The move to cross platform – that is, beyond the Apple ecosystem – to Android, Windows, OSX and IOS can be accomplished however, this can be either difficult or not so bad. Exchange, provided there is support for Exchange in your ecosystem, is one way to do this and it can work well. Yet, not everyone is equipped with Exchange. iCloud though and very unfortuntely, is closed to anything except iCloud. It doesn’t have to be so however, to get around this you look for bridges to cross the chasm.
There’s another service that I particularly like called Fruux and it can pretty well tie everything together. Your Android calendars, contacts and tasks can all be in perfect sync with your OSX and IOS systems. I’ll primarily address these two (Android and iCloud) as they are the major systems that need tying together. You can either use sync agents to do this but iCloud is not very amenable to this or switch to either Exchange calendars or something like Fruux. What I particularly like about Fruux is that although it is based on Caldav and Carddav, like iCloud, it has native support for a variety of platforms. Everything you run Fruux on as say your calendaring system will be identical and it runs on almost everything.
Just as an aside, Microsoft has announced a Very New Platform
Microsoft logically has decided if you can’t beat them join them. This is a very different Microsoft that only a little while ago. Is what they’re doing logical. Very. I would say Microsoft has embraced what the world wants but is not going to be a follower but a leader.
This puts them in a very unique position. You might get your Smartphone as an Android or iPhone but Microsoft will be managing the flow of your activities. Called the Fall Creators Update it is intended to follow your workflow making your life far easier but more on this later.
Everything in Sync: Fruux
The idea behind Fruux is to run it in place of say iCloud. You can still have your iCloud calendars but then you’re back to the problem of external sync. Rather, create your calendars in Fruux and run them on your various platforms.
You might have Fruux calendars for IOS, OSX and Android but in some cases you will have to run Fruux calendars right in certain products like Busycal or Fantastical. Fruux even has a plugin for the Windows version of Outlook but not the Mac version.
When configuring your Fruux calendars, the Fruux website will give you instructions for the configuration of the product in all the areas you’re going to use it. Since your settings are your settings, no matter what product or environment you run in, if you have enabled Fruux calendars those calendars will all be in sync and rapidly. This is ideal for the perfect, cross platform environment.
Fruux available at the Right Time
With so much operating in different environments, Fruux presents a good solution to pull everything together at just the right time. The iPhone is popular yet so is Android and some still like their Blackberry‘s and even though Windows phone seems to be non-existent, people when they come together don’t want to give up their devices to work on a team. Thus, cross platform solutions are very in vogue.
There are the hold outs. Who knows why. Money, ideology or what have you. As an example, if you want to use OmniFocus or DEVONthink you will have to stick to the Mac ecosystem. However, if your team is made up of a variety of platforms you will have to get a solution that spans the platforms such as Tick Tick or 2do for task management, Nimbus Notes or Evernote for Information Management and on it goes.
There may come a time when no vendor, if they really want to remain viable will be able to operate in only one environment. For now, there are enough solutions, including Fruux, that doesn’t necessitate a one environment operation. For years, I.T. has wanted to do this but it is now possible; made possible primarily by the cloud.