Microsoft’s new iOS system keyboard, arguably based around their acquisition of SwiftKey, is quite nice, mixing swiping and traditional typing. It also gives the option to switch to “Arc Mode” where the keyboard curves around a corner of the screen, allowing easier one-handed typing on bigger devices. While this may not end up being my daily-use keyboard, it’s a nice alternative, and good to see Microsoft trying little side projects on iOS.
I do think about my dream setup occasionally, though, it’s hard not to. And I’ve realized something about mine — it has changed a lot in the past year. Two years ago, if you were to ask me what my dream setup was, it wouldn’t be all that different from the one I wanted in 2010.
The latest iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, and iMac with a second monitor has been my dream setup for as long those products have been available. But if you ask me today, you’ll get a much different answer…
Although I’ve covered that twice before, this year feels a bit different. I have my ideal iPhone, at least from what exists in Apple’s product line. My Mac is good enough and gets such little use that I’m not lusting after something else. As for my iPad, which has become my primary computer, if funds were unlimited, I’d certainly get an iPad Pro, but I’d probably use it exactly like my iPad Air 2. The shift to more uniform, mobile devices really changes the concept of the dream setup.
John Gruber takes a look at the iPhone SE and explains its place in Apple’s lineup:
“The iPhone 6S and iPhone SE are both great products, and both have great sizes — but for entirely different reasons. The SE is easier to pocket, easier to hold, and easier to use one-handed. The 6S displays more content, and is better for two-handed use — particularly when it comes to thumb-typing. Judging between these two devices, with no consideration for future devices, I personally am completely torn. But I lean toward the SE.”
A lot of comment sections and discussion boards have become an us-versus-them situation between those interested in the iPhone SE and those with some sort of larger iPhone. I firmly disagree with this, as the SE is not for everyone, just as the iPhone 6/6S Plus is not for everyone. If you look at it as an upgrade from the 5/5S/5C, it will be an excellent upgrade in a familiar shape. If you have a larger iPhone and decide to move to an SE, there is an adjustment, but it is a powerful phone at a great price. Apple has created a great conundrum for users in the market with an open mind.
Ben Brooks on working with OS X versus iOS:
It’s like going home to your parents house for the holiday. It’s home and that’s really nice. But it’s also HOME and that is really chaotic for most of us. So while it is always nice to visit home, you never want to really stay at home. You want to be back at your home.
But just how chaotic was the Macintosh offering in 1996? I was already a Mac user then, and keeping up-to-date with Apple and tech news in general. I remember product announcements and various reviews in computer magazines. It’s easy to see, in retrospect, the huge amount of Apple hardware that was available twenty years ago compared to the post-Jobs order in the early 2000s. At the time things felt a bit different, perhaps in part due to the fact that Apple kept discontinuing Mac models and introducing new ones at a sustained pace. Another thing to consider is that not all Mac models introduced at the time were available everywhere.
I remember these days and if anything, it really should make everyone appreciate that you can mostly count Apple’s Mac lineup on your fingers (and some non-Retina-Display-equipped models are probably going away, too). Other devices may have a lot of variants, but there weren’t two or three identical products, but with different names and retail channels.