A Week Without a Phone!

Working in the multimedia industry requires a connected lifestyle – having a smartphone is a must, not having one isn’t even an option. Being connected through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, email and every other form of communication you can think of, needs be at your fingertips. Unfortunately, I also have another addiction; gadgetry.

With the release of the iPhone 5 a couple weeks ago, I decided to sell my iPhone 4S to Gazelle.com – I hate the hassle of selling it on my own via Craigslist or eBay. Being that I upgraded last year, I am only available for the partial upgrade on October 8; the biggest downside is I have to send in my iPhone 4S by October 1, leaving me phoneless for an entire week. This presents a problem not just from an online connected stance, but also from a phone call and text messaging side as well.

Personally, I think it will be interesting to see if I can go a week living a non-connected lifestyle; will I spend more time outside? Without having a phone camera, will I shoot more with the DSLR? Will I be glued to my laptop or iPad more? It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

I will report back in two weeks on how my week of an unconnected lifestyle unfolds.

The Apple Ecosystem

I often get told that I am a “product of the system,” that I buy electronics that I don’t need. I prefer to look at myself as an early adopter of sorts; I invest heavily in gadgets and buy quite a bit of them. With that being said, I do not buy things that I don’t need, i.e. gadgets that wouldn’t have any usefulness in my life.

What I have been invested in lately are Apple products, not because I am an Apple “fanboy,” but because I believe they are currently the best on the market. Between the UI and design, they are beautifully crafted and meet all my needs while looking great.

  1. iPhone 4S: this phone is the best phone currently on the market. Between the camera, UI, design, and compatibility, it is unbeatable. As a professional photographer, I have an appreciation for cameras and quality; the iPhone 4S simply has the best camera in the best package. It is often said that the best camera is the one that you have on you, and what is more convenient than your smart phone?
    • What I use it for: quick internet, calls, text, music, light gaming, video editor – I literally can use my phone for everything.
  2. iPad 3: it is most often the device that people see as unnecessary; it is not a laptop and not a smart phone, so what is it used for? A while ago I was in a bar that had a $200 shot of tequila, seeing this I asked the bartender if I would piss gold afterward, that is when he said that if you view it like that then I am missing the point of good tequila. This is the same way that I view the iPad; you have to look at it as a completely separate device, as a bridge between a laptop and a smart phone. I survived college with this thing, mostly because my laptop was too bulky to carry around in my backpack along with my 30lbs. of books; I have written several five page papers on it, and it works perfectly as a word-processor and PowerPoint creator.
    • What I use it for: heavy internet browsing, light texting with iMessage, PDF viewer, newspaper, light gaming – it is a supplement for not being able to carry around a bulky laptop.
  3. Apple TV: the bread and butter of my home entertainment system. I made the decision to ditch cable a few years ago, and couldn’t be happier. With the recent addition of Hulu Plus to the line-up, the Apple TV is stronger than ever; the only thing I pay for these days is $50 for my monthly cable bill, $8 for Netflix and $8 for Hulu Plus. This has also made me more productive because I can watch TV on my schedule; gone are the days of channel surfing for 30 minutes only to start a show mid-episode. Once you are caught in that trap, you watch the next show, then the next, and the next, and so on. When I watch TV now, I put it on my 22 minute show and I’m finished; off to other things. AirPlay is also great because you can mirror your MacBook or iOS devices on screen; it is a very convenient alternative to having to store things on a set-top box.
    • What I use it for: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vimeo, YouTube, Trailers, AirPlay – gone are the days of the $150 a month cable bills!
  4. Retina MacBook Pro: my newest and happiest purchase, with an amazing screen, smaller form-factor and amazing speed, it is completely unmatched. There has been a lot of question about the screen, if it is worth the extra $400; if you are involved in any sort of graphic design, photography, or video production, it is a complete no-brainer. Upon purchasing, I saw it next to a regular MacBook and was blown away – if you cannot tell the difference between these screens, you seriously need to get your eyes checked.
    • What I use it for: Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, heavy typing, texting with iMessage – I bought this for video, but it has literally become my main computer.

So there you go, the justification for all my devices and what I use them for. Keep in mind, these aren’t just about the individual devices themselves, but the entire Apple ecosystem. If Android can become less fragmented and Windows have an ecosystem this user-friendly, I might switch, but until then, Apple it is.