How many Apple devices do you own and use? For me, I have an iMac on the desk in my cubicle at work, carry a MacBook Air when I travel, but for shorter trips I take the iPad Air instead, and, of course, the iPhone goes everywhere.
That’s four Apple devices. Yes, they love me in Cupertino. I’m Brooklyn’s Poster Child for Apple Inc. But the question I have is simple. “How many Apple devices do you need?” The answer is subjective, of course– everyone’s computing needs are different.
I ask the question because I read James Kendrick’s article on the gear that keeps him mobile. His desktop has a Kindle Fire HDX, a MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, an iPad Air, an iPhone, an Asus Transformer Book T100, an Acer 720 Chromebook, and a lot of wires.
Tablet sales have been tanking for the PC industry, and Apple’s own iPad has hit the skids with dropping sales. Maybe that’s a sign of the times. We have too many devices to carry around.
For me, the iPhone goes everywhere because it’s also a phone. If the iPad Air or mini came with calling capability, that might later the landscape a bit, but for now, the iPhone is a necessity.
As for MacBook Air and iPad Air, the biggest different between the two are applications (those on the Mac are usually more powerful), and input (the Mac has a built-in keyboard, while the iPad Air uses the onscreen keyboard; convenient, but not good for anything more than a few moments of typing).
Yes, you can add a good keyboard to the iPad Air, but then it weighs and costs nearly the same as the entry-level MacBook Air, which is a more powerful device.
If I were forced into a minimalist role I would drop the iPad Air. It doesn’t do anything the MacBook Air can’t do, though it does less (and at a pound, easy to toss into a backpack). The desktop iMac I use in the cubicle farm at work is quad-core loaded with RAM and storage, but it runs the same apps as I carry on the MacBook Air, so I could go all minimalist on my bad self and plug and external display into the Mac notebook and save money.
So, in a pinch, the iMac and iPad Air could be sacrificed, and only the MacBook Air and iPhone become necessities. That’s still two devices. Could I function with only one device? Probably not, and that’s because of the professional level apps that run on the MacBook Air which do not run on the iPhone.
What’s your situation? How many devices do you use for your computing chores now? Could you get down to a single device? Would you go for a hybrid iOS-OS X device with a keyboard and calling capability?