I’m going to try to keep my MacBook Pro closed for as long as I can possibly manage. This is a played out tech writer topic, so I’m not going to do a journal or anything on BirchTree while I do it, and I’m not going to write some massive recap when I crack. And frankly, hopefully you won’t even notice anything has changed. I’m doing this for me and I just want to see how it goes.

I’m actually already 36 hours into the experiment because I haven’t used my Mac since yesterday morning. The Android review conclusion was written and edited on the iPad, as were the 6 wallpapers that were just posted a few minutes ago. I transitioned with no notice since I had like 2 hours notice that this was happening, so I have not prepared my digital life for any sort of major change. Hopefully services like iCloud and Adobe Creative Cloud are ready for me.

6 Slick Wallpapers (All Shot on iPhone)

It’s been too long since I’ve made some wallpapers, and decided it was about time I made a few again. In that light, I hope you enjoy these 6 wallpapers on whatever device you’d like1.

  1. Even though they were all shot on the iPhone 8 Plus, except for the purple sky one, which was shot on an iPhone 7 Plus. 

Android Oreo Review: Conclusion

This is the 8th and final part of a multipart series on Android Oreo. The subsequent parts in this series will be posted daily to BirchTree, so subscribe via RSS, Twitter, or Apple News.

The differences between Android and iOS are considerable, and I hope anyone considering making the switch from iOS to Android read at least a few of the previous parts of this review to understand what they’re getting into. iOS 11 seems to have some people on the edge of trying out the other side of the fence, and if you have the means to do so, I say go for it! It’s not always feasible, which is why I put so much time and effort into this review: I want everyone to be an informed consumer.

I don’t regret my decision to buy and use a Pixel 2 for a few months so that I could formulate a first hand opinion about both platforms. I understand this review can not act as first hand experience for anyone else, and could be seen as just another tech writer’s biased experience, but I have strived to make this review as fair as possible and present the Android experience from a fresh perspective.

In part 1 of this review I wrote:

Your mileage may vary, but the abysmal third party software available for the platform, poor inter-app communication, and countless stability issues make Android a place I only want to visit for a month or two per year, not something I can see myself using full time.

Honestly, if I could run all of my iOS apps on the Android operating system I think I’d feel a lot better about Android. It’s a lack of consistent quality software on the platform that really drives me away. The vast difference in quality software from non-Google companies is just depressing for someone coming from the iOS world. Websites like MacStories exist almost completely to talk about third party apps on iOS, and there is enough new and exciting software coming out on a regular basis that they can make a business of it. You simply don’t have that on the Android side, as Android-centric sites instead focus mostly on hardware, sales, and what updates Google themselves are making. In the past 2 months with the Pixel 2, the only “exciting” app releases have been AR Stickers for the Pixel 2 camera app and a new file management app made by Google.

As I return to iOS full time, I do intend to keep carrying the Pixel 2 with me for a while. I’ll carry it mostly for the camera, which is indeed quite excellent, but there will also be a few Android features I’ll miss. I’ll miss the superior notification management. I’ll miss the far superior do-not-disturb options. I’ll miss having Google Assistant as my main digital assistant. And I’ll miss picture-in-picture on my phone. I will miss these things, but as I think is very clear by now, I’ll miss those things less than I missed all the goodies iOS brings me.

Android is not a good fit for me, but it may very well work out well for you. I’ve had my SIM card in an Android phone for about 3 months since last Christmas, using a few lower end phones last winter1 and the best of the best Android phone this fall2, which makes this the year I spent the most time on Android since I simply did not own an iPhone back in 2014 when I used the HTC One M8 all year. The Android of today is far better than it was back then, but it still pales in comparison to iOS in my book.

I hope the past 13,000 words3 have helped you understand what it feels like to use Android as a long time iOS user. Whether you agree with my opinions or not, I hope this series has helped you understand what the important differences are and whether it would be a good move for you to make the switch.

Oh, and congrats on making it to the end 😋

  1. Nextbit Robin and Motorola G4 
  2. Pixel 2 
  3. Or more realistically, whatever topics interested you. 

The Nintendo Switch on Pace to Outsell Wii U by March 2018

Business Insider has a look at Nintendo’s reveal that they just sold their 10 millionth Switch:

Demand has been so high, in fact, that Nintendo had to revise its sales projections for first-year sales of the Switch. The company initially expected to sell about 10 million units in year one — now, Nintendo expects to sell over 14 million by March 2018. That would put Switch year-one sales over that of the Wii U’s lifetime sales (the Wii U only moved around 13 million units).

The Switch is an amazing game console and it deserves all the success it is seeing. By most metrics it was the number one selling item on Black Friday despite not even being on sale of having any special bundles to drive sales. People just want this thing.

This also puts the Wii U’s failings front and center. In 12 months the Switch is going to see more units than the Wii U did in the 62 months it has been available. What a turnaround!

AirPods and the Complexity Behind Simplicity

T3 has an extended interview with Schiller:

“At the surface level, it’s an incredibly simple product. But the reality is it’s actually an incredibly complex product to make. Each AirPod really is its own computer, running software and hardware. And those two computers need to deliver this very clear experience that you want, and they have to work together, because we’re very attuned to synchronisation in audio as a species. And so it has to work the way you want.

It takes considerable time and effort to make something feel simple. This is true when it comes to software, and it’s often more true for hardware. The fact that the AirPods have such a seamless audio experience almost every single time you use them is not a side effect of Apple just making them simple, it’s because they did a lot of complex work to make them seem simple.