Putting Apps In The Apple Basket

It seems as seasons change, so does my tech set up. I flip-flopped again. Boredom and “Greener Grass” syndrome are strong factors. Then logic steps in to justify my moving between apps or gadgets. I succumb to marketing, I fancy the shiny, and I mistake novelty as a virtue. In any case, despite my recent misgivings with Apple’s reach and living in a walled tech garden1, maybe I’m an Apple fanboy more than I thought.

After extolling the benefits of computing flexibility and diversifying your tech set up, I’ve done a hard revert. I’m all-in with Apple again. To be fair, though, I hadn’t truly left the ecosystem. Yes, I stopped using iCloud and many of Apple’s apps2, but I still used an iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch3. And given that the company’s software is so well entwined with its hardware, it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve embraced it all once again.

With all Apple hardware, it just makes sense to use all Apple software.

The cause of this sharp turn-around is mentioned in my recent post about being a creature of convenience. First, I couldn’t resist the ease and elegance of relying on Apple and iCloud Photos. Turning those back on triggered a chain reaction. Next, my gaze was drawn back to Safari and iCloud Keychain, leaving Firefox and Bitwarden in the dust. Quickly following next was a dive back into Apple Notes, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

There are key things that attracted me to once again entrust Apple with all my data:

  • Elegance: Apple’s iOS apps and their design language are tailor made for the smartphone. For example, Apple Notes is nicer and more intuitive than Obsidian on iPhone.
  • Features: To use Firefox, for example, I gave up Tab Groups and a built-in reading list. With Safari, I regain those nice-to-haves. And iCloud Keychain integration is smoother than Bitwarden.
  • Simplicity: Using the default apps on both my Mac and iPhone minimizes the number of third-party apps I would otherwise tack onto the system. For most of my usage, Apple’s apps are all I need.
  • Consistency: I like Apple’s common UI design language and iCloud persistence.
  • Affordability: While the hardware can be costly4, the software is “free,” built into every Apple device. I don’t need to pay for Affinity Photo or Day One, for example, when Apple Photos or Apple Notes gets the job done well.

Sure, there are pros and cons to going all-in or being cross-platform. I was aiming for the ideal in principle a was trying to be practical. But while my family uses a mix of Apple, Google, and Microsoft apps and devices, I personally own all Apple gear. So for me, it makes plain sense to use the company’s holistic ecosystem.5

I’m not addicted; I can quit any time.

If owning only Apple tech means the company owns me, fair enough. But I know I can switch away despite the costs. Maybe I just needed that reminder. It’s nice to not feel trapped by platform lock-in. Yet Apple’s walled garden sure is a nice one to be locked into. Just don’t throw away the key.

What do you think?

✉️ Reply by email

✴️ Follow on Micro.blog

  1. This was partly because I was brooding on the weak points in Apple’s ecosystem. ↩︎

  2. Thankfully, I didn’t switch from using Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts. But I came close to adopting Microsoft’s versions of these. ↩︎

  3. I did go so far as to consider a Garmin fitness watch, a Windows laptop, and an Android phone. ↩︎

  4. I rarely buy new Apple gear, instead buying used or refurbished yesteryear models. ↩︎

  5. My family also relies on the Apple One subscription bundle, so we share iCloud storage, Apple Music, etc. ↩︎