What keeps you in the Apple ecosystem?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Devyn89, May 20, 2018.

  1. Devyn89 macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2012

    So I was thinking about all the Apple stuff I have and about the different ecosystems I’m seeing emerging (like Samsung with the Galaxy line of phones, their own smart watch and their own wireless earbuds, not to mention their tablets and computers). That got me wondering what keeps me coming back to the Apple ecosystem.

    For me it’s a combination of a number of factors: 1) the products themselves (from their design to their operating systems) 2) the way they all work together (things like continuity and handoff) and 3) privacy and security.

    First of all I find Apple products to be the best in class for their particular class (ie iPhone is the best smartphone for me, Apple Watch is the best smart watch for me etc). I find them easy to use, powerful, and friendly. Now of course these are my observations for myself, everyone is different.

    Second, even though more manufacturers are making products that exist in a ecosystem (like Samsung as noted above) none are as deeply integrated and work as well together as Apple. The fact I can get phone calls on my iPad, respond to notifications from my Apple Watch and even in the middle of editing Pages or Numbers document switch to a different device is something pretty unique.

    The biggest one for me is a commitment to privacy and security. Apple clearly takes security and privacy very seriously and although I have nothing to hide I appreciate that because I get to decide if I want to share information about myself with Apple or other entities.

    My question for you is this: those of you in the Apple ecosystem what keeps you here?
  2. tonybarnaby macrumors 65816

    Dec 3, 2017
    Apple Watch, plain and simple. I really like my 8 plus, but the Apple Watch is a thing of beauty. If I could use one with an android phone, I’d probably have a note 8, v30, pixel 2xl or the upcoming oneplus 6.
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I am not in the Apple ecosystem.

    For sure, I own Apple products (iPhone 6s+, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad 6th Generation, etc) but the only services I use are iMessage and iCloud and iCloud I solely use for backup and Find My iPhone. iMessage is convenient, but it's only about 10% of the messages I send. The rest is SMS/MMS.

    I wanted to dive into the Apple ecosystem back in September 2012 when I got my first brand new iPhone. But Apple made this impossible when they cut off PowerPC Macs from syncing with devices that use Lightning Cables.

    Today, my main Mac is a Power Mac G5 Quad. My server is a PowerMac G3. The only Intel Mac I own is a 2006 Snow Leopard only 17" MBP.

    Back in 2012 I discovered that iCloud would only sync contacts one way - to the device. And other than SOHO Organizer you can't hook iCloud up to OS X Leopard 10.5.8.

    That resulted in using Google and Dropbox, although Dropbox stopped working on PowerPC a few years back.

    It also resulted in a jaded observation of what Apple considers to be 'features' of their ecosystem. You mention handoff. I don't need it. I have access to multiple computers at work or home 24/7 and each computer serves a specific purpose, while my phone handles phone calls.

    So, Apple never let me in the sandbox and by the time it developed flexible enough services I'd already made my own way via third party services and jailbreaks for my iDevices. I can get iMessage on my PowerPC Macs for instance because my iPhone is jailbroken and I have Remote Messages installed and a Fluid app on the Mac.

    The one thing holding me to Apple was the design of their devices. But Apple decided to start using the camera bump as a feature. Since my needs for a phone are minimal (I don't use it for pro purposes or to stream or watch video or to store my social life on it) aesthetics are my focus. And Apple has made the camera bump I hate larger and uglier with every new release of the iPhone since the 6/6+.

    I can see the writing on the wall. Apple won't get rid of this bump. And since I'm not locked into their ecosystem because Apple never allowed me in anyway our next phones won't be iPhones.

    None of this is to say I don't like other Apple products. I own a lot of PowerPC Macs and I really do like my iPad.
  4. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    One account, one cloud, handoff, iPad and phone complimentary, watch and iPhone, can run OS X and windows same machine.
    Most of all it meets my needs.
  5. ipponrg macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    The only Mac products I work with on a day to day basis are the iPhone X and Macbook Pro. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm fully embedded into the Apple ecosystem. I don't use the personal assistant or voice stuff like Siri or Google Assistant. I do find Airplay/Airdrop nice from time to time, but there are always other alternatives if necessary. I seem to use Google products in the Apple ecosystem more so on a daily basis because they are more thorough for my uses.

    On my iPhone X, I don't use any Apple software extensively except for Safari, Camera, Music, and App Store. I use Google Mail over Apple Mail, Google Maps over Apple Maps, and Dark Sky over Apple Weather. What makes it hard leaving the iPhone X is I play some games that only save via Game Center.

    On my MBP and as a software engineer, I am not tied to the Apple ecosystem at all that much except for maybe Final Cut Pro X and Logic. Other than that, I mostly do development in Sublime Text and am proficient with unix commands in Terminal (no I don't use iTerm). If at some point Apple decides to go away from BSD based unix systems, then I'd have to find something else to replace it (i.e. go back to Debian based systems / Mint / Ubuntu / etc). I doubt they will ever though.
  6. Julienne macrumors member


    Apr 26, 2018
    I think the ecosystem is largely a myth anyway. I don’t feel locked to Apple. Things are a lot more open, portable, and interchangeable today than back in the days when proprietary formats and protocols ruled. Today it might be a minor pain to move from one service to another, but it’s very doable.
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I would say it's quite real to some. But only because they aren't searching for alternatives.

    It works for them and the effort required to either extract themselves from it or to learn new ways and methods is not worth it to them when what they have already is comfortable and reliable to them.

    You mentioned that systems are more open now. That includes Apple as well. Over time they've opened up a little bit so that when you're already invested in the system and experienced with how it works it does't take a lot of new effort to learn the new trick Apple is offering - especially if it's something that you might have been asking for.

    However, I would tend to agree with you. Google's services work just as well on an iPhone as they do on Android. It's one of the reasons I chose Google for my contacts and calendars and not iCloud. There are any number of other services out there as well.

    It just comes down to preference and how much time one is willing to expend at learning new things.
  8. Julienne macrumors member


    Apr 26, 2018
    I use Hangouts because it essentially works the same as iMessage for anyone else in Hangouts, and for everyone else, I can type SMS messages to text back and forth. I'll continue to use it. Also because I can access it via any other platform,
  9. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    A lot of times when similar threads like this show up, I always see "ecosystem" and handoff/continuity as a reason but I'd like to point out these features don't impress most people as shown by Mac sales.
  10. Regime2008, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018

    Regime2008 Suspended


    Oct 3, 2017
    Basshead in ATL
    You took the words out of my mouth.
  11. Reno Raines macrumors 65816

    Jul 19, 2015
    For me there are several reasons:
    1. The simplicity that is iOS for me.
    2. The support that Apple gives it’s products ie. the 5s.
    3. The continuity between the various Apple products.
    4. The durability of their products.

    There are more reasons for sure.
  12. everythingapplerainbow macrumors member


    Sep 28, 2017
    I used to have Android + Windows combo:
    1. sharing files between those 2 are a giant pain every time
    2. adding Google contacts account failed every couple days
    3. in my country, SMS is still huge, I tried many ways to send SMS from my Windows laptop, still very unreliable .
    There are a lot of interesting features on Android + Windows recently, but I'm lazy taking the risk again
  13. blairian89 macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2016
    I use Mac for work, school, and personal use.

    The iPhone syncs up to it perfectly; notes, handoff, iMessage, FaceTime, you name it, it is there.

    Apple has me by the gonads...and I cannot say that I am complaining at this time.
  14. bluecoast, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

    bluecoast macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2017
    I feel that Apple makes amazing hardware but has services that feel about 2-3 years behind the competition (and a user experience that is starting to degrade with Android catching up).

    Overall, it’s the (iOS) hardware quality, user experience & commitment to privacy and security that keeps me buying Apple hardware.

    As far as software and services go, I don’t really use Apple services as I feel that their quality isn’t that great.

    I do use iCloud but for Photos (which has worked flawlessly for me).

    iCloud Drive I’ve had issues with that resulted me in having to speak to Apple support for a few hours in total to resolve the issue.

    Apple Music has got a bad user interface and poor music discovery compared to Spotify IMHO.

    I’ve turned off Siri on all devices. Not because of privacy issues but because Siri is terrible.

    Handoff I simply haven’t found useful so I’ve turned that off too.

    I know that Apple’s services segment gets great results each quarter but I think it’s more to do with the size of their user base rather than it being best in class.

    Apple should be worried about not being best in class IMHO.

    EDIT: I completely forgot about Maps. I live in the U.K. and Maps just hasn’t got enough places data compared to Google Maps. Its search suggestions are terrible too and will often suggest obscure places in America for me (when I’m in London).

    iMessage is turned off. I’m finding the direction it’s going with pushing ‘apps for imessage’ really irritating. And I try not to message too much anyway.

    FaceTime I’ve never really used.
  15. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    With regard to iOS vs Android, I already have every Google app I want or need on iOS. And IMHO, the best mobile experience for Microsoft Office is on an iPhone. And switching, I'd lose access to iMessages, GarageBand, iMovie, and several other apps not on Android.

    I'm a lot more open to rethinking staying on macOS as my main traditional computer OS. Excel on macOS is suboptimal when it comes to macros and add-ins. Windows has crossed the threshold (for me), where Windows 10 is 90% as good an operating system as macOS, running on hardware that is 100% as dependable as Macs, but with over 100% more options with regard to RAM and GPU configurations.
  16. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008

    Not really a myth if you have to buy all your music, movies, and apps all over again when you decide to leave it.
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    It’s not about an ecosystem for me, it’s about the communication that various Apple products have between the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, etc. Also, Apples customer service keeps me retained in the Longevity and support with their productline.
  18. rosyapple macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2018
    I only use Apple products because it just works. I only use iCloud and iMessage though. So far iCloud has been very reliable for me.

    I don't use other cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox) and Siri due to privacy issues. I have a Gmail account because I'm forced by my school (my university uses Google to manage all students', teachers' and staff's email accounts). I use Google Maps and Google Translate because Apple Maps is not as good, and there's no alternative for Google Translate by Apple.

    Basically, when possible, I use Apple software such as iWork, Preview, iBooks simply because Apple's OSes and products are intuitive.

    I wish that iOS has an option to auto download all files on iCloud onto my iPad (I can turn this on or off in my iOS settings), or at least has an option to always sync / download a specified folder on multiple devices automatically.

    I'm currently dealing with hundreds of files in multiple, nested folders on iCloud and it's quite a pain to have to go into each folder on the iPad and manually click download on each file. I would like to be able to sync my whole iCloud to my iPads and MacBook Air.
  19. quynhtrang macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2018
    Apple is the lesser of two evils compared to Google. I must admit I am greatly disenchanted with Apple of late. There seems to be a preponderance of new features and ways of doing things with useabilty the casualty. I no longer find Apple products easy to use.
  20. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    I still enjoy using iPhones/Macs just as I did when I bought my first iPhone/MBP in 2007. I also have several Apple watches that I use.

    I also enjoy using Android phones just as much. Nothing is really keeping me on either platform other then I like using them.
  21. roberthallin macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2009
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I really like the way all my devices work together with continuity. I've never really used handoff, but being able to make and receive calls and text messages on my iPad, MBP and iMac is a big deal. It's not something I couldn't live without or anything like that, but I do use it a lot. The fact that you can use features of one device on other devices that doesn't have them from the start is a nice thing.

    Then there's FaceTime and iMessage, which I have no real substitute for. FaceTime works, by far, the best for me in terms of usability and quality of the service compared to every other comparable service I've tried, which is most of them. Since I live far from my family it gets used a lot and has become a natural way of how we communicate, which I guess also ties in to the ecosystem perspective in that it's not just what you use and how your devices connect to each other, it's also about how well you can communicate with other people. For me and my close ones, this is definitely a reason to why we keep buying apple.
  22. tonybarnaby macrumors 65816

    Dec 3, 2017
    If apple allowed the apple watch to work with Android, they would gain a bunch of new users. They would also lose millions of us. The apple watch is the best selling watch in the world, so im not holding my breath for android support.
  23. Pakaku macrumors 68010


    Aug 29, 2009
    Only the fact that all of my older hardware still works perfectly fine today...
  24. mib1800 macrumors 68030

    Sep 16, 2012
    I just enjoy the power of all-in-one phablet running android that can do almost everything. iPhone just cannot make it as an all-in-one device.
  25. mjschabow macrumors 68000

    Dec 25, 2013
    I recently switched to Android and switched back after a month. What's funny is that Android has really stepped their game up and it's not hard to switch away from the Apple ecosystem at all. But what it came down to is that I actually prefer Apple's "walled garden". It's just so much easier. I know that the Apple products I buy will all work with each other without any extra compromises or additional steps. iMessage and Facetime is so easy with family.

    The only thing that I'd caution Apple is to not try too hard to go overboard with features and to still focus on fantastic hardware. Google is becoming dangerously close to pushing Apple when it comes to the seamless user experience. The big problem with Google is that they haven't figured out hardware yet. I feel better about my brand new iPhone 6s Plus holding up than the Pixel 2 XL. That's saying a lot.

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