How Apple’s Photos App Convinced Me to Buy a 12″ Macbook

Allison proudly holding the 12_inch_macbookI’ve always used one computer at a time, while others have a desktop and a laptop. Because I only had one computer, I have always gone for the fastest machine I could buy with the most storage and RAM Apple could build into it. That also means I bought only laptops, not desktops. I think the last time I had a desktop it was when Steve and I shared a G4 tower!

My Macs do some fairly heavy lifting. I don’t edit video, but I do broadcast live video while recording and editing audio. That drives the purchase of a high end processor and a lot of RAM. Disk is an issue too, since I create a couple of gigabytes of audio files a week. Again, it’s not video files I’m creating but, those audio files do stack up. But that’s not the primary thing that drives my need for disk. The primary thing is that I really want ALL of my photos with me everywhere I go.

I take a lot of photos, and I go to great effort to organize and name my photos so that I can instantly find them. If someone brings up Halloween costumes, I want to be able to instantly bring up the picture of my mom and dad dressed as Tarzan and Jane while my mom was super pregnant or the crazy bat costume my dad made for my brother Grant. Someone says sailboat, and they’re going to see a picture of Windride, the sailboat I grew up on. It makes me really happy to be able to do this.

However, the game has been completely changed with the new Photos app.

I realize that I could have all of my photos, all 382GB of them sitting on my MacBook Pro with the 1TB drive in all their glorious resolution but also have them on another Mac by choosing to only have optimized images. That second Mac wouldn’t have to have great gobs of storage. Since I would still have my Retina MacBook Pro to do the heavy lifting of production of the podcast, maybe I could get away with something light and thin and lower powered. Maybe I could have the new 12″ Macbook!

I thought this was a silly and extravagant idea (and it’s definitely the latter) but Steve decided that I should get it for my birthday that had just passed. I couldn’t argue that logic so I placed an order for the Space Gray 1.2GHz model with a 512GB SSD and 8GB of storage. Ok, so that’s still a pretty big disk but for ME it’s small!

And then I waited. And waited. And waited. It was on 4-6 week delivery like just about everything else that Apple sells these days! We happened to be in the Apple Store and on a lark, Steve asked the guy if they had any in stock. He told us they didn’t but that they get a few in from time to time. From that day on I called every day to the nearest Apple store, and then started calling farther away and on Thursday I was rewarded – they had one in stock at the Santa Monica Apple Store so I raced up and bought it.

I’m sure I’ll be talking more about it but I have to say, I am in LOVE with the 12″ Macbook. My Macbook Pro weighs 4.5 pounds, while the Macbook weighs 2. Now 2.5 pounds less doesn’t sound like a lot but that’s a HUGE percentage difference. The other night Steve handed me his 13″ Macbook Air to show me something and I couldn’t believe how HEAVY it felt! It weighs in at a whopping 3 pounds. That’s 50% more than my Macbook! I’m not joking here, I seriously thought he was handing me my MacBook Pro.

A real question will be where this device fits in the near continuum of Apple products I’m now using. MacBook Pro, Macbook, iPad Air, iPhone and Apple Watch. Man, they sure saw me coming, didn’t they? I’ll be talking over the next few weeks about what tasks have moved to which devices, how well a one-port device works, and how I’m figuring out how to share devices between new Macs. I’m sure many of you have conquered this already so if you have advice for me I’d love to hear it!

And that’s how Apple’s Photos App convinced me to buy a 12″ Macbook!

6 thoughts on “How Apple’s Photos App Convinced Me to Buy a 12″ Macbook

  1. Tim Gregoire - May 16, 2015

    Well, that’s kinda something I’ve been dealing with for about the past year. Originally, I had only a 13 inch MacBook Pro (2010). Last May, I bought a Mac Mini to use primarily for heavy lifting type tasks. (Got the quad core i7 model) I originally had everything on both, but over the course of the past year, i’ve found that I don’t actually need that anymore. I was primarily using my desktop for most things, and the MacBook Pro didn’t get used all that much except for carrying to and from class, and to fill in the gaps when I wasn’t at the mini (other things included shooting video at church, about 20gb every 2 weeks here recently).

    More recently, the poor MacBook Pro (4.5 years old at this point) started showing it’s age. It was struggling with some of the video tasks I was trying to get it to do, and could only run Windows 7 (I need to stay somewhat current with that for software I have to use for engineering. MathCAD and SolidWorks). I finally decided I wanted something really light, so I bought a 2015 11 inch MacBook Air (256GB storage,8GB of ram), and its been great. This machine handles the little bit of video I want to edit on it (mainly until I get back home to the mini), it runs Window and the required software really well, and the battery runs pretty much all day when I’m out and about. Now, the issue becomes figuring out how to juggle the data around.

    Before I make the jump, I went ahead and paid for a 1TB dropbox account ($10 a month, not bad at all). What i’ve done is downloaded everything onto my desktop, which has a ton of storage, and I use selective sync on the Air to download only what I really need on the go, and the current projects I’m working on. It even does well slinging some of these giant 20 and 30 gb Final Cut files around. If I run into something else I need, I just go download it from dropbox, or the other option if I don’t have an internet connection- just walk to my car. I keep a clone of my Mac Mini (updated every couple of weeks, so it stays pretty current) in the car ready to go. Just plug it in and I’m back up and running. Been doing this for a while now and it works great.

  2. David Allen - May 17, 2015

    The MacBook certainly looks dinky in your hands there. I bet my wife would love it for taking to school with her. I would be tempted if it did a good job with Dragon Dictate. I’d love to have more mobility with my well used dictation app.

  3. podfeet - May 17, 2015

    Tim – it might do the trick. I really should bite the bullet and pay for Dropbox. I’ve been too cheap and only have 2GB. I run out quickly sharing video files with Don McAllister. Right now I’m testing to see if iCloud will do it for me though. I had to buy 500GB (for the same $10 btw that gets 1TB from DB) for my photos but that leaves me a couple hundred GB to play with. Now that you mention it, I don’t think it has “selective sync” though.

    David – Dragon Dictate is highly dependent on the microphone, if she uses an external mic then she should be fine. After you buy your 28th dongle for the single port that is!

  4. Arlene - May 17, 2015

    I am very interested to see how it works for you. I have last year’s top of the line 15″ Mac book pro and a several year old non retina 11″ Mac book air. I cart the 15″ around every day and for travel when I need to do a lot of work. I pair the 11″ Mac book air with my photo gear when I fly places where I will be doing a lot of photography because it fits in my ultralight backpack. It’s main use is to move raw photos to a portable hard drive. I don’t want my stuff on the cloud because I fairly often am without Internet access. I have been contemplating getting the new MacBook to replace the air. I heard a review that indicated that I might even be able to do some editing in Lightroom when needed on the road and love the idea of a retina screen in a light weight small package. Keep us informed of your impressions of the machine….inquiring minds want to know!

  5. Andy Froggatt - May 18, 2015

    Hi Alison,
    I took the plunge a few days ago with the base model. I’ve fallen in love (or is it lust!!)with it already. Clearly you’re not going to run final cut at full pelt, but I’ve run it fairly heavily with every day computing stuff and it is consistently quick and efficient.Apart from the glorious screen the other thing of note is how beautifully balanced it is. I normally hate having laptops on my ‘lap’-but it sits perfectly whatever the screen angle and never feels like it will tip over. Also I live on tropical Qld and even after a fair whole on my lap there was zero heat from the MacBook. Much to my pleasure my windows loving IT dept (with whom I share a constantly amusing discourse) just want ‘wow’ and were amazed by the machine. Anyhow-/ just a few thoughts -time to give my machine its cocoa and tuck it in for the night!! Hope all well with you// Andy F, Townsville Qld Oz

  6. Jim Sewell - May 18, 2015

    Allison, I just jumped into the Dropbox Pro pool but it does have some additional features that are nice like password protection and expiration of shared links and remote wipe if your device is lost. It is nice to stop DB from nagging “Your space is almost full!” 🙂

    The down side is what you mentioned. Apple has forced you to buy their more expensive cloud storage solution to make your apps work – major bad karma for that! It has lowered my esteem for Apple a tiny bit. I know they have to pay for the space but they could do better, at least matching DB’s pricing, not double! They have more money than every country in the world, excluding the top 2 or 3, combined so it’s not do-or-die. I’m not expecting them to do it for free, they are a business with shareholders to answer to, but they can do better than DB for their own ecosystem!

    Anyway, since you are in the Dropbox world with Don and your podcast submissions, etc, I’d say you won’t go wrong paying for the pro version. There comes a time when we have to accept that saving money is more painful in some cases than spending it. “People change when the pain caused by not changing is more than the pain of changing.” – Pastor Kevin Kerr

    Keep us updated on how the new pretty is working out for you!

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