Apple has had a blizzard of new releases over the past few weeks. The most anticipated of those was the iPhone 13 but there was also the new Apple Watch and the new Apple Silicon-powered MacBook Pro.
My daily driver gear was ready for an upgrade, and so here I am with a new iPhone 13 Pro Max, a 44mm black aluminum Apple Watch Series 7, and a 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro.
It's all fun and games, right?
My iPhone 13 experience got off to a bad start. iOS 15 was rough, and I felt very much like I was a beta tester.
The problem wasn't the hardware but the software. iOS 15 was a buggy mess, and I could do less with my new iPhone than I could with my two-year-old iPhone 11 Pro Max running iOS 14.
That was a weird experience, and in many ways, tainted my view of the iPhone 13. I know that this is always the case -- living on the bleeding edge, you're likely to get cut -- but it feels like Apple is now so caught up in the lockstep of a yearly iPhone release that the company will release a product that it has to know will offer a shoddy user experience with the idea of fixing it later.
That's quite a slippery slope that Apple is on there.
Since then, iOS 15.0.1 has bought some much-needed improvements, but what Apple giveth with one release seems to have been taken away by iOS 15.1.
So, I'm waiting for iOS 15.1.1.
This is now becoming a normal part of iPhone ownership, and quite frankly, I hate it.
For the past few years, iOS releases have gone through rocky patches.
OK, bugs happen and are an inevitable part of coding, but not only does Apple have an active beta program, but it controls the entire hardware and software ecosystem.
How so many iPhone bugs manage to sneak in under the radar is quite worrying.
My Apple Watch Series 7 is in a better state.
Everything seems to work fine on it, and I like the fast-charge feature. I have noticed that there's something weird with the feature that unlocks my iPhone when I'm wearing a mask. Not only have I noticed that it unlocks my iPhone when I'm not wearing a mask, but I've had it unlock my iPhone while it's in my pocket a couple of times.
I'm also waiting for apps to start making proper use of the increased display size. Right now, apps work fine, but they could be designed to make better use of the display.
As for the MacBook Pro, that's a perfect beast of a workhorse.
As I've documented previously, the migration process from an old Mac to a new Mac makes me not want to buy a new Mac for a long time, but the system itself has been flawless.
It's by far the fastest, coolest, quietest laptop I've ever used. It's been so cool and quiet that the other day I manually turned the fans on to make sure they worked.
The battery life is unbelievable. I think it's been charged up four times since I took delivery of it, and it's crazy just how little I worry about battery life.
And the M1 Pro combined with 32GB of unified memory and 1TB of storage is more power than I need right now, so hopefully, this system has a few years in it before it will need replacing.
Oh, and on a side note, my AirPods Pro buds -- less than two years old -- had to be replaced by Apple because they developed that problem where they make a static, crackling sound.
I'm awaiting replacements as I type this.
Overall, I feel that Apple's hardware is still second to none.
The problem is the software.
iOS is a mess. And parts of macOS, such as the migration tool, are a mess. They're old problems now, making themselves at home on new hardware.
Apple is working so hard to push new hardware out the door that it's putting sales ahead of the user experience. A brand new, $1,000 product like the iPhone 13 Pro Max shouldn't feel like a buggy mess, and yet that's the situation we have.
macOS doesn't feel as bad. In fact, I feel like this is the Apple platform that's given me the least number of headaches over the past few years.
It just works.
I wish the same could be said for iOS.