Mario Villalobos

To Tweak or Not to Tweak (Part 3)

I bought my first iPhone in the fall of 2012. It was the iPhone 5, the first iPhone with the 4” screen, and my first smartphone ever. I loved it immediately. So much, in fact, that I annoyed my sister by all the time I spent on it instead of, I don’t know, helping her raise my nieces or cleaning the house or whatever. At this point, I had my mom’s old Acer laptop that ran like shit and felt like shit and was simply shit, so my new iPhone was my newer, shinier, and better computer. It transformed my life. Up to the time before I bought this magical device, I was so fed up with Windows that I was super into Linux and open source software that I was seriously considering adopting the entire open source software movement. You know, Ubuntu Linux, Firefox, GNUCash, OpenOffice, etc. But once I bought my iPhone, I was quickly converted to the shrine of Apple.

For the next 8 months or so, I struggled to reconcile these two competing forces, having a Windows computer with a phone based on the Mac OS. At one point, I simply gave up and took a gamble: I would buy the best MacBook Air I could buy by applying for my first credit card. I spent the $1,800, received my Mac, and for the next two weeks, prayed that the world would burn so I can go out on a fire and somehow pay my balance off. Fortunately, I did, by going on a 12 day fire and earning over $2,000. When my Mac arrived, and I opened her up and started playing with it, my world changed forever. Everything was gorgeous. The design of the machine, which is so light and thin and beautiful, from the best trackpad and keyboard in the world, to a great (albeit non-retina) screen, to the beautiful Aqua design of OS X Mountain Lion, I was hooked. But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was when my iPhone talked to my Mac for the first time ever.

The best thing about owning a Mac and being a Mac user is the interactivity between it and the iPhone. All my iOS apps that had Mac counterparts, apps like Mail and Safari and Notes and Music, synced over seamlessly and quickly. I bought Tweetbot on my Mac and saw how my tweet read position synced over from its iOS app and was like, wow! I bought more Mac apps that had iOS companion apps and saw them all talk back to each other, and I knew I couldn’t go back, nor would I want to. There is no Windows machine out there that can talk to any non-iPhone phone the way a Mac talks to an iPhone. And this was 2013.

We’re now in 2015, and with OS X Yosemite, Apple introduced one of the best features of all time: Continuity and Handoff. With Continuity, I could take phone calls — phone calls!!! — on my Mac. Same with SMS messages, particularly from non-iPhone users. With Handoff, I could be reading a page on Safari on my iPhone and open it in Safari on my Mac with a single click and vice-versa. I could have a photo I’m editing on my Mac and, with a simple swipe up, can open it on my iPhone right where I left off. These devices aren’t isolated little islands, but extensions of each other, and this companionship has changed my life for the better.

And shit, I haven’t even mentioned my iPad.