The Ecosystem

My first smartphone was a Nokia Symbian – back in 2011. I loved the fact that we could install “real” software aka apps on a phone!

A year later, I got the Galaxy S. It felt like moving from a motorcycle to a car – I loved Android. I used to install apps, root the phone, and try the different mods available. I remember CyanogenMod was one of the favorites. Installing Android KitKat (4.4) on a phone that only could support Froyo (2.2) officially was a game-changer. Heck, I even wrote about why Android Development made sense – back in 2015.

When 2020 started, I was using the Galaxy S8+. It is a fantastic and capable device. However, I did not really like the array of fitness options I saw – especially compared to the one on Apple Watch. After some research, I got the iPhone 11. I love its green color!

Here are some thoughts on why I moved to iPhone and why I’d probably stick around for some time:

One downside

I lost my WhatsApp chat history from Android. There was no reasonably easy way to migrate the chats from Android to iOS. In a way, it was liberating. Because I did not have much of a need for any past chat conversations! Frankly, that was the only thing I missed out after moving to the iPhone.

Now, on to the good sides.

Why choose iOS

It just works!

Seriously though, the ecosystem is so well integrated that they work seamlessly. I would not call it magic since it is technology after all, but it really is a great convenience.

When I was younger and had more time in my hand to experiment, Android was a great option. After working a full-time job and creating other content about WordPress and Jamstack, I really do not have time for downloading torrents or rooting the phone. Besides, I did face stability issues when I rooted the Android. Imagine being on a work call on the phone and the phone acting weird. Perhaps not the best idea!

Some may argue that iPhones are too expensive. My counter-argument is you can perhaps justify that with all the improved productivity. What can be achieved with the Apple Ecosystem (macOS + iOS) will almost always take more time when using Windows + Android. This time saved in improved productivity will make that purchase well worth it.

Besides, the argument of the higher cost is only half true. You can purchase a brand new iPhone SE released in 2020 for $400. Even the so-called Flagship Killers are much more expensive.

Convenience

Let’s talk a little more about convenience. I use 2-factor authentication for most web applications that need to be secure, like GitHub. When I get a 2FA SMS message on the iPhone, I can just copy it on the phone and paste it on the Mac. It just works!

Imagine you are using a web page on your phone and want to continue reading on your Mac. You can open your Mac and the page will be ready on your Mac’s Dock – click on it to continue reading on a larger screen. I once told about this exciting feature to someone and they replied they can do it on the Chrome Browser just as easily. Truth be told, I never used that feature on Windows + Android Chrome. But on the ecosystem, it just works.

Screen time

This is a feature now baked into iOS + macOS and I cannot overstate its importance. I have a limit of 2 hours for social media and gaming combined. So, if I reach that time I know it’s time to stop using those Apps. Yes, you can override that. But the point is about being aware of the limitation.

Limiting your screen time is crucial for getting good sleep and leading a healthy life in general. So, this app on the devices will help you stay accountable and be on track.

Passwords

Every time I bought an Android device, I had to put in the password to connect to my home WiFi. When I got home with the iPhone, it had already got connected to my home WiFi! Turns out, I was already using the same Apple ID on my MacBook and when I had logged into the same account on the phone via Mobile Data, it had synced the password and I was not even prompted.

This is yet another example of how ‘it just works’.

Software Updates

The great thing about Apple is they continue to give software updates to their devices. When I was using Android, I had to try different hacks in order to run the latest version of Android. On iOS or macOS, it is rather convenient to have the latest software from Cupertino right in your own devices.

The Apple Watch

Most people in my region think the Apple Watch is a fashion accessory. For me, the reason for buying the Watch is for fitness and overall health benefits.

The way the Apple Watch pushes you to exercise or helps you keep on track is extraordinary. They have carefully chosen the right words to send you notifications so that you are not discouraged but also motivated at the same time. I did not see it on lower-cost fitness trackers.

AirPods Pro

Another example of how Apple “just works” is the AirPods. I was not totally sold on the AirPods when they were released. So, I went and purchased the Anker Soundcore alternative to AirPods which costs 1/4th of the cost of the AirPods Pro. Soon, I realized switching between the Mac, iPhone, and Apple Watch was a nightmare.

The nightmare turned into a pleasant dream once I switched to AirPods Pro. Switching between the different devices is now just a breeze.

Yes, all this costs more money than their alternatives. Personally, I would still consider making these changes. Because they can be regained in either productivity or reduction in time wasted on meaningless things like connecting to different Bluetooth devices as you wish.

It is not perfect

You might have seen me raving about Apple and might have been convinced I’m just being stubborn.

However, it has not been all perfect. A few weeks back, I updated the OS on my MacBook Pro to version 15.4.0. It stopped updating beyond a certain point, in spite of me leaving it on overnight. It probably had got connected to a weaker WiFi during installation and failed to complete the update process.

I contacted Apple Support on Twitter and restarted the computer upon their advice. It worked fine. However, it crashed for good after 8 hours. The good news was I was able to finish my talk at WPCouchCon just on time. It is currently at the Authorized Apple Service Center – and here’s me hoping it gets returned in working condition.

Another lesson I took from this incident is that even the most optimized systems can collapse and the best plans can fail. It is about how we get up, dust ourselves, and keep moving forward.

They are just tools

When people fight over iPhone vs. Android, they miss the point. Sort of.

You do not see two craftsmen arguing over their tools of choice. Or do you?

Besides, as the two operating systems continue to evolve, they get better and also become similar to each other. They take inspiration from each other (read copy) and this leads to the whole world becoming a more optimized place.

It is not a time to hate on one other for the devices or software they use. Rather, we can take inspiration from the efficiency of iOS or the diversity of Android in order to learn the lessons to cultivate them in our own lives and businesses. This can truly help us reach a better place.

Hating without understanding is easy; trying to understand the reasons why something is a certain way or empathizing with someone is much harder – and therefore, more rewarding.

Frankly, there are more reasons why I prefer iOS over Android. But I mentioned some of them in this article so as not to bore you.

The thought

Both, Android and iOS are great mobile operating systems. The interesting part is, both systems seem to be getting similar to each day rather than becoming divergent. So, switching between the two will seem easier than it has ever been.

If you have been bashing iOS (or Android) without trying it with an open mind, you will never know.

If you still feel like arguing why I am wrong for choosing Apple, you might have missed the point of this article.

I switched to macOS about 15 months ago and to iOS about 5 months back. So far, it has been going very smoothly. However, I am not stubborn about being an Apple user. If I see Windows becoming a more compelling device for doing my work or the integrations become more streamlined on another OS/Platform, I would consider switching again.

For the time being, let me finish writing this article with the tools created by the folks at Cupertino.

And as my colleagues said when I bought a Mac, “Once you go Mac, you never go back!” Only time will tell how right (or wrong) they were.

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