I own every product that Apple makes. At least, something in every product line they sell. At the time of this writing, My phone is an iPhone 6s. My everyday computer is a MacBook Pro. My Media Server is an iMac hooked up to a 16TB Drobo. My home theater runs off an AppleTV. I have an iPad Air 2 for reading and general productivity, and an iPad Pro for when I leave the house. I keep an 80GB iPod Classic to take all of my music on trips where I can categorize them and listen to my custom playlists. And finally, my Apple Watch keeps me connected to the world, notifying me, reminding me, and waking me when necessary.
In some communities, one might say “I have drunk the Kool-Aid”. Actually, I have drunk deep and rich from the fountain of Apple Juice. In reference to the title of my post, the secret of happiness is not just to own one apple product… but all of them.
The Best of the Best of the Best
Yes, the iPhone is the best smartphone in the world, with the highest documented satisfaction rates, lowest return rates, pretty much zero viral infection rates, and an amazing operating system, iOS. The iPad is the best selling line of tablet, and despite the fact that the iPad line only has three models: the Mini, the Air, and the Pro, those three lines are used 4x more then the literally hundreds of competing tablets out there. (What the heck are people doing with all of those tablets?) Life changing, industry changing, and other game-changing apps are available in the App Store, selling by the billions.
The same can be said for their iMac desktop computers, the Apple Watch, and MacBook lines.
Every single product line is best in their class. But note, I am not saying own an Apple product… I am saying you should own every Apple product.
This is Where the Magic Happens
You see, Apple isn’t just a product line… it’s an ecosystem. The devices, the apps, the operating systems, the data, all work together. For example:
I can begin preparing an outline for a report on my MacBook. Then, while on the road, I can take supporting photos. I can then at the hotel open the document on my iPad and add the photos from my photos app. Then when I get home, I make my final edits and email the report.
Another more “fun” example: I am on a European vacation with friends. I am taking many, many photos using my iPhone. When I get back to the hotel, I can start sorting the photos on my laptop tagging faces, events, and so on. I make color corrections, cropping, and other adjustments. All these changes propagate to all of my devices. Once the vacation is over I can send “shared” albums of each person and send it to them without overwhelming them with the entire library which may not be relevant to them.
A more practical example: My wife last year was diagnosed with cancer. We have a shared calendar which tells us where and what we each are doing in case we need to schedule a doctor appointment or one of our many cherished visits with friends. We have a shared document which chronicles each state of her journey, from each diagnosis, medication, and doctor report so we can pull it up in a snap whenever we need to explain something to a physician, an insurer, or someone else. It would be impossible to keep all that information in our heads!
The more you use it, the more useful it becomes
I had a hard time in the early days of Evernote to truly embrace it. I would use it to list certain recipes, to capture business cards, … basically I was just dabbling in it. Then I read this great article that opened things up for me… I understood that the power of Evernote came in using it for everything. The more you use it, the more useful it becomes, and the more powerful you become because you have all your information at your fingertips. Their slogan, after all is “Remember Everything.”
It’s like building a muscle: if you just went to the gym once per week and exercised one muscle group each time, you would never get in shape. Likewise if you just “dabbled” in a particular tool you would never fully enjoy the power it can bestow upon you.
By committing to the platform, to the ecosystem, you will gain a multitude of functionality that far outweighs the sum of each of the parts. Having all of your data accessible from all of your devices no matter where you are becomes a game changer, from grocery shopping to selling your million dollar idea to running a multimillion dollar company.
That, and no matter where you go, you will always have the latest pictures of your cat handy.
Final Secret to Happiness: Productivity
I enjoyed a wonderful career in the computer and networking field for over 15 years. When I was introduced to Apple, the phrase “it just works” came into the vernacular. Interestingly, when I started using Apple products I found them boring because I could not tinker with them and everything kind just …worked. I did not have to make changes to device drivers, control panels, preferences and settings… it just… worked!
One day I had an epiphany: I can actually be productive on my computer without having to work on the computer. I started managing music, curating photos, making videos, writing, blogging, developing, and not having to fix things that broke. I especially did not have to worry about viruses!
I cannot name the countless number of people I have told to buy an Apple computer, only to see them buy a cheap PC at a big box store and have problem after problem, virus after virus, and crash after crash. I can count on one hand the number of people who took my advice and bought into the Apple product line. To paraphrase Robert Frost:
They took the road less travelled.
And that had made all the difference.
Instead of them asking for help on how to fix things, I get the great privilege of helping them how to take best advantage of their software: how to make awesome photo albums for their grandkids, how to put together a report for school, and so much more.
Apple products change lives.
What’s Your Experience?
That life changing experience have you had using your Apple products? Let me know in the comments below.
Now I am off to play with my new Apple Pencil!