It is a good idea to consider this for your 2016-18 Mac Book Pro 13 with Touch Bar
My clients using Android are dwindling and I only have a handful that are really loyal to the Android platform. I try to do this for you every once in a while. Here is your State of Android address — as I see it.
Best Android Phones of the Year in My Opinion
Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+
One Plus 6 https://www.oneplus.com/6 (does not work on Verizon – fully compatible with TMobile and ATT). They are an independent brand focused on the US market for the past 5 years.
Budget Phone: Moto G6 ($240 full price — hard to beat. Verizon compatible plus the other carriers. )
Nokia is coming on strong — they are back in the phone business. Not all of their phones are US compatible but some are. These phones are also part of the Android One which means they will get mandatory updates per google. Again they would be an ATT / Tmobile compatible phone.
I would always tell someone buying an Android phone — buy it within 6 months of its release because even the best phones will get new version updates for only 2 years and security updates for 3 (Moto won’t even promise this but Samsung, Google, LG, One Plus will on their top tier phones)
Google will be releasing their latest version of the Pixel phone the fall. It should be a very feature competitive offering on par with the best in the market. Their phones used to have the Nexus brand but since 2016, they have moved up market with a new brand name.
What Android Tablets
I think Android tablets (with the exception of Amazon’s Fire tablets) are totally dead. With Apple pricing the “regular iPad” at $329, they have basically killed the Android tablet market.
My Final Thoughts
Even though I am a day in and day out iPhone user, there are some things I think that are better on the Android platform. I think the integration of Google voice search in everything is superb. I think Google’s voice dictation is far better than Apple’s Siri. While not particularly applicable (I almost typed Apple-icable) to my clients, Android gives the user the freedom to do whatever they want with the phone. Do you want a Microsoft “desktop” (home screen launcher) on your phone instead of the default Google or Samsung one? That’s possible with Android.
Since I support both platforms, Mac and Windows, I have regularly dealt with clients who switched between the two over the years. Users make the jump from Windows to Mac or the other way around for various reasons: cost, desire to run a specific application, or even frustration with a particular brand. I think I speak for a lot of us by saying we do most of our “work” in the browser (be it Safari, Chrome, or Firefox). Unlike a decade ago, the Mac and Windows versions of Microsoft Office are very much on par today. Therefore, if the browser and Microsoft Office were the only two things that mattered, you could use either a Mac or Windows PC. Well, our lives are a little bit more complicated than that. The greatest impediments to switching, even when you really want to, are PLATFORM SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS. The proprietary app that comes to mind is Apple Photos (formerly known as iPhoto, pre-2015). No Windows version exists. If you have just a bunch of loose, unorganized photos on a Mac — switching to Windows is not a big deal. However, if those photos were organized into dozens of albums in the Photos application, switching becomes a real mess. A Mac user probably has an iPhone or an iPad (or both). Their photos are likely backed up to iCloud Photo Library. The good news is that those photos can be managed on the iCloud.com, web version of Photos from a Windows PC or in the Photos iOS app. If it’s just a matter of organizing and sharing them, this is possible for a Mac to Windows switcher. Truth be told, when there are thousands or tens of thousands of photos in Photos and you have divided them into MULTIPLE PHOTOS LIBRARIES — there is no turning back. You really have to stay with the Mac. Hard core Windows users run into the same dilemma. You may have have a Windows-only program that you can’t live with out, but you really want to use Mac hardware. There is a simple answer. For the past decade plus, Mac owners have been able to run Windows on their systems. Windows can be run separately or inside the mac OS. I serve the flexible and the die hards.
New Mac Laptops
I have shared in the past about the tragedy of the 2016-17 Mac Book Pro laptops. I have gone into even greater lengths about the problems, specifically the keyboards, with my Mac clients. Just to recap, there are lawsuits and official Apple Repair Program in place. Well, well. That’s changed last Thursday. Apple came out with new 13 and 15 inch Mac Book Pro models. The keyboard is not totally different, but is improved. For specific details on the 2018 keyboards, see this. https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/13/ifixit-butterfly-keyboard-silicone-barrier/ Given this fix and that the processors are a big leap forward, I am giving the greenlight on the 2018 MacBook Pros. The new models start at $1799 and I think that one (13 inch) in particular would be plenty of computing power for the kind of client that I serve. The question I have is — what will become of the lower priced Mac Book Pros? If you go to Apple.com, you will see that the 13 inch Pro actually starts at $1299. However, the $1299 and $1499 models were not updated last week. Is Apple just going to sell of the remaining stock and not revamp these models? I don’t know. I wouldn’t touch them in their 2017 configurations. The word on the street is that Apple should be coming out with a new consumer focused laptop, perhaps even at a $999 price point, in the fall. Fingers crossed. I think that such a Mac would also be very appealing to my clients. Keep in mind that the two current “consumer” models, the Mac Book Air and Mac Book are priced at $999 and $1299 respectively.
Update on Windows 10 – 1803
I thoroughly researched the latest version of Windows 10 – version 1803 — that began rolling out to users worldwide on April 30th. There were a small but significant number of problems. I relayed the horror story that one of my clients had to go through with this upgrade. Sadly, she found out after the fact that her PC was not compatible. However, Microsoft has had time to make this right. There have been three months of regular, 2nd Tuesday, Windows updates since 4/30 and even some additional updates to button things up. Microsoft said recently — version 1803 is Ready for Business. OK then. I decided to put them to the test. I upgraded my Dell Latitude laptop on Monday. No hiccups. It runs like it always has. Some of you have put the 120 delay on the “feature updates” (new versions of Windows). You can leave it in place. This new version will likely get pushed out to you in early September.