Apple ecosystem is good but Google still has an edge
How Google is still relevant in the age of Apple
I remember the time when Apple used to make phones and people used to compare them with phones of Nexus, Samsung, Huawei, and Blackberry, etc. Now Apple is not making phones but a brand. The smartphone that you use has evolved beyond a communication device, it is not limited to communication but also acts as your banking, media streaming, content creation, and consumption device. Now the race is not about making perfect hardware (see where Sony, Blackberry, Nokia, and HTC have gone) or software (irrespective of what you do the chances of creating a new software to beat apple and android are almost negligible) but creating a user experience which is captivating and enchanting. This user experience is created via the perfect match of software and hardware for each service and frankly, IOS beats Android every time. There is no comparison of the two (I hate to say this).
Smartphones have evolved over these years. Now you do your banking on them, read books/ blogs on them, and view content on them. The way forward is based on two approaches:
- You consume data and pay for it
- You consume data and give data for it (which is then used to generate revenue)
There is no third way. If given a chance, I would go for the first option but the selection is not simple. Apple primarily functions with option 1. They charge you extra and try to provide some security to you. However, that’s not enough because a lot of services that you use are not catered by Apple but by other providers (such as Facebook/ Meta, Google, Amazon, and others) and all of them are forced to function based on option 2. Most of the public won’t mind sharing some data for the service they are getting and wouldn't subscribe to the service. This changes the entire experience of the content provider and they start focusing on data collection. Thus, the users who want to pay for service and don’t want to share data aren’t left with many choices.
Now things become interesting. You pay premium prices for the same services for added privacy and before you realise the premium that you are paying is way too much. The data that is being collected is still almost same. Yes, you heard it right “ALMOST SAME”.
The apps are still collecting your data to function properly and you are paying a lot high premium that you would have paid on android.
Per month Youtube costs INR129 on Android and INR 169 on Apple
The annual pricing of Pocket is ~INR 550 on Android and ~2000 for Apple.
Subscription of Medium membership on Android is again almost 50% of Apple
You can go ahead and see a lot of such examples. The data collected by both these apps are still the same. The only difference comes in how both operating systems are optimised and in the user experience.
Once you have explored the financial angle you would like to move to user experience. This is currently the most favoured point by any Apple fan. I am using iPhone, iPad, and Mac and yet my daily driver is an Android because I just cannot leave the Google ecosystem. Google has come a long way. Easy integration of my google account on almost every website, the functionalities of Gmail, Gpay, Google maps, and Google drive are indispensable. Moreover, the ease of content sharing, collaboration with devices of other manufacturers are also better. If you are not convinced try browsing Economic times app on your iPad and any android tablet. Though I love to use iOS but I am forced to revert to Google every time a website prompts me to login via a google account or facebook account. The same thing happens when I wish to share content to my friends who aren’t on Apple ecosystem. Simple mirroring of my phone’s screen on my Samsung TV is a big task on my iPhone.
The coming times are even more challenging because now other manufacturers have started making premium devices for android OS. I understand that they are nowhere near any iPhone and there is a lot of gap between the two. Yet, the start of making premium smartphones by Google is a good step. The future belongs to subscriptions and sensible data collection. Google has already started focusing on both areas, the collaboration to bring various subscriptions without much incentive and effective data collection are both prioritised by google in recent times. I am keeping my fingers crossed waiting to see where both of these will head.
Since we are nowhere near the future, I am using both Android and iPhone. The only choice I have as a user is: use both but buy all subscriptions via Android (it will save you a lot). Share data via Android and experience the smoothness of iOS. I really wish that Apple would improve the sharing experience and charge less OR someday the Android would be smooth enough to be compared to the iOS.