New computers, new iPads, and new software to launch us into 2014
Apple has made it a big day for preachers, youth ministers, and teachers.
There has never been a better time to join the Apple family. I've been a huge Apple fanboy for years - and rightfully so. Because they make the best hardware and software that money can buy. People gripe about the price of Apple products, especially the computers. Yes, it's a bit of a premium price tag, but what kind of quality do you want? Do you want a laptop that's not going to flinch for four years and offer you great performance and dependability, or do you want the $400 PC that's going to give you problems 12 months in?
A big deal today was the fact that Apple announced that all of their apps in the iLife (iMovie, Garageband, and iPhoto) and iWork (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) suites will be FREE. Mavericks, the new update to the operating system for the Mac will be FREE. There has never been a better time to buy in to the Apple ecosystem.
Apple also introduced a new iPad Air, a thinner, lighter regular-size iPad with a new chassis but the same 9.7-inch screen size. If you're an iPad Mini fan, they also updated it with a retina display. If you have a newer iPad with a retina display, you know how much of a difference it makes reading and writing, which is what preachers do most of anyways. I've preached and taught from an iPad for the last two years, and I'll never use paper again if I don't have to.
The only thing we didn't see today was an update to Apple TV. If you haven't looked at Apple TV for your church or your home, you should. It allows you to mirror and display things wirelessly through a projector. It's also a very nice streaming device for your home television. Almost every church I know of uses Apple TVs to display content, keynotes, songs, and everything else.
Back to the computers: Apple released updates to their MacBook Pros today, AND dropped the price by $200 on each model. The retina screen is fantastic, and for those who work in a word processor or read books on your computer all day, this is the machine to do it with. And with Apple making the iWork apps free - Pages for Word Processing and layouts, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations - there's really no reason to spend extra hundreds of dollars on MS Word, Powerpoint and Excel just to have to upgrade them in 2 years.
Look at it this way: you can go the Windows route, and buy a new Surface 2 for $449. Don't forget the keyboard for an extra $120. Then you have to subscribe to Office 365 for $99/year. So over the course of 4 years, you will have spent $1,069. Or you could just buy a MacBook Air $999, and get all the app and OS upgrades for FREE. And that's provided your Surface doesn't get the blue screen of death during that tenure.
Never before have I been able to confidently say that someone, especially church offices and preachers, should make the switch to Apple products. Until now.
I've been using Apple products exclusively (I kicked MS Office out of my life the second I graduated college) for over 5 years now, and I've been an Apple user for over 10 years. I can tell you that you will not get the customer service, the build quality of hardware and software, and more enjoyment out of using a computer or device that you will from an Apple product. No, they're not perfect, but they're a whole lot better than the competition.
I'm going to be spending a lot of time over the next month giving you snippets of my new eBook, A Minister's Guide to the Mac, due out on November 26. The first half of the book will help any minister or professional transition to a Mac for the first time, while the second half with give you helpful apps, tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your Mac and can help even the most advanced Mac user.
The preaching to you about the value of the Mac and Apple products starts now. It's time to kick that PC to the curb and get yourself a real machine to work with.