Trying Out Being a Tech “Normy”

For the first time in many years, I didn’t install any beta software on my devices. Rather than live on the cutting edge, testing features, and trying the new hotness before the rest of the world, I stayed on the on the public releases of Apple’s OSes last summer.

As if that wasn’t odd enough, when September rolled around, I felt very little desire to upgrade my phone to the latest and greatest. Indeed, I’m typing this very post out on my iPhone 13 mini — a device I’ve had for nearly a year and a half now — despite having the option to swap it as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program.

I don’t deceive myself into thinking that this is any sort of accomplishment. Sitting out a few months of beta testing, and holding onto a perfectly great phone for — swoon — more than 12 months is something that effectively everyone does. It’s truly a privilege that I have the opportunity upgrade each year if I choose to.

And yet, it’s been a bit odd. I’m used to jumping at the chance to try the new OS features, write about them, and provide feedback. But this year I felt satisfied to read others’ first impressions while living in the stable mainstream. I sought the delayed satisfaction of unwrapping” the new software along with the rest of the world when it was finished”.

Back on the physical side, my iPhone 13 mini has been my favorite iPhone, full stop. I longed for a smaller device when using the 12 Pro, and was rewarded with the nearly perfect 13 mini. The longer battery life, upgraded cameras, smaller notch, faster chip, and cooler design (👍 to the diagonal rear camera lenses) are all improvements over the 12 mini that make me glad that this is the phone I have and want to keep using.

This isn’t to say that I wasn’t interested in new features this year; I was! Stage Manager, Lock Screen widgets, Live Text, better Dictation, and the Dynamic Island all pulled at my heartstrings. But with my day job no longer relying on using my personal tech, or teaching others how to use theirs, I have less time and mental capacity for tech news, no matter how much I try to deny it. These days, I’m experiencing how more of the world uses their gadgets and finding the smaller, less drastic ways that they can make my life better. I’m not pushing the envelope so much as I’m using it as intended.

Maybe it’ll last, or maybe I’ll be enthralled by a compelling new shiney that will drag me back in. But I’m content for now, and hope my content”1 will still offer good, if different, insight.

  1. Sorry for that.↩︎

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