When I was taking Computer Programming in school, I couldn’t figure out why anyone on the face of the planet would subject themselves to using an Apple computer. The mouse looked like a hockey puck, and after spending twenty seconds on the iMac it was tethered to, I recorded two key findings in my mind:
- The mouse made my hand cramp up within the first minute of holding it
- The layout of the Operating System didn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. It seemed as though Apple was focused more opposing Windows at every turn, even without cause. For example, if Microsoft put the minimize, close, and maximize buttons in the top right-hand corner of the window, then Apple would put them on the left. There was no reason for this that I could think of, and it served only to complicate matters. Why couldn’t it be more like a PC?
I held this sentiment until approximately 2007 when my Windows Xp computer began to let me down. It was a relatively dependable “clone”, but the CD/DVD drives would appear and then reappear, and other issues popped up leading me to believe my once beloved Windows machine was becoming unreliable; a bogged down shadow of its former self.
When the time came to replace the computer, my brother (already an Apple convert) suggested I take a look at the products Apple was pumping out with seemingly great success. I was hesitant at first. After all, I fancied myself to be pretty technologically savvy. What use did I have for an Apple computer? In my mind, the purchase of such a computer was like buying a Lamborghini and then asking if it came equipped with an automatic transmission. You just don’t do that if you actually know anything, right?
But then a funny thing happened – I just got sick of using Windows.
It’s not that I hated it or that it wasn’t useful, it was simply a matter of exposure. When I went to work each day I stared at a Windows Xp screen. When I got home at night and wanted to send an email or work with pictures – it was a Windows Xp screen. I needed something different, and when I started to open my mind and at least consider the possibility of an Apple computer I saw that it actually had some great potential.
It may sound weird, but my main reason for purchasing an Apple computer in 2007 was the fact that it WASN’T a Windows computer. I was also looking forward to the fact that it came packaged with some pretty amazing software right out of the box. Instead of spending the first hour on my computer removing free trial software and setting things up, I was able to edit movies (iMovie), work with photos (iPhoto), and get online with virtually no effort. My Apple computer came ready for daily, home use – nothing else.
As the years went by I found myself seeking out this same simplicity with other devices. Phones, computers, set-top boxes, portable music players – the list goes on. The very thing anti-Apple folks complain about is what makes them so easy to use. Yes, they can be a pain to upgrade and yes, you don’t get a lot of choice in terms of hardware, but it’s that closed environment that makes them so reliable and smooth. Damn smooth. I’ve had the same computer since 2007 and with the exception of a $70 RAM upgrade, it still works like the day I brought it home.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is…for me, I was tired of tinkering and fiddling and finding specialized software on the web to accomplish a task. It’s not perfect, but with an Apple computer I can fire up iMovie or Garage Band and accomplish things with more fluidity.
Is there anything wrong with Windows or Android? Hell no! I can easily see why someone would steer clear of Apple products too. They are somewhat constrained in terms of what is allowed (especially the phone!), but it’s these constraints that let Apple instill some consistency in the devices they release. Here’s an example. Take a look at the image below:
This table is filled with Android devices. The great thing about Android is that you have a ton of choice when selecting a mobile phone or tablet, you aren’t limited to the hardware produced by one company. I would certainly consider this to be an advantage. The problem is, with so many devices come more issues.
Think of it from a developer’s point of view. Let’s say you want to create a game for iOS (Apple). To do so you’d design the game for the iPhone/iPad, and maybe OS X – the Operating System used on Apple computers – that’s pretty much it. In order to develop that same game on Android, you’d have to take into consideration all of the devices pictured above – and then some. Which OS are they running? Is it Gingerbread? Jelly Bean? Ice Cream Sandwhich? Is the game going to work with a Samsung phone AND an HTC phone? It can be a bit of a pain as many Android developers will tell you. In fact, some applications and operating systems are simply not available on all Android phones.
Now having said that, there are some definite disadvantages for Apple that should be mentioned also. Let’s say I decide to purchase an Apple smart phone and I subsequently head out to the store to view the selection. After five seconds of review it would be apparent that it’s either the iPhone or the…um, iPhone. There is no choice of screen size, no choice of manufacturer, and no choice beyond either this year’s phone or an older version of this year’s phone.
In the end, I’m not saying Apple is better. God – there’s enough of that talk going around the internet, in both directions. I’m just explaining why I personally choose to use their stuff…most of the time. Yes it’s a closed system and yes, there isn’t a ton of choice in terms of devices. But for me, they work well, they’re reliable, and they fit into the multimedia-heavy household just a little easier.
Now if I could just use the lock screen on my phone to hold more than the damn weather.
Subscribe to Tech Barber - Weekly Email List