APPLE GUIDE

Chances are you own an iPhone. If not, you know a hundred people who do. Apple makes roughly two-thirds of its total revenue each quarter from iPhone sales. Macs, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches and Apple TVs combine to from the final third.

Which of that third are worth investing in? Which aren’t?

 

The iPhone Line

Is the iPhone 7 Worth It?

 

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Pass. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus aren’t significant upgrades on previous iPhones, unless you’re a camera guy or a guy prone to dropping your phone in the toilet. I’m neither. In truth, I own an iPhone 6S and I’m happy with that.

 

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

I still own, use and very much like my iPhone 6S. Why would I pay $550 for an old phone when I could wait a few months and get Apple’s latest hotness? Because the iPhone 6S works great and its inferior camera doesn’t bother me.

iPhone SE

If the argument for photos and a bigger screen is unconvincing, then this is the phone you want. It has all the performance of the 6S, sans the price tag. It’s a phone for minimalists — a smartphone for people who really don’t want a smartphone. And the Luddite in me respects that.

BUY NOW: $399

 

The Mac Line

Which Personal Computer Should You Buy

 

MacBook

The MacBook treads between the high-end MacBook Pro and the more affordable Air. I’d suggest going one way or the other. Anyway, the MacBook’s claim to fame is its slim, lightweight and portable design, but the even those differentiators are minimal when compared to the Pro and Air. But it’s also beautiful, and if you’re in the market for Apple, you understand the joy of letting aesthetics trump logic.

BUY NOW: $1,299+

 

MacBook Air

Pretty much everything the Air has is bettered by what the new MacBook Pro (sans Touch Bar) has — it’s even thinner, lighter, more powerful with a better-looking display. If you’re cost-conscious and you don’t care about the Retina Display, new keyboard and jumbo trackpad, I’d highly recommend the MacBook Air. I tested both the new MacBook Pro models and the Air, and ended up buying this one. The biggest thing was that my five-year-old Pro was on its last legs and I couldn’t convince myself to buy the overpriced MacBook Pro, which is double the money.

BUY NOW: $999

 

MacBook Pro (Sans Touch Bar)

Apple’s put this computer in a precarious spot. It’s expensive, yet not authoritative. For my money, I would bump up performance a bit and go with the other model or the Air. It’s not a Touch Bar thing for me — in my opinion, don’t let that influence your decision — it’s a power thing.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The MacBook Pro is all about power. And with this model you unlock Apple’s greatest offering for portable computing power. If you’re not a power user, go MacBook Air; if you are a power user, Apple forces you to go Touch Bar. The Bar isn’t my selling point, but maximum power is difficult to resist.

iMac with Retina 4K Display

I don’t need a desktop, and if I wanted a bigger screen for my laptop, there are other 4K monitors I could buy for a fraction of the price. But if you do need  a desktop, the 21.5-inch display isn’t big enough to justify this price tag. Save up a few more hundred and go 27-inch 5K.

iMac with Retina 5K Display

This is the greatest value in Apple’s computing lineup. And what with all you do on your smartphone or tablet, you really only need a desktop to complement those more mobile devices. This and a smartphone are all the modern worker with a desk needs (students and hyper-mobile people, get a laptop).


The iPad Line

Tablets of All Sizes

 

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is amazing and, in many ways, can take the place of your laptop (and even your iPhone, in most ways). But I love my non-clip-on keyboard. And I’m not the creative type always editing on Photoshop. But if you are really interested, get the 9.7-inch version — the 12.9-inch is a bit too big to justify for regular daily use and transportation.

iPad

The iPad is a lesser version of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It’s 25 percent less bright and 40 percent more reflective, making it more difficult to read with when you’re outside. If I really wanted a powerful tablet, I’d go for the 9.7-inch Pro. And if you’re willing to downgrade, I’d just go for an iPad Mini.

BUY NOW: $399+

 

iPad Mini 4

I love the Mini. It’s so cute and small and good-looking. Don’t try legit tasks (like spreadsheets, emails, etc.), but use this for all the periphery “entertainment” things: Games, YouTube, Netflix, iBooks. Also, the screen size, when lounging in bed, is just right.


Apple Watch, TV and Headphones

The Accessories

 

 

Apple Watch Series 2

I’ve never been much of watch guy. Also, I don’t need another screen to show my texts and count my steps. The only thing more annoying than people staring at their phone is people glancing at their Apple Watch. Don’t be a menace, deal with pulling out your phone like the rest of us. Oh, and FWIW it’s not fashion. Buy a real watch.

Apple TV

I know Apple has had its problems getting into TV, and the latest-generation Apple TV isn’t perfect, but its universal search feature lets you instantly filter between Netflix and HBO GO. Voice search is amazing, especially when it comes to typing account names and passwords. If you have a dumb TV, this is a great upgrade but you can also go with the Google Chromecast 2.

AirPods

If you love the original EarPods, then you’ll love these. They fit the same way and no, they don’t fall out of my ears. I wouldn’t recommend working out with them (they’re not water resistant). The work best with the iPhone, but you can still use them with any Android device via standard Bluetooth. You think you don’t hate wires, but everyone hates wires. But I would not buy them because it’s so overpriced.


The iPod Line

No LTE, just Wi-Fi

iPod Touch

It’s basically a dumbed-down version of your iPhone. It has a camera, which I won’t use (my smartphone camera is much better). And I’d only use it to listen to music. The better bang for my buck is the iPod Nano.

iPod Nano

I had forgotten about the Nano, and I think Apple should, too. One point for the retro-feeling OS, but minus points for everything else (especially the inability to stream music).

iPod Shuffle

With no screen, it’s difficult to pick the exact song I want to listen to, even if it’s on my playlist. If you are interested in an iPod for your workout sessions, then $49 for portable tunes isn’t the worst option — but I think most of us have also become too dependent on streaming and workout-tracking apps to go this minimal again.


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