My bag is so heavy and it's all Apple's fault (and mine)
The iPhone replaced my standalone camera, removed the need for a separate calculator and hey, I don't even need to buy flashlight for camping. Yet my bag is still chock full as ever thanks largely to Apple gadgets. Am I doing it wrong? Sometimes when on a train platform I see people wearing a thin jacket, a set of Apple EarPods and an iPhone, and that's it. Presumably their iPhone acts as their Doctor Who-style Sonic Screwdriver.
Maybe it's because I am tech nut, plus a teacher with a pile of marking, but my bag is always stuffed with papers, an iPad Mini, a MacBook if I have to bring work home with me, a charger, a packed lunch, water (very important) and all kinds of other bleep. On my wrist is my Apple Watch. My Bluetooth headphones are big and so their case also gets thrown into the rucksack. My Sonic Screwdriver - the iPhone 6s Plus - is somewhere in my over-sized coat that Londoners wear when they have no idea what the weather will do, which is most days in May.
First world problems I completely acknowledge, but ever since high school I have always managed to convince myself that everything must come along for the ride. All that has happened is that my MacBook has replaced my textbooks. Yet why, in this age of portable devices that supposedly replace everything from MP3 players to alarm clocks, do I seem more heavily laden than ever, even when these devices are getting thinner and lighter? I know I don't need all this stuff - the Anker portable charger is never used given the excellent battery life of the 6 Plus. I also have a big bag and, like a big road, if you provide capacity the cars will come.
In theory, I should buy an iPad Pro with its pen and its keyboard, and ditch everything else, right? Yet Apple has taught me that I should aim to have, nay, demand, the best experience for every task. Hence when I type, I want a keyboard I like and a device that allows for multiple windows to be open and viewable at once. Say hello to MacBook. Say almost hello to split screen on iPad. Yet for commuting on packed tube trains during the rush hour, nothing compares to the lightness of my iPad Mini 4 when I wish to read a long-form article or watch the next episode of Game of Thrones (sheepishly, given the graphic content). Let's keep that mini in the bag then. What's more, don't forget the iPhone 6s Plus. Thumb typing on the mini when Facebooking or Twittering isn't comfortable. When I receive texts or need to do something fairly quickly, such as look up the next train time, the iPhone is best in class. This device is always with me and of course has a great camera, so when I am going to the park with my kids it's a no brainer. Yes, the Mac stays at home. For the quickest, simplest of tasks, such as telling the time, setting a timer or using Apple Pay, the Apple Watch comes out on top. So I'll grab that too, and perhaps a few peripherals for good measure that, you guessed it, get chucked into the bag.
Ultimately, Apple has made a suite of devices that do lots of things fairly well. Yet each performs a task or two in which it excels that leaves me tempted to take it with me. This reality makes choosing an Apple product increasingly difficult, especially on a tight budget. Buy solely an iPhone and reading strains your eyes. Opt for a Mac and, despite the glorious Retina displays of the new models, watching TV is, duh, better on Apple TV. Given that most of us perform a great variety of actions on our devices, and that budget constraints limit just how many of these gadgets we can physically own, it is quite likely that compromises have to be made. Apple is clearly attempting to limit the extent of these with the release of cross-over devices like the iPad Pro, which seeks to break out of that tablet’s comfort zone as a consumption device. Yet still, in 2016 at least, if you want the very best experience for all the tasks you perform during a day, and you are an Apple fan like me, your bag will continue to weigh you down.
Perhaps Apple will make a bag.