Hello fellow iMorians, and welcome back to another week of From the Editor's Desk. Boy, do we have a lot to talk about this week!
First off, the new iPhone SE (2020) has launched, and it's quite a winner. Our own Lory Gil gave her first hands-on impressions of the device after about a week of use, and she's definitely impressed, as well as many others. While I'm not going to just go trade in my iPhone 11 Pro for it, the new iPhone SE is actually quite impressive.
Why is the iPhone SE such a big deal? It packs in plenty of power into a familiar package (the 4.7-inch size of the iPhone 8), and the price point is much more appealing to most instead of reaching the $1000 mark like most phones nowadays, including the iPhone 11 Pro series. With the iPhone SE, you're getting the same A13 Bionic chip that is in the iPhone 11 line, so it is fairly future-proof for the next few years. It also has Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting (though like the XR, it only works on humans), which is a first for an iPhone that still has a Home button, which is another reason. In this day and age where face masks are necessary, Face ID simply just doesn't work all the time, so having the option for Touch ID is certainly welcome once again. And for the starting price of $399, I mean, you seriously can't beat that in terms of value.
If you want to get a more in-depth dive on the iPhone SE, don't miss Lory's review — you won't regret it!
Speaking of how far things have come, the Apple Watch turned 5-years-old this past Friday. Oliver Haslam wrote up a fantastic article about the history of the Apple Watch, and I highly recommend you go read it if you haven't already.
Honestly, I remember when the Apple Watch was first announced, and I don't think I was impressed enough to purchase one on launch. I was certainly intrigued, but at the time, I was still using some kind of Fitbit tracker, so I was content with that. I wanted to wait to hear what other people were saying, and after a while, I eventually gave in and purchased an aluminum model. I fell in love with how easy it was to connect to my iPhone, and the Activity rings became addictive to fill each day — much more than Fitbit. It was motivating me to be a little more active each day, and that's saying something, as I was living a fairly sedentary lifestyle before.
I had the Series 0 Apple Watch for several years, and of course, I noticed that it was slowing down as time went on. Eventually, at some point, the back of the Apple Watch popped off (it was a common problem back then) and I needed to get it repaired. But I didn't want to be without an Apple Watch while it was getting fixed (I couldn't break my streak, yo!), so I ended up buying a Series 1, and gave my Series 0, once it was fixed, to my boyfriend (now husband) at the time. The Series 1 was a bit snappier than the Series 0, and it was more usable for me. I used the Series 1 for a while until I picked up a Series 3 when it became super cheap (about $200) a year ago. The Series 3 was much faster and snappier than the previous two Watches I had, so I was satisfied and quite content, even though I had yearned for the new watch faces that came with the Series 4.
But when the Series 5 was announced, I remember wanting to upgrade so badly (it was one of my "OMG INSTABUY!!!" moments) because it had the Always-On Display (AOD), which is something that I've been wanting since day one. I ended up purchasing the new Titanium casing, and the Apple Watch Series 5 is definitely my favorite Apple Watch so far. I love being able to have many more complications on my Infograph Modular face (I also use the regular Infographic often) because it gives me more information in a single glance than I ever got with the Series 3. And the AOD lets me quickly peek at the time without having to flick my wrist, which is handy when I'm typing at my desk, for example. And the battery life lasts all day, which is pretty impressive for having an AOD.
I could continue to gush over how much I love my Series 5 Apple Watch, but the point is that the Apple Watch certainly has come a long way since it was first introduced five years ago. And even though I was a skeptic at first (as well as others, I'm sure), I can't deny that the Apple Watch has literally changed my life, because I'm more active because of those Activity rings. There isn't a smartwatch out there that is as popular and loved by many as the Apple Watch, that's for sure.
I also finally received my iPad Pro Magic Keyboard a day after everyone else, and I'm actually writing this article from it. So far, I love the Magic Keyboard, though I have the 11-inch version, so I'm noticing that I often hit the bottom of the iPad when reaching for the number keys or the - and = buttons, as those two are also half the size as the other keys. But otherwise, it's smooth sailing. The trackpad works well, though the 11-inch version has a bit less space than the 12.9-inch version, but it's still better than having to reach out and touch the screen to navigate through most things, including text selection. And for the "floating" design, I'm in love! It gives me a perfect viewing angle when working at a table, or even in my lap, and it's just the right amount of sturdiness so the iPad doesn't wobble. The magnetic backing is super strong, but it's easy enough to remove the iPad Pro from the Magic Keyboard if you need to, which I appreciate.
Right now, I have the Brydge Pro+, Logitech Slim Folio Pro, and now the Magic Keyboard. I'll be putting each one to the test in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
That's it for this week, iMorians. Until next week, and until then, stay safe and well!
- Christine Romero-Chan
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.