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Let your Application’s Requirements determine your Platform

by Kerry Dawson

As technology coalesces and systems differ more by looks than substance. It’s hard to determine what to choose as your platform. At one time, certain platforms only ran certain applications. This is becoming less the case as more applications run equally on the different platforms. This makes it more difficult to determine which platform one should choose to run the apps.

Applications as Key to a Solution

If you have a problem, what you apply to solve a problem is your application to create a solution. Today the hardware side of your toolkit is looking more similar in capability than different. Software or what you use to solve a problem has its own unique approaches and you tend to use what you’re more comfortable with.

As hardware becomes more similar let software dictate the solution. One person may like a very simple to-do oriented solution to work through a problem whereas another may like a more comprehensive solution. This can be key on your choice in your overall tool-kit.

Deciding on a Smartphone is becoming Super Difficult

The area of the Smartphone is a very good case in point. As Smartphones become more similar in capability it becomes more difficult to decide on a solution. Thus, the software you to use becomes predominant in setting the path.

As an example, if you like using OmniFocus, a comprehensive task management solution to the completion of what you’re doing while another likes using Microsoft Todo to solve the same problem, in the first instance you have to use a Mac only environment. Thus, you can only use an iPhone. Whether you choose an expensive iPhone or a less expensive one is just a matter of choice within the line.

Using Microsoft Todo you can choose any Smartphone as it runs on everything and it is simple to use. If your choice of solution was Microsoft’s Todo, but you use DEVONthink in your kitbag you will have to use Apple solely. If it was Evernote you’re again wide open.

A checklist of what you use, what you’re prepared and not prepared to change and your final score will help lead you to your platform. In my case, as an example, although I used to use everything Apple my Smartphone became an Android for quite some time. However, there was still much on the software side pushing me back to the iPhone where I am now.

Cost as Factor

Outright cost of your platform certainly affects a decision. However, if the software isn’t suitable, the real cost could rapidly exceed a more beneficial hardware solution. Training and support costs need to be considered as part of the overall cost so even though the platform might be very powerful and reasonable at the same time, the costs associated traing can certainly make what appeared as more cost effective more costly in the long run.

My Solution

The software I prefer and that works best for me is oriented to an Apple only solution. However, as the trend towards cross platform continues to increase, there will be less dictating one platform over another. As an example, an Android phone runs 2do, a well regarded task management system, as well as the iPhone.

All high end Smartphones have basically converged and I find an Android does as comfortably what an iPhone does at much less of a cost. The Android phone can meld simply into the Apple environment with very little problems. At this point then, preference for one phone over another takes on steam.

Choice is a good thing for many reasons. If your software dictates a certain platform, go with that. It will reduce friction dramatically. However, if you can choose, then preference of platform will dominate. At the end of the day, cross platform is where we are heading but till we have full cross platform functionality let the application lead you to your choice of a platform. Overall, it will be less costly and less frustrating.

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