All Your Digital Eggs in One Basket

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

How Do I Know if the Grass Is Greener?

By being fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem, I’m saying to myself that I want every decision regarding my personal computing, whether it be the mobile computer, laptop computer, or the computer on my wrist, to be dependant on the ideals and decisions of one company.

I totally get this feeling. It does feel a bit weird to me that all of the hardware choices, as well as all of the decisions of what software I’m allowed to use comes down to one company’s desires. I just so happen to think that Apple does tend to make the best decisions out there in terms of hardware and software, but they’re far from perfect. I’d love to own a touch screen Mac, but because Apple doesn’t want that yet, I don’t get to have it, for example.

Apple and Google do very good work at getting you to be more comfortable the more you go all in on their products. And why shouldn’t they, they’re trying to make money, right? It’s just a tough balancing act for users. As I buy more and more Apple products, all of those Apple products get better. My iPhone is more valuable because of the HomePod Mini I AirPlay my podcast to while I’m working. My iPad gets more valuable because it has seamless file sync with my Mac. Reminders is better because it works with Siri in a way no other app is allowed. The list goes on.

But this is of course also a bit of a trap. I can’t really get an Android phone, even if I think I would enjoy it more than my iPhone, because then my HomePods become worse, my Mac gets worse, my iPad gets worse, and my Apple services get worse. Because each additional Apple product makes all my other Apple products better, likewise removing something from that mix brings down everything else.

As a consumer you have the choice to choose all open platforms and to spread everything out so that no one company has too much control over your digital life, but that tends to lead to using worse software that works worse together. the brilliance of Apple’s products, and a main driver of their success, is that each of their products is good, and they each get better as you add more Apple products to your life.

This is good for users in the short run, and the questions you should ask yourself are (a) how easily can I switch if this company makes a turn for the worse, and (b) am I preventing myself from getting the best experiences possible because I’m locked into this one company’s platform? I don’t think it’s bad to be deeply invested in a single company, but it’s very natural (and important) to recognize your dependence and have a plan to change course if need be.