Full disclosure: We are Apple fans. I stood in line for over three hours to purchase my and THE first iPhone while typing on my Blackberry. We have iMacs at our business as well as our home. Our older kids all carry iPhones and our four year old has literally grown up with an iPad in her hands (the addiction of which we are now trying to control!) We use iCloud Calendar, Contacts, and Reminders at our business and home with employees carrying iPhones for easy sync of all daily activities. A sizeable investment of music, movies, and apps is utilized by all of us and streamed with our iDevices including two Apple TV’s. Oh…and, of course, Steve’s autobiography sits prominently displayed on our bookshelf. And when all of these things connect you find yourself part of (slave to) a digital ecosystem. It’s indeed a beautiful thing how it all fits perfectly together. Everything looks, feels and reacts the exact same in a perfectly groomed environment. Apple, especially, decided long ago that they knew exactly what we needed and has created the Disneyland of digitech life. Like the famous park you always know what to expect on every attraction and are rarely disappointed while inside the gates.
But what IF you do want something different?
So why the hell would I even consider changing ecosystems and any or all devices that go with it?! First confession, before my wife does it for me, is that I am (and really, so is she) a tech addict. CNET, The Verge, and Tech Radar are daily reads for me. I’ve tried Android phones on several occasions and even made a go of the Blackberry Z10 when first released. All of these experiments have ended in returning the devices within the refund policy and going back “home” to Apple.
Here are my personal reasons for considering playing outside Appleland:
One thing I have learned, no matter in what ecosystem you work and play, is that the SMARTPHONE is the main device. It’s the first thing I reach for in the morning, carry throughout the day, and sit on my nightstand after setting the alarm at night. The majority of my emailing, posting and browsing happens on my phone…oh, yeah…and talking too. Another interesting fact is that the warranty on eye sight expires when you turn 40! I find this incredibly apparent first thing in the morning as well as when I have to reach for my phone because of work in the middle of the night (people die at the darnest times).
It is no secret that Apple is expensive. This is how Apple makes their money compared to Google selling ads and Microsoft selling licenses. With a family of our size in addition to a business I’m always comparing expense to value.
Maybe not an issue for most, but for my Parky friends (I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease 5 years ago) and I, both the current size of the phone and the iOS flow is not always the easiest to maneuver. Conserving dopamine is crucial and having to go completely out of an app to enter another (duplicated throughout the day) can be an issue.
With iOS you have iPhone or…iPhone.
So the challenge at hand is what CAN I try. As I stated, I have tried Android phones, and although the customizing can be fun and there are a plethora of devices to choose, I found the result was a messy room of mismatched apps and platform quality inconsistency, too extreme of Apple’s controlled neatness. Blackberry was and is an amazing email device and that’s about it. I did like the lack of a home button with sliding paneled screens making maneuvering easy. Other than that Blackberry it is kind of like going to see your favorite 80’s band perform live in concert in 2014…yeah. I love the presentation of the Windows phones and Nokia, which most of the Windows phones are, makes an incredible piece of equipment. But it is a hard ecosystem to change to after being Apple based so long and forget trying to sync the two together (at least Android has some apps to sync iCloud to Google). Pretty much tried them all, Eric…so head back to iPhone and wait for Apple to fill in the gaps? Sometimes you just can’t beat Disneyland? Stay tuned as the “fickle fone” saga continues or possibly you have a better solution?