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Apple products I like
With the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) just around the corner, and in honor of CEO Tim Cook's hour-long grilling by WSJ's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, I decided it was time to say something actually nice about the company.
Y'all (I spent an hour listening to Cook's Alabama drawl) know I've occasionally been a teensy bit hard on Apple over the years, but that's because it's part of my job as a technology columnist to hold the company to a high standard.
Now, I'll admit I prefer Windows over the Mac's OS X, but that doesn't mean I haven't bought Apple products. In fact, I have five Macs now (okay, so three of them run only Windows). My wife and I have iPhones and iPads, and we've got a bunch of other Apple products including a complete set of 4th generation iPod shuffles in every color.
Granted, the iPod shuffle collection wasn't my idea, but that doesn't mean I'm not an Apple user. Heck, I used to head up a team at Apple, way back in the day.
Given all my grousing, I'm often asked if there are any Apple products I actually like. The answer is yes. On the following pages are five Apple products I like quite a bit. I'll tell you my favorite product at the end of this piece.
For now, let's start with one of my most used.
Apple Wireless Keyboard
I never thought I'd like so-called "Chiclet" keyboards, until I started using Apple's. My wife and I needed a small form-factor keyboard to use with our media center PC (yes, PC) and we found that the Apple Wireless Keyboard was reliable, convenient, and surprisingly easy to type on.
We now have four of these in Camp David, including one that is actually connected to a Mac, used in the studio. I'm starting to replace this keyboard with the Logitech K810, primarily because the K810 is both illuminated and supports three different Bluetooth devices simultaneously, but I don't like that I have to charge it, rather than just replace the batteries. Because you can simply swap batteries, the Apple keyboard is a win.
Even though I've added the Logitech to the mix, I'm actively using my Apple Wireless Keyboards every day, and probably will continue to do so until they die.
Product page: Apple Wireless Keyboard
Let's count my Apple TV's, shall we? There are two in the gym (an original first-generation unit and a second-gen hockey puck). There's a third Apple TV attached to the entertainment center.
I hacked the first-gen unit and installed XBMC on it. We use it to watch video and play tunes from our media tank. I use it when on the treadmill, but I tend to like quiet when lifting. The second-gen unit in the gym is tuned to my wife's Netflix account, and she watches that when exercising.
I've been persuaded not to hack the current-gen Apple TV in the media center rack, especially since I have a nice XBMC-running Windows 8 machine already in the rack.
I don't watch much iTunes video on the media center Apple TV, but my wife and I use it constantly to watch Netflix. So far, the very best Netflix interface we've seen is on the Apple TV. For ninety-nine bucks and a Netflix subscription, it's a heck of a lot of entertainment that's hard to beat.
Product page: Apple TV