I’ve been using Apple products since 2008, where I traded up an old Windows Vista laptop I had at University for an iMac G4 someone was selling on campus.
I LOVED that iMac, with it’s screen on a hinge, enabling me to move it around in all kinds of ways, the Apple Pro speakers that came with it and then the ease of use operating system. The decision to move from Windows to Mac OS was a simple one – the course I was doing was Mac OS based, so it just made sense to switch.
There was something seamless about the OS back then, something which still exists in all of Apple’s products today, which is why I think it’s worth paying a little extra – because you’re not only buying a product or a service, you’re buying your part in the Apple ecosystem too.
Now, this isn’t a post to try and get you to join Apple, you work with what platforms and use whatever works for you, I’m just here to share my thoughts – and this is coming from someone who actually jumped back to Windows for a couple of years post-uni and recently jumped from Apple over to Google, but after six months was enticed back into the eco system.
What keeps me coming back – and now staying? It’s the fact that everything is seamless. In everything I do daily across my products and services, there’s something seamless about Apple.
Take AirPods, AirTags and other peripherals that hook up to your iPhone or Mac. The set up process is often having the peripheral nearby, the phone will register it’s there, tap one, maybe two buttons on your device – and you’re good to go.
The latest update to iOS 14 now enables those with Apple Watches to unlock their phone, even with a facemask on. A sign of the times as we still navigate the pandemic, but honestly, this small feature has made a big difference already – and again, it’s seamless.
I can’t imagine this being such a seamless process for Windows products – and I use a Windows computer in my work for the NHS, which is painfully slow, even for the simplest of tasks.
When I made the switch to Google/Android for six months, I was impressed to some extent, but found the seamlessness was only around a few apps, namely Spotify, where I could control the music played on my Nest Hub via my phone and vice-versa and whilst you can’t do that with Apple Music, I found myself using the ‘Hand-off’ feature more and more over the years.
In fact, I started writing this post on my Mac but handed it over to my iPad for a section, before reverting back to my Mac – seamless.
The new iMacs announced in April 2021 with the M1 chip, the fact that Apple is producing it’s own internal components, makes for an all better experience for the end user, not just in terms of the functionality and speed of hardware, but the fact you essentially have one company who knows how your product works inside and out, without having to rely on external companies like Intel to have chips in stock etc.
Not everything with Apple is seamless though and there are some drawbacks.
Take Siri for example, I’d give her a 90% success rate in her doing things I ask her to do on the daily, but there’s still a 5% chance that she’ll type something wrong, not understand what I’m saying, or in some cases, not work at all.
Likewise, Apple Music is only now being incorporated into Google’s Nest Hub products and whilst I prefer the UI over Spotify, the ability to swipe left or right on the artwork to skip songs would be a massive bonus in my opinion.
The other drawback is once you’re in, it’s likely to be difficult to leave the ecosystem. When I made the switch to Chromebook, I had to spend quite a few hours moving my documents from iCloud to my Google Drive – luckily I hadn’t removed them from my iCloud, as I wouldn’t have wanted to have done that again when I re-joined Apple.
But then, let’s be honest, being stuck in the same ecosystem can be said for those on Windows, Google, Android, they’re not going to make it easy for you to leave an ecosystem, but rather improve what that particular ecosystem offers to entice you to stay.
Pricing will be the deciding factor on whether I can afford anymore Apple products in the future, but as I mentioned before, you’re not just paying for the product or service, you’re paying for the entire ecosystem and I think paying a little extra, is worth it for that.
It will be interesting to see how Apple develop their products, services and ecosystem over the next five years. As technology advances and the need for us to have smart homes becomes ever prevalent, we’ll be relying on these giant tech giants to step up to the plate to continue to give us seamless integration across the board, regardless of the ecosystem we as individuals choose.