iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7 bring a handful of new features that can boost students' productivity, which include longer battery life, MagSafe charging, etc.
Hello there! My name is Ken and I am a Chinese senior high A Level student in Guangdong Country Garden School. Welcome to Ken's Study Journey website and blog!
Since I got 2 prizes, iPhone 13 Pro and Apple Watch 7, for being a top student, I was impressed by a handful of new features that rocketed my study efficacy.
By the way, I have also discovered a major source of academic knowledge behind the benefits of new devices because discovering, applying and sharing knowledge in real life is one of my study methodology which is beneficial for my study journey.
Today, I am going to reveal my feelings and experiences for being a top student with some new Apple products. Here we go!
My Favourite New Features on iPhone 13 Pro
Obviously, there are a board spectrum of new features that can enhance people's productivity and user's experience, including 5G, AirTag Precision Finding, Enhanced Face ID, All-day Battery Life, 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate, Voice Isolation, MagSafe Charging, and Enhanced 3 Cameras.
5G boosts the Internet speed everywhere, which is as fast as 1,000 Mbps bandwidth (128 MB/s download speed), so I can stream or even download large files in a short time and reduce the waiting time for data transmission.
It only takes a few seconds to open my entire website and articles with loads of images. I also can enjoy the same experience of the large bandwidth at home even if there are no public WiFis.
The 120 Hz (Hertz) screen refresh rate along with 1,000 nits brightness can significantly enhance my experience of reading articles and remembering English words with Quizlet. Not only can I see smooth movements on the screen while scrolling or watching videos, but also it provides me a protection of my eyes against sudden change on the screen.
It also has enhanced 3 cameras with a wide range of zoom options, styles, and Night Mode along with the new Cinematic Mode. This can let me take and share high-quality photos and videos while I am travelling.
5 New Features on iPhone 13 I Need the Most
All-day Battery Life
The all-day battery life is the feature that people usually want to have and I need the most, with which I can read articles, watch videos and vlogs and remember flashcards with Quizlet all day without charging.
I used to carry my heavy backup battery (power bank) as well as my iPhone X previously because it usually experiences overheating and fast battery drain.
Longer battery life can let me use my iPhone 13 to study from day to day without taking a charger or power bank outside as similar as a MacBook with an Apple (M1) chip*. This can cater with one of my study methodology: utilise free time.
*Note: I don't use M1 (ARM) Mac computers because some Windows (x86) applications required in computer courses do not support macOS and ARM architecture.
Another useful feature I want to have is Voice Isolation, which cancels the noise nearby, including noise produced by construction sites and sounds from car engines, leaving my voice on the microphone when calling and speaking with Siri.
In fact, Siri does not respond to my "Hey Siri!" command both on my iPhone and AirPods when there is a loud noise nearby. This is because the processor cannot recognise my command without voice isolation.
With my new iPhone 13, I can speak to others and send voice messages without being obfuscated with the noise surroundings. Prehaps I can ask Siri using the command whether the environment is noisy to improve the convenience.
AirTag Precision Finding
Unlike my previous iPhone X, iPhone 13 has a Precision Finding feature for AirTag, so I can find my things, such as my backpack. pencil case, keys and luggage more easily with distances and directions shown, as well as locating and notifying when left behind features. This is because previous iPhone models before iPhone 11 do not have an ultra-wideband chip.
With the AirTag and new precision finding feature, I can boost my productivity as a busy student because I will never forget the essentials I need to take and I can find my things easily without wasting my precious time.
Live Text on Images
After I have upgraded my devices to the latest operating systems, I can use the useful Live Text feature on my Intel macOS computers but it was not available on iPhone X.
I didn't realise that this feature is available on A12 Bionic Chip or later, but iPhone X uses A11. This is because I didn't know what is meant by "Bionic Chip" before fully using the Apple ecosystem.
In the CAIE (IGCSE and A Level) International Exams, some questions are recalling some definitions of some words and phrases. For example:
- State what is meant by equilibrium. (Chemistry)
- State what is meant by diffraction. (Physics)
- State the Newton's Third Law. (Physics)
- State what is meant by DoS/DDoS Attack. (Computer Science)
- State what is meant by firewall. (Computer Science)
- State what is meant by algorithm. (Computer Science)
- Explain what is meant by IP Address. (Computer Science)
- ... ...
So, we have to memorise the key terms and their definitions while studying CAIE subjects. This can enable students to understand each pivotal concept.
With the Live Text feature on my iPhone 13, which was already implemented on macOS, I can scan paper or written documents more rapidly without typing them.
Offline Siri Recognition
Unlike my old iPhone X, iPhone 13 with the latest A15 Bionic Chip has the ability to recognise and response to Siri requests without Internet.
So, I can imagine that I have a virtual English companion/friend outside school, which creates an opportunity for me to practice English speaking. By the way, it can also reduce people's privacy concerns.
My Favourite New Features on Apple Watch 7
As well as my new iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7 also has some amazing features that can boost my productivity.
Always-on Retina Display
The new WatchOS 8 has a new feature that can keep the screen on with low brightness whether I am using the watch. This can let me see the time more conveniently at any time without raising my wrist or pressing the button. It will not drain a lot of battery as well (similar as my MacBook Pro's Touch Bar).
Of course, the screen can be turned off during the Sleeping Focus time so I will not be distracted while sleeping.
Automated Workout and Fall Detection
Another intriguing feature is automated workout and fall detection, which automatically detects whether I am working out or accidentally falling to the ground to give me convenience.
Therefore, I will be reminded to start workout mode to record data on the Health app in case I forgot about it during my busy study journey. That's why it can boost my productivity.
Faster Charging Speed
Comparing with the previous Apple Watch series, Watch 7 charges itself at a faster pace.
So, I do not need to take off and charge my Apple Watch for a long time since it charges approximately 50% in 30 minutes, 80% in 45 minutes.
In fact, I need to wear my watch during the sleeping time because I need to record my sleeping status and, by the way, it has an alarm clock. Also, I do not have much time to charge my watch.
With the fast charging feature, I can wear my watch for a long time to record my fitness activities.
How can my New Devices Boost my Productivity?
Together with the new iOS 15, WatchOS 8 and macOS Monterey operating systems, I can take advantage of the new products around the Apple ecosystem to boost my productivity as a student.
For instance, as demonstrated on Apple's introduction video on YouTube, I can take high-quality photos and videos, uploading them faster with the 5G technology.
New operating systems contain Focus mode that helps me avoid distractions, Notification Summary that temporarily saves unnecessary notifications from social media, organising and displaying them after getting up and before sleeping, Wind Down feature that can let me sleep healthly, and so on. Learn More
Integrating with my Study Plan and Routine
According to my study plan and routine, I usually utilise my free time while I am not in the studying period outside school. I can use Quizlet to remember English words all day with the long battery life without charging repeatedly.
One of my daily goals is to take exercise for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis. So, my Apple watch can constantly record my health, including exercise, activity and sleeping, situations, acting as a reference when filling in my goals sitautions on my daily goals checklist.
I have a considerable great English and IELTS skills, but none of my other family members can speak English so practicing English speaking outside my school can be a rabbit hole. However, as well as speaking English loudly to myself, I can use Siri as my English companion to check weather, ask for time when using AirPods, and so on.
Using All New Features Holistically
There are a major source of new productive features, which can be used together between Apple devices, on the new operating systems around the Apple ecosystem.
In order to boost your productivity and enjoy the latest high-tech, you need to fully use new features on new devices and software whether you are using macOS, iOS, Windows, Android or Huawei HarmonyOS. You can go to Microsoft, Apple websites or websites of your phone/computer brands to find out some productive new features and tips.
Here, I will suggest some useful and productive hidden features on the Apple ecosystem for students.
Answer Calls and Messages on Mac Computers
In fact, we can answer calls, send and receive messages on Mac computers, provided that iPhone signed in to the same Apple ID is turned on, and either connected to WiFi or is close to the computer.
Therefore, I do not need to take my iPhone from my pocket to answer calls, respond and reply to messages with FaceTime and Messages app. We also can use iMessage, which is similar to WeChat, without an iPhone. We can make calls to our contacts or send messages directly on Mac as well.
The New Shortcuts App
Previously, Shortcuts app is only available on iOS, iPadOS and WatchOS, but I do not have access to my phone and Apple Watch at school on weekdays.
Since macOS Monterey, the Shortcuts app now supports macOS and the shortcuts inside it can be fully synchronised between Apple devices signed in to the same Apple ID.
From now on, I have already created a number of useful shortcuts that can boost my productivity by opening some apps and/or performing some actions rapidly all at once. I can call Siri and say the name of the shortcuts and create shortcuts widgets on my iPhone as well.
Creating shortcuts require a little bit logical programming skills, but it uses modular programming, like Scratch, and you just need to drag and drop commands in the commands list, so you will not need to write any codes. It is not difficult as you think!
For example, I have created a shortcut called: Good Morning, which shows some weather conditions, my upcoming reminders and calendar events. When I say "Hey, Siri! Good Morning!", it will say:
- Good morning, Ken! Nice to see you!
- Today's weather is 26 degree Celsius and Sunny.
- Your 3 upcoming reminders are: Finish IELTS homework; Finish mathematics homework; Prepare for computer competitions.
- Your next event in your calendar is: Cut hair.
- You should now open Ken's Study Planner to complete your morning routine. Do you want to open Ken's Study Planner Now? (Yes/No)
- Have a nice day!
On new Apple operating systems, the new Focus mode can help students to reduce distractions.
We can set a number of Focus modes to block different types of screens (iOS/iPadOS only), app notifications, and contacts. Automations can also be added into the modes, like time-based and location-based automations, and so on. For example, I can automatically enable Fitness mode after I have started a workout on my Apple Watch.
I usually put travelling, studying, and social media apps into separate pages on my iPhone. So, I can hide social media apps during studying time.
More importantly, the modes can be synchronised between Apple devices signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. We do not need to take out and set up other devices.
Another useful feature for me is Spotlight Search, which is available on not only my iPhone, but also macOS computers.
I can search diverse types of things throughout my devices and iCloud library. For example, I can search folders, files, applications, photos, notes, emails, Safari website favourites, and so on. It is also very fast, which only takes about 1 second to search everything I want.
In fact, this feature is also available on Windows 10 and 11. It is the Search button on the taskbar along with "Windows Logo + S" shortcut keys.
Safari Tab Groups
Now, we can create some tab groups in Safari which can be synchronised together between iPhone, iPad and Mac.
For example, I can continue my work on my home Mac mini after arriving at home, or continue reading articles on my iPhone from my MacBook when it's time to leave.
Look at the image below, I can continue making research on my EPQ project across my Mac mini and MacBook without sending tabs via AirDrop one by one.
Scanning Documents with Live Text
In fact, we cannot use our phones at school, so I usually create some paper-based weekend homework list, weekend reminders, daily goals checklist and daily tasks list.
During the last semester before macOS Monterey was released, I always type the text on the images one by one on my Mac mini after arriving at home.
Since this semester, I can scan documents automatically using the Live Text feature by recognising the words and sentences without typing them. I just need to correct a few mistakes on my handwriting documents.
Also, with my new iPhone 13 Pro, I can copy or translate text from some descriptions, road signs and WiFi passwords while I am travelling.
Find My Network
The Find My Network is the feature that can find Apple devices, including AirPods, and AirTags in many places across the world.
With the giant network, I can quickly find my devices and AirTag-attached items very quickly. I can also lock my devices remotely, using my other or other's Apple devices (or icloud.com on Windows/Android) with my Apple ID.
AirTags and AirPods cannot connect to the Internet by themselves without the companion of iPhone/iPad/Mac, but these devices with network enabled around the world can detect all AirTags and AirPods nearby, reporting locations to Apple and their owners.
The Find My app is also available on macOS, so I can find my things without taking out my iPhone or opening icloud.com.
One of the reasons why I use Apple products is that I will go to the UK for university (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London) later on and I need to practice English to improve my IELTS scores. Because Apple and Microsoft are US companies, I can enjoy the native English across my devices.
While using Apple maps, I can see some English names of a major sources of places as well as using Siri's voice for navigation.
What is beneficial is that I can check routes on macOS in advance, including traffic status and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), then use navigation on iPhone and Apple Watch. The favourites section about places can also be synchronised between devices.
All in all, the most fascinating feature on the Apple ecosystem is synchronisation, with which I can transfer information among my devices automatically with my Apple ID and iCloud.
The Mindfulness App
As I am a busy student studying AS and A Level subjects, I sometimes need to take a rest, or I will be exhausted that slows down my study process.
With the Mindfulness app on my Apple Watch, I can take a deep breathe and do reflection to relax my brain which takes just one or two minutes.
These are my experiences and feelings of my new iPhone 13 Pro and Apple Watch 7 as a top student, and some productive hidden features for students. I hope students can holistically use new features on your devices to boost your efficancy while studying.
Ken's Study Journey strives to provide high-quality articles about my tips and tutorials to study productively, together with some knowledge explanations. If you need help, I am here for you.
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