Techuisite Digest

09.30.2023: iPhone Titanium’s, iPad-Only thoughts, AirPods Pro 2 AppleCare+ Frenzy

I want to do at least two of these Chronicles a month. Ideally, I would like to do one weekly, but once I get some paid subscribers, I will put a couple behind a paywall and the rest free for everyone. Substack feels like a more personal space to share thoughts and things that don't necessarily fit in a normal blog post. So here are some updates and additional thoughts from me since two weeks ago. 

iPhones Pro Titanium

Man, oh man, does the new iPhone Pro in the Natural Titanium look good. I didn't buy one, don't worry, but wow, is that phone pretty. It is crazy how much new material, slightly different colors, and very minimal changes to the bezel can make a phone look so different and desirable while looking almost identical to the one before it. Apple is good at what it does. 

The best part about the iPhone launch this year is that I don't feel the urge to buy the new iPhone because of my detox of all things technology for almost 10 months. I have been slowly subscribing to tech podcasts, and I started using Overcast again on my phone, but my obsession before the new year has subsided. 

I can listen, watch, and look at people buying and sharing new phones without getting one myself. I have written many posts over the years of wanting to get to this point, and I am happy that the break of leaving technology behind helped me finally get there.

As for the iPhone Pros, I am happy Apple continues to innovate, and I look forward to upgrading my phone to the 15 Pro or 16 Pro next year. The Action Button seems more useful than a mute slider, and the cameras on the Max make me wonder if I should go all out next time and get the biggie. 

Since my very first iPhone, the first ever iPhone, Apple has made me want the next version. To this day, Apple still has that ability; it is a gift but a very scary consumerism trap many fall into. If you can afford it and it makes you happy, go for it. No judgment here. I am just glad my relationship with technology is getting better.

Side note: after writing my thoughts above and before publishing. I was able to stop by an Apple Store while running errands this afternoon and the phone does definitely feel lighter. The Natural Titanium, does look really great but so does the White color in my opinion. The Max does not feel that much heavier than the non-Max-Pro, and the slightly smaller size makes a difference. Definitely will consider the Max more when I upgrade next.

I did also run over to the FineWoven cases, and I honestly didn’t think the fabric felt that bad. For $59 I agree with most that it is not worth it. Especially with the sides being plastic and not also FineWoven. The Dark Blue and Black ones seemed to be in pretty good shape, but the Taupe colored one had some very noticeable scratches.

Returning to iPad-Only Additional Thoughts

After writing two posts this month about using the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard again full-time, I apologize if you are tired of it. I did want to touch on a few things from my last post, My Return To The iPad-only Life

I wanted to do something slightly different in this post instead of the usual; this is how I plan to use the iPad Pro compared to the Mac or these are all the things the iPad Pro will be replacing in my life. I instead focused on the things that make the iPad Pro shine. 

I didn't emphasize enough how much I prefer doing these things on the iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard over the Mac. That is ultimately why I ended up selling my MacBook Pro and keeping this iPad Pro full-time.

The versatility of turning my computer into a laptop or tablet is magical. Face ID makes this the most futuristic computer, other than the iPhone, that I have ever used. The small things about using the iPad make it so great to use full-time. And I can't get over how beautiful the display is. ProMotion is wonderful, and the crisp resolution makes me want to use it for hours. 

One last thing I didn't mention in my post but wanted to touch on here is the price of this setup. I found a 2020 iPad Pro 11-inch 256 GB Wi-Fi-Cellular for under $600 renewed on Amazon. I also found a 2nd Generation Magic Keyboard, labeled refurbished, on Amazon for under $150. So, for around $750, I got this setup. 

It is pricey. My MacBook Pro cost me under $650, so I had to pay a premium for getting this setup instead, but the cost overall was worth it. I hope Apple continues to support the 2020 iPad Pro for a few more years. They almost limited Stage Manager to just M1 iPad Pros before iPadOS 16 launched; let's hope that doesn't happen again for future releases. 

AirPods Pro AppleCare+ Frenzy

I did want to leave you with one last strange story. As discussed several times, the AirPods are one of my all-time favorite gadgets, not just by Apple, but literally of all time. They have changed my life in so many ways, so I cherish and use them all-day-everyday.

So when I tell you I was heartbroken when I lost an AirPod one day after leaving a Subway, you have no idea. I drove back to see if I could find it, but I didn't know if it was at the restaurant or the park.  

I made the same mistake last time I lost and broke an AirPod; I didn't put it back in the case but instead put it in my pocket on top of something else, which allowed the AirPod to flop out once I pulled out whatever was below it. It could have been my keys, wallet, or something of my wife's that I usually hold for her. (Like her phone, keys, or wallet).

Anyway, the AirPod was gone. So I was left with just the left AirPod Pro 2 for almost two weeks before I decided to cough up the money and get a replacement from Apple. $108 later, and I got two AirPods again. Apple makes replacing these much easier now since you can just choose to replace one on the Apple Support app.

The AirPod showed up at my door a day and a half later. But the fun continued after opening up the new AirPod and following the instructions in the box to add it to my AirPods Pro case. The amber light on the case just kept blinking. I tried resetting them and also forgetting them completely from my device, but every time I would hold the back button and the light would start flashing white, which was pairing mode, then would beep and start blinking amber again. 

They absolutely would not connect. I tried following many KBAs and YouTube videos to troubleshoot with no success. One thing I was able to do was connect just one AirPod. To do this, I would just take one out of the case, leave one in, and start the pairing mode. I got it to connect and used just the right AirPod again until I reached out to AppleCare+ a couple of days later. 

After researching before contacting AppleCare, I think the problem was that the AirPods were connected to my phone with iOS 17 running on it before and after the lost AirPod. For some time, it was the Public Beta, but then the GM later. I noticed that when I connected the replacement AirPod only, it was on an older firmware version than what iOS 17 offered for the AirPods. My theory was that the AirPods were on different firmware, causing the issue. 

I could never upgrade the older AirPod and ultimately had Apple send me replacements for everything. I think just getting two new AirPods would have resolved the issue, but at that point, I didn't want to risk it and assumed the case may be a problem, too, so I just wanted everything new. And that is where I am today with a fresh new AirPods Pro 2 and an unscratched case that has worked flawlessly. 

Moral of the story—try not to lose AirPods. It is the worst.

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Jamie Larson