Question I bought a new MacBook Air but I didn’t get enough storage with it and now it’s saying I need to delete ‘iOS backups’ if I want to move my stuff from my 10-year-old old MacBook Pro to the new model. Is it safe to do that? I really wish I’d bought one with bigger storage memory now. — Carol Green
No, this is actually a good time to deal with this issue. In the long run, you’re way better off being faced with these decisions now rather than letting everything build up. So many of us are now accumulating tens of thousands of photos, videos and other files on our smartphones, tablets and laptops.
We promise ourselves that we’ll sort them out but we always put it on the long finger. And then we have to keep getting bigger and bigger storage-memory versions of new devices just so we can move all of our accumulated digital detritus — often throwaway or duplicate photos and files — from the old ones without having to make any decisions on what to do with them. It’s digital hoarding by default. Most of us are guilty of it to some degree.
That said, I do have one or two specific comments to make about your situation. First, it is sometimes the case with Apple products that deleting files (such as treasured photos and videos) from one device (an iPhone, iPad or MacBook) can wipe them from all of your devices. This is not supposed to happen, but Apple’s iCloud guidance can be vague and fuzzy sometimes — they’re often unclear on the relationship between iCloud back-ups and device storage. In the case that you have outlined, which appears to deal mainly with device back-ups for your iPhone or iPad, it should be OK. But if it was me, I’d use this moment to go through the photos and videos (and other files) that you really want from your collection and back them up properly, either to an external storage device (like a hard drive, which costs about €50) or a dedicated online storage facility (for which you’ll probably have to pay a monthly fee). Obviously, for photos, a good alternative long-term solution is to print a few of them out.
Then I’d go ahead and delete the back-ups, safe in the knowledge that you’ve ringfenced the core memories and files you’d be really upset to lose.
My son is 18 in a few weeks and wants a digital camera — he is using an old iPhone now for taking photos. Two shops I visited recommended the Canon EOS 2000D as it is easy to use and a good entry level camera. What do you think?
— David Smith
It produces decent results but is an old-fashioned model that is all but obsolete, as it isn’t mirrorless. What I mean by ‘not mirrorless’ is that you have to wait until you’ve taken the photo to see what it will be like. This type of system has been completely superseded by mirrorless models that are easier to use (they show you the photo as it will turn out, like a phone would) and, increasingly, better quality.
In a nutshell, there are no new mid-level or professional cameras that are being made like the EOS 2000D any more — they’re almost all mirrorless now. If you can, I’d advise you to get him something like Panasonic’s Lumix G80 (€659 from Conns Cameras with a 12-60mm lens included). It’s about €100 more than the Canon 2000D but well worth it for the quality and lens upgrade. And get it in a city centre camera shop (like Conns or others) — you’ll get the benefit of much better service and knowledge than in any of the big retailers.
Recommendation: Panasonic Lumix G80 (€659 from Conns Cameras)
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iPhone 14 Plus
€1,179 from retailers
This is the first time that Apple has made a ‘regular’ iPhone model with a very large screen without it being a ‘Pro’ device. The advantage, aside from that 6.7-inch display for easier reading, is that the battery life is the best on the market: it usually still has almost half left by the time I go to bed. It’s still very expensive, though.
Google Pixel 7
€649 from Google Store
If you’re looking for just about the best semi-flagship smartphone, Google’s Pixel 7 may be it. The quality and features it has for the price beat almost everything else on the market. The only thing it’s really missing is a telephoto camera lens; most people can probably live without that.
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