If you talk about Apple to people these days, they automatically think of one of the companies mobile devices: iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Seldom do you hear the Mac at the start of those conversations.
Part of that is Apple’s decision, and to be honest, it was a good decision. Apple took advantage of and revolutionized mobile devices—they changed the way we look at mobile, and the things we can do with our devices. The decision to follow mobile made Apple the company it is today.
The big question is, where does that leave the Mac?
I’ve been asked that question more and more over the past few months, and while I can see why, I think the Mac is in a solid place at Apple, and in the market.
Years ago, when Apple started focusing more of its resources on iOS development, I did wonder where the Mac would land in the shakeout. As it turns out, the Mac is selling, and outselling the PC industry trends, quite nicely.
There are a couple of things that allowed strong Mac growth: the Mac hardware itself, and ironically, the changes to iOS (and OS X).
Like the other products in its portfolio, the Mac has been leading the way in the computer market over the years. From the MacBook Air to advances in battery technology, the Mac has continued to change with better technologies.
For me, the battery has probably been the single biggest advancement. I can work most of the day on my 11-inch MacBook Air, and it’s a couple of years old now. The new ones are even better—I just bought my son a new 13-inch MacBook Air and he says the battery last him all day at college.
Of course, the power of the Mac is important, and something we take for granted now. The original MacBook Air wasn’t that powerful at all—the idea of the computer was good, but the execution wasn’t. The new ones are very powerful—I regularly run Pro Tools on mine and it does just fine.
While the changes to the hardware were, and continue to be, important, the changes to the software are what really ease my mind about the Mac’s place at Apple.
When Apple started talking about iOS and OS X in the same breath, you just knew that some type of integration between the OSes was going to happen, and it did. If you look at the new features of OS X Yosemite, many have to do with iOS and what you’re doing on your mobile devices. These aren’t one-sided features either, they’re equally useful on an iOS device and Mac.
Take as examples, Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and the ability to answer calls on your Mac. These are features that make the entire experience of being a Mac or iOS user even better. It’s not about one or the other, this is about being an Apple user.
Are there things that Apple could be doing better? Yes, of course, and there always will be.
Apple is heading down an unknown road in 2015 with the Apple Watch. It’s going to be interesting to see where the next big product goes this year, but they’ve done a good job of solidifying the Mac’s place alongside its iOS devices in the last couple of years.
The Mac is still incredibly important in my daily life and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.