With 2018 coming to a close and most hardware for the year being released I’d like to get a conversation started on what hardware stood out to you in 2018. Maybe give your personal favorite piece of gear you received/bought in 2018 and objectively, what was the best in your opinion and why. If I get a lot of feedback maybe i’ll tally up all the votes in a few weeks and see what came out on top.
HomePod + Apple Music subscription. After poopooing HomePod during the long runup to its release, I took the plunge. HomePod and a subscription to Apple Music, which I had avoided for years, has changed the way I listen to music. Never thought I’d say that! All at once, I love the convenience of bossing Siri around and Impatiently await Apple’s fix to it.
The HomePod(s) and the S4 watch changed, more than anything else, how I spend my time (inside and outside the home, respectively.) I don’t know whether to give it to the HomePod for being a new category for Apple or the Watch for making the S4 jump so surprisingly significant.
I’ve had my HomePod for a month and really like it. Asking Siri questions can take an infuriatingly long time - up to a second longer than with a cheap $30 Echo Dot - but the sound quality is excellent and overall I am quite pleased with it.
The only other piece of Apple gear I bought this year was the iPhone XS Max. The speed and fit/finish is superb, although I cannot help but feel that the main advantage I got over a much less expensive XR was the better camera. I’m loving the images I shoot with it, but I till feel the sting of the cost I spent.
My most favorite new personal hardware in 2018 has to be some moderately expensive pens I bought this year, one a Japanese fountain pen, one a German roller ball. I use them every day and immensely enjoy using them when I do.
My three pieces of Apple hardware in 2018 were (in order of purchase):
I love all three – using them has been better than I expected it to be. My Airpods were good from the getgo, except that they could fit better, but replacing my aging iPhone has made them work beautifully, the Bluetooth signal strong enough to cover my two bedroom apartment. I’m still getting used to the size of the phone, which is huge after being used to my 5s, but I love face id. The Homepod is working just like I imagined it, filling my space with music. An added feature are the bad jokes Siri offers when asked. It’s been a good Apple year. My husband recently upgraded our Apple TV to 4K, but I haven’t used it enough to appreciate the difference.
Outside Apple gear, my favorite find of the year is the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook – the first journal I’ve found that my fountain pen inks never leak through. Recommend highly.
I bought AirPods for my wife and son, and they both love them.
My wife has this habit of walking around the house listening to an audiobook through her iPhone’s speakerphone, and I’ve bought my wife any number of headphones over the years and she has never used any of them, until the AirPods.
My son (16) absolutely loves them and uses them almost every day. (I think I technically gave him the AirPods for Christmas last year, but I’m counting it as in the past 365 days
I bought myself an iPhone XS Max and love Face ID and the full-screen phone. It’s basically the reason I’m buying a new iPad Pro. If they made an Xr “Max” I probably would have been happy with that.
My wife also finally upgraded her iPhone SE to an iPhone X and loves Face ID because Touch ID never worked for her (her hands are always cold and she’s sure that’s why it didn’t work).
My big “tech gift” for this upcoming Christmas is a Wi-Fi picture frame that I ordered for my Mom. I’m hoping that it will be something all 3 of her (now grown and out of the house) kids can send pictures to so she can keep up with us even when we live in different states.
Oh, and I bought Homekit-compatible Wi-Fi garage door openers for us, but haven’t installed them yet. Maybe those will be on next year’s list.
#1 without question is my new iPad Pro 12.9". I am completely in love with this machine and I think it will be the one that allows me to ditch the laptop and go iPad + iMac.
The iPhone XS is another standout for me. I upgraded from an iPhone 7, so this is my first phone with FaceID and the dual camera system. Not quite the paradigm shift that the new iPad Pro was for me, but still a great upgrade.
I didn’t buy much this year, but the one and only thing that stood out was the Series 4 Apple Watch. Primarily the fall detection but also the improved heart rate monitoring. Bought two, for my wife and myself. We average 72 years old. If we were in our 50’s probably nothing would have stood out.
I joined the thousands/millions that got a Max iPhone. Wonderous as an iTouch that can place calls. Replace my Plantronics Backbeat Fit earphones that I destroyed with another set. Perfect fit for my specific wants…