At the risk of alienating a lot of geeks, I have a confession to make: I used to believe that Brand Apple was too hyped up. I'm even more embarrassed to admit that this viewpoint was completely unmerited. Like many other, equally ignorant Apple critics, I had never even touched an iPod Touch, let alone owned that or any other Apple device.
Yes, I agreed that the company's products have always been easy on the eyes. I was even persuaded that it made sense for professionals in design and photography to use Macs.
From where I had been firmly ensconced behind Windows (often uncomfortably so, but never mind), I booed and hissed, mocking Apple fans from a distance and calling them cultish for buying into the hype. Of course, they were far too busy rocking out to their iPods and staring lovingly at the brilliant displays on their Macs to even notice the jealous whingeing going on around them. I've since choked on my uninformed opinion.
Just like Eve, I too have been seduced into taking a bite out of the - if not forbidden, exactly, very expensive - fruit. And oh my, has it been ever as sweet as its wholesome namesake! My temptation happened gradually. It took me becoming a technology blogger first to remove the peels from my eyes. Time after time, I noticed how the reviews of most new Apple devices were almost always as glowing as the logo on a Macbook's lid.
Then I began to flaunt my crush at every opportunity by lovingly stroking the Macbook Pros on display at the store. I listened to a few songs on my sister's iPod and suddenly, my vintage Creative Zen didn't sound up to snuff anymore. But Apple remained out of my reach due to budgetary constraints. So the Zen had to suffice for a while longer (at least I figured out that a bulky and heavy old mp3 player can pull double duty as a music provider AND a muscle building arm weight during workout sessions!).
Last year, during a trip to Taiwan, I finally became the proud owner of my very first Apple device when I bought an iPod Touch. The purchase was wholly justified. Back at home in South Africa, the Zen had finally given up the ghost (in the process killing my own zen-like feelings for it), so I was going to invest in a new mp3 player anyway. I was not necessarily planning on taking a bite out of Apple yet, but then my newly purchased digital point and shoot promptly gave out on me too, right in the middle of a snapshot worthy sunset in Danshui.
MyDL editor and fellow blogger Charmed, who had travelled to Taiwan with me, convinced me (quite easily) to go for the Touch, due to it's built-in front and rear camera. I have not regretted making that investment for a second. Apart from becoming my primary camera during my trip, I took advantage of the free and fast WiFi in Taiwan to download loads of cool apps.
When my sister bought herself a Kindle, I turned green with envy until I figured out that I could actually read eBooks on my Touch too, courtesy of the nifty Kindle app.
A while ago, as I was chatting to my brother-in law about his Kindle, I smugly told him about reading on my iPod. "What? No!" he said, sounding most incredulous and distressed. "You can't possibly read on a small screen like that! It must be far too terrible!" I assured him that it was fine, that I actually enjoyed reading that way, but he remained unconvinced.
Forward to this past Friday night when my sister came for a visit, bearing a spectacular gift for me from the aforementioned bro-in-law.
I'll give you a clue: I'm typing on it right now! Oh, all right, calm down already: I'll tell you! I have just become the proud and more spoilt-than-a-rotten-Apple owner of an iPad!!!!!! It is the previous generation, 64 GB, WiFi only version, and I'm still in utter stunned disbelief about it. I tried to turn it down (okay, so I didn't really want to, but it felt like the polite thing to do since it's way too extravagant a gift), but he and my sister would have none of it.Says it was just a white elephant to him and he knows I would get far more use out of it! And he is right.
Four days in, and I can't believe I ever read, let alone enjoyed reading, on the tiny screen of the Touch! I'm writing on this bad boy, reading, listening to music, writing this blog post on it... I don't know how I've ever survived without it!
And yes, I have to admit, I experience a frisson of pure pleasure every time I get to send off an e-mail with the signature "Sent from my iPad" unabashedly at the bottom...