By Matt Birchler

The Opposite of Small Business Saturday

On a pretty regular basis I’ll see someone write a thread or blog post about why they’re switching to all stock iPhone apps. The dream seems to be throwing all third party apps to the side and going all in on Apple stuff.

Everyone is of course allowed to do whatever they want, and there are sometimes very reasonable reasons to do this (cost, for example), but this attitude bums me out a little.

I think about Small Business Saturday, which is the day after Black Friday and is generally supported by most people since regardless of your political position, we all basically agree that small businesses should do well and we feel better when we support them over the big mega corps.

Third party apps (in almost every case, obviously not in the case of Google or Microsoft apps) are small businesses as well, so when I see someone say, “I’m going all in on stock iOS apps and services,” to me it sounds like, “I’m done supporting small businesses, I’m only shopping at Amazon and Walmart from now on.” I know, I know, I'm sure that's not the intent, but it's the same energy.

For me, apps developed by smaller companies are my defaults.

  • I use Fantastical because I like it a lot more than the stock Calendar app and it brings me tons of value.
  • But then there's something like Carrot Weather, which I like about the same as the stock weather app, but it allows me to support a small business for very little out of pocket, so I lean towards Carrot even through the practical gap isn't as big there.
  • Then there are the things that I go to Apple for; things like cloud file storage and online photo storage, things that are just straight up better than the competition for my needs.

Again, everyone is free to do as they wish, but for my part, my default is to use a third party whenever possible.

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