Back in 2017 I couldn’t get away from Apple products fast enough. My 2016 MacBook Pro was, to put it mildly, garbage. My iPhone 7 was, OK, but that’s about the best I could say about it. Across the board Apple’s products could be best described as nothing special, even though they still had a very premium price.
For the most part I really liked what I replaced Apple with too. It took a while to get out of the Google ecosystem but, when I did, I found I actually really enjoyed working with Linux and Android for my daily drivers. I still enjoy Linux and Android, but what I like to use myself isn’t always compatible with the people I need to work with. I started coming back to Apple early last year and finished the move back last fall when I bought a new Mac.
While the move back to Apple was largely so I could better work with my family, and while I still have major concerns with Apple’s privacy, the devices and tools themselves feel like they’re actually worth buying again.
My phone just works and rarely requires rebooting between new software updates. My iPad is the perfect computer for when I’m not doing a lot of writing or coding (to be fair, it can do the writing well, just not so much in my lap). My watch can track my steps without the constant failures like my Fitbit was starting to have and my Mac is easily the most powerful laptop I’ve owned with a battery that can actually last as long as I need it to and a keyboard that hasn’t needed to replaced every few months like the 2016 Mac.
Today I made the final jump into the Apple ecosystem when my Powerbeats Pro died. I’ve had them since they first came out and absolutely loved them using them daily for work and more. The catch is the Airpods Pro are just cheaper now and were actually in stock at our local Best Buy so I decided to give them a chance and I’m completely blown away! I usually can’t get headphones to stay in my ears without a hook but these seem to hold just fine and they sound amazing, even compared to the Powerbeats which I thought had good sound themselves. As an added bonus, they’re about 1/3 the size of the Powerbeats in their case which will be even better should we ever get a chance to travel again.
So, five years after intentionally moving away from Apple I’ve come full circle. Today pretty much all of our personal tech devices are made by Apple and they are actually working well for us.
When I started coming back to Apple I said it was temporary until I could figure out self-hosting tech that worked for my family. That’s still true but, honestly, I’m in less of a hurry now. No, Apple’s privacy isn’t much better than that of Google or any other big tech but, that just can’t be my only consideration, for better or worse. When I tried a more privacy friendly route for my tech it caused some serious stress on the rest of my family. I’ll go back that way eventually but, at least for now, I don’t feel bad about the rest of my Apple experience as I no longer feel like I’m still paying premium prices for crap products. That’s worth something to me.