I have to admit ever since I’ve read this headline “Galaxy Note 7 might be the best phone ever built”, I was tumultuously waiting for a conversation like this. Despite the facts that define “the Best” phone and appealing aspects of that magical combination of software and hardware, I consider myself a user, who wants to use things not being entertained by those things, to that extent, a Pro User.
As a Pro user I am in need of a hassle-free environment so I can focus on work and in the general sense to focus on “content” instead of platform or device. For years Apple provided me with that, even the aptly named MobileMe had the minimum viable vision to help this need.
Apple-Google intersection is balancing more and more, mostly because of maturity of Google platform which expands its ecosystem. As you said, you can easily replace all your default productivity apps on your iOS device with even better apps from Google, but then it comes Mac!
Even though I am a Mac user since OS9 I never called myself a fanboy, in fact I’ve tried to switch a few times but that Mobile-Desktop ecosystem was just not there. I know it is also a Pro POV of 2% of iPhone users, but when it comes to content, everybody’s a Pro.
I think the worst for Apple has not yet happened, the amount of investment Google is making on web apps and Chrome platform will be the real nightmare for Apple. When Google decided to invest on a cross-platform solution instead of investing in an operating system it carried the vision of the ultimate ecosystem. Of course the day when we can run Photoshop in a browser is far away -if we ever want/need that- but until then Apple just cannot offer anything new in the realm of that magical combination.
Apple these days is producing sophisticated products, these products don’t have many bells and whistles, they do the job and I appreciate that my iPhone, iPad and Mac are working transparently together. (shared copy-and-paste feature of iOS 10 and MacOS Sierra would be the most exciting thing). The mobile-first and mobile-only generations would also appreciate this transparency of hardware and software, as we move more toward popular content driven platforms. I always despised Material Design for its short-sighted aesthetics, but that was the correct move toward implementing a unified language of an ecosystem.
So, Apple still got the best, and Android still cannot compete with that, maybe not for long.