If you’re a tech junkie like me, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into which tech “ecosystem” you should try to become a part of out of the big three, Google, Apple, and Amazon. By “ecosystem,” I mean the intentional cultivation of a one-stop-shop self sufficient tech world.
A recent example of this would be the launch of Google Music, Google’s attempt to have users who love Google products (and probably have an Android phone) stay within the fold, so to speak, and spend their money buying music through Google. Another example is the release of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which is meant to keep your cash totally within Amazon, where you can buy (and consume) just about anything now. Apple’s tech ecosystem is fairly well known, but its strength was just increased with iCloud’s launch, promising wireless syncing of content across all your Apple products.
But if you’re like most people, you might be totally overwhelmed by the plethora of choices these three offer in terms of hardware, software, and unique perks. I’d like to share my thoughts on the various options, and try to help you decide which might be right for you. My conclusion, ultimately, is that each tech giant excels in different areas, and a combination is probably best for most people. But read on to learn how I got there. I’m splitting this into three posts, with part two and three coming along shortly. Please feel free to comment with your specific questions in the meantime to help me shape the second and third posts toward your concerns.
Start with What You Have
Understandably, most people make tech purchasing decisions on a case by case basis, and don’t always think about how nicely certain devices and software will interact with one another. So take a tech inventory to see how what you have fits and works for your lifestyle. Maybe you’re already an Apple person, have every device they’ve ever made, and couldn’t be happier. Or maybe you have a mix of different devices that you’ve forced to work together like awkward guests at a dinner party.
Regardless, knowing where you’ve been can help you determine where you should go. It’s also important to remember that there’s certainly nothing wrong with maintaining accounts on all three services. Google is essential, in my opinion, and works well (for the most part) on Apple devices, but lacks some of the media options offered by Amazon and Apple (and some would argue offers inferior hardware for mobile tech). So don’t feel like you need to ditch something that works for you simply for the sake of streamlining your technology.
Your Phone is your Tech Foundation
If you think about it, there are many “optional” devices out there these days that are nice to have but aren’t essential. Cell phones are the opposite. Everyone needs one, and I haven’t seen the statistics, but I’m assuming many people in the industrial world over the age of 12 have one. What I’m suggesting here is that what you choose for a cell phone might help you determine the direction of future purchases. For example, if you compare Android vs. iOS, choosing an iPhone might mean that Apple’s world is what you want to be a part of, because it will be simpler to have the content on your phone transferred to your other devices automatically with iCloud.
Also, you could still have your Google account and services on the iPhone, as well as music you purchase from Amazon, but only if you have it in your iTunes library, because there is no Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone. On the flipside, you can’t exactly play DRM protected media purchased from the iTunes store on an Android phone – something that was very frustrating to me. There are workarounds, but the whole point of this post is to help you make your tech work together smoothly so you don’t have to resort to said workarounds.
Again, please feel free to chime in with your questions in the comments, and look forward to post number 2, where I’ll into more of the specifics.