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Bill Bennett


A week working with nothing but Apple iOS and OS X

For the next seven days, I’m going to work only with Apple devices, software and services. That’s iOS and OS X only.

Working with nothing but Apple technology is no big deal. Millions of people do the same. It’ll be interesting to see how easy it is to make a clean break with Microsoft and Google.

Next week I’ll repeat the exercise with Microsoft technology. Then Google technology.

This week looks set to include the usual mix of working at home, meetings and press functions. There will be some working while on the move.

Apple kit

My kitbag includes a 2013 MacBook Air, an iPad Air and an iPhone 5S. Depending on how things go, I may use Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard.

I’ll use Safari on each of the three devices. For writing I’ll use Pages. I will use web-based tools like WordPress as well. Facetime should cover me for any online communications.

Apple’s Calendar, Contacts and Notes will handle day to day admin tasks. This may or may not include iCloud versions of the tools. If I need to crunch numbers, Numbers will get the job. And photo processing will be done by iPhoto.

Problem areas

There are two problems. While I plan to use Apple’s Mail app, I have to route messages through Google Apps. That’s because I have a personal domain. I don’t think there’s a straightforward Apple-only way to do this.

I’ll have to use Google for search as Apple doesn’t offer anything similar.

Otherwise, it’s Apple iOS and OS X all the way.  Let’s see how it goes.



15 thoughts on “A week working with nothing but Apple iOS and OS X

  1. This is my normal “stack”, but Numbers cannot quite deal with the databases I use for experimentation (600k+ records) after downloading using SQL queries to reduce the size.
    I see the new Numbers has a much higher cap and can read and analyse the files, but I cannot wait the time it takes so will need to stay with Excel
    Pages on the other hand is a massive time-saver that I would not be without.

    The main advantage is in the integration of course so it is great to see you try to bring them together, while you are at it also use Reminders with the location features

    1. Ah yes, reminders. I use that as a kind of long-term to do list, but don’t look at it every day.

  2. I will say, if you don’t mind Apple’s philosophy and you work within their boundaries I bet it is very cozy.

  3. I’m a big fan of Apple’s OSes and hardware (though my main serious work “Mac” is homebuilt), but I’d never even dream of going without Google’s various web services and iOS apps (Gmail, Maps, YouTube), or even one Microsoft one (Skype) that I’m using constantly on both iOS and OS X.

    Good luck.

    1. I have recently changed on the iPhone to apples map and find it really good after all the issues earlier. Unfortunately it lacks Streetview which I use a lot, but it appears quicker and seems to get the accent right more often.
      Unfortunately Skype has moved to charging for screen-sharing so I have moved to FaceTime through iMessage which does that seamlessly. The call quality seems better too.

      1. I find Facetime quality is better and the service is more reliable than Skype but it needs a better quality data connection. Skype works even when a ink in the connection is relatively slow and it falls back to voice easier than Facetime.

        The upshot is you generally need to have both apps installed at both ends.

      2. I like Apple Maps app as an app, but it still falls down compared to Google’s app in two respects:

        – Google’s is *far* better at autocompleting street and place names with things that are close to you, not the other end of the country or in another country.

        – Apple’s Maps won’t give turn by turn voice directions on my ancient hardware (iPhone 4) but Google’s does.

        Admittedly I don’t have anything worth putting iOS 7 on yet. It may be better there.

        1. Mine is a 4S, I am sure it gave turn by turn on iOS6 although I didn’t like it, so the improvement on iOS7 is evident. Yes I agree Google does the location thing better.

          1. Yes, the 4s does. I think it’s just about time to upgrade to 5s. Or the new A7 iPad mini for half the price. I don’t want to do both right now 🙁

          2. I find this works best with the Nokia software, Google is better at finding its way to the local places you’re looking for. The Apple Maps are so much better than a year ago.

          3. I saw an estimate (asymco?) that it costs a billion dollars a year to run a competitive worldwide mapping operation. Google, Nokia, and Apple are all apparently spending about that. Apple’s had a lot of catching up to do, of course.

        1. In general you need really good reasons to move away from stock apps. If, like John, you need Streetview, then that’s a reason to move.

          It’s easy to lose touch with the way non-experts use digital tools, for many people the comfort of staying inside Apple’s embrace outweighs any other advantages.

          1. Absolutely true, and you’ll find many many “normal” people (especially older ones) saying they can do more stuff with an iPad than with a traditional PC — including people who could never manage anything at ALL with a traditional PC. The ones with 3G are also far far easier for many people than mucking about with modems (whether dial-up, DSL, cable or UFB) and routers. To the point of “possible” (or a pleasure) instead of “impossible”.

            The new iPads (and iPhone 5s) are benchmarking faster than the late 2010 MacBook Air. That probably makes them faster than my workhorse 2008 17″ MacBook Pro too. And with more pixels than the 1920×1200 screen (on the iPads).

            I need a command line, ssh, emacs, multiple windows visible at once, compilers etc. Most people don’t.


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