In 2007, Apple came out with a phone that was, in all honesty, something very refreshing. The iPhone, whether you like to admit it or not, changed things. It wasn’t perfect and it probably never will be, but it was really exciting. Granted, this is my opinion, but it’s one that I think most people can see some level of truth in. Since then, the tech world has completely exploded with phones that offer similar pros and cons and the internet has exploded with battles from all sides, just like it always does. Why do we do this to ourselves?
In most areas of my life, I like to think that I’m fairly level headed. I have enough pride to stand behind what I believe in, but enough humility to admit defeat. I realize that saying all this seems somewhat arrogant, but bear with me, I’m just trying to state my qualifications.
Ok so the iPhone, it’s lovely. I’ve had each version since the first one (mostly because I’m an idiot who can’t seem to hold on to money for more than a week without buying something shiny). Since 2007, it’s come a lonnnnngggg way. If you remember, which I’m sure you do, the original iPhone couldn’t picture message, multitask, copypasta, use flash, download apps, sync wirelessly, do this, that, or the other thing. It was basically an empty canvas that Apple sold, with promises of eventually filling it with a nice painting of flowers or boobies or something. Apple fans from all over the world were giddy with excitement, much like I was, about what this new fangled phone could be. I like to think that I was excited at the potential this thing had for the future, but at the time I think I was mostly excited about the features it did have.
For starters, it was an iPod. This meant that I could ditch my current iPod and phone, and just carry one device. This was good. NO, it wasn’t the first phone to play music, but it was the first one that fit right into the ecosystem I already existed in, and that’s the point. No phone, nor tablet, nor laptop or desktop is perfect. None of them are complete, none of them do everything that all of their competitors do, and they are rarely totally original. They just exist, in their own ecosystem, and it’s up to you to decide what works for you.
When I look around the internet, and even here in our Noisecast, I see fault lines dividing ecosystems of the technology world. Every time a manufacturer announces something new, an earthquake strikes not one, but all of the different fault lines and we all grow further from each other. It saddens me, not because we can’t all get along, but because at the end of the day, who the hell cares? You can put every single person in the world against me in an argument that PCs are better than Macs, or that the iPhone is a lousy piece of garbage and not one of you will convince me to jump ship. Why? I can tell you for sure that it’s not because I practice a religion that worships the executive board of Apple, it’s because the iPhone and my Mac work for me. They do what I need them to, they rarely make a fuss with me, and that makes me happy. If you have a Windows laptop and a WP7 device that make you happy, then who gives a shit what I think? I’m not you, I don’t know what best for you, I most likely know nothing about your needs.
So then comes another issue. As we know, I live in my little Apple ecosystem and I’m happy here. So what happens when your Droid can suddenly do a bunch of things that my iPhone can’t? Or Windows suddenly explodes with some amazing new feature that no one had ever thought of before? What happens when my device is suddenly ousted by your device?
I’ll tell you exactly what does happen, but it’s not what should happen. What does happen is that people on both sides of the argument lose their minds. Suddenly, the offensive side is touting their new toys as if they were gifts from the heavens. The best thing to ever happen to humankind! OMG HAZ U SEEN THIS!? While the defense sits back and pokes holes in everything it does. “Well yours won’t integrate with [insert literally anything here]” and “Psshhh my shoe had those features in 1993!” and everyone jumps at each others throats. While in some cases, arguments may be valid, they almost never actually matter.
Let’s take the three big phone operating systems right now: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. These companies are so far up each others asses that you can pretty much guarantee that if one company adds a new feature that is totally awesome, that the other two companies will follow suit shortly thereafter. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. Why just yesterday our own Eric Ravenscraft wrote up a nice article reminding us where Apple got all the ideas for their magical-revolutionary-groundbreaking-incredibilous list of new services. In fact, most of Apple’s keynote was spent playing catch up to the other guys (and taking credit for it in their own Apple sort of way). So back in May, when you were telling me how your phone had cloud this, or notification that, rather than call you a poopyhead, I sat back and said Apple will get there, and since the current OS isn’t ruining my life with the lack of those features, I can wait. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have become the Mercedes, BMW, and Audi of the tech world. You can’t sneeze in Redmond without Cupertino raising an eyebrow.
The only real difference that I’ve been able to notice is that Apple has built themselves a massive hype machine. I have never seen tech products covered in mainstream media with as much enthusiasm as I have with Apple iDevices. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m not saying they deserve it, I’m just pointing out that it happens, quite often. I attribute that to be the reason why almost everyone I know owns an iPhone nowadays. It’s definitely not because the iPhone is leaps and bounds better than the competition. The iPhone has just become (as I’ve noticed it) a status symbol amongst the non-techy-types. This will eventually level out though. Trends come and go.
The point I’m trying to make with this scatter-brained attempt at an editorial, is that we’re all different. I have absolutely no idea what’s right for you, and you probably have no idea what’s right for me. The arguments of who did it first and who did it better are completely useless because you’ll never convince anyone of anything. I had an argument about tech stuff with a fellow Noisecaster last night and at the end of which I wondered why the hell I was bothering. I know he won’t change his mind, he probably knows I won’t either. So what’s the point? Nobody is gaining any ground in any way, and really, we’re only building bigger fences between us. There is absolutely nothing to gain from a these pointless battles, so just stop. Take your phone and your computer and whatever other devices you use and be happy. Leave everyone else alone because your opinion is about as important as mine is, and mine isn’t worth shit.
Apple is better anyway.