As some of you know, I’m still in the market for a new computer. Which kind I should get is proving to be a hell of a puzzler, though. For a while I was pretty much talked into getting a Mac and running Windows in some form of virtual machine so I could still have access to it, but then I started hearing from friends I wouldn’t have expected to say such things that you know what, maybe you should stick to Windows because Apple’s been letting us down lately with their not fixing accessibility issues that have existed for freakin ever. But now, between a chat with somebody last week and this summary of some of the new things coming to OS X and iOS, I’m pretty much talked into a Mac again unless somebody shows me a dealbreaker.
Seriously, look at some of this stuff.
iCloud has been extended with a feature called iCloud Drive. This is a folder on your Mac that can hold files and subfolders, and all of it syncs across all your iCloud-connected devices. It struck me as a very similar feature to Dropbox, except more tightly integrated into OS X and iOS. There is even a version for Windows.
The pricing for iCloud has also been improved: 5gb is free, as always, but since Apple expects you to use your storage more, their paid plans have come down. Pay $0.99 per month for 20gb of space, or $3.99 per month for 200gb. Full pricing was not announced, but you can go up to 1tb (terabyte) if you want to, we just don’t know how much that will cost.
That’s hella cheap. If I can spend a tiny amount of money like that and know that not only is all my stuff backed up but that I can access it from anywhere via the iPod Touch and the iPhone I already own, I’d be an idiot not to take advantage of it. Between that and the external drive, I’d never have to worry about losing things or bitch about a lack of file portability again.
And then there’s Handoff, which sounds a bit like they may have made it just for me.
Say you are writing an email on your phone, and decide to finish it on your Mac, Simply walk up to your Mac, and you are asked if you want to keep writing the message. Say yes, and Mail (on the Mac) brings up a new message window with the text you’d already written, awaiting the rest of your input.
This goes the other way: write an email on your Mac, then grab your iPad, and you are asked if you want to keep working on the email. If you say yes, the iPad opens the message so you can continue typing.
Get a phone call on your iPhone: your Mac, so long as it is within range, displays who is calling and lets you answer the call. The mac turns into a big bluetooth speakerphone, letting you talk while at your computer, even if your iPhone is actually across the room charging, or still in your bag, or otherwise not within reach.
SMS messages now sync to your Mac through this new system, so that you can continue conversations on the Mac, even with people who are not using iMessages.
That sounds a little bit amazing, doesn’t it?
There’s a lot more to read up there, but those are the things that stuck out to me right away.
Aside from the obvious and not so obvious parts of the learning curve which I’m up for but that I know will absolutely piss me off more than a few times, I think my new computer decision is getting easier.