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No Need to Get Locked into the Apple Ecosystem

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A number of iPhone users are taking a look at Android phones and some like what they see. However, many a user feels stuck or locked into the Apple ecosystem. Although at first glance this might seem like a legitimate reason to stay with the iPhone a long with all your other gear, it’s not really.What people like referring to as the Apple ecosystem, although novel when it was first used, has become cliche. Instead of describing a state of affairs that is rationale, it has become either too cute or an excuse to stay stuck but for no good reason.

The Cliche is getting Wearing

Although the phrase the Apple ecosystem might sound academic or insightful, it has rather become just cute. It seems to be a legitimate way to justify having all Apple equipment or at least not abandoning something in the ecosystem as, heaven forbid, the Gods will be furious, the skies will darken, and your life will become a new hell on earth to add potentially to the one that might exist.

Often, when we choose this product or that it is because we think it will meet our needs better. If it doesn’t, in a sane world, we would just scrap what we have and move on. Part of the reasoning behind this approach is if something really isn’t doing the job, it is cheaper to scrap it from a time perspective, than to continue to use it.

The Biggest Benefactor of the So-Called Apple Ecosystem

Apple is the biggest benefactor of the ecosystem than anyone. Keeping people afraid to give up on your product ensures Apple the riches of a cash flow it may or may not deserve.

To keep this simple, I am going to stick to the topic of the smartphone and Android vs Apple rather than all components of the ecosystem. I could discuss changing out another component but it is the phone that people are so mesmerized with as it is convoluting their world.

Understanding An Ecosystem

The concept of an ecosystem primarily stems from that of biology. It is a system that operates in harmony with a healthy degree of inter-dependence to keep it running healthily. Upset to the ecosystem can cause harm and even the death of a said ecosystem.

However, there are two other integral aspects of the world that keeps things humming a long (probably more) and that is adaptation and evolution. There is no ecosystem that is going to remain in perfect stasis therefore there has to be adaptation and evolution that allow things to exist and progress.

The Apple Ecosystem is no Different

You can legitemly operate in an all Apple environment which is harmonious in it’s function or to put it another way simple. This ecosystem can continue to evolve but without competition there would be little incentive to do that. Once everything is operating relatively fine, you would, without competitive forces find there would be complete stagnation. There would be no need to adapt nor evolve.

The Apple ecosystem is one which operates inter-dependently and as long as the equipment is Apple, everything will work together smoothly. If you have Apple equipment, something such as iMessage will work smoothly and you will have to think little about what to use. Just use imessage and everyone who has an iphone can talk to anyone else without friction.

This is very much like what we saw with Blackberry Messenger or BBM. Anyone with a Blackberry could talk to anyone else with a Blackberry in a highly secure fashion. Security was the selling point of BBM and there is no question security is important. However, look at what happened to BBM and the Blackberry itself.

A totally harmonious environment, although nice to have, is not the case in the tech world. In fact, it would be easy to argue that a true ecosystem does not exist; one which is comprised of a completely interdependent, harmonious environment. Tech operates under principles not only of getting the job done but you have to add to that competitive pressures or economic pressures that ensure stasis is impossible and stagnation unlikely. Someone will always come up with a better idea.

It’s in Apple’s Benefit to continue the Illusion

As long as people believe they are stuck in the Apple world due to the ecosystem even if an Android phone looks more enticing no one will or would leave Apple. This is not to say that the iPhone doesn’t have many benefits, and many of which outweigh that of an Android but it is the openness of Android which will trump a closed architecture in the long run. That is, the iPhone might be beyond suitable for most needs, yet the Android phones are progressing now at quite rate.

Clearly, not all Androids can best an iPhone. However, there are some that are technologically superior. Further, these higher quality Androids look better and are cheaper than the iphone. There is little that rivals the $1500 (CDN) price tag of the iPhone X. Some have confused this price to equal that of a Rolls, Bentley, Cadillac and on it goes. Rather, this is the price Apple can charge. It’s not equivalent to the quality of the product.

How can we Unstick Ourselves

Software is the key to the problem. Development follows though that of the market. Software developers are getting on to this but not in as heady a fashion as one would think there should be. There is no question that some Android software is as good as that on the Apple but some is just downright awful.

New software solutions are being released for both platforms. They are equally as good one for the other. Solutions from major houses is being released for Android. These solutions are as good as the software that runs on the Mac. Thus, an Android phone can participate in the apple world as an equivalent player. No functionality is lost and a lot is gained. However, the most significant gain is from that of the customer. Good faith is not replaceable.

Many Though are Discounting Android to their Peril

For all the software that has gone cross platform, there remains a ton that hasn’t or at least for now. Day One, the renowned Journaling app, has just gone cross platform and this is to their benefit. The software runs as nicely on an Android as it does on the Apple environment.

2do, the task management software, has also ported to Android. The programs runs as well as any. You can fully function as a team made up of iPhone and Android users. As with Day One, they did a bang up job. Journey, a journaling app that had its roots in Android, ported to IOS with superb results.

Other apps such as TickTick were cross platform from the beginning. They are not the only ones to fall into this camp.

The Disappointments

However, there are disappointments which can be difficult to explain. Things, the award winning program primarily for its ease of use, was just released but as an Apple only product. The lost opportunity is too much to be believed.

Omnifocus is different from these other scenarios. They have a third party that has created a program that allows full sync. Rather than embracing the fellow’s effort, they would rather question it and thus loose a sale because . . . ???

And what about iMessage

iMessage seems to be some magical potion that ensures people are wedded to Apple. However, such should not be the case. There are a ton of apps that easily work cross platform and work well. One that sees us go full circle is BBM. Whether it runs on BBM, Android or Apple is neither here nor there. It’s a good product.

However, there are others such as WhatsApp, Allo and Duo that runs in both environments. The one that would be most ideal though is iMessage but this won’t happen for the very obvious reason of the Lock-in it creates for Apple.

Google however, is expected to make a very concerted effort in this space. If they are successful, there will be freedom at last. From all this, one can expect a very competitive space that will move the technology ahead substantially. Apple certainly won’t take anything lying down but Android is becoming significantly more strategic to Google.

Numerous ways to Tackle the Problem

No one need be locked in and although you might feel as if you are, you’re not. Android can fit into the Apple system extremely well. Further, as Google builds out its line it might be Apple users trying to fit into that. Keep an open mind to the problem and you can free yourself substantially from this problem. With time, the course has been set and it is only a matter of time that this problem will become increasingly less troublesome.

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