You must have heard this argument chucked around like a million times, that it is the ecosystem that keeps an Apple user locked in and the person won’t be able to get out of that easily. Having experienced this myself, Let us dive into this in detail.
Let me get this out of the way. How the motivation for me to write this all out arose. And that is simple, while I was working on another article, I just thought about what would my life have been if I was still not in this ecosystem, and I literally shuddered at the thought of it.
Early on, I was a hardcore Microsoft fan (Windows) and on the Android side in the case of mobile phones. I’ve been through a lot of phones in the past few years from top of the line phones bought at launch like the Sony Xperia Z1 to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to the flagship killer of 2016 One Plus 3, while sifting through phones like the One Plus One or the Xiaomi Mi4 too meanwhile. This obviously can show my extreme usage of androids in the past years. The same case was with the Windows, with having a top of the line Inspiron laptop from Dell (With Core i7 and GTX 760M) before finally changing the platform.
Then, finally, to understand the “Ecosystem”, I finally ditched those to get myself an iPhone 7 (which was the flagship at the time) to compliment my iPad Air and the Retina MacBook 12”. The experience I would dive on explaining, later on, is all based on iOS 11.3 (Currently on Public Beta) and MacOS High Sierra on the MacBook.
This is one of the major features that indirectly changed the way I used to interact with my devices radically. I click a lot of photos with my iPhone and seamlessly transferring those to the MacBook at one tap (without even having to “pair” through ShareIt or using a physical USB Cable) is a breeze. The same is for watching videos on iPad which are downloaded on the MacBook. All through just a single tap.
Facetime and iMessage
These two things always felt minor to me before I moved to the Apple ecosystem. But they become one of the most appreciated benefits.
The ability to have all my text messages, receive and reply to them, on any of my devices, be it the iPhone, the MacBook or the iPad is seamless and really handy.
When using either the iPad or the MacBook, I don’t need to pick up my phone ever or even have it near me since I can easily answer my calls on them instead. It just feels like all these devices have their own sim slots, which obviously isn’t the fact.
Continuity and iCloud Sync
Let’s take an example here. There is an important event on some day which I wish to attend. I could just download the iCal file for the event, double tap it and instantly it is on the calendar and reminders on all of my devices.
Or if, I downloaded an app, say on my iPad, like Netflix (Giving that example because it actually happened with me), and I log in and start watching a show. Now I need to go out somewhere with just my iPhone. (Now, generally, the process would be to take the phone, open the app store, download the app, login and continue) but what actually happens is that due to iCloud Sync, the app was already downloaded and the login needed me to just use the Touch ID and due to iCloud Keychain having the passwords to all my apps and websites, I could continue to watch the show on the iPhone. There are more such smaller touches like the fact that if I copy something on one device, I can paste it on any other device directly by clicking paste (The universal clipboard).
Now, this is something I don’t own but my friend does, and I borrowed it to see the seamless experience. And that is the Apple Air pods. The moment I opened the case, thanks to its W1 chip, I could connect it to my phone on a single tap without all the hassling pairing process we face on the Android side of things. But the best thing was that due to iCloud Sync, it was already connected to my MacBook and iPad too without me even having to do anything.
So, here is an anecdote. I was out travelling and was working on my MacBook while waiting at the Airport lounge and for some reason, the Wi-Fi for the lounge stopped working. But I didn’t have to worry at all. Just a tap on the Wi-Fi icon of the MacBook gave me an option to activate the hotspot on my iPhone which was in my pocket (And while showing me the battery levels and the level of Cellular signals the phone had) and I just had to click on it and continue working.
Here you can see how the Wi-Fi menu on my MacBook shows my Phone and its signal and Battery status
We’ve always talked about the Apple Tax. While comparing the Apple devices to equivalent competitors, we always forget the free software support and ecosystem we get while using these. And this software is what that transcends to add up to the “Apple Tax”.
The seamless integration between all the devices and how everything happens without us having to install a multitude of third-party software and apps and having all those tasks done in the simplest manner makes the Ecosystem what it is. There is no way now I could ever think of my life without this ecosystem, and that’s what makes Apple what it is.