I bit into the poison Apple

It seems that I’ve drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid or maybe a better analogy, I took a bite of the forbidden apple.

In 2018, I made the life-altering switch from Android to Apple, a decision almost as controversial and polarizing as one’s political stance. Ok, this might be a bit dramatic but it is a very polarizing life choice. Never, in a thousand years did I ever think I’d be an Apple user.

Yet, here we are. In 2021 (almost 2022) and not only am I an iPhone user, but it seems that I’ve fully embraced the Apple ecosystem.

What does it mean to be part of a technological ecosystem?

Apple’s ecosystem is often described asĀ a walled garden. While peripherals such as AirPods, HomePods and AirTags integrate complementarily into the ecosystem, with products such as the iPhone, it does not function as well or with as many features when paired with competitive devices such as Android smartphones. It is also not easy to switch from the ecosystem once you have immersed yourself into it, as it is designed to keep users from leaving (source, emphasis my own).

Apple’s HQ “Apple Park” located in Cupertino, California is literally a walled garden.

When I think about technological ecosystems, I tend to think about the ivory tower, a metaphorical place cut off from the rest of the world in favour of its own pursuits. Contemporarily, this has often been associated with academic institutions. As an information professional, it has been my goal to remove barriers instead of putting them up. So the idea of a walled garden or ivory tower is at odds with my professional philosophy.

The Ivory Tower, a contemporary view of academia.

Benefits of a technological ecosystem

At its core, simplicity and convenience lie in the technological ecosystem. I recently bought an Apple Watch and it synced seamlessly with my iPhone. For Apple products, iCloud syncs content between all your iOS devices (e.g. iPhone, Mac Book, Apple Watch, etc.) I have also recently paid to upgrade my iCloud storage from the free 5GB backup space to 200GB. I can now back up all my devices and it makes moving between devices infinitely easier.

Tack on EXCEPTIONAL customer service and Apple Care+ and you will no doubt have a great experience in “the garden”. Of course, with Apple, you pay the premium. Up front costs are typically more expensive but you get a product build to last (at least last a few years longer than other companies products).

Uneasy feelings

Although it is easy moving within the Apple ecosystem, it becomes more and more difficult to leave as you get more ingrained within it.

As an information professional, I’m a huge advocate for open access and open source. Android, for instance, is based on Linux (an open-sourced software). For years, this is what kept me on Android-powered devices. Apple, on the other hand, is closed proprietary software (with some parts being open-sourced). My philosophy is that if I purchase something, I should have the right to do with it what I want. Apple has put up quite the fight in the news lately, with ‘Right to Repair’ legislation.

I’m about to go deeper into the Apple ecosystem

Yet, here I am fully embraced in the Apple ecosystem and soon to be even more entrenched in it. I’m setting my eyes on the MacBook with its impressive M1 chipset. Apple has brought a serious competitor to the table

So it appears that I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, I’m all in, Apple has defeated me. I am no longer interested in tinkering, if the pandemic has taught me anything, time is too short. I just want things to work. With Apple, those things work really well.

Leave a Reply