The Apple Ecosystem, What Does it Mean?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Fanaticalism, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Fanaticalism macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I hear all the time that people are locked into the Apple Ecosystem and thought it would be interesting to hear what people's interpretations of the word Ecosystem meant to them as it pertains to the tech world.
     
  2. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #2
    That means apps, media, iMessage, iCloud, accessories, and software integration with other Apple products.

    When someone has spent so many years of paying for apps and accessories, for many it's not that easy to just let go of and start over.

    And then you have those that don't want to deal with learning a new way of syncing and organizing photos and media.

    And restoring backups to new phones is something that is top notch on the iPhone. Nothing on Android compares yet.
     
  3. Fanaticalism thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I'm aware of the general definition but I was looking more for how it pertained to them.

    What I have found is that the monetary connection most people make is hardware related and not content (which as you described it, and I agree with). I believe that people consider themselves as locked in this way, is due to preconditioned notions that maintaining brand similarity always equates to better interoperability (again, solely from a hardware and not content or services perspective). This such an "ol school" train of thought as many services, some better and some worse, are better than the hardware company offers and are completely cross platform and in some cases even easier to use.
     
  4. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #4

    Well I think we are all guilty of favoring our familiarity of specific brands, sometimes to the point where our minds play tricks on us.

    For example, I always choose Poland Spring water over other bottled water brands even if it cost more. And I'm convinced that it tastes better than other brands. But if I took a blind taste test, it's highly likely I might choose another brand.

    Familiarity offers comfort, so just like I stated in the third sentence of my post, some people don't want to change the routine by doing something a differ way. Apple knows this, which is why they make changes very subtle. If Apple was to completely resign their products and operating system, they loose a lot of loyalists, even if those complete changes are for the better.
     
  5. spriter, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016

    spriter macrumors 65816

    spriter

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    #5
    Change scares a lot of people. It makes them have to do something that, to their mind, is a potential risk, a step into the unknown, and a drain on their resources (time, money, etc.). People are busy and there's more pressing or interesting things to do. If it's not absolutely necessary then why do it? Convenience of the status quo versus complications of change.

    I agree switching costs are way more than financial costs but having a ton of purchased content in the App or Play Store is a big factor. Add in a large amount of users not being particularly tech savvy (or wanting to be) and it's easy to see why people can't be bothered.

    I use my family members as an example: they're all pretty much on iOS. Mostly for integration of iMessages and FaceTime between parents and siblings etc. Parental controls and App approvals are big too. They see the App Store as familiar so are almost guaranteed to stay. Last upgrade they did say "but all my apps are only work on the iPhone and I know how to use backup". My take is they struggle to use what Apple does in terms of simplification (toggling iCloud backup to On) so are even more dubious about how other systems work.

    Hardware is a good point. Aside from my family having phones and tablets, adding the Watch last month only locks them in more. It's no longer a case of switching phones and apps, more likely two or three integrated devices which reduces the chance further.

    I tend to move across iOS and Android whenever I feel like it. I've spent a good amount on both platforms. At least on phones. When it comes to tablets, my opinion is that Apple win out due to better education support and so that's where I put my money. Things like iTunes U and a wider range of content win the day and I've invested quite a bit more on Edu content with iOS. However, even I consider the AW as a factor now given I tend not to like Android watches that much. If the AW worked with an S7e I'd be delighted but it's not going to happen.

    My family acknowledged the camera was much better on my S6e, or that the curved screen looked cool, and that GearVR was 'amazing'. They know the Play Store has a tongue of apps after seeing my devices. They constantly talk about iffy battery life and needing ages to charge. Mostly they talk about having Apple devices because they know how to use them and that it does the rudimentary things they need it for.
     
  6. ozaz, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016

    ozaz macrumors 65816

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    #6
    In general terms, lock-in for me mainly relates to a situation where you feel compelled to buy a product from one company because of your use of another product or service from that company. But i think it's only potentially problematic when this places a hold on your consumer choices over a time period of many years or decades.

    I started to experience this more problematic lock-in (or perhaps pull-in, because I ended up getting out) a couple of years after I bought my first Mac in 2008. It was related to my first couple of years of use of Apple content management/creation/media-procurement services - such as iPhoto, iWork, and iBooks. Before long I had all Apple devices because these things only worked on Apple devices. I realised that I didn't want to be in a situation for the rest of my life where the format of my content dictated that I must use Apple products. So I gradually stopped using these apps/services. iPhoto was the hardest to stop because I really liked it compared to all the non-pro competition (this was before Google Photos) but I did. I'm no longer all-in on Apple products. But I have family members who will not switch away from Apple primarily because they have many years of their photos carefully curated in Apple Photos.

    I don't feel locked in by services such as iMessage or FaceTime because they don't store any significant content that I need long term. I also don't feel locked-in by app purchases because I don't really spend so much money on apps that would make re-buying on a different platform such a big deal.

    The only thing I still find sticky with Apple is related to the quality of iPad apps compared to the tablet apps on other platforms. This keeps me using iPad even though I now use Windows and Android as the platforms on my two more important computing devices (PC and phone). But this is a positive form of 'lock-in' and could easily change if tablet apps get better on other platforms.
     
  7. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #7
    I think buying a mac is what really keeps people hooked in. Without a mac you are missing out on a good bit of the integration and services,making it much easier to float between OS's.

    Use Google and Microsoft services on your idevices and you can remain pretty nimble

    Buying an apple watch is also a good way to lock yourself in too
     
  8. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #8
    It's the same way in Android when you setup a new phone. Just enter the google account info and that's it.
     
  9. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    #9
    Maybe I can share an example of how I might have "locked" myself into the Apple ecosystem.

    I own a variety of Apple products. Currently using a 6S+, iPad Mini 2 (soon to upgrade to the next iPad Air 3 or whatever it's called), 2011 11" MBA, 27" iMac, Apple TV 3rd gen and 4th gen.

    I have my 3rd gen Apple TV installed in my classroom (I am an elementary school teacher), which I use to airplay my Apple devices to the interactive whiteboard. Because airplay only works with Apple products, that's a very strong disincentive to switch to any other competing product. I am aware there are other devices out there which do the same thing for other brands (like the EZ-cast dongle), but my set up is working seamlessly and reliably for me and I see no need to change yet.

    I like being able to do stuff like use airdrop to pass files around my Apple products, or take calls on my iPad via Continuity, or transfer a task to another device via Handoff. Again, bringing a non-Apple product into the mix would mess up the harmony I am enjoying. My photos are synced via icloud photo library, as is most of my data.

    There are benefits, like paying once for an app and being able to install it on both my iPhone and iPad, or iMac and Macbook. Moving away would mean having to purchase those apps all over again on the new platform (and I do spend a lot on apps), not to mention that some apps like Overcast, Tweetbot and Fantastical remain iOS-exclusive.

    I am subscribed to Apple Music over Spotify because the former has Siri integration and is also available on Apple TV. I use Apple Maps over Google Maps as the former is "good enough", and my personal stance is that so long as Apple's offering meets my needs, I will use it over the competition. I have recently moved back to Notes from Evernote. And I do see myself eventually getting an Apple Watch down the road once it gets "good enough".

    Basically, what Apple has done here is offer me an integrated solution that "just works" for most part, so long as I stay within their ecosystem. I understand that the deeper I embrace the Apple ecosystem by using their services over more platform-agnostic alternatives such as Google's, the harder it will be for me to leave in the future should I so desire and maybe that's precisely what I want deep down inside - to continue to use Apple products for a good many years to come and have a compelling reason not to switch.

    But basically, my Apple products and services work well and play well with one another and that's all that really matters to me.
     
  10. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #10
    Nothing like it. Restoring on the iPhone leaves you with the exact way it was setup, down to icon placements, app data, wallpaper, and all.
     
  11. zOne31 macrumors regular

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    #11
    I agree. I think the Apple Ecosystem refers to owning multiple Apple devices across their lineup but also as others have said upgrading from one iPhone to the next. I got my Macbook Air before I got my first iPhone and I have to say that Apple really has improved its ecosystem especially with things like Handoff and Message forwarding that I will be getting an iPhone. I still follow Android phones and I like what I see from Samsung but the fact that I own a Mac makes it even harder to switch over.

    A lot of people use Google services/apps on iPhones and ultimately I think this is the best combination. However, Gmail doesn't work too well with Mail on iPhone or Mac so I ended up even moving mail and contacts over to iCloud.
     
  12. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    #12
    Apple Ecosystem makes my life easier than Windows PC and Android.... Trust me.
     
  13. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #13
    Then you only get to experience a small amount of technology products, which kills it for me. Too interested in tech to only buy from one company
     
  14. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    #14
    The "trust me" in your statement implies this will be true for everyone.

    I'm sure it is for many, but it wasn't for me. After trying a Mac for a few years, and after Microsoft massively improved the stability of Windows after Windows Vista, I can say that using a Mac as my primary computer makes life harder for me (than having Windows as my primary computer) regardless of which mobile OS I use alongside it.
     
  15. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #15
    The issue I have with Apple's ecosystem is, there is no room for doing things your way or mistakes. Actually, trying to do things your way many times causes issues. I've learned the hard way in the past, never to trust my contacts and photos to be synced within Apple's ecosystem.

    Google is the absolutely best for contacts, it actually has a restore feature back to previous dates, in case you delete your contacts.

    The cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive) matched with manually backing up to a external drive on your own is the best for photos.
     
  16. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #16
    I highly recommend the ios Outlook app if you are looking to use Gmail on ios. Default mail app with Gmail is a no go I agree
     
  17. tbayrgs, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016

    tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #17
    Agree with this, though to a lesser extent having both an iPad and iPhone creates similar dynamic. For instance, I was reading this thread walking through the house and same a few posts to which I'd like to add a comment/reply (like this one ;)), came up to my iPP and immediately opened to this page using Handoff. I'm aware cloud syncing is available using other browsers but it's not immediate like Handoff is. Same thing goes for use of other Apple apps/services via Handoff/Continuity. I use AirDrop all the time between any of my devices, my family's or friend/colleagues that use iDevices (which for me is an overwhelming majority of my daily interaction).

    The lack of a Google desktop OS equivalent (sorry but while Chrome OS is pretty great at some things, it's not a full desktop replacement, IMO) plays a part for me as replicating much of the synergies between iOS and OS X takes some work are very often just aren't as elegant or seamless.

    For me personally, my 'lock-in' to the Apple ecosystem is part personal preference and quite a bit related to, as just mentioned, my daily interactions with people who also use Apple. Apple's Family Sharing, while still not ideal (hey Apple, how about letting us sharing iCloud storage amongst our family too please), is another option just not available on Android (Google Play family plans are not a comparable solution either).

    And will agree about the Apple Watch...mine is now part of my daily tech ecosystem and I wouldn't want to have to leave it behind. It's far from perfect but I still think it's the best smart watch available.

    I love Outlook on iOS as well---best Gmail mail app available, much better IMO than Gmail app.
     
  18. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    #18
    Yeah I think when you couple the Apple integration of products with the support they can offer its an appealing, hassle free situation. All those Apple products, the iPhone, iPad, macs, Apple TV, etc all the software too, Apple can/will support all of it.
     
  19. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    #19
    Icloud, imessage and how everything syncs without fail on all devices. Through my apple watch, iphone, ipad pro, macbook and apple TV and of course the icloud backup is great when you have to update your phone or do a reset due to software updates/betas for example. It’s all as smooth as it is on all your devices.
     
  20. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

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    #20
    For me it's several things:

    Thw content e.g the apps, the media. Not just the fact that I've spent a lot of money on apps and movies and TV shows. Some apps are not available on android, likewise some TV shows are also not available.

    Integration between my devices. I have an iPhone, 2 iPads, a MacBook, an Apple Watch and an Apple TV. They all work seamlessly together. Syncing between my devices is effortless. Features like continuity and air drop keep me in the Apple ecosystem. If I bought an android device it wouldn't ft into my ecosystem. I've tried building an android ecosystem and the leveL of integration was poor in comparison. Also on an individual level I find that my individual devices work better than their android counterparts e.g iPad vs android tablet, Apple TV vs chromecast, Apple Watch vs Android wear/Galaxy gear and of course iPhone vs android phone.


    I own a MacBook Air. I'm not willing to use a Windows computer. My iPhone works better with my Mac than an android phone would. Also even if I wanted to leave the Apple ecosystem (and was willing to use Windows) a computer is not something that I'd change at the drop of a hat. A tablet, a smart phone, a smart watch etc are somewhat disposable and can be changed more frequently. For me a computer is something that I tend to keep for at least 5 years.

    Services like iCloud backup, iCloud photos, iCloud Drive, iMessage, FaceTime etc

    Excellent after sales support.

    Ongoing and timely Software support

    All of this has me locked into the Apple ecosystem and makes it extremely hard for me to switch to android/Windows.

    Also even if android were able to match Apple on all these points I wouldn't be I'm a rush to switch. I'm of the mindset that if its not broke don't fix it. I only ended up using android devices by accident. I was perfectly happy with my iPhone 4. It was only by virtue of the fact that my iPhone 4 was stolen and I needed a cheap phone to use for a few months until my upgrade was due. Had it not been for this I would never have tried android in the first place.
     
  21. Vejper macrumors member

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    #21
    Actually iCloud contacts has a restore feature as well, just visit icloud.com and then go into the Settings "app" and in the bottom under advanced you have the option to restore contacts, calendars and reminders, bookmarks & even files.
     
  22. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #22
    I haven't used iCloud for contacts in awhile. Is it restore contacts from previous dates even if it's deleted on all devices?
     
  23. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #23
    I don't by nature like ecosystems but if I did the Apple version is pretty nice.

    What ever OS I use on my computer will dictate what peripherals I use
     
  24. Vejper macrumors member

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    #24
    I think it is saves an backup of your contacts every day if you have changed anything or added new contacts but I think you only have a month to catch your mistake before they delete the backup.

    I have only used it once and it worked great to restore it.
     
  25. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #25
    That's good to hear. Before they didn't have that option.
     

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