In this article:
Apple news as on April 2020. Matterport and Insta360 apps are first designed for the iOS platform.

With the recent release of the iPhone SE (2020) and iPad Pro, things are looking cooler than ever. Let’s have a high-level look at some of the Apple devices and whether you should consider them. These unbiased reviews are not just for the 360-degree photography enthusiasts, though.

A couple years back, Mark Zuckerberg retorted to Tim Cook’s statement about monetizing (making revenue from) the platform in the context of privacy concerns. Zuckerberg called the comments “glib.” To understand what glib means, you may think of it as China asking the U.S. to do some “soul-searching” when China was asked to curb the global pollution levels, owing to aggressive industrialization.

Coming back, Tim Cook said Facebook need not advertise at the cost of user privacy, and Apple doesn’t do that. Zuckerberg explained that Facebook is free for all, and running ads was necessary to sustain it as a business. On the same note, he also mentioned that Apple was “catering only to the rich.”
Fast forward to April 2020; we have the iPhone SE. Why is this particularly special? The new SE’s price point could make it a worthy upgrade for a wider range of the masses. The new phone may not be over-priced, but it sure doesn’t compromise on those factors that matter the most.

Features I can't Live Without:

No hanging, please! The latest processor, the A13, is the engine behind the car. Never mind racing ahead, it should be able to handle the bumpy roads – and the SE does that with style. Similar to an iPhone 11, VR and AR capabilities are practical only with a powerful chip.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are the other features that are warmly welcome in this new device:

  • Aluminum body
  • Wireless charging
  • Small form
  • Water and dust-proof
  • Fingerprint sensor – home button
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi 6

Let’s not get into the detailed specs and comparisons – the internet is flooded with that information anyway. Is this something that I would buy for myself?

As a Google Local Guide and a Trusted Photographer, I need more sophisticated cameras in my phone even without the usual equipment. While I’m inclined to go for the 11 Pro after the lockdown, I’m not waiting for the iPhone 12 to be released.

A quick note for 360-degree degree photographers – you might want to consider this device if you’ve been an Android loyalist. Insta360 devices are primarily built for iOS. To use a Matterport Pro2, you must have one of the newer models of an iPhone or iPad, with tons of memory. 

A Really Portable Laptop

Kids and seniors would probably find a touch screen interface easier to use, compared to a laptop computer. The new iPad Pro comes with an Apple-designed keyboard and trackpad that’s been refined based on countless feedback from older versions.
Another feature worthy of mention is the pencil, which takes designing to the next level. It can also be used for taking notes and marking content while browsing the web. 
Those who would like to learn coding but find it overwhelmingly complicated might want to consider Swift Playgrounds. This is an app that can be used on an iPad. Here, the programming language is made interactive and easier to learn.


The new iPad Pro can be a game-changer for many industries, such as real estate, interior design, fitness and education. Although AR functionalities are better than ever, we now have a new cool new feature – a Lidar scanner!
If you’ve been playing around with Google’s AR rendering of animals at home recently, that’s a sample of the possibilities of this technology. Lidar gives more information to apps, in terms of the depth of a room and other details. The iPad is no longer just a mobile with a large screen or a scaled-down computer – this is the best of both worlds.
Matterport users who’ve been using an iPhone instead of an iPad could consider upgrading now. The dollhouses and floor plans are easier to present to a client on an iPad.

Working with macOS

Since Apple manufactures the hardware and designs its own software, they are able to efficiently utilize power and get the best out of the system through regular updates.
Memory, for instance, is not a problem because when the storage nears its limit on an iPhone or a Mac, content is automatically transferred to the cloud. Another great feature is AirDrop – here, you can transfer large files from your mobile device to the computer at blazing fast speeds using Bluetooth.

I don’t want to be misunderstood here – I love Windows and Android. When Adostrophe used to work on AdWords (currently Google Ads) campaigns years back, my HP laptop once conked out. An Australian client recommended a MacBook, saying he never had to look back after that.
Although I hated to let go of my favorite shortcuts in Excel, I decided to try the MacBook Pro – and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, although I couldn’t really afford it at that time. It was worth the investment.

The latest release in the laptop section is the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It comes in an i7 and i9 variant – although the customization options are limited in India.
Compared to earlier versions of the MBP, the new release has USB-C ports with fast charging capabilities. Two major upgrades are the thermals and the keyboard. Personally, I like to type fast, and the new keyboard has more give and stability. The Touch Bar adapts to the apps that are being used, so it’s an essential feature that makes working easier.

Note the dedicated Escape button on the top left. This model also has a dedicated power button (with fingerprint sensor) in the right corner, which distinguishes it from the older models.
Adobe applications work great on macOS. Since Photoshop and Premier Pro 2020 are commonly used by photographers, filmmakers and designers, extensive usage does not heat up the system compared to previous MBPs.

More Apples

Granted that Insta360 devices are sold as exclusive packages in the Apple Store, I just wanted to briefly touch upon two other devices – the Apple Watch and the AirPods.
The watch app lets you control the Insta360 ONE R remotely.

The Apple Watch is a great tracker for workouts and other fitness activities. Personally, I liked the idea of the eSIM because I don’t have to carry a phone during marathons (you’d be surprised how heavy a phone feels after a few kilometers). Apart from recording the runs, it also allows me to make calls and check messages. For seniors, the newer models have fall detection and rapid heartbeat notifications. It might just help the user become aware and prompt them to take a few relaxing deep breaths.

The AirPods were introduced at a time when the 3.5mm jack was removed from iPhones, probably to make the devices slimmer. It’s an adaptation like those spherical images on the home screens of the iPhone X that makes it look like there is no ugly notch at the top.
Anyway, the AirPods have great audio quality. You can easily switch from answering a call on your iPhone to listening to music on your MacBook. The mic on the AirPods can be used to record audio from the Insta360 ONE R.

The Verdict

Working from home has become inevitable, at least for a while. Investing in a high-quality device is not a style statement but a means to maximize productivity.
The iPhone SE appears to be worth buying, and so is the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. When it comes to gaming or watching movies, these devices have the most modern displays in a metallic enclosure. They are long-term companions for everyone, irrespective of the field they’re in. 

In a future blog post, we will write about (and also create videos on) processing panoramic content easily. Stay indoors – stay safe!

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