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Tech talk: Darren Haynes from Dubai-based Hey Music

Words by Edgar Daily

Apps, gadgets and audio toys

Tech fan Darren Haynes is the marketing director of Dubai enterprise Hey Music, home of the file-sharing platform heyants.com. He spoke to EDGAR about the tech he uses and the website he can't live without.

What’s your favourite app?

My favourite and most-used app is WhatsApp. I use it more than anything else on my mobile, hence its prime position in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Quick, easy access, one million times per day – or thereabouts. It’s the best way to contact me without a doubt.

Do you bank online?

Yes, I use the Emirates NBD app. I’m forever sending cash to my flatmate in lieu of our food delivery orders. Of all the banking apps that I’ve used – in the UK or UAE – this one is probably the most efficient.

What phone do you use?

My current mobile is an iPhone 7s and I’m very aware that it’s time for an upgrade. I like the familiarity of the iPhone. Never expect me to make a call on it though. On the telephonic spectrum, the likelihood of me making a call falls somewhere between rarely and never.

The essential WhatsApp

Android or Apple?

Back in the old days, I was an evangelist for BlackBerry. I liked it because it was chunky and had proper buttons, just like the first generation Nokia mobiles. I didn’t need a mobile to be cool, it just needed to function properly. Then I was given a company iPhone 4 because I needed access to the internet. I was an Apple convert and have remained loyal ever since.

What laptop do you use?

My work laptop is an HP something or other and, while I like the operating system, I don’t really like the machine – it’s sturdy but far too heavy to carry around. My personal laptop is an Apple MacBook Air. I like the design, form and function but I should’ve chosen a Mac with higher storage capacity – not being able to store all of my photos and music on it is a mild frustration.

Do you use a music streaming service?

I’ve been working in and around the music industry for years and was gifted one of the original Spotify accounts in 2008. I’m still using the same account.

Catching up on world events

Which website do you get your news from?

News for me is still delivered by the BBC, via their website or any of their radio stations. I think I even still pay the BBC TV Licence fee (note to self: check the Direct Debit and act accordingly).

Where do you keep your phone when you go to sleep?

I keep it on my bedside table or sometimes even on my bed, not because I’m wedded to the device but because I use it as my alarm clock.

Ever tried a tech detox?

I have tried all kinds of detoxes – even a Master Cleanse – but never a tech detox. Should I? I reckon I could manage. Just.

What’s your favourite social media platform?

For personal use it’s Instagram. I set myself a challenge when I moved back to Dubai to post one photograph per day, taken on that day, using my iPhone. One of the rules is that the photo must always be filtered in some way. Eventually, when I finally head back to the UK, I intend to exhibit a selection of these photos and tick that off my bucket list.

High class audio from Bowers & Wilkins

What headphones do you use?

I don’t use any fancy headphones to listen to music. I prefer to listen to music loud with naked ears.

What audio gadget impressed you?

The Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air speaker dock (above) transformed the way I listen to music. It looks great too.

What’s your most searched topic on YouTube?

My YouTube searches will almost certainly be related to music, to find obscure album tracks, long-forgotten artist interviews or demos that wouldn’t see the light of day on most streaming services. When I was young, I would go into record shops and listen to vinyl before parting with my pocket money. I suppose I use YouTube as a similar try-before-you-buy platform.

Darren Haynes

Smart watches – yes or no?

I don’t wear a watch, so I’d have to say no to a smart watch. I’ll stick with the world clock and the alarm on my trusty iPhone, thanks.

What brand is your TV?

When I lived in London I bought a top of the range Sony Bravia that is slightly curved, sleek and beautiful. Within one week of purchase, I was headhunted, offered a contract in Dubai and didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. Apparently, the tenants in my home like it.

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