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Thanks Apple for Letting me Study Effectively

Language/语言:   English   简体中文

By: Ken Deng   Published on Jul. 2, 2021

Approx. 2500 words, 11 mins

  Table of Contents

Hello there! My name is Ken and I am a Chinese senior high top student in Guangdong Country Garden School. Welcome to Ken's Study Journey website and blog! Today, I want to say "Thank You" to Apple for giving me an opportunity to study effectively.

Nowadays, most people around the world enjoy using Apple products because they are very productive and convenient. I also like Apple products so much.

Since 2021, I improved my study strategy and started to use Apple ecosystem, entering a 'Complete Apple' mode. The file transfer between my Windows PC and macOS laptop was very inconvenient and time-wasting before.

Recently, I brainstormed and generated a stack of suggestions that can improve Apple products with some new features I want. I could imagine that my brain contains an M1 chip which is pretty fast.

Today, I am going to talk about the benefits to me for using Apple products and why I want to thank Apple to give me a great experience. Follow me!

Thanks Apple

What Convenience does Apple Bring to Me?

In fact, Apple brings me convenience when using its products.

macOS and iOS Combo

We usually use macOS + iOS, Windows + Android, or Windows + iOS combos on computer and phones.

I think that macOS and iOS combo is much better than Windows and Android. The following table shows some great features that only appear on Apple products.

Of course, a number of features are available on Windows + Android combo but not Apple devices.

Feature macOS + iOS Windows + Android
AirDrop Yes No
Copy and Paste Between Devices Yes Yes, but requires Internet
Use messages on computers Yes Yes
iCloud/OneDrive Storage Yes Yes
Find my Devices Yes Yes, but separate platforms are used
Receive Phone Notifications No Yes
Permission dots Yes No
Siri/Cortana Yes Yes
Reminders / Microsoft To Do Yes Yes
Calendar and Notes Yes Yes
Photos Backup Yes Yes
Keychain and Save Passwords Yes Microsoft Edge only
Share WiFi Passwords Yes No, but requires QR Code on Android
Computer Maps and Syncing Yes No (different apps are used)
iCloud/Outlook Mail Yes Yes
Widgets/Tiles Yes Yes
Live Text in Photos Apple chips only No
Spatial Audio Yes No
FaceTime Yes Yes (available soon)

As I am a senior high student studying Cambridge International AS and A Level with massive study tasks, the first thing I need is convenience. Without this, I will spend more time to do the same number of tasks and hence my scores may not be improved more than others.

The major convenience between macOS and iOS is that I can synchronise many things, like files, calendar, notes and reminders, between devices.

Using Apple Pay

Although 2 major payment methods, WeChat Pay and Alipay, are very popular in China, some foreign useful studying apps, such as Quizlet, do not support them. So, I may have difficulties to purchase a premium plan to study effectively.

However, Apple solved this problem. If an app does not support Chinese payment methods and has an iOS version, I can purchase it using Apple Pay binding with cards, WeChat Pay or Alipay, and then choose Apple Pay on the iOS app.

We usually use WeChat Pay and Alipay outside when making purchases, but Apple Pay is still useful to buy foreign useful apps.

Apple Features that Boost my Study Efficiency

Apart from Apple Pay that gives me convenience for making payments, most of Apple features can boost my study efficiency and productivity, saving me a lot of time.

Apple Music with Spatial Audio

Apple Music is a very good music platform which contains millions of songs and hundreds of playlists.

There are many playlists made by Apple Music itself which are very helpful for me, such as Study Beats, Pure/Pop Workout, Home Office DJ, Today at Apple (Store), and so on.

Playlists made by itself are regularly updated, usually every 1-2 weeks on Friday. So, I can enjoy the latest music without repetition.

Tip

Don't be too loud and don't listen to a limited number of songs for a long time. This can have a negative impact on your study efficiency because you may be indulged in music while doing your study tasks.

Apple Music usually update its own playlists, so I don't worry about this repetition problem.

Content Deleted

This part of the content was deleted because it may be inappropriate or misleading.

When I heard Spatial Audio, I firstly made this question like Cambridge IGCSE exam style:

Apple Music Spatial Audio Definition Question

Spatial Audio is the audio effects in music and movies that come from many different directions supported by Dolby Atmos (definition, answer of the question above). By listening to music from any directions, I can focus more on my study tasks and adjust my mood more easily.

Regulated App Icons

iOS always uses regulated app icons with rounded squares. macOS also started to use this type of app icons since macOS Big Sur (2020).

Regulating the shape of app icons can let me have a sense of tidiness and they are regularly arranged. App icons in the macOS LaunchPad are not very messy so I can save my time and avoid from being distracted by irregular shapes.

I made this question like IGCSE exam style about Apple Products to test my classmates about their extent of using Apple products.

macOS Big Sur Features Multiple Choice Question macOS Big Sur Update Question

View Full Papers I Made:

Paper 1: Multiple Choice (30 questions)
apple_s21_qp_11.pdf
apple_s21_ms_11.pdf

Paper 2: Theory
apple_s21_qp_21.pdf
apple_s21_ms_21.pdf

Siri

Siri is a virtual personal assistant used on Apple devices made by Apple that can help user to do many things (definition).

It provides a wide range of languages, including American English, British English and Simplified Chinese. So, I can use it, acting as my virtual friend, to check for weather and my reminders, control my devices, and even practice English and IELTS speaking.

However, China has limited overseas bandwidth, so I have difficulty to use some English apps that doesn't have servers in China.

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.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is also available in all languages in many countries. I can see the places and use navigation with English, together with Chinese names on the map. Unlike Tencent Map, Baidu Map and Gaode Map (Amap), they only contain a Chinese version.

It can be used on both iPhone and macOS computers. So, I do not need to take out the phone to see the traffic situations, find the best route and even add some places to favourites folder. The favourites folder can also be synchronised between my devices.

iCloud Storage

iCloud is a web storage service that stores files, photos, Apple reminders, calendar, notes and other important information. It also synchronises information between devices such as clipboard* and Screen Time status with an Apple ID.

In China, iCloud is operated by GCBD, Guizhou Cloud Big Data, so I do not need to worry about overseas bandwidth limitation problem.

Unlike OneDrive, its speed can be very slow. Baidu Drive restricts the download speed up to 128KB/s for non-SVIP plan users.

* Note: Clipboard can be used with or without Internet access.

AirDrop

AirDrop is a tool that allows users to transfer files between Apple devices (definition). It uses WiFi and Bluetooth technology.

We can send files, websites in Safari between devices and friends. It also has an option that allow strangers (everyone) to send files.

Unlike Windows and Android, the transferring speed of Bluetooth is very slow, about 128KB/s, and using a USB drive can be complex.

AirPlay

AirPlay is a service that allows users to remotely project the screen, photos, music, videos or movies onto the TV or speakers (definition).

Although Apple TV is not available in China, we still can use AirPlay to copy the content on the screen on my iPhone, iPad or MacBook onto the TV or projector.

I usually watch English movies every Friday evening, using the multifunction room at home with Dolby Atmos speakers and a 1080p high-quality screen.

Synchronisation between Devices

We can use iCloud to transfer things between devices. Meanwhile, Safari can also transfer tabs history between devices.

For example, when I need to go outside suddenly while reading an article using Safari on my Home PC, I can continue my work on my iPhone or MacBook by clicking at the bottom of the Safari even though the tabs on the PC are closed.

Apple is going to release its Safari tabs synchronisation feature in the autumn in 2021. This will be very helpful for me to continue my work anywhere.

Productive Features that Apple will Add Later

Note: This section is copied from the article about my suggestions to Apple on my website, but I want to say "Thank You" to Apple for bringing many productive new features.

In the WWDC event organised by Apple on June 7, 2021, I notice that Apple is going to add some useful features in the 2021 autumn.

First, I am going to talk about some features that Apple is going to add a few months later and their definitions. My suggestions will be shown in the sections below.

Spatial Audio

Spatial Audio is the audio effects in music and movies that come from many different directions supported by Dolby Atmos.

To be honest, this feature is already enabled at the beginning of June 2021. It gives me a sense of satisfaction when enjoying Apple Music and some movies.

SharePlay

SharePlay is a feature in FaceTime that allows many people to listen to music and/or watch videos at the same time. Any people can control the music or videos.

FaceTime on Non-Apple Devices

FaceTime is going to support non-Apple devices still with end-to-end encryption. Some top students in my class and I usually use Apple devices (iPhone and MacBook), but my parents use Windows and Android. So, using FaceTime will not be a big problem later on.

I noticed that FaceTime on non-Apple devices uses webpage with browsers. So, it is compatible with even all operating systems, including Huawei Harmony OS.

Quick Notes

I usually use Apple Notes with iCloud. Now, we will be able to start a quick notes with new iOS/iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey at any time to avoid missing some important things.

iCloud+ with Privacy Relay and Hide my Email

iCloud is going to upgrade itself with some new features, such as iCloud Mail Privacy Relay and Hide my Email with many random email addresses for newsletters and sending emails. We can subscribe to some website newsletters without exposing real email addresses. It may also prevent phishing.

Related Knowledge

Now, I am going to talk about an IGCSE computer science (0478) knowledge: Phishing and Pharming.

Phishing is the legitimate-looking email that contains some links of fake websites that gathers personal information. Pharming is the malicious code installed on the webserver that redirects users to a fake website.

I think that pharming is more severe than phishing. If a server is hacked, only the website owners can solve this problem and the website cannot be used normally. However, we can simply not clicking on the fake links in emails to prevent phishing.

If someone leaks an email address, we also can simply delete one of the random email addresses generated to prevent spam emails.

Its price is exactly equal to the previous version. No additional cost is needed.

Did you know?

Microsoft 365 is originated by Microsoft Office 365. It also has more features at the same price.

Announce Notifications on AirPods with Siri (including WeChat)

A few months ago, Apple already made a feature that announces calls and messages on AirPods with Siri.

In China, however, WeChat may replaced standards messages, so this feature may be useless there.

Later on, Apple is going to enable a feature that announces all notifications on iPhone, including WeChat messages.

New Safari Interface and Tabs Collection

In iOS 15 and macOS Monterey's Safari, we can organise the tabs on it if we open a large number of tabs. They can also be synchronised between devices. So, we can conveniently manage the tabs and do our work in different environments.

Life Text in Photos (Apple Chips only)

Next, Apple devices with Apple chips will be able to capture text in an image without typing them again.

Unfortunately, it does not support Mac computers with an Intel chip. However, I can capture text from an image on my iPhone or using another OCR app.

Did you know?

I like using Apple products, but I don't use iPad or Mac computers with an M1 chip until I go to university.

I don't use an iPad because it cannot be used for programming, using Python, Java or C++. I don't use Mac computers with an M1 chip because I need to make both macOS and Windows apps.

So, I lose their benefits, but they are unimportant because I seldom use them.

I have planned to use Mac computers with an Apple chip when I go to a university in the UK in 2023. It may be better because I estimated that there will be a lot of improvements on M3, M4 or M5 chips.

Providing Suggestions to Apple

Recently, I brainstormed and submitted a stack of suggestions to Apple.

I can imagine that there is an M1 chip in my brain which is pretty fast because I seldom feel tired although I do massive study tasks rapidly and I made a lot of ideas in a short time.

These are my suggestions provided to Apple:

  • Batteries widget on macOS control centre and synchronising battery status between devices.
  • Synchronise notifications from iPhone to macOS.
  • Widget Areas and App Library in LaunchPad on macOS.
  • Health and Weather apps on macOS.
  • Siri Suggestions on Mac.
  • Offline iCloud synchronisation (transferring calendar, reminders and notes without Internet).
  • Lost Mode on AirPods, similar to AirTag.
  • Colours and icons on folders of Notes app like Reminders app.
  • Autofill email verification code on Safari, like text/SMS messages.
  • Apple Authenticator, using 6-digit verification codes and autofill in Safari, like Google Authenticator and managing passwords in Safari.

More details and relevant images I made of the first 5 suggestions were written in this article.

I hope Apple can adopt my ideas and suggestions next year to make its products better for every user.

This is the end of the article. Thank you, Apple! You are the best!

Alright! This is the end of the article. Thanks for reading.

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