Of all the things I expected to have to think about with a move from the lush green Pacific Northwest to sunny Southern California, I didn't consider reworking most aspects of how I use my various electronics.
The Bose QC35 headphones I love so much? Well, those don't work so well when I'm wearing sunglasses everywhere I go. And they really don't work when it's anywhere over 70 degrees and my head starts to sweat. I've switched to my Galaxy Buds more frequently, as well as the OnePlus Bullets Wireless V2.
The Pixel 3 XL I use for its simple software and stellar camera? Well, I can't see anything on this subpar screen in the sun ... and it's making me ponder a switch back to the Galaxy S10+ just for the screen brightness and clarity in all lighting conditions. Thankfully I haven't faced any notable issues with damp fingers and fingerprint sensors, though I know many people do.
The beautiful and protective fabric case on my Pixel 3 XL? That's also a problem — sweaty hands and time by the water (pool or ocean, take your pick) aren't great companions for fabric cases. At least it's washable, but it's already looking worse for wear. (Trying to use my phone while eating a messy taco is my fault, though.)
And just to make sure I get another jab in at Apple's laughably useless TouchBar on the MacBook Pro, it's even less useful completely washed out by the sun so you have to cup your hand over it just to see where you're tapping. There's something perfectly ironic about not being able to turn up your screen brightness to use your laptop because you can't see the TouchBar in the first place. A truly terrible idea that I hope Apple abandons.
Having to rethink how I use my gadgets was the last thing on my mind when moving.
Even with all of my time traveling, I took any adaptations I had to make for a new place as being temporary. I changed how I did things, and went right back to the way I knew before without much thought. Now that I'm living somewhere new, I'm forming all sorts of new normals. These are, indeed, some of the most "first world problems" sorts of realizations. But this isn't a complaint, so much as a reminder to keep these experiences in mind when looking at coverage of consumer electronics.
Making all of these little revelations really just points to the fact that we should keep our minds open when it comes to how people use their phones and everything associated with them. Much like Daniel discovered while living in Turkey for over a month, and we see time and time again as we travel around the world to do this awesome job, people in different places have different needs from their devices. We all have access to the same gear, more or less, but how we use it can be dramatically different — and play into our buying decisions in the first place.
We all have access to the same gear, but how we use it can be dramatically different.
To close out, I want to give a huge shoutout to our own Rene Ritchie for his very timely and insightful take on the Jony Ive departure this week. (Also available in video form!) Few people have the breadth and depth of knowledge of Apple and Ive that Rene do. You can find flaws with some of Apple's designs over the last few decades, but you can't say that Ive didn't have a massive impact on how the entire industry designed its products while he was at Apple — seeing him make a move will undoubtedly have some kind of effect on companies other than just Apple.
Hope all of you in the U.S. celebrating July 4 — or Canada Day, for our friends to the north — have a safe and fun extended weekend. I know I will!
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