*Apple unveiled a few new products late last year, possibly to appease Apple fanatics until the new, 10th anniversary iPhones arrive later this year. Even after all of the routine pomp and circumstance of the new products coming to market, neither the MacBook Pro with the new Touch Bar, the wireless EarPods, nor the Series 2 Apple Watch were items I thought I needed.
After all, my 7 year old MacBook works just fine, right? (Not really. It is getting slower and slower by the day, and the battery lasts less than an hour between charges.) My wired ear buds work fine, right? (Not really. The right side is almost completely shorted out, and if I have to untangle those cords one more time, I may jump off of a building.) And I couldn’t have imagined wanting to wear a mini-iPhone on my wrist all day.
Given the imperfections of my aging tech toys, I decided to reach out to Apple and see if they’d be willing to let me demo some of the new stuff for a few days. It was a horrible decision on my part. Now that I’ve tried the new Apple toys, I don’t want to part with any of them! Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back!
Apple’s new EarPods look kind of funky, like Apple’s classic ear buds but without the cumbersome cord. I’ve been told they look like mini cigarette butts protruding out of my ears. Since I don’t have to look at myself while I’m using them, I couldn’t care less about how they look — they SOUND incredible! Apple probably won’t admit it, but their purchase of Beats a few years ago has clearly paid off. Both the bass and clarity of the new EarPods is outstanding. Everything from Bruno Mars and Motown to classical and jazz pops. Synching them to my iPhone 6 was effortless, and they come with a carrying case that doubles as a charging station. You won’t realize how tethered you are to your device until you cut the cord to your earbuds. I’ll never go back.
The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was even more of a necessity, as with every annual software upgrade my tried and true white plastic 2009 MacBook was getting slower and slower. The new MacBook Pro zips, and I LOVE the Touch Bar. It’s basically a skinny touch screen that has replaced the old function keys at the top of the QWERTY keyboard. Who really knows — or for those “of a certain age,” remembers — what those function keys do anyway? The new Touch Bar changes depending on the program you’re using, so everything from photo editing tools to suggested words to emoji show up there — and I love it. The new model also has Touch ID, allowing you to unlock the device — or make purchases via Apple Pay — with just a touch of the fingertip. (Actually, you can set your Apple Watch to automatically unlock your MacBook, and THAT never gets old…but I’ll get to the wonders of the watch in a sec!).
Aesthetically, the new MacBook Pro’s retina display is gorgeous, and I love the new Space Gray color. The device is also thinner and lighter than any MacBook Pro ever, FAR lighter than the old dinosaur I’d lugged around, and a comparable size to Apple’s popular, ultra portable MacBook Air line.
After just a few weeks, the new Series 2 Apple Watch and I are inseparable. In addition to the really helpful Health applications and functions (I’ve lost 15 pounds since I’ve been wearing it, largely thanks to three almost omnipresent rings that remind me that you’ve not met daily, pre-established fitness goals), you’ll be shocked by how much you’ll rely on a variety of notifications you’ll get on your wrist. With the text and phone call notifications that pop up, and Siri at my beck and call, I will never reach for my iPhone when parked at a red light again. The Series 2 model has its own stand-alone GPS, allowing you to record exercise data or get directions without your phone, and it’s also waterproof — I can’t wait to try it out in the pool this summer.
I can’t imagine leaving home without my Apple Watch — in fact, one day last week, I actually drove back home to get it after mistakingly leaving it on my nightstand. And OK, I’ll admit it: I LOVE having a conversation — either via phone or text in my car, or “with” Siri — on my Apple Watch a la James Bond.
Apple’s newest devices aren’t cheap — the EarPods are going for $159, the new Series 2 Apple Watch starts at just shy of $500, and the new MacBook Pro starts at $1,499 (plus $300 more for the entry level Touch Bar model), but nothing worth having is cheap, right? (Thanks for that one, Mom.)
If you’re already one of Apple’s faithful, these new devices will further enhance your Apple experience. If you’re not…I’m sorry to hear that. Truly, I am. What are you waiting for?
Check out Apple’s new EarPods, MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and Series 2 Apple Watch at apple.com.