I Dumped the Apple Ecosystem

I’ve been convinced that using other developers apps was unacceptable, but really it might be the key to finding a better workflow.

From Unsplash by Damian Zaleski

I’m obsessed with technology and hardware and I’m on this endless quest of perfecting my workflow with the best possible combination of hardware and software.

I’ve been living with this apple-first designer mentality. Which I think a lot of us designers have adopted over the times and I’m not saying thats a bad thing. When you’ve been handed a brand new Macbook Pro Retina with a Core i7 and 16gb of ram on your first day of classes, its hard not to fall in love with Apple products and the way they interact with each other.

I’ve been using my MBPr and iPhone forever. Photos, messages, mail, calendar, notes, reminders, I used all of those apps every day of my life. But what if you don’t have an iPhone anymore? Long story short I smashed my iPhone one too many times and I hated my carrier. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to go back and try out Android since its had four years to mature since the last time I had a Google-powered device as my daily driver. Yeah, it messed up my workflow, but Google has its version of each one of those apps. After a little set up, I was back on track.

My day-to-day isn’t much different and there are tons of differences and similarities between the two operating systems, but that’s not what this article is about. Its what I’ve realized since leaving the Apple apps behind.

Before, if there was information on my computer, that information was also on my phone. Simple right? Yes. As long as you have your shit set up correctly. Now that I have a Nexus how am I going to sync notes, photos, or calendars? I can’t. Google doesn’t have a desktop app for those. Wait a minute… I’ve been conditioned by apple to need apps when really that’s not true at all. I think most UI savvy people would agree that mobile = apps and desktop = web.

Apple has separate desktop apps for each of their services; mail, photos, iTunes, calendars, messages, notes, ect. The same tools by Google are all web based. So you’re probably wondering, “Chris, what are you getting at?”. Well, using Google tools I can access my files using any machine that has a web browser, but in the Apple ecosystem unless I have a Macbook I’m fucked.

I think thats the point, but this is a huge barrier in finding the perfect workflow. I didn’t realize I was being so confined in my choices of tools until I switched to android. I’m not talking down on Apple users. Using all of the Apple toolset is fine as long as you just that. Use it all.

I was at the Microsoft store the other day and the diversity in the types of hardware was almost overwhelming. They have laptops, tablets, laptops that transform into tablets, and tablets that transform into laptops. Now, these may or may not be the answer to improving my workflow, but not being completely invested in the apple ecosystem opens up the possibility of me finding something new that might help me build, create, and actualize my ideas faster or more efficiently.

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