Whenever I see a comparison between an Apple product and another manufacturer I always do a second take. It seems that to this day, most technology pundits don’t really understand the fundamental difference between Apple’s offerings and others such as Google or Microsoft. While specs are still important, they are not the primary reason a consumer purchases a device anymore. The functionality and software definitely lead the way.
Apple has done an amazing job pulling all of their products together to create a very powerful ecosystem for it’s devices. Not only are the devices great at what they are indented for, they also integrate together incredibly. To put it simply, they just work.
I used to be a big Microsoft user. It’s what I grew up on and and what I truly understood. That began to change with the release of OS X. This new operating system not only matched XP in terms of functionality but was also easier to use and configure. Since then my purchasing of Apple products has steadily increased, to the point where most of my home and work devices are made by Apple. It is only now that I truly understand the real power of the Apple ecosystem. Here is a list of my current devices.
- Macbook Pro 15″
- iPhone 4S
- iPad – 3rd Generation
- Apple TV – 3rd Generation
- Airport Extreme
Here are just a few examples of how my devices integrate through the cloud and allow me to do some pretty amazing stuff right out of the box.
- I have an 3TB external drive connected to my Airport Extreme. I can connect to it from my MacBook anytime I have wifi connectivity and access all of the files on the drive.
- While sitting on my couch I can Airplay my screen, photos or videos directly to my HD TV through my iPhone or iPad.
- I can purchase a song or movie through iTunes and access it through any of my devices.
- I can use my iPhone and iPad as a remote for my Apple TV.
- I can control the iTunes library on my laptop from my iPhone or iPad.
- I can use the Airport Utility on my iPhone to restart or update my Airport Extreme.
- I can share the screen of my MacBook directly to my HD TV using Airplay without the need for a physical cable.
- When I take photos using my iPhone they are synced with my photo stream and I can view them automatically on my Apple TV.
- I have Time Capsule setup for use with the external drive connected to my Airport Extreme. This way, whenever I turn on my computer at home, it automatically executes an incremental backup of my laptop hard drive. I don’t have to do anything manually.
- Using iCloud I automatically backup my iPhone and iPad directly to the cloud every night. If my device were to ever brick or get lost, I could get a new one and restore directly from iCoud.
- The Messages application on my MacBook allow me to send txt messages to anyone with an iPhone or apple account. These automatically sync with my iPhone and iPad.
- The free find iPhone app allows me to see the exact geographic location of all my Apple products registered to my Apple account.
While I’m sure that other manufacturers have many of these features, I enjoy the fact that they all just work seamlessly together. These benefits to me far outweigh a slightly less expensive laptop or faster graphics card. I don’t consider myself as a guy who has drank the Apple kool-aid. I have spent years messing with Microsoft products and various flavors or Linux. I have just hit a point in my life where I want to spend my time using the technology as opposed to continuously configuring it.
Of course this is all just my opinion and I would love to hear yours.