A journey around the ecosystems

Call me an ‘Apple fanboy’, or whatever else you call people who have an affinity with Apple, I honestly don’t mind and that’s for two reasons, one – I’ve actually experienced Android and two, Apple’s ‘ecosystem’ is by far the easiest to use.

My affinity with Apple began in 2008. I’d headed to University with a big, bulky, laptop. It did the job, it ran Windows Vista, didn’t have much storage and the fans whizzed up rather quickly. On my first day of starting my course, I discovered the world of Apple. 12 iMacs scattered around the room with the latest OS and kit – these would be the computers we would work on for the next three years.

Having never used an iMac or Mac OS before, this was a whole new exciting experience. It was seamless yet, at the end of each day, I’d go back to my Windows Laptop and LG cookie mobile phone.

Someone on another course was selling their Apple Mac G4 for £100. I took them up on the offer and soon had this bulky desktop on my desk, in the corner by the window. It was fab, finally, work I was doing on the course would transfer and look the same on the G4, the speakers were pretty decent and the fact you could move the screen from side to side, up and down etc, was a nice little quirk.

Later though, the machine became slow and sluggish, so, in 2009, I invested in my first 2008 aluminium MacBook – and other than using a Windows machine for my day job and at the radio station, Mac OS is my daily go-to for everything creative, as well as the standard documents, presentations, spreadsheets and emails etc.

I was a little late to the party when it came to the iPhone too. My first was a 3GS, which still works today at the radio station! Then I ventured to an iPhone 4. The sync between that and my MacBook was a little limited, but for what I needed it for, it worked well.

Somewhere between 2011 and 2012 I left Apple completely. My iPhone 4 malfunctioned almost as simultaneously as my MacBook. So, it was a trusty HP Laptop with Beats Audio and Windows that powered my workday with a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone as my phone of choice. The laptop was standard, the phone, well, it was actually pretty cool, even if it didn’t have the array of apps on it.

I soon found the phone wasn’t being updated as much as Windows should have updated it and really wanted the simplicity of iOS back, so it was a hop on GumTree to grab a shiny new iPhone 4, which later broke, but was replaced by the Apple Store, at no charge.

In July 2012, I found my old MacBook from 2008 and decided to boot the old thing back up, to see if I could get it going again. After a few hours of tinkering, it worked. I was back in the Apple Eco system.

My Series 0 Apple Watch

And that’s where I stayed. I’ve gotten through an iPad Series 2; a series 0 Apple Watch; iPhone 6; iPhone 7 and an Apple Watch Series 4. In October 2019 however, I jumped ship…

#TeamGoogle called and I was the owner of a second hand, Google Pixel 3XL. The camera was awesome, I’l say that from the outset. The phone had stock Android and was the first to get Android updates on a monthly basis. Customisation was great. Apps were on the whole okay, a little slow and sluggish, but they were okay.

I went all in. My other half ended up having my iPhone X, I sold my Apple Watch Series 4 to a colleague at work; I sold my 2008 MBP for a little sum and my current 2017 MBP sat under the coffee table. I’d invested in a ASUS Flip C434 Chromebook and was given a Google Home Hub for Christmas.

I spent six months with Google and Android products. I even brought a Fossil Watch 43mm Sport watch. It was a breath of fresh air to get out of the Apple ecosystem and go somewhere a little more customisable. But the reality was, whilst I was loving the new technology, something was missing – and that really was the simpleness of how Apple functions.

So in March 2020, just before we got locked down with Coronavirus, I sold most of the Google and Android tech (I’ve kept the Nest Hub) and got myself an iPhone 11, invested in some Air Pods and got an Apple Watch Series 5. Oh, and I dusted off the MBP that was sitting under the coffee table too. You should have heard the fans whizzing when I first booted this thing up, crikey!

The Android ecosystem is good and, if you’ve been with Android products all your life, then you’ll no no different, which is fair. The regular updates were great and the Google Pixel 3XL had some features I wish Apple’s iPhones had. But, Google Pay wasn’t supported by my bank, friends couldn’t message me on iMessage and WhatsApp video calling wasn’t the same quality as FaceTime.

Coupled with the Chromebook’s ‘offline mode’ being overly complicated and me getting back into the swing of being creative on Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, apps you can’t get on a Chromebook, it was inevitable I’d head back to Apple.

But I’m glad I made the switch to Android/Google, albeit for 6 months. Whilst that ecosystem is growing, it’s not a patch on Apples, where everything is just, seamless. It works. There is so much that Apple only shout about at the beginning when they do their WWDC events that people forget about that simply just works in the background.

The ability to start something on my iPhone, like, taking notes, to being able to continue the same note seamlessly on my MBP. To be able to listen to Apple Music on my watch without the need to take my phone with me, the ability to air drop seamlessly between compatible devices (I mean, you’re not going to airdrop to a watch, are you?) and how everything is stored in iCloud. But most importantly it feels safe and secure.

You’ll say that whatever systems you use, whether Windows or Android, they ‘just work’ and that’s fine, by the same token Apple’s products ‘just work’ for me. So whilst I have a lot of Apple product and I’m in their ecosystem, I’m not afraid to say it or shout about it, because I’ve experienced the other sides – and once you’ve had a bite of the Apple, you just keep coming back.