Recently, I started to use Apple devices more and more. This is because not only Apple devices have a lot of advantages, but also I can study effectively using Apple services.
Some features provided by Apple reduces the time spent on operating the devices, such as transferring files between devices. We can use AirDrop to send files to nearby devices, use iCloud to synchronize the calendar and notes between devices, and so on.
Apple also has their own operating systems, like iOS, iPadOS and macOS, so I have a sense of safety. They are not open-source and hence there are only a few viruses.
In addition, we sometimes need Apple apps during some lessons in my school. For example, I needed to use Apple's GarageBand with a MacBook or iPad in the music lesson in my junior high school - PCIS. So, MacBook became one of my essentials.
Do you know why I have started and like using Apple devices and how will I use them? Here we go!
Disclaimer: This article may contain some information related to Apple, other technology companies, and/or computer knowledge. Some of them may be inaccurate. I cannot guarantee that all information on my website/blog is correct. If you don't want your information appear on my website, please contact me to delete them.
Note: All comments for discouraging/banning me to use Apple devices are not allowed on my website and all of which will be deleted. The reason is told in the second part of this article.
The Advantages of Apple Devices and Why I Use them?
In fact, Apple has their own operating systems for their phones and computers. However, other devices use separate operating systems. Computers use Windows from Microsoft, but phones use Android from Google.
Note: I don’t use ChromeOS as it is not suitable for programming.
So, why it is beneficial for using Apple devices? There are a number of benefits.
The Operating System Updates Every Year
It is obvious that Apple releases new major version of macOS and iOS every year. Every major version contains many benefits than previous version.
There is no newer Windows OS since 2015, when Windows 10 was released. Windows 10 is probably the last Windows OS and hence there will be no Windows 11, 12, and so on.
However, the macOS Big Sur was released in 2020, which is much better and different compared with past macOS (e. g. High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, etc.). For example, there is a control centre at the top-right corner that is similar as new iPhones and iPads.Learn More about macOS Big Sur
I deduce that all Apple devices (e. g. iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac) can update to the latest OS for 6 to 7 years after it is released.
The approximation is made from my experience of using Apple devices. In fact, my father bought an iMac 2011 a long time ago, but it only can update to macOS High Sierra (2017) after 2017 and hence it cannot update to the latest macOS Catalina (2019) and Big Sur (2020).
2017 - 2011 = 6, so the iMac 2011 could not install the latest macOS after 6 years after it was released.
Another example is that iPhone 6 (include S, Plus, and S Plus, released in 2014) will not support the latest iOS 15 (will release in 2021). 2020 - 2014 = 6, so my approximation may be correct.
So, I estimate that my 2020 MacBook Pro will not be able to install the latest macOS since 2026 or 2027, when I will graduate from a university and start to work. I will enter a university or college in 2023, so I may take my 2020 MacBook Pro into the university or college later on.
Apple Has their Own Operating Systems and can Sync between Devices
In fact, Apple has their own operating systems, like iOS, iPad OS and macOS. They are not open-source so I have a sense of safety.
All of the Apple devices can be logged in with an Apple ID and iCloud and hence their information, like notes, reminders, passwords (Safari and Keychain), photos, calendar, can be synchronised between devices. For example, I can continue to take notes on my phone when I need to go outside while taking notes on my MacBook.
Another useful feature of Apple OS is AirDrop. It uses WiFi and Bluetooth, but it works even if there is no Internet access. I can simply transfer files between my MacBook and iPhone without a removable disk or a USB/Type-C cable.
Also, as there are many people using MacBook in my school class, so we can send files to each other conveniently as long as the receiver allows the AirDrop from everyone. In fact, in the music lessons in Grade 9 in my junior high school, all students had to have an Apple computer, which will be mentioned below.
It also has a Screen Time feature that does not exist on Windows PCs. The screen time status can also be synced between devices. I usually set limitations on some entertainment apps and websites to prevent myself from being indulged by them.
New MacBook Air/Pro Turns on without Pressing Power Button
When I took out my new MacBook Pro 2020 from the box and opened its lid, I heard the prompt sound even though I did not press the power button (Touch ID button).
Then, I recognised that new MacBook Air (since 2018) and MacBook Pro (since 2016) has a new feature that gives user convenience. If we open the lid of a new MacBook Air/Pro that is shut down, it automatically starts up.
This feature does not exist in many other Windows laptops (actually, I discovered that it exists in one of the 2020 Lenovo laptops on a Chinese website, but it can be turned off in BIOS settings).
Why did Apple invent this feature? This is because Apple recognised that users opening the lid of the laptop is to use the laptop. The next step is to press the power button to turn on the machine. So, Apple might want to cancel the unnecessary intermediate step about pressing the power button, which takes about 5 seconds, and it gives convenience to users.
Many Features are Available Across Countries
Apple has companies and servers in many parts of the world. So, I can use all Apple features that are available in the Apple ID's region around the world with the same language, especially while travelling in foreign countries.
In other words, most of the Apple apps work in even all countries in all languages.
I also can use the English Apple map app in China (based on a Chinese map app: Amap, 高德地图) to practice English. It also works in foreign countries outside of China.
China has its own Internet services that have similar features with foreign websites. For example, Baidu is a Chinese search engine, while Google is a search engine in other countries. Also, most of the Chinese apps do not have an English version, such as 高德地图, 大众点评, 京东, 爱奇艺, and so on.
In this phenomenon, non-Chinese people seldom use Baidu and other Chinese apps, while Chinese people seldom use foreign apps.
Apple, however, removed this barrier because many features of it are available across the world. For example, I still can use the English version of Siri and make purchases via Apple Pay in China (especially non-Chinese studying apps, e. g. Quizlet Plus that does not support WeChat Pay or Alipay). Also, I can use FaceTime and/or iMessages to chat with my English friends (I actually use Skype) as long as they use Apple devices.
Siri Helps me Practice English Speaking and Gives me Convenience as My Friend
"Hey, Siri! What's the weather like tomorrow?" When I make preparations before sleeping or after getting up, or when I am not convenient to use my phone while wearing my AirPods, I usually use Siri to make some requests. For example, checking for the weather tomorrow, setting alarm clocks, opening apps, asking for time (when wearing AirPods), asking whether there are reminders and/or calendar events today, etc.Learn More about Siri
Siri is a virtual assistant made by Apple, which is available in many languages. It can help Apple device users to do many things using their voice.
I think that Siri can be my best friend because I can speak English with her and there are only a few English friends nearby. In fact, my parents cannot speak English at all.
Things I usually say with Siri
- Hey, Siri! What's the weather like tomorrow/today?
- Hey, Siri! Open WeChat.
- Hey, Siri! Are there any reminders or calendar events today?
- Hey, Siri! Is it crowded to go to Guangzhou city centre?
- Hey, Siri! Turn on the alarm clock about get up.
- Hey, Siri! What time is it now? (when I use AirPods)
- Hey, Siri! How much battery is it left on my iPhone/AirPods?
My Difficulties for using Siri
However, there still are some questions that cannot be answered by Siri.
A: Sorry, I can’t change that setting.
A: I can’t answer on your iPhone, but you can find the answer in the “Health” app.
Don't use Siri or other voice assistants in some quiet public places, such as library. Please be considerate to others while studying.
Siri also can send messages with iMessage and WeChat. However, it only can send English messages while using the English version of Siri.
Unfortunately, many of my Chinese friends and my parents cannot speak English at all. So, I have difficulty to send messages to them with Siri. However, there is no barrier for communicating with some superior students, such as Alex Wang (will be mentioned below), Kate Lin, Bella Li using Siri.
Please control the speed while speaking to Siri or other voice assistants. Otherwise, they cannot get the information from your voice understand what you want to say.
This is useful for practicing and improving English speaking skills. Also, it affect your habits of speaking English and hence it may affect the IELTS speaking score.
Other Things that Siri Usually Do
Meanwhile, Siri often provides suggestions based on the activities on the devices and Apple apps such as Apple calendar events, Apple reminders, Apple map*, iCloud email, etc.
* Note: The screenshot was taken in my hometown because I needed to deal with an urgent event in my family there when writing this article. So, Siri showed a suggestion for going to my home when I was relaxing in a park in my hometown.
For example, if I have set a place and a time in an event in the calendar, Siri will tell me whether the routes to the activity place is crowded in the event time.
As I mentioned above, most of the Apple features are available in all regions around the world. I can use the English version of Siri in China in order to practice my English speaking skills.
Moreover, Apple may listen to some Siri recordings artificially in order to improve the voice recognition, but users can reject it in the privacy settings. This can reduce the mistakes of Siri from listening.
However, China has limited overseas bandwidth, so I have difficulty to use some English apps that doesn't have servers in China. That’s why Chinese people seldom use foreign apps as I mentioned above.
If I use Microsoft Cortana, it always answers in Chinese* although I use its English version and speak English in China. This is because it uses Microsoft's China server as it can be faster than servers in other countries, but it does not contain an English version of Cortana.
*Note: This problem may be solved recently, which was discovered by myself when I use Cortana on my home PC recently before it has been changed to macOS. However, I am not sure whether it has been solved. I cannot guarantee that all content on my website and blog are correct and accurate.
My website was previously hosted with GoDaddy, an American web hosting company. This is because it has a managed WordPress hosting feature and supports Alipay. However, it is difficult to manage as the speed in China is only about 20KB/s during peak hours.
On August 2019, I have migrated my website to a Chinese host: Tencent Cloud. So, the speed of my website became much faster.
Strict Privacy and Safety Standards
Apple has strict privacy and safety standards not only for their devices but also for app developers.
Many new MacBooks, iMacs and Mac minis have Apple's T2 security chips (some of them are integrated with new M1 chips).
Apple has a Find my Device feature, in which we can find our lost devices (include AirPods), and an activation lock. We can find and/or operate our lost devices using other Apple devices or iCloud.com. Also, strangers who got the devices will not be able to use them as soon as the owner locks them remotely.
Meanwhile, Apple protects user's privacy strictly. All data is not associated with your Apple ID and/or your name, such as places in Apple maps, Siri requests, messages, photos, etc.
A 14-year old boy reported a security bug about Apple FaceTime a few years ago. This bug severely infringed users' privacy.
However, I seldom use FaceTime and iMessage because Chinese people always use WeChat as a chatting app. WeChat also has audio and video calling features.
For this reason, Apple has very strict requirements for app developers to protect user's privacy. I will talk about this below.
Don't just click on 'Accept/Allow' button when the app asks for permissions. Otherwise, the permission control on your device may not be useful.
When the app asks for permissions, please understand carefully what the app will do with the permission. (For example, WeChat may ask permissions for camera and microphone for video calls.)
Strict Requirements for App Developers
Apple has strict requirements for app developers to make sure the users have a great experience while using Apple Devices and protect user’s privacy.
For example, iOS 13 is added a dark (night) mode feature, so Apple then forced all iOS developers to add a dark mode into all iOS apps (otherwise, apps can be removed from App Store by Apple). This can improve user’s experience in the evening.
Because of the requirement of creating dark mode and associating with iOS system settings, Quizlet has moved the ‘night mode’ feature into the free plan, which was in Quizlet Go or Quizlet Plus plan only previously. This also applies on computer browser version of Quizlet.
I have also created a dark mode for this personal website and blog, and it is associated with Apple system settings.
Later on, newer iOS display coloured dots on the top-right corner if an app uses some sensitive permissions (e. g. camera and microphone), so I can always clearly see whether apps infringe my privacy.
Also, iOS 14.5 gives an option for users to choose whether they allow apps trace their activities. This new feature gives users a sense of safety.
In 2020, MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) of China removed some suspicious Chinese Android apps that infringed user’s privacy and violated the laws from the Chinese app markets.Learn More (Chinese)
Apple Device Becomes an Essential for my Schoolwork
In fact, many of my Chinese friends discourage me to use Apple devices, but I have to use Apple devices because they play a significant role on my schoolwork.
When I am in my school, I usually need to use Apple apps that are only available on Apple devices with Apple OS. For example, we needed to use GarageBand and hence everyone needs to have a MacBook or iPad during the music lessons in Grade 9 in PCIS - my previous junior high school.
In the future, I may develop Windows, Mac, Android, and even iOS apps. This may need Apple devices. Also, some development process in the university may also need them.
My Experience of Using Apple Devices
I have to say that Apple devices are comfortable, convenient, stable and considerate according to my experience.
Apple devices have awesome designs and appearances. So, I can use them without suffering from wasting time to use the devices (e. g. find keys on the keyboard, worry about the appearance can be broken after a long time, or adjust my sitting posture frequently).
I can either choose silver or grey for new MacBook Air (since 2018) and MacBook Pro (since 2016). They both are OK, but I chose silver because the new grey colour can be dark. Also, silver is a poor conductor of heat and it means I study so hard and I usually get (silver) prizes.
Also, my new MacBook Pro 2020 has a great keyboard, so I can type much faster and study more effectively with it.
My father also thought that Apple computers have powerful design while purchasing computers a long time ago. So, he bought an iMac 2011.
However, it uses macOS instead of Windows, so he regretted that he made a wrong choice. This is because he was not familiar with Apple's macOS. Then, the seller of the computer helped him to install Windows 7.
In fact, many people buy Apple computers because of their great appearance, but they regret that Apple computers use Apple's macOS instead of Windows OS.
In addition, some of the Apple computers and phones have True Tone technology. This can display the original pictures on the screen and it adjusts automatically based on the environments.
Apple always provides convenience for users on their devices and apps, especially if you use many Apple devices.
Firstly, we can use AirDrop to send not only files but also websites on Safari, Apple map locations, etc. as long as both sender and receiver use Apple devices. We can send things between our Apple devices and other people, especially in my school as I mentioned above.
For example, I can continue to read an article on the Internet on my phone with just a few clicks when I need to go outside and stop using the computer. This is similar to the 'send page to device' feature on Chrome and Firefox.
Secondly, as I mentioned above, we do not need to press the power button to turn on a new MacBook Air/Pro.
Thirdly, all Apple apps are associated. I can add locations of my home, school, hometown, etc. in the iCloud contacts and Apple maps. Then, I can mark locations in my Apple reminders. This feature is not included in Microsoft To Do.
I can use Siri to do many things, especially when I am not convenient to use my devices. Also, Siri usually provides some suggestions.
The Touch Bar on my MacBook Pro (which is available on MacBook Pro since 2016) shows some common operations of the apps I am using. So, I can select some features without pressing many keys or moving the mouse grab.
Moreover, all things on the Apple apps are synchronised between devices with the same Apple ID as long as there is Internet access. If there is no Internet access, I still can transfer things via AirDrop.
If I need to lock my laptop, I just need to press the Touch ID button without closing the lid.
Cross-device Clipboard (Copy and Paste)
It also has a cross-device clipboard feature, which also works without Internet as long as the WiFi and Bluetooth on the devices are turned on.
I can type and copy some text on a device, and then paste on other devices. After I copy a text on my MacBook, I can immediately paste it on my iPhone without Internet or any cables.
For example, I cannot send Moments on WeChat and Instagram posts on my computers, but I can type the content onto my macOS computers (use TextEdit app and create a plain text document) instead of my iPhone to protect eyes, and then copy and paste on my iPhone.
Windows 10 also has this feature (works with the same Microsoft account), but it only works with Internet.
AirPods can be switched automatically to different Apple devices with the same Apple ID if necessary. I just need to click on the broadcast button in the control centre's audio settings and choose AirPods to use after it is connected. Unlike other Bluetooth headphones or loudspeakers, they need to be disconnected before other devices connect to it.
Now, I will show the steps to change the devices connected to the AirPods to let you understand how it works.
If I want to use my AirPods on my MacBook Pro, just open the control centre at the top-right corner on the screen, click on the broadcast button and then select my AirPods Pro.
By the way, I would like to mention that another convenient point for using AirPods is that I can control the noise cancellation feature while using my devices without raising my hand to hold the button on my AirPods, as shown on the right picture above.
The steps of using AirPods on my iPhone is similar as above. I usually do this if I continue to listen to music on my phone after I stopped to use my MacBook or my home PC.
After that, I will see the following notification on my Mac.
For example, if I suddenly receive a phone call while listening to music, watching videos or movies on my Mac, the AirPods audio will switch to my iPhone after I answered the call. After that, I can change it back to my Mac computer. This can reduce the time of switching devices connected to the headphones.
In addition, we can share the audio with others on the same device if all of us use Apple headphones, whether we are using AirPods, AirPods Pro, and/or AirPods Max. Also, different people can adjust their own volumes.
iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur have a new widget area. I can add many things like the tiles in Windows 10 start menu. Also, the battery status pops up if I open the box of my AirPods for a long time with the headphones inside.
In fact, Windows OS is suitable for all computers, but MacOS can only be used on Apple computers.
Windows computers often show a blue screen with hexadecimal error codes if the system contains an error. The blue error screen of Windows XP and Windows 7 are dark blue. Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 are light blue.
However, macOS is always stable because it is only used by Apple computers and it is made by Apple, so it seldom has errors.
If errors occur on macOS and it restarts, all windows will be automatically restored after it is restarted.
Apple always design their new products according to the user's experience.
For example, during the Covid-19 epidemic, most of the people have difficulty to unlock their iPhone (iPhone X or later) and/or iPad because they use Face ID but we always need to wear masks.
Hence, I discovered, on many websites that review new Apple products, that new iPhone 12 models and/or iPhone 13 may bring back the Touch ID to give users convenience.
Also, 2021 MacBook Pro may bring back MagSafe charger and/or USB ports instead of Type-C ports. This is because most of the users depend on the converters with Type-C. I assume that Type-C may replace the USB (Universal Serial Bus) in the future, but it is not fully developed right now as many devices around the world still use USB.
My Difficulties without Apple Devices
Without Apple devices, I could not enjoy the convenience provided by Apple and a convenient life.
Over a long time, my home PC used Windows (I will talk about this and why is this below). So, I always need to connect a long cable to export the photos on my phone. Also, I need to use my USB drive to transfer files between my home PC and my MacBook.
The speed of transmitting files via Bluetooth can be slow. Also, using web storage services can also be slow (except for Apple iCloud, I don't use Google Drive or Dropbox). For example, Baidu Drive can be slow as it limits speed. OneDrive can be slow as the overseas bandwidth of China is limited as I mentioned above.
Baidu Drive, a Chinese web storage service, usually limits the download speed for non-SVIP users under 128 KB/s. This severely affects the user's experience.
For this reason, I seldom use Baidu drive as my web storage service. I usually use Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud.
I could not use Apple reminders and Apple notes as they are browser-based without any notifications on my Windows PC. So, I used to use Microsoft To Do instead in the past.
Also, I have to adapt to the shortcut keys and change my habits every time I change the device. The shortcut keys between my Windows PC and macOS PC are different.
The Advantages of Apple's macOS
There are some advantages of using the macOS compared with Windows OS.
It does not force users to turn on some features
Firstly, macOS does not force users to turn on one or more features.
As we know, Windows 10 forces users to turn on Windows Defender and Windows Update. If you turn off Windows Update, it must be turned on and all updates need to be installed before it can be turned off again after 30 days (I can't remember its value). Windows Defender also automatically turns on after a period that you turned it off. Also, if you don't have or log in a Microsoft Account, it will always show a warning in the Windows Security Centre and the taskbar.
macOS, however, does not. I can always turn off the system updates and Apple Store updates. It does not force users to turn on FileVault (like BitLocker on Windows) and firewall. Also, if you don't log in to an Apple ID, it does not show a message and you still can install apps from their official websites.
Persistent with low battery
Windows OS on the laptop always sleeps if the battery is less than 5%. This prevents the data from being lost and it is because Windows OS is suitable for all kinds of computers. Users usually feel that the laptop cannot be used even if it has a little power.
However, macOS laptop sleeps if the battery is used up (1%). This improves laptop users' experience and it is similar to iOS phones.
No drivers are needed
We usually need drivers to use a Windows computer. This is because there are different types of hardware from different companies, such as AMD, Intel, Nvidia, Realtek; graphics card, sound card, WiFi and Bluetooth card, printer, camera, keyboard and mouse, USB drive, and so on.
However, there is no need to use drivers on macOS computers, including printers. This is because the drivers of hardware are integrated together with macOS. I just need to add printers and devices in system preferences (settings).
It only allows verified apps
macOS has a security feature: only allows apps from identified developers.
When we open an app that does not come from App Store after it is installed or updated, macOS verifies the app to check whether it contains malicious codes and whether it comes from an identified developer (e. g. Microsoft, Adobe).
If the app is from an unidentified developer, it will show a warning message. We need to go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy to allow it anyway.
Restore Sessions (Windows) After Restart
When we shut down or restart the Mac without closing apps, you can choose to reopen windows after the computer starts up again. However, Windows does not have this feature at all.
For example, there are some works I haven't finished and I need to shut down my computer during the sleeping time, I can shut down and choose to restore windows. After my computer starts up again on the second day, all apps and Safari tabs are restored, but all webpages are reloaded.
This can be used as a reminder to remind me to continue my unfinished works on the second day.
Advantages of Windows 10
There are still some advantages of Windows 10.
- It has a 'battery saver' mode. (like low power mode in iOS)
- It has a timeline. We can see and sync the apps history between Windows 10 computers using a Microsoft account.
- The drivers are automatically installed by Windows Update.
- It has some similar features on phones, such as timer and alarm clock (only sounds when the computer is powered on).
My History of Using Apple Devices
I started to use Apple devices since 2017.
When my father bought an iPhone X, he gave his previous iPhone 6 to me to use.
In 2018, I bought a MacBook Air 2017 as a requirement of studying in my school, PCIS (I mentioned this above). However, I regretted that I could not enjoy some new features. The new MacBook Air 2018 was released after I purchased the 2017 one. Also, the new MacBook Air 2018 has many new features and it was much different from my 2017 one.
Many of my classmates, including me, bought MacBook Air 2017 because of the requirement of the music lessons (I mentioned above). This is because it contains USB ports instead of Type-C ports so that we do not need to buy converters.
Since 2018, all MacBooks use Type-C ports.
The new MacBook Air 2018 has a Touch ID, speakers beside the keyboard, a feature that turns on after opening the lid, and an Apple T2 security chip.
When I make videos using Adobe Premiere Pro in the English lessons in my school with my old MacBook Air, the speed was very slow. Also, I usually use Photoshop to edit photos and it was also very slow. I didn't recognize that I need to use many professional apps (e. g. Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro, Visual Studio Code (for programming), VMWare Fusion (to use Windows OS to make programs)) when I chose and bought an Apple laptop in 2018.
IP addresses are also finite. Maybe it is because the inventor of the IP address or Internet thought that the 32-bit IP address is enough and he didn't think that it is not enough for the future, as my computer teacher told me.
However, as technology develops, more and more people use the Internet. So, the IP address becomes scarce after a long time.
Many people may not consider some important things for the future, but this is normal because many things in the future cannot be predicted, like the epidemic right now. For example, I didn't buy MacBook Pro because I didn't need to use professional apps previously. Also, Face ID since iPhone X posts a dfficulty to users for wearing masks.
On 2020, I started to use iPhone X. This is because it has 2 cameras and there were some Chinese actors used iPhone X to make a movie that is called: 三分钟.
At the end of 2020, I got a MacBook Pro 2020 (silver, 13 inches, Intel chip, 4 Type-C ports) and an AirPods Pro as a huge prize because I got amazing results for the mid-semester exam. The new MacBook Pro is suitable for programming and using professional apps.
Do you know why I don't use the new Apple M1 chip for my new laptop?
The new Apple M1 chip that was released in 2020 has a lot of benefits such as speed, performance, battery hours (20 hours after it's fully charged), and so on.
However, not only do I need to use macOS to have a convenient life, but also I need to use Windows sometimes to make some programs (e. g. develop C++ programs, finish homework of TCTM programming lessons).
Apple M1 chip is only suitable for macOS, but it does not support Windows at all. Also, only MacBook Pro Intel chip has 4 Type-C ports, where I can charge my MacBook either on the left side or on the right side.
As I mentioned above, macOS can only be used on Apple devices and M1 chip does not support Windows, so MacBook Pro with an Intel chip is my best choice. Also, having 2 laptops (1 with macOS and 1 with Windows) can be heavy and it is unnecessary. It is difficult to change too as I need to open and close the laptops repeatedly.
My New Devices and Arrangements
Since 2021, I entered a 'Completely Apple' mode, which means I would use Apple devices and apps most of the time.
After I got a MacBook Pro 2020 and an AirPods Pro, I have adjusted the arrangements and my usage of my devices.
My New macOS Home PC
Recently, I have planned and used my old 2017 MacBook Air as the new main unit of my home PC because I could not install the macOS on my home PC as it was a DIY machine and only Apple devices can use macOS.
I was inspired by a video about MacBook Pro 2020 with an M1 chip review on YouTube from Ali Abdaal, a doctor in the United Kingdom that studied in Cambridge University previously, who usually reviews new Apple devices (include but not limited to MacBook Air and Pro 2020 with M1 chip). He used his MacBook Pro as the main unit of the home PC (he calls it "Daily Driver"; actually he does not have a real main unit but he has other hardware such as monitor and keyboard). When he needs to go outside, he takes his MacBook Pro.
It is unnecessary to have an iMac, a Mac Mini or a Mac Pro for my PC because I don't want to waste the 1TB space on my old PC's main unit.
Also, I can build a server using my previous main unit of my home PC in my home's internal network and use HTTP and/or FTP protocols. The new server in my home is used to store my photos and other files and debug the web server back end (PHP) codes before uploading onto my real website server.
How about the hardware of my new macOS PC? I connected my old MacBook Air to the monitor of my PC, with a screen resolution 1920 x 1080, as the display of my old laptop is too small.
It has a (backup) battery, which prevents the data from being lost if the electricity supply is suddenly paused.
My old MacBook Air is not good, which is usually slow and it has many disadvantages, if I use it as a laptop. However, it is good to use some extra hardware such as large monitor and high-quality loudspeaker and microphone, and make it as the main unit.
My father has an iMac 2011 but it cannot be turned on as it might be broken. Also, it cannot install the latest macOS Big Sur (I mentioned above). However, its keyboard and mouse still can be used. So, I took the keyboard and mouse, paired with my new PC, and started to use.
In fact my old MacBook Air only has 2 USB ports, but I can extend the number of ports by using some USB hubs (4 in 1). One of them connects to my printer, camera above the monitor, and an optical disc drive that is placed on my desk. Another one is placed on my desktop to insert many other USB devices such as my USB drive, mobile hard drive, and so on.
There is a loudspeaker on my desk, so I connected it with my old laptop using the headphones port. The microphone is embedded in the camera.
My old MacBook Air is placed above the main unit of my old Windows PC as there is enough space and it is convenient to build a circuit around my desk to connect the MacBook with many devices. Also, this does not take much space on my desk.
How will I Use Apple Products?
Apple brings me convenience, so I will use Apple products most of the time as I entered 'Completely Apple' mode recently.
My 'Completely Apple' Mode
My 'Completely Apple' mode contains many Apple devices, apps, and services. For example:
- Apple iPhone
- Apple MacBook laptop
- Apple Mac PC
- Apple macOS and iOS
- Apple AirPods
- Apple Siri
- Apple Maps app
- Apple Music
- Apple Podcasts
- Apple iCloud
- Apple iCloud Calendar
- Apple iCloud Mail
- Apple Safari and iCloud Keychain
- Apple Office (Pages, Keynote and Numbers)
- Apple Pay
However, some of the Apple products may not be used, which will be used in the future for university studies, or I use other apps instead.
- Apple iWatch (will be used after entering university)
- Apple iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (will be used after entering university)
- Apple HomePod (may be bought and used later)
- Apple iMessage and FaceTime -> WeChat
- Apple Dictionary -> Youdao English-Chinese Dictionary
- Apple News (not available in China) -> Microsoft News, BBC News, Google News
- Apple TV (not available in China) -> Iqiyi 爱奇艺, Tencent Video
- Apple Books -> Kindle (as I have a Kindle Paperwhite)
After I started to use Apple devices and products most of the time, I stopped to use many apps that I have used previously.
- Firefox, Lockwise, and Pocket
- Microsoft To Do
- Microsoft Office and OneDrive (partly stopped)
- Microsoft OneNote
- Outlook Email (partly stopped)
- Outlook Calendar
Apple Devices and OS
I am going to use Apple devices as my phone, laptop, PC and headphones completely. I use iPhone X as my phone, MacBook Pro 2020 as my laptop, MacBook Air 2017 as (the main unit of) my home PC, and AirPods Pro as my headphones.
I use iOS and macOS on my devices. So, I am able to use AirDrop between devices to transfer files faster. Also, I can use Siri to do many things conveniently using my voice.
Apple Pay plays an important role for me while travelling and purchasing some foreign apps (e. g. Quizlet, Grammarly) that are not support Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Since I successfully use Apple devices as my phone and computers, I can use Apple apps normally without any barriers.
I can use Apple Office (Pages, Keynotes, Numbers), Apple Calendar, Apple Notes, Apple Reminders and synchronise between all of my devices, so I can finish my tasks more quickly.
Without Apple devices, I could not use some of the Apple apps, or they need to be used in iCloud.com, which is not convenient.
Apple services are usually used with Apple devices and it is easy to use with them. Meanwhile, Apple services also support non-Apple devices (e. g. Windows, Android)
Siri usually provide suggestions when we use Apple services, so I feel very convenient.
I use Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, iCloud storage, and many other Apple services to use my devices more easily.
The iCloud is operated by 云上贵州 (GCBD) for Chinese Apple IDs. This is because Apple needs to comply with the China regulations.
This is beneficial for me because it uses Chinese servers and data centres as it is very fast. Also, iCloud China might be the only Chinese web storage service that does not limit the speed.
Alex Wang - A Huge Fan of Apple
Alex Wang is a superior student in SCIE, Shenzhen College of International Education, whose scores are better than mine, and he was my previous junior high schoolmate.
He always watch the livestream of launch events of Apple products at midnight (if it is available) to make sure that he can receive the benefits of new Apple products in real time.
He has the following devices. (it may be inaccurate, based on my observation)
- iPhone 11
- iPad Pro and Apple Pencil
- MacBook Pro (13 inches)
- AirPods Pro
He also uses Apple devices and Apple services such as Apple music most of the time. I am going to imitate his habits to study effectively.
Many people around the world like using Apple products and they always receive the latest updates from Apple, including but not limit to Ken Deng (me), Alex Wang, Ali Abdaal, and so on. This is because Apple products are beneficial for many people around the world, as I mentioned in this whole article.
Alex was recruited by SCIE. However, I did not.
This is because my fundamental knowledge in the primary school is not enough as I didn't know the importance of studying and hence I did not study consciously and listen to class carefully.
However, over a long period, my scores are higher and I made such big progress since Grade 8 in my junior high school and hence I have been praised by many teachers and parents and I opened this website and blog to share my study strategy.
Now, I regret that I didn't study well once upon a time. As a result, many knowledge is difficult and unacceptable for me.
Alright! This is the end of the article. Thanks for reading.
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Reference Materials (No Copy and Paste)
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