With technological advances, new devices are coming out every year, but … do you really need to upgrade?
I studied electrical engineering and computer science at university and I come from a generation that started off with floppy disks (I guess I just gave up my age, yep, I’m ancient!), so believe me, I know a thing or two about technology, and I am doing my best to keep up with technological advances. But the question remains: Should I upgrade every year? Or, when should I upgrade? Sometimes technology makes a huge leap and sometimes it doesn’t.
My first iPad was iPad 2, 2011 (oh my Gosh, I’m ancient!) At that time, it was a fancy tablet, I couldn’t do any “real” job on it. Although I have to say, some of my first digital drawings were done on that iPad, with my finger and no pressure sensitivity. (Yep, I was drawing on an iPad before it was cool! 😉)
In 2015, I switched to the first iPad Pro, which was a revolutionary device. Slowly, I ended up using it for about 95% of my work (the other 5% being some file management and some special use of Adobe software) As a web/graphic designer, this is huge, being able to do everything on the go.
But since iPad Pro was introduced, was it imperative to buy a new one every year?
I have quite a minimalistic approach to life (or so I would like to think) so I don’t generally buy stuff I don’t need. My iPad Pro kept me company for five years and I didn’t plan to upgrade ( I was “forced” to, I will come back to this later) any time soon, because I could do everything I needed. Well, almost. After a few years the first problems started to appear. 128GB of storage weren’t enough. (A single procreate artwork could be 10GB, just a single file) I began using external disks, adapters and other gadgets, which annoyed me as a minimalist, and generally I felt that my iPad was losing its purpose. I could no longer do everything “on the go”.
Also, I started having random issues such as apps stopping suddenly, and an annoying lug when I used the Apple Pencil (insignificant but present). Other than these, the iPad was as good as new. Low storage was the only thing that bothered me.
Then, I broke my iPad Pro… Since we were (still are) in total lockdown, there wasn’t an easy way to fix it. And I spent a few months working on a broken iPad. As you have probably guessed, I am quite an easygoing person. I kept working on the broken device, until some parts of the screen started becoming dead to the touch. I knew that I had to upgrade…
And I got the iPad Pro 2020, 1TB and I have to say … well, my life is so much easier! Many things happened during these five years separating the two devices, the new iPad is faster, smoother, colors are truer and brighter, the camera is phenomenal (pity that it is hard to take photos with it) and of course I have a whole 1TB waiting to be filled with art and multimedia.
But the question remains: Did I really needed to upgrade? And the short answer is … no. The new device has definitely some advantages and it is such a joy to use it but I could work perfectly well on my old one. (Our society sometimes “forces” us to consume more than we actually need)
But then, when should you upgrade?
- When money is not an issue
Obviously, a new device will boost your productivity, it certainly boosted mine, cause it is well, new, feels sleek and luxurious compared to its older counterpart, and it is a joy to work on it.
- When a new feature is introduced, that is really important to you
When you really “need” the new improved camera, the huge storage, face ID … the list goes on. If a new feature is really important to you, maybe you should consider upgrading.
- When your old device is really OLD or overused
To the point that problems begin to occur. If the device runs out of memory often (apps tend to get more and more demanding), if you have problems with the home button, and these things bother you, then it might be time for a change.
What should you upgrade to?
That depends on your own needs. For example, I tend to upgrade to the best option available, because I work full time on my iPad and I want to keep the device for a few years. (I kept my previous one for five whole years) I don’t like changing devices often, call me weird, call me sentimental. So I always get the best one out there. However, if you don’t overuse your iPad (for example if you only use for taking notes, or if you simply don’t use fancy or demanding apps) you don’t necessarily need the latest device with the most storage etc. Carefully evaluate your needs to choose the ideal model.
Personally, I didn’t see any REAL difference when I switched devices. I didn’t see any difference in my work, but I saw a major difference in my productivity. (which is a huge deal, being in total lockdown with the kids around 24/7)
That’s all folks! What about you? When do you upgrade?