Apple Strengthens Pull of Its Orbit With Each Device

The tech giant has succeeded in ensuring that its phones, tablets and computers work seamlessly together. You might never leave.

Comments: 178

  1. "Seamlessly"and "silky" are not two words that come to mind when using iOS 8 and the new iphone 6. Unfortunately the words that spring to mind are not suitable for printing here. Thank you Apple for putting out a beautiful piece of hardware with beta software

  2. What's beta software?

  3. Robert, beta software is a pre-release version of a program that is used to field test for bugs so they can be fixed for the official release. David is saying that iOS 8 was released before it was ready, and is still buggy as a result.

  4. Robert, when a company writes a complicated piece of software, at first it always has bugs and badly designed features, So they test it within the company. This is called alpha software. When they have fixed up enough, they next want outsiders to test it since outsiders may use it in different ways. They ask for volunteers to to test it since it still may have some bugs. This is called beta software,

    In theory, when all the bugs have been fixed, they release it to the general public. But as Einstein said,

    "In theory, practice and theory are the same; in practice, they are not."

  5. It's hard to see the convenience in a closed system that won't do something like transfer files from the PC at the office. Also, the iPhone's file transfer capabilities are crippled in general, as is iOS itself, unless you do only basic tasks with your phone; more than a few people have gone Android for the ability to use Tasker alone.

    Finally, you refer to apple's hardware as terrific and the best of all words. For PC's, perhaps, although Apple's elegant-looking hardware sometimes has frustrating limitations. But a hardware comparison between the new iPhones and Android phones is just embarrassing to iPhones. Here for example is Macworld's feature comparison between the iPhone 6+ and Google's new Nexus 6: Fingerprint scanner and 64-bit processor aside, the iPhone seems to have been designed several years ago, with the Nexus having a larger and sharper display in a case of about the same size, more RAM, a better battery, a sharper camera, front-facing speakers, and a lower price;

    http://www.macworld.co.uk/review/iphone/google-nexus-6-vs-iphone-6-plus-...

    It's hard to recommend an iPhone anymore to any but the most computer phobic.

  6. Josh, I use several platforms, including (gasp!) Windows. With respect to the file transfer from your office, I am not aware of anybody who cannot transfer a file using either iCloud or Dropbox (or Google's cloud platform, for that matter). This can be from a computer to an iPhone (or droid), iPad, or any computer.

  7. It's hard to recommend any Android device that is so poorly designed, much less a PC.

  8. Tom, huh? How exactly is the Nexus 6 poorly designed? So far, I've seen nothing but raves. Do you have any actual reason -- features, functionality, design -- for saying what you did?

    As to PC's, I agree -- I recommend the Mac to those who don't have specialized requirements and can afford the price premium.

  9. Seamlessly connected products do not lock anyone in; however it provides a very valuable signal that the consumer is valued and it is a big enticement to stay, one we gladly fall for, again and again. I gladly spend money on products I value and Apple products are at the top of my list for performance and incredible tech support that none of Apple's competitors can begin to offer.

  10. Performance? Have you actually compared high end phones? Apple is not the leader here and hasn't been for years.

  11. If you think Apple or any large corporation "values" its customers I have a bridge to sell you. They value their customers' money, period.

  12. If the iPhone is available as a hotspot across providers, Apple has made a special deal with the providers. Android devices have the same capability, which I used on the original Motorola Droid, but Verizon (and presumably other providers) hobble it so that they can charge extra for hotspot service.

  13. Sometimes what users characterize as beta software (testing-phase releases) is actually a user unfamiliar with the new terrain. Nothing any tech company puts out is perfect from the get-go (if it ever can be termed "perfect"), but Apple is to be congratulated for getting right more times than anyone else. The same is easily true of Apply Pay, iOS 8.1, and Yosemite. Yes, I've drunk the Kool-aid, and its now my favorite beverage.

  14. Sugarandd, judging by the comments here and elsewhere David was quite right in his characterization of iOS 8. A few years ago, iOS was buggier than Android, but the tables were long ago reversed.

  15. Oops, sorry, buggy post, I meant to write "A few years ago, Android was buggier than iOS."

  16. Perpetual Beta a term used by software life cycle developers when the software maker like Apple continues to release new features that might not be fully tested. Yet silky smooth looks may continue to seduce the novice. While the ecosystem is less than secure and that's the current state of the Yosemite and iOS 8 Operating Systems.

  17. Keep in mind the novice market is vastly larger than the techno-geek market. People want a gadget that just works, not one that requires regular attention. For that you can buy a Fiat.

  18. Looking for a closed integrated environment sounds like a very old fashioned way of doing things. This is the type of thinking that got IBM into all kinds of trouble with their Mainframe systems back in the 70's which led them to design the PC with non proprietary hardware and software. Which allowed them to steal the market right out from under Apple.

  19. One thing that doesn't work seamlessly, is AirDrop, unless they fixed it on Yosemite? I cannot AirDrop from my phone to my MacPro tower running 10.9.3 even if I am sitting in front of it. It's annoying.

  20. Yes, Yosemite allows AirDrop between OS X and iOS.

  21. You can't airdrop from iOS to 10.9.

  22. My major concern is security. I upgraded a desktop Mac and a Mac laptop to Yosemite (but not my iPhone, a 4S; IOS 8 is sluggish on a 4s, and once I upgrade, Apple won't let me go back to IOS 7 if IOS 8 doesn't work well); now I get all sorts of mysterious and rather unclear messages about all the data sharing that may or may not be going on via iCloud. And iCloud itself is more than a little confusing; there are apparently two flavors, with almost identical names, iCloud and iCloud drive, with various degrees of compatibility or lack thereof.

    Every week I read a new story about iCloud having been hacked, so I do worry a bit about all this on-by-default sharing of my data that may now be taking place.

    Apple makes some good products, but like most companies, they have their own agenda, which isn't always in the customer's best interests. Some examples include the company's unwillingness to let a customer who finds IOS 8 doesn't work well to revert to IOS 7; the fact that iPhones are apparently locked for life to the carrier one chooses when one buys the phone, even iPhones with SIM slots are locked to one US carrier; and why, Apple, don't you let end-users change the batteries. Apple has also made computers with the parts glued (rather than screwed) in place, so they are difficult to repair, and though Macs use standard disk drives and other parts, Apple often uses custom firmware, which makes upgrades expensive.

    Apple makes good products, but they are far from perfect.

  23. iCloud and iCloud drive can be limited or outright disabled in the user preferences, what you charge reflects a lack of knowledge or willful ignorance.

    iPhones are not lacked to a carrier for life. When your contract is up the carrier will unlock your subsidized phone. If you wish an unlocked phone they can be bought for full price. Again, either a lack of knowledge or willful ignorance.

    Why the editor picked this comment is beyond me as it is simply untrue.

  24. Microsoft does not let you go back to Windows 7 after you have installed 8 and want to go back.

    And you're categorically wrong about iPhones. Depends on the model. Maybe you just bought from the wrong carrier.

  25. And Apple won't even allow you to upgrade the ram on the Mac Mini, along with their other computers. Why??

  26. Maybe I'll see "seamless" in the next year or two or three when we upgrade our iPhones, iPads, and Macs. In the first years of "not 1984", I was eager to try the latest Mac software and was even a beta tester. In the last few years I have become very reluctant to move to a new X.0 level. Things that used to work well enough become a frustrating series of not "seamless".

    A case in point is moving from iOS 6 to iOS 7 on an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. Why does the arrow or double bar to start or stop a podcast disappear on an iPhone? That didn't happen in iOS 6.

    The only reason I moved to Mavericks from 10.7 was to be able to escape Word and Excel. But the conversion to Numbers was anything but seamless. I have to correct many "errors" in the converted spreadsheets. And Mavericks has a whole bunch of "gotchas" that have a steep learning curve. Plus, I think Mavericks is very slow on a 2011 MacBook Pro.

    I do know I won't move to Yosemite and I won't buy another MacBook until they come with Yosemite installed.

  27. "Seamlessly?" Ha. Ever since Yosemite dropped, my IPad has gone from smooth operating to developing all sorts of annoying quirks. (Since when does it take more than one click in Safari to go to a new website? Why do I have to reload webpages constantly for them to work? And what is with the vanishing tab line in Safari that requires more taps to bring it up so you can websurf?) Never thought I'd see the day when an Apple upgrade would be 1) counterproductive, 2) an indication the company has made becoming Microsoft their aspiration. :P

  28. Correction--ever since ios 8 dropped. Sorry!

  29. Yosemite doesn't run on the iPad, so I don't think that's your problem.

  30. Welcome back to my world, Apple, as soon as the newest products reach the shelves of my local Apple store.

    Having taken a brief detour back into the land of Windows a year and a half ago, I am ready to come back to Apple. Whatever complaints I hear about Apple, I know I will never, *never*, NEVER again buy any hardware made by Apple's big rival, Microsoft though I may, for business reasons, need to stick with Office for awhile.

    Nothing allegedly bad about Apple's new operating system and how it integrates has can possibly be worse than the experience of Windows 8.

    As far as I am concerned, Microsoft is dead. RIP.

    Microsoft, as far as I'm concerned you are dead.

  31. Windows 8 is indeed nightmarish, but if you install the free "Classic Start Menu" it's just fine -- basically an updated Windows 7.

  32. Until the iOS8 update, I was happy with my iPad, and Android phone. Since the update, my iPad has become a brick, so slow I could use it as a TV dinner tray....I am going to enter the Android ecosystem now and waive a fond adieu to Apple products altogether....

  33. i see no difference in how my phone or pad runs with 8.

  34. Hmmm....If this is successful, it's just a matter of time before the European Anti-trust Commission attacks Apple, demanding that the system be opened up and/or the source code be made available.

  35. Keep in mind that eventually Apple stops supporting devices and you're forced to upgrade them to keep up with software. What is cutting edge today will cost you thrice or four-fold in a few years when their "latest-and-greatest" software won't work on your two-year old devices. Plus, you'll be in a constant loop of updating software. Prision is the correct metaphor here; whether it's "beautiful" is a matter of opinion.

  36. I have mixed feelings about Apple, but I have to say my Macbook Pro is still working for me after almost five years, and I'm really pleased about that. It's ended up being more cost-effective than the two Windows laptops I had before it, which, though considerably cheaper, had constant operating system problems that had me pulling my hair out and wasted many hours of my time until they weren't worth saving.

    Obviously, I'm not someone who has to have the latest thing - maybe I'd feel differently if I were exploiting the full capabilities of my devices, but I don't have a need to. Don't have any use for a tablet so far, and now that I'm retired syncing home and office is not an issue. My Mac works very well for me. I have an Android phone and will probably stick with that, but I think I'll probably spring for another Mac when the time comes.

  37. If i have to be locked-in to a company, I'll take Apple anyway over GM, Microsoft or Allstate.

  38. Huh? There is no Microsoft, Android or other like ecosystem to be locked into. Of course, that's what Apple likes you to believe.

  39. Think back to the days of using DOS. So glad technology has become so user friendly and personal.

  40. Amen! Computers (including smartphones) are downright chummy these days! I recall learning BASIC on terminals that didn't even have monitors, they just typed back at you.These are heady times for us old computer geeks!

  41. Apple's sole aim is to "lock you in". They lock you in by introducing major software upgrades every two years requiring you to buy (or "rent") an new, much more expensive iPhone. A two-year-old iPhone is all but useless. Not only will it fail to accept many if most new features, odds are it will function, if it functions at all, at a snail's pace. Do we really want to lock ourselves in to a cell phone just shy of a thousand dollars (the iPhone 6) that in two years will be little more than a partially functioning snail?

    For $800, if it is going to be a snail in two years, I'd at least like it to be fully functional. If it is only going to be partially (or even fully) functional, I'd rather it not be a snail. And call me crazy, but if these trends continue I don't see being forced to buy the iPhone 7 at something north of $1,000 in two years for a phone that, you know, does what it is supposed to: Function fully and efficiently. I don't see that as, well, you know...

    Intelligent.

  42. I have a laptop from Apple that I bought two years ago, the current version of this laptop is only about 15% faster though it is more efficient with battery use.

    Smartphones are a far newer technology. An iPhone 6 is about 50% faster than the iPhone 5. It's not that the old technology is getting slower, it's that the new technology is doing what new technology always does and is getting faster. Complaining about this reminds me of what used to be said about 20 years ago about computers: "if you don't understand that the computer you just bought is obsolete by the time you walk out of the store and get upset about it, you shouldn't be buying one."

  43. My God, a voice of reason. I thought I was the only one who cared about quality and cost and cost and cost.

  44. I strongly disagree. A two year old iPhone is a 5 or 5C. The phone in using right now. With the newest OS -- ios 8.1.

    Yes, I lack the fingerprint scanner that allows me to use Apple Pay. Yes, the excellent camera isn't *as* good as the camera on the beer phones. No, the screen isn't as big as the newest phone. And yes, a very few functions of the OS are disabled (somehow I think I'll muddle through without extra-super-slo-motion video).

    But my phone is still blazing fast and works perfectly well with the 100 apps I have installed. I have thousands of songs on here. I browse the web effortlessly. I take doEns of photos every week. It all works perfectly.

    Oh yes, and I can make and receive phone calls. :-)

  45. The problems start when your Apple desktop will not load up Yosemite, and the Apple password does not work, and you have to spend hours trying to find where the fault lies. the I phone 6 is fine, all up to speed since it's new, the Macbook pro works OK except for the Apps update with the same password that had to be reset 3 times, it does not work. as for the I Pad....Better to use it for quick searches than having everything to match and eat up all the memory. The time saved using all this tech is lost in trying to sync old and new......

  46. It sounds as if you haven't configured iCloud keychain properly, or have problems remembering your Apple ID and password. Things don't magically happen in Apple's ecosystem, you have to configure your devices to work together. Once you do that most of your problems will go away. Apple isn't perfect and this integration between devices is relatively new, but using applications that are designed to work on both iOS and the OS X, making sure you're using the latest versions of the applications and the operating systems and keeping track of your passwords makes things much easier.

    The new continuity features like handoff make the system a pleasure to use and iCloud drive along with Mail drop can make other cloud services obsolete. Most of these features are new and it takes a little time to get used to them, but once you do they really are a pleasure to use.

  47. "Most beautiful" is most important in, in descending order; lovers, landscapes, clothing/cars, food, with my digital devices hovering much farther along down the line. They are just tools. Tools need only be functional. The classic hifi speaker manufacturer Vandersteen is a case in point, at a lower cost they make world class products by not spending a cent more than necessary on looks.

    I have far more integration across my Android phone & Windows PC via Google than I want, so for instance I do not let it scan my contacts lists, or auto update my phone's email display in gmail or target me with ads. My gmail displays a pseudonym and so I am John Smith for purposes of online posts, and I love it that way. Apple and the like do not have your best interests in mind, they have their own.

    Fashion goods are one of the most profitable product sectors in all of business, but you don't get any more value for that extra dollar spent. And with Apple you don't even get something millions of other people don't already have, too.

  48. I wouldn't want to live in your world. Beauty is a key component for many people. I live in a beautiful home - why would I want ugly tools?

    Europe and Japan understand their consumer - beautiful design is available even on low cost products.

  49. These "continuity" type of features have long been available with Android (see Motorola Connect, Mighty Text, AirDroid, Chrome-to-phone/phone-to-Chrome and very many others). I have had my phone virtualized in the Chrome browser on my laptop for a long time (laptop rings when I get calls, text through phone on laptop--texts pop up on both at once, access phone photos on laptop, etc.). The difference is that I can have all these features on any brand computer (Chrome works on all of them) and many different brands of phones (any of the many that run Android).

    All of the advantages of "Continuity" have been available for years without being locked into any one company's hardware. The only thing new here is the lock-in.

  50. Yeah, but features don't exist for the Times until Apple reinvents them.

  51. "But Apple’s beautiful prison might be too comfortable to resist."

    A very informative article, but in the future please avoid the use of phrases like the one above. As you mentioned, Google and Amazon's services and content are easily usable from Apple devices, so you are in no way locked out from using them. Many, many people read Kindle books and use Google's email, mapping, and calendar services via Apple devices. That nit aside, I did enjoy the article.

  52. Interesting how Microsoft's efforts at device, service, and experience integration don't even merit a mention--except perhaps by oblique reference to Word. Admittedly, since its system isn't nearly as closed as Apple's, it's much harder for Microsoft to deliver optimally integrated experiences across all potential device environments. Be that as it may, if you take a look at what's happening with Windows 10, Office 365, Xbox and ancillary technologies like SmartGlass--not to mention how it's beginning to tackle common cross-platform scenarios (Office on iPhone, anyone?)--it seems to me to be a rather curious omission. What gives?

  53. I think what gives is that Ballmer dropped the ball on smartphones and Windows 8 was an unmitigated disaster. Paradoxically, Microsoft has been putting some elegant infrastructure in place, with great features. But until they get the front end right no one is going to use it, if then (since they're so late). Windows 10 is a significant improvement but of course it isn't out yet, and from what I've seen so far it doesn't move far enough in the right direction.

  54. True enough that the gamble of Win 8 hasn't paid off--yet. It is very much a transitional OS that has permitted the company to build its mobility story (and figure out what worked and didn't) and establish a bridge between the desktop PC experience and the mobile experience, between work productivity and media consumption (among other vertices). My point is that, whether you measure what it has in market now, or consider what's coming on the near horizon, you simply can't ignore what Microsoft is up to, and that's effectively what the writer has done--as if Microsoft is irrelevant in this regard. That's what I find objectionable.

  55. Yosemite, huh? I learned my lesson with Mavericks when i finally downloaded (or tried unsuccessfully with the millions of others I was competing against) the app. All kinds of glitches, especially with mail. At the time I was under Applecare so i called and got a great senior advisor and everything worked out, albeit over three weeks.
    So I've learned my lesson. No jumping into Yosemite for this guy. I've ledgered it for a May insertion; by that time they may have gotten the bugs out of it that other commentators are finding to their frustration and dismay.

  56. I have Mountain Lion and went to "upgrade" to Mavericks when it came out and lost everything on my MacBook Pro. Went to GeekSquad in my local Best Buy and they were able to save everything in my files much to their surprise as well as the Apple specialist who was there.

    So I'll not be "upgrading" to Yosemite for a LONG time, if ever.

  57. said before will say it again. Apple has now become what the 1984 commercial was all about. They had a great OS in Snow Leopard after that ah not so much

  58. I thought advertising masquerading as news was a journalistic no-no. At least that's what they taught me in journalism ethics at the Iowa State University school of journalism.

  59. If they could buy Walter Isaacson they can buy everything, and do.

  60. And now, out of sheer coincidence I'm sure, an iPhone 6 pop-up ad appears on my NYT home page.

  61. Way too much fanboy action going on here. I don't want my mac to look like a giant iPhone. You speak as if the cognitive load of using a different interface on a different type of device is overwhelming and it is not. A desktop or a laptop is a fundamentally different computing device from a mobile phone and I don't see why the interfaces should blend together. Translucency and 4-color palettes (hello DOS) are a regression that does injustice to years of Apple's own research on user interface design. How is having "an inscrutable rectangle with an upward arrow" on two devices an improvement? Give me rich detailed icons that tell me what I'm doing!

  62. Farhad is exaggerating the similarity in appearance between the two operating systems. What is true is that the "rich Corinthian leather" stuff is pretty much gone in both. Some people lament this change, but I tend to like the cleanliness of the new looks. They are easier to use.

  63. The same critique [desktops looking like giant iPhones] applies to many other companies besides Apple now that the public's use of iPhones/Androids has mushroomed. In some cases, the adaptations are not too annoying for the desktop user, such as those implemented by the New York Times. For me, a more annoying adaptation are the changes Google has made the "directions" feature in Google Maps. While Google Maps' current implementation of the directions features is undoubtedly more functional on iPhones/Androids, I find that these changes have decreased its functionality on my desktop.

  64. Apple products are the best. Nothing else comes close to their beauty.

  65. Please don't forget function, usability and cost. Where Apple is lower, equal and higher.

  66. I use an iPad and an iPhone, and most, but not all features, I've got set to link. I use a PC laptop, because I don't like Apple laptops, and not all of my work software even works on Apple (despite that's what we've been given at work).

  67. Small note about Messages & color schemes: The Mac/iPad app is based around using iMessages, which has the same blue & white color scheme on the iPhone--that is, on the iPhone the actual messages show up in the Messages app, but as blue and white instead of the green and white. On both, iMessages uses cell/wifi instead of SMS/MMS. So everything matches the color scheme except for the app icon on the iPhone, which uses the green SMS color. Since you can't actually send SMS's from your computer or tablet (unless you have an iPhone and have presumably linked the two) it makes sense that they switched to blue for the app icon.

    Not saying it isn't jarring, it might even be jarring on purpose, just that there's a reason.

  68. Continuity fails the grandma test. It's not that easy to set up and requires a bit of geekiness to get it all up and running. I think its easier to just register for google voice and then use through gmail or foward calls to any of your devices/phones, as well as for text messages.

  69. This is why I don't want to be in the cult of Apple. I have a variety of computers and gadgets including one Apple but I don't want to be locked in their universe. No thanks!

  70. I used to be a Windows user and switched to Apple when Microsoft stopped supporting my perfectly well-functioning XP software. I was so angry about Microsoft continually forcing me to upgrade my operating system when I was happy with what I had.

    Then I switched to Apple, and unfortunately, they are now doing the same thing! I was happy with the original operating system I got, Mountain Lion, and then suddenly I'm told I have to switch to something else. I refused and still have Mountain Lion working fine.

    I just talked to Apple yesterday about my AppleCare expiring. I asked to renew it, they said No, you can't renew it, you are forced to switch to pay per service call, which is what I had to do with Microsoft. Aaah! I thought I was getting better customer service with Apple, that's why I switched.

    I am so angry with these tech companies. I don't have a problem upgrading when my devices and software fail, and paying customer service, but I resent being forced into high-cost situations that are unneeded and unwanted.

    You would think they would want to keep customers happy so they stick around. But they don't seem to care. If you eventually get fed up and go elsewhere they probably figure at least they sucked you dry while they had you in their clutches.

    Capitalist companies are leeches with big smiles to distract you from the sound of the blood-sucking.

  71. XP is a 13 year old operating system. Technology changes a lot in 13 years. You really think you're not going to have hardware limitation issues with eventual Apple operating system upgrades or that Apple is going to support one of its operating systems for longer than 13 years?

  72. For the record, like many features of the Windows operating system, MS also got many marketing ideas, including this one, from Apple. It wasn't the other way around. It's too bad you made that switch. Neither of the two major OS's is your "friend", but Apple markets itself as if it were, which is why I reject it.

  73. Applecare is an extended hardware warranty, with some software support. There are very few companies in any area that will continue to extend warranty service again and again.

  74. I loved Apple long ago when they made great educational computers.

    But the proprietary nature of their devices going all the way back to the Mac turned me away from them.
    It may be a beautiful prison. But the price is too high--both monetarily and in terms of my ability to choose what I use. So I'll keep my freedom, my Toshiba laptop, my Asus tablet and my wonderful Motorola Droid phone, all of which combined probably cost me far less than a single IPhone

  75. You Droid costs more than an iPhone if you look at resale value.

    One can buy an iPhone, take care of it and sell it in 2 years for more than a carrier will sell you the next big thing for. You cannot do that with any Android device.

    Next, as the owner of an iPhone AND a Nexus phone, I assure you that on it's best day a 4 year old iPhone is better than the latest Android device. Not only is the Apple OS better, the same apps just run better on Apple's hardware and OS.

  76. "all of which combined probably cost me far less than a single IPhone"

    Yes, probably, but what are they worth.. can you even get $20 for them?

  77. I'm not a fan of Apple's design aesthetics. As I type this comment on an iPhone 6, I actually have a smaller viewing area and a less convenient keyboard than I had on my old Blackberry. The device seems more oriented to passive consumption than it does to active creation. It's great for viewing things and selecting amongst pre-programmed alternatives, but then so is a television set.

    Personally, I want devices that are designed for physical use and adapted to my hands. I'm not impressed by designers who make it hard to pick up their product from a tabletop. It makes it very clear that their needs take precedence over mine and that's not a good basis for a long term relationship.

  78. Apple's "unified ecosystem" has become unreliable and unfriendly. Since the introduction of iOS 8 both my iPad and iPhone have repeatedly broken. My iPad tanked and I was forced to restore and upgrade to 8, which caused many apps to lose functionality. My iPhone, still on 7, repeatedly dumps all of its mail and won't hold a 4G connection. When I try to update apps through the App Store app, the app itself (not an update) launches and dies. I haven't been able to upgrade any apps for several weeks. I think Apple is trying to let 7 die and force us to upgrade to 8.

    It's interesting that consumers have three choices: Apple (unreliable and manipulative), Windows (cruddy and dysfunctional interface, prone to spyware, viruses) or Linux (aging and despite all the Ubuntu hype, still unfriendly and difficult for most of us). We need an alternative OS.

  79. Shallow people will always gravitate toward shinny things that are coveted by others. A smart person buys Apple stock, not it's products, as there are technical superior. easier to use, and much cheaper options available.

  80. A smart person BOUGHT Apple stock. Now it's probably too late.

  81. It's not lock-in … Apple users have access to all the usual goods and services that are out there, but the tight integration of the various hardware parts makes it easy to use it all and keep your place. Migration out is outlined by the various competitors who might woo you away, at least if they are on top of their game. Any validity to talk of a walled garden has really gone away with the rise of apps and the ubiquity of a slew of widely used file formats. IF you like to tinker with lots of hardware from multiple makers, that can become a great hobby, but it's nice not to have to do it. Of all the mega-tech companies, I think Apple makes the friendliest and best gear. You might pay a little more upfront. Of course, Apple would like to keep selling you stuff for your gadgets, but the other companies have an imperative to do that and/or sell your information to the highest bidder.

  82. I would never buy a Windows PC after having used an Apple computer; there's no comparison in terms of design or functionality.

  83. Of course you didn't mention cost. The premium is why most opt out of the ecosystem.

  84. I agree with you. I used to be on PC's but after having Macs for the past almost decade or so, I would never go back. I grew up with Macs and my parents are still using Power Mac G4's. They are way more durable than PC's and can really be used for years. My first Macbook Pro is going on 8 years old and is still being used by the person I gave it to. Since I am a power user I swap out laptops every 3-4 years. For a $2,500 investment, my return is more than 100x that amount for the life of that device. When I had PC's I had to replace/upgrade them every 2 years as they became really slow after that.

    This far along in my career, I do not have time to spend my weekends taking apart my computer and adding components and figuring out how to customize things. I just need something that works. I could care less about much customization beyond changing the picture on my desktop and my default browser. I'm all in the Apple ecosystem and I'm loving it.

  85. It the user experience that's why most are in the ecosystem.

    And when you resell an idevice you also get premium price.

  86. Most people would be surprised to find that the hardware components inside MACs and their laptops is identical to that inside Windows PC type laptops and desktops. The higher res screens being an exception. To get this you pay up to twice as much and the ability to use Apple's OS.

    As computers become virtually disposable devices lasting 2 or 3 years if you are lucky (due to OS upgrades or eventual hardware malfunctions) paying top dollar is perhaps not the most practical strategy.

  87. A PC with the same level of hardware as an iMac / MacBook will be in the same price category as iMac and MacBook. CPU, memory, SSD, IPS LCD panels all have very fixed price so you are not going to get it cheaper buying from DELL/Lenovo/Samsung/ASUS. What you are seeing at half-price are lower tiered PC products that uses cheaper components and have far less build quality. Check out Lenovo Thinkpad T & W series and Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus and see if they are any cheaper than comparable Apple products.

  88. Since Apple make NO machines with commodity mother boards, then I can say with confidence that the motherboards are never identical.

    For other components, there is a large range of prices and qualities for pretty much any component. 95% of the PC market is so price sensitive that they use the cheapest of everything. Apple has the luxury of not needing to do this.

    Match similar quality PCs and Macs and there is little difference in price. There are just very few similar quality PCs.

  89. I like Apple's ecosystem, and except for MS Office (too much trouble to switch) it works very well for me. I like how Apple TV, iTunes, and even iTunes radio work together, as well as my Macs and OS devices. Perhaps there are some apps or stores that have more features individually, but I like the way the Apple stuff works conveniently and seamlessly. I don't think that there is a huge risk to this; in almost no domain does Apple have > 50% of the market, and when they do, it is temporary due to a major innovation. The competitive pressure will keep Apple on the ball, and even if not perfect, it will remain good. I don't like Google services (except the hard to avoid web search), Facebook, twitter, etc. because they are in the business of collecting information, by definition. Apple sells hardware with software and services to back it all up.

  90. I know what you mean. I've already drunk the Cool-Aid.

  91. Have a love/hate relationship with Apple. Regularly work from an OS 10.6 desktop, have an I-Phone 4 and and an I-Pad 2. Love the technology too, but HATE the proprietary nature of the company. Cannot do anything without the company, like a supervisory parent, getting into the mix. Right now I'm experiencing a problem putting music into my cloud, but each and every time I try to do so, I'm asked for a PASSWORD which I thereby enter, and they therefore REJECT. If there was a better way, believe me I'd be pursuing it.

  92. I agree that this password business is getting a bit burdensome. I've just gone from Mavericks to Yosemite and iOS 7 to 8, plus having to replace a broken-down laptop, and entering and re-entering passwords has taken a lot of time that I could have spent more pleasantly. But these days the computer security situation is no joke, so you just have to find the simplest solution to the problem you can.

  93. Don't worry. Apple's new mantra is "To Serve Man".

  94. Prison it is. Imagine a world with apple and apple alone. It would be an expensive jail operated by egolomaniac, selfish and monopolistic corporation. No other players
    can use their app like windows and Android therefore can dictate anything and everything. And that's the scary truth without Windows, Linux and Android; No Dell, Asus, Acer, kindle, nexus or others. You'll be under Steve Jobs spell and you can check in but can never leave.

  95. "egolomaniac, selfish and monopolistic corporation"...

    If you remember a mere 10 years ago, Apple was a tiny bit player who just nearly went out of business. They rose to an incredible height in a very short span of time due to inventing new product categories, innovation and a company-wide commitment to high-end high quality products at a mid price point (a BMW in every home, so to speak).

    I don't think you could possibility conflate that with "monopolistic". It is in the end the ultimate american dream: that success follows hard work and innovation. It that success propels you from the bottom to the top, do not deserve to be there? And while others like Google, Dell, Linux, etc have their own path and part to play, those examples are companies (or groups) that commoditize others innovations at a lower price point (or free) and rarely add significant value to the market, other than do the same thing for less.

  96. Don't worry; MS and Google (if you find them more lovable than Apple, for some reason) are certainly not going away.

  97. "high-end high quality products at a mid price point"

    Go read the Apple forums online and tell me Apple products don't suffer failures at a rate similar to Sony or Asus.

    What Apple really is, is mid-quality products (in a very pretty package) at a top end price.

    Marketers have a statue of Steve Jobs in their lobby and read the gospel of how to package the product for the proles and make them glad to over pay for the privilege of using a product with the same components inside as a product costing half the price.

  98. "he best strategy remains: Buy Apple’s hardware, use Google’s services and get media from Amazon. "

    Nonsense. Seamless integration, never having to worry about it, is what has always made Apple attractive. What you experienced 'recently' has always been true regardless of visual appearance.

  99. Apple for system config, Microsoft for security, and Linux for user interface? ;)

    P

  100. Apple is becoming precious, which is one step before fetish. I hate Pages with all my heart. Please MS Office put out the next version of Word.

  101. I kicked MS word to the curb nearly a decade ago and couldn't be happier. It is far more stable, it autosaves versions with every letter I type... It is literally impossible to lose your work in pages. The application has way more fit and finish than word in nearly every way, with far fewer quirks and whacky behavior. I have made it a company standard.

    I would never go back, with the exception that apple just dumbed it down in 3.0. What?!? Why would you go backward on your features. And this move toward iPadification of the UI on the desktop is counter to productivity

  102. Try NeoOffice. It's free and is an excellent replacement for Microsoft's Office.

  103. Strange. I hate word with all my heart.

    Why does one word processor need 5 different internal mechanisms for page numbers? None of which fully meets the requirement.

    Why does it constantly revert it's setting to what it wants them to be.

    Why won't it believe that I don't want it auto indenting every time I start a sentence with the word I.

  104. Dude. You should be running Linux

  105. If you're running Android, you are . . .

  106. I tried running various flavors of Linux, and found them even more annoying than Windows 8. Even installing software is a hassle.

    On the Mac you have a choice, find utilities or learn how to use terminal. It can be as easy or as hard as you like.

  107. Why would anyone run a fake Unix ripoff rather than a fully licensed kosher Unix implementation ?

    Like OS X

  108. You must not be using the same Apple products I own and my first Apple predates the Macintosh.

    Syncing between local devices has been a train wreck ever since Apple started pushing 'the cloud' and it gets worse with each iteration. What use to be a straightforward process of loading an iPod, iPhone or iPad has become a tedious death match as iTunes 12 tries to load files on your device you do not want and fails to sync files you have selected- this on a Mac Pro and an iPhone 6 running the latest iterations of OS and applications.

    Apple is not improving the OS, they are dumbing it down for the lowest common denominator and those of us who remember a more functional and user customizable Mac OS are less than happy about it.

  109. I don't face the problem you are facing.

    I tell iTunes what to load and what not to and I can delete whatever I don't want after loading on my devices perhaps you are using the wrong system.

  110. From what you describe, you have been tampering with the content of the iTunes database by manually adding/removing/deleting files, rather than using the iTunes interface.

  111. no, OSX is a **huge** advance over system 7. i would never go back to those days. but it *has* become overly complicated for most users, and buggier than the earlier versions like leopard and jaguar.

  112. I am one that fell in love with apple. the first apple product i got was an ipod touch. i instantly fell in love with it and fell in love with how easy it was to use. then after that everyone in my family started getting ipods and we all fell in love. Then once we got the ipods the iphones came out and we all started switching from our androids and lg phones to the simply iphones. After the iphones we got the mac book pros. I feel these laptops really helped me out in college because everything was so easy to use. the last thing i feel i got that was an apple product was the apple tv. I feel i did not really need to get the apple tv but it was only going to happen since i was getting all the other apple products. i am one to say that most of my electronics at home are apple products and i dont really know if it is a good or bad thing.

  113. Many of these features of "integration" seem to provide more convenience than, perhaps, they really do. I can connect my laptop to the internet via my phone, great! And I can answer calls on my laptop! But isn't my phone sitting right there? I can use iCloud so everything is available to me everywhere... but what if I don't want all those trip pics clogging up my pics screen on my iPad? Or I want documents stored privately on a hard drive? Now I have to take extra steps to manage what I DON'T want everywhere. Is a "reduction of cognitive load" really that important? Don't I own different devices because, in fact, they do different things? And is my mind really that small? I wish the author had expanded a little more on the "beautiful prison" aspect of all this so-called "integration." No matter how much the virtual reality companies may try to seduce us, we do still live in the real world.

  114. It's apparent that you are describing a process that you haven't actually used or understood.
    We've been able to connect our laptops to the internet via out phones for years.
    If I'm using my notebook, then the phone will ring on my notebook. The phone may be in my brief case under the desk or at the other side of the room. If it's and SMS and I'm in a meeting with my notebook open, then its much easier to glance at the notebook screen that to get the phone out. And much easier to then cut and paste from the SMS on the notebook, into a document or application that I'm using.
    There is no extra stop in storing things on iCloud. It's just that some directories are on the cloud and some are local. Nothing clogs your "pics screen" unless you opt to have it there.

  115. Aside from the reduction in portability, which isn't too big a problem if you have money to burn, lock-in actually becomes unjust when aggregate choices of a group prevent individual members of the group from adopting alternative technologies. I venture that if you asked someone who is lukewarm about their iOs device why they don't try a different product, their explanation is more likely to revolve around use of iMessages in the workplace or family than any counterbalancing argument based on the 'seamless' integration with a suite of Apple products. A technological prison of someone else's making is a far more insidious form of lock-in.

  116. When my eight-year-old MacBook died this past summer, I had no difficulty moving my data over to my Windows 8 desktop. Of course, I had to learn a less elegant operating system. None of my data was locked down to a specific piece of software or hardware. You become a prisoner only when you throw away the key to your prison cell.

  117. Apple controls its developers, its retailers, its customers, its distribution, etc.

    Apple is The New Microsoft.

  118. Apple is little different now, than it was before anyone had heard of Microsoft.

    Apple is the new Apple.

    Watch the money. Apple make money from you wanting their next product. And the one after. And the one after that. And the way that they have found is to make their users as happy with the overall experience as possible.

    So modulo some money moving from me to Apple, our interests are exactly aligned. And I can see the money and act wisely according to circumstance.

    Where I have problems is with the authors initial recommendations to
    "use Google’s services ... Google’s services are ubiquitous"

    Not unless you want to make your personal life ubiquitous.

    Always look for the money. Google's whole business model is to sell the benefit of the information that you trust them with, to those who will pay for it. That is where almost all of their profits come from.

    And with
    "get media from Amazon...Amazon’s media is cheap and works everywhere"

    Look at the money. Amazon has an absurdly high share price and P/E for a company that runs at a loss or tiny profit. That is because shareholders understand that Amazon pricing is buying a monopoly that it will be able to milk later. And they expect there to be enough lock-in to stop the cows wondering off. If shareholders didn't understand this as Amazon's intent, then their shares would be worth almost nothing.

  119. Not really. It is the new leader though. Till something better comes along.

  120. I was one of those VERY unhappy with my upgrade last year from Mountain Lion to Mavericks. Headaches galore. Thought maybe with Yosemite they would have the bugs out especially with Apple Mail. I opened my MS WORD 2011 last night and was working on a simple one page word document. My screen froze eight times and I had to reboot eight times before I could complete the document, much from memory. Apple Desktop has become HOSTILE to me.

  121. It sounds as though you have some sort of problem that needs investigation by an expert. I can tell you that millions of Apple users, including me, haven't experienced anything like that. If there is an Apple store near you, make an appointment with a "Genius" (yes, that's a silly name, but I've gone to them with a number of problems and they've always been very helpful).

    When one reads the complaints on discussion forums like this about Apple products or any other company's products, one should keep in mind that it's usually the very few people who are running into difficulty who write. The many, many Apple users who find that things "just work" are busy using the stuff and don't bother writing in just to say they're happy that things are "just working."

  122. Just get rid of Word, it has been bloatware since you were young. It peaked at version 4. (1992 ish?) Pages works great.

  123. Microsoft's Mac software versions have always fought against the OS that they are running on, and as such utilised API's beyond their formal specifications. This results in problems at new OS version and forces people to buy application upgrades.

  124. I believe the blue and green text message iconography signals a difference between iMessage and SMS text messages, and what you took as illogical inconsistency was purposeful, though most users, including me, don't understand the differences. Both colors can show up in a string of messages.

  125. He is talking about the color of the icon, the solid rectangle with a white dialog bubble inside, and not about color of the message which you are correct about.

  126. I have run Apple products since the very early 1990s. In 1996, we started a web hosting company that is still running strong based entirely on Macintosh servers. I have but one beef with Apple now.

    Under the old operating systems, particularly OS 9, I could strip down the servers to the bare minimum of extensions and other Apple associated software. That eliminated many conflicts and lessened the chance that a security hole could appear somewhere in a piece of software I had no direct ability to code. It also earned me the reputation in the Macintosh serving world as the go-to person to configure a server. Indeed, my config was called the "Crispification" of a Mac. That config was so stable that there are still hosting companies running websites using OS 9 on computers that are now over 15 years old.

    Under OS 10, that has changed completely, The OS components are so tightly integrated that it is never clear what the full consequences are of removing something. And any upgrade will just add everything back in anyway.

    I really miss compartmentalized software.

  127. You are complaining about a change that happened 13.5 years ago?

    For stability it is a bit early to comment on 10.10, but 10.9 was vastly more stable than OS 9 ever was.

    Where there are sites running on OS 9 on 15 year old computers, that is far more about the difficulties of porting their software from OS 9 to a radically different OS, OS X, than about the stability of OS X.

    I would agree that years ago, OS Xs penchant for fixing network issues itself, in a way that reverted start up configuration of network configurations not covered by the GUI, was an issue. But hasn't been an issue for years.

    But I would say that the OS X components are less tightly integrated than they were at OS 9.

    If your remove something, then at upgrade it will be reinstalled. This was true with OS 9 as well.

    So don't remove things. Turn them off. This resolves any issue with not fully understanding the consequences of removing things. And when you upgrade, they won't be turned back on.

    launchctl is your friend.

  128. I too was a GURU before OS X. Now the coding complexity is unfathomable.

  129. this rather blithely sidesteps the very real questions about some of Google's, and especially Amazon's, policies as they relate to the creative community.

    No thanks. I have some issues with Apple as well, but to not NEARLY anywhere close to the same extent.

  130. Have you forgotten that Apple was found guilty of price fixing of e-books and has forced musicians to accept lower prices than they wanted on iTunes. Gees take off your fan boy blinders.

  131. Have you forgotten that Amazon is forcing publishers to accept lower prices for their books by refusing to sell any of the books they publish until they reduce prices in compliance?

  132. “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  133. The headline for this and some of the tone is misleadingly suggestive of coercion. Since when is making your products work seamlessly together, once every tech company's dream, a bad thing to do?

  134. I am an independent consultant. I am my own tech support. I don't have the time or inclination to make my devices play nice with each other. I recall spending hours trying to keep Windows and Apple devices sync with each other. The only risk is if Apple becomes the next Palm. If tech was hobby searching for the best of breed might be fun. But I don't enjoy tying things together and trouble shooting sync issues. My family including my software engineer son are all Apple users. We aren't fan boys. We just don't want the hassle or security risks of Windows or the privacy loss amd risks of Google.

  135. Since you are so concerned about losing your privacy to corporations, I take it you don't ever use credit cards and loyalty cards right?

    I'm also impressed that you and your family don't use any social networks (FB, Twitter, G+)at all since you have zero privacy on those.

    I am curious about what you use for online search tools? I take it you don't use search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo as they would quickly build a profile on you so what do you use?

  136. Duh....the concept underlying Apple's UX consistency has been well understood in the field of human factors engineering as "positive learning transfer". There is an entire field of cognitive science and skill acquisition theory that focuses on this exact concept. "Positive Transfer" has been a core topic of human factors research for over 6 decades. However, certainly Apple has employed this theory far better than most.

    CM

  137. One problem I have with the "only Apple" ecosystem is Apple Maps. Google Maps is still far superior. Apple has tried to enhance its offering but it remains fundamentally flawed, much like Apple Mail. Their "fight" against Google makes no sense and their products could be even stronger if they embraced some of Google's ubiquity when it comes to maps and mail. Instead, they've tried to make it less easy to access things we all use and need from Google everyday.

    Same thing on Apple TV - they don't have an Amazon app. I guess their thinking is that lazier users will skip using Amazon and just take whatever ITunes provides but every TV now comes with an Amazon app so Apple ends up looking churlish and slightly out of step.

  138. Is there something that prevents you from installing Google apps on your devices? I have Google Maps, Gmail and Google search on my phone as backup to Maps, Mail and DockDockGo. I like to use Apple apps more because it doesn't track me but if it fails, I can always runs Google apps which surprisingly often have better version on iOS than Android; Chrome for example.

  139. In many ways Apple's maps are far superior to Google's maps

    - the vector based mapping is far more efficient that Google's raster based mapping allowing the device to download the maps much quicker, and using less data allowance, and allows the device to cache far more.

    - Apple's navigation component, on an iPhone 5S or 6 will run all day without flattening the battery. Nothing else comes close.

    - Apple's 3D maps are so far ahead of Google's that they're on a different planet.

    The only thing that I use Google Maps for these days is street view - and the user interface of that deteriorates with each successive update.

  140. What is left out is the very high increment price you get for very little incremental utility. For the large majority of users you can do everything you want with the same ease with an android mobile device and a windows computer at less than half the cost. I use Apple, windows and android systems and have found essentially no difference in their operation. In some areas an android phone is easier to use than an apple phone and my android phone costs 75% less than an Apple phone. Likewise, my W7 laptop costs less than half of the equivalent Mac with 99.9% of the utility. Apple may be a good choice if price is no object or you have a real need to be considered "cool".

  141. There is also little difference in utility between a Kia and a Mercedes sedan so are people not buying a Kia because they need to be considered cool? Your half price Windows laptop are likely half-a-inch thicker, a pound or more heavier, fitted with cheap TN panel and uses a far slower HDD than a MacBook Pro. You could feel you are getting 99.9% of a MacBook Pro but that's because you only use it to surf the web and word processing.

  142. "are people not buying a Kia because they need to be considered cool?" In short, yes. Particularly if the money they spend on luxury cars is money that would be better invested for their retirement. The extra $50,000 you spend today could be worth hundreds of thousands at your retirement if properly invested. That's why wasting money on things that are cool is short-sighted. You may get marginally more enjoyment in the short run, and find yourself without a penny in the long run.

  143. "For the large majority of users you can do everything you want with the same ease with an android mobile device and a windows computer at less than half the cost."

    Not for a comparable quality of device.

    For example the new Samsung Galaxy Note is no cheaper than an iPhone 6 plus.

    And After Intel introduced the Ultrabook, as a copy of the MacBook Air, it was two years before any ultrabook manufacturer could match the price of the MacBook Air.

    If you buy cheap junk, You generally get ripped off. Apple just doesn't make cheap junk.

  144. "Buy Apple’s hardware, use Google’s services and get media from Amazon."

    Two things, 1) apple is less likely, and I'd hazard to say much less likely, to exploit your personal information, and 2) if apple goes down in flames, I'm confident in my ability to learn Android or to buy media from Amazon. The risk of possibly having to switch one day is hardly worth spending your life preparing for it.

  145. The risk of Apple going up in flames probably is much lower than that of Amazon, which still can't turn a profit despite all of its sales volume.

  146. Agree (run consulting business on Apple hardware/phone/iPad).

    One source of media that many may not be aware of is the Overdrive app (on all platforms). Used primarily by educators, and yes, public libraries. After a simple visit to my local library, I have a user profile which allows me to download available digital books as epub or kindle format, for up to 3 weeks.

    For a bestseller... get in line and receive an email when it's available to read. The library cannot loan more titles than it has purchased so publishers/authors are protected. My library has even purchased 3 titles I recommended. A time tested way to read books, updated for the digital age...

  147. Still love my ipod 5/love my iphone5c/now use my Samsung tablet for a radio in my office!

  148. My wife and I are about to buy new phones, pads, and computers - an end of year tax thing, and, long overdue... Nothing I can say about new operating systems, hardware specs, gadgets, clouds, lower prices, etc. can detour her back into, "Microsoft World," - not even a little bit. She (a remarkably calm person by nature) is furious at the constant updating MS products (always) require and only mildly annoyed that her Apple products eventually slow down to the point of "forced" upgrading - where we finally are today after about five+ years of constant use of our iphone 4s, original ipads, 2005(!) - 2010 iMacs, and, yes, sadly, only a few Windows laptops we have to have around for some stubborn clients. Doing the numbers, however the "Windows issues" we've had have been at least four to five times more expensive - especially in "wasted" time - than all the Apple issues combined. No company is perfect, but some are far worse than others. Going "all Apple" upfront has made us a lot of money over the long run - even if everything cost more to start with... And, the personal satisfaction of not being "bugged" to death is worth a lot too. "It just works - most of the time" has been a boon for us. Sure beats, "messed up, again..."

  149. I have to admit, my latest laptop with Windows 8 really has me thinking Apple. The mail ap alone might drive me off. I'm reading this article while it is spending minutes 'sync'ing.

    It is tough too quarrel with Apples technical excellence, but, dynasties tend to end.

  150. J., suggest you install "Classic Start Menu" (free) and Thunderbird (also free). Not that Apple doesn't make a better OS but those should solve your Win 8 issues without the need for a new computer.

  151. Big picture-our current orchard of technology coalesces into an Apple.

  152. I buy Apple stock, but not Apple products. I want my digital devices to serve me, not the other way around. For example, I use an actual camera when I want to take photos. The picture quality is better than with a phone, and since it isn't easy to share them instantly, I only share outstanding shots. A beautiful integrated digital world like the one you describe tempts the user to spend more and more time (and money) in that world. I prefer to live in the real world, where I'm living in my environment instead of blogging it.

  153. The best camera is the one you have with you.

    How much of the time do you carry a dedicated camera around.

  154. For those of us who enjoy photography, all the time.
    Most images that are taken with smart phones are not very good and people hide that fact by using filters to try and make it artistic. After a while, everything looks the same and

  155. Yeah, but dependent on the camera you want to use, a regular stand alone camera can cost as much or even more than an iPhone.

    I use both the iPhone and a DSLR. I blog and live in that environment. I use my 85mm 1.4 lense for portraits and the iPhone camera to quickly shoot a video of my daughter running through the snow. (Or even vice-versa!) Both are good, both have their place and both are in the world I live in. :-)

  156. I don't think these kinds of generalizations should pass for advice.

    When it comes to privacy, Apple is respectful and doesn't, as Tim Cook notes, make the user into the product. When it comes to "it just works", Apple comes closest of the tech companies. When it comes to security, look at the number of active issues with Android's 'open' garden.

    Seamless makes sense in a busy, hectic, forced into multitasking world. Why not have the best tools to do the job?

    And, in terms of accessibility for people with disabilities, Apple's products are a no-brainer.

  157. But the best tools for the job are not always Apple. Once they discover Android tools like Tasker or AirDroid, users typically don't want to go back to the much less powerful and overly-controlled iOS. I don't know how many times I've read sentiments like this:

    "While some Android apps are important, some truly are must have Android apps. I’ve learned to tell the difference. Over the past couple of years, I've been a very happy Android fan. Being a refugee from the iOS platform, I cannot express just how much more full-featured Android is when compared to my old iPhone."

    http://www.datamation.com/mobile-wireless/12-must-have-android-apps-1.html

  158. The best solution to integration isn't one company integrating its products but open standards that every company can follow so whatever phone, tablet or computer I want to buy seamlessly work together. Apple's success and their monopolistic practices have ended any progress toward open standards.

  159. Many open standards are incorporated into the different computing devices made by technology companies. The Bluetooth wireless standard should be familiar to us all "Apple's success" has had no effect on the progress of this technology.
    Consumers have chosen Apple for its differentiation as much as for its conformance to open standards.

  160. Dear Mr. Manjoo,
    Please, stop playing tech guru.
    Don't waste your energies trying to tell us whether Apple is Number 1 or 2, or 3, etc. Or whether we "should" want to buy a new Apple iPad. Just check out the equipment and tell us whether it works or not, then we'll decide if we want it. There are enough gurus predicting the future of technology and speculating whether Tim Cook can get it all together or not. The question is: Is the new technology any good and what could we use it for.
    David Pogue provided that service exquisitely for the Times, and it's missing. We need guidance not guru-ness.

  161. If you want a superficial technical review, try googling: you'll find tons. Consumer Reports is a good source. We don't read the NYT for that type of content, however. Keep up the good work, Mr. Manjoo.

  162. This is why I will never willingly vote to give Apple monopoly power by buying its products. They are all about lockout.

  163. Google's business model is to sell me (my data, my profile, my behavior) to third-party advertisers. End-of-story. I'll stick with Apple.

  164. I live in an Apple world (iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro), but I run Windows on my MacBook using Parallels for the one thing that is awful on Mac OS: Microsoft Excel. Excel is easily the best spreadsheet program out there (ever tried to do a pivot table or any advanced functions on Apple's Numbers?). There's a version Microsoft makes for for Mac OS, but it's awful. It's like Microsoft crippled their greatest product when it runs on a competitors OS... hmmm.....

    Other than Excel for power users, living in an Apple world is fantastic.

  165. Have you tried NeoOffice or OpenOffice? Being Open Source it wouldn't cost anything to try.

  166. I cannot deny that I've been so impressed by my Apple products, having used the competition since the beginning of the PC. They are superior in every way except price. The only integration problem I've had is syncing my I-Tunes to my I-Pad.

  167. The new line-up of Apple devices and OS ecosystem is nothing short of phenomenal. It is the most beautiful technology suite ever built for the consumer. The only reason I can see for why people would complain and rip on this technology is that we have become spoiled rotten as a society.

    Apple is pure genius. Period.

  168. I love my electronics but to the extent of them being of some worth to my lifestyle ( DSLR, HD Camcorder, and a quadcopter for aerial photography ) as it stands the only product of Apple that I utilize is the Quicktime video format for use in video editing. My tower computer is Windows based that I put together myself relatively easily using high quality parts from various sources at a fraction of the cost of any store bought brand work station, I have no smart phone or tablet and am in no rush to purchase one, a ten year old LG flip phone serves all of my communication needs outside of home and feel no need to be connected while out and about experiencing and recording in high detail this wonderful world that we are fortunate enough to spend a few decades on.
    For all of those trend followers keep updating those devices as for me I will strive to be more of a trendsetter, quite content and ignorant in my almost none Apple world!

  169. Sometimes people miss the forest for the trees.

    If your ideal is to learn how to do the same task several different ways, then having several different devices from different vendors is great. For most people having different ways of doing the same thing on different devices is frustrating and a waste of time.

    This isn't anything new, there is a long history in the industry of making complicated tasks as invisible to the user as possible. Panning across devices is just an extension of this endeavor.

  170. The author's experience is based on Apple's most recent phone, tablet and desktop computer. The trick to getting the most seamless integration is buying your various Apple devices around the same time and replacing them all within two years. Just seems like a caveat worth mentioning.

  171. We have an early iPad that we can't buy certain apps for because they depend on Apple's latest OS that Apple won't make backward compatible. So, the price of seamless integration is being trapped by Apple's obsolescence schedule, with all the economic and environmental consequences that implies.

    Being a responsible consumer in a world of growing corporate power means using our dollars that will preserve our power, rather than surrender it. I have a new Macbook running Windows (just Windows, no Parallels.) and a Note 3 running a maverick version of Android without all the carrier's energy-draining software. I'm no techie, just a consumer willing to demand the freedom that the price of convenience can never match. With all the resources out there, it's easier than you think.

  172. "But you'll never have to fully commit to one"
    How wise and useful this advice seems, until you realize the real world requires us, encourages us to commit.
    Commitment allows us to wrestle with the ideas of utility, convenience and sometimes joy. There is no guarantee of success with the choices we make, but failure gives the impetus to learn and grow, we become better choosers for the next time; more fully aware of what is important to us.
    Trying to play all the angles is important for play on the pool table, not so much anywhere else.

  173. Well done article. While it has been a struggle, and an aggressive goal, no one else can get us this close to real ecosystem integration and it's benefits. We've been talking about ecosystem potential for 3 or 4 years, but the tangible benefits are real and here now. Choose to go for the highest value, without regrets.

  174. Igor: What shall we do today, Master?

    Tim: The same thing we do every day, Igor; continue to work on vertically integrating the world.

    Igor: Yes Master! Oh please, yesssss!!!

  175. Interesting article (btw, what happened to David Pogue?) and as an inmate in this gorgeous (sic) prison, I just wanted to relay my prison break story. On the outside, I use Android phones, and still sync to iTunes for content (I have no use for Amazon for anything other than disdain). But using an Android device when everything else that you own is Apple, is like a parolee trying to stay on the straight and narrow. In addition, trying to use Apple apps like pages and keynote in the business world, will land you in Jail, do not pass Go. So, to complement Apple's beautiful (sic) hardware, I have to run Windows 8.1 in a virtual space, namely VMWare. All well and good, at least I can stay out of trouble. But with the release of Continuity in Yosemite, I have to admit, I am thinking of ditching my family's compliment of Galaxy-class phones, and returning to the confines of an Apple cell. Heaven help the inmate.

  176. I'm not sure I want to install Yosemite. I'm not on Facebook, don't have an iPhone (or indeed a smart phone), am not on Twitter. Two months ago I bought a new iMac—which is now no longer the current model, having been outmoded by the new iMac with the Retina display.

    At least my Apple stock is still doing well...

  177. I am an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro user but I am also a very happy user of Google's email and Microsoft's software and other services, including Skype and Onedrive (one terabyte with an Office 365 subscription). I find this combination works extremely well and the virtues of Google's and Microsoft's offerings is that they really are compatible across pretty much all platforms. In short I love the Apple hardware but I genuinely find better services and software for work tasks elsewhere.

    Mr Manjoo is starting to come across as an arm of Apple's marketing department. This does not mean he should find fault just for the sake of it. This is more a case of his tone being a tad too much on the worshipful side. If he wants to continue being taken seriously he needs to dial it back.