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The pros and cons of using an ecosystem!


Ecosystems. They can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you are utilizing them. Some people enjoy them and some people do not like them at all, but what exactly are they in terms of tech? The easiest way to describe them (in my terms) is a collection of hardware and software that work together to accomplish several tasks. These devices and software usually work best on their platforms and devices so users tend to stay in these ecosystems to get the best-crafted experience. I am one of those people who play into the ecosystem A LITTLE BIT (maybe a lot a bit, but I'm in multiple! I live a complicated tech life).


So, the pros of these ecosystems as stated before is that work together. I'm going to use Apple as the example here. When you buy multiple Apple products, they all work together to give you what they consider to be the best computing experience. An example of this is that when you buy an iPhone and you buy a Mac, all your information is easily by default able to sync together. Your texts and iMessages are available on all these devices and you can move from one device to the other and continue the experience that you are having. Then you add some AirPods to the mix. You pair them with one device, and it pairs with all your devices and just magically works. And it just evolves from here.

Do you see where this can start to become enticing? This experience is not possible when you try to incorporate multiple different companies together. For that to work like that with multiple companies, they would have to open themselves up so that other organizations can natively connect to their systems and realistically, a corporation is not going to do that most of the time. When they keep everything in-house they can craft this seamless experience and make everything "easier" for the end user.


So with all of these pros, it sounds like there could be no cons to this right? Wrong. There are cons.

One of the biggest cons is that you are subject to whatever that company wants to do with the ecosystem. That can mean anything. Did they decide to discontinue one of the product lines you like? When it is time for upgrades, you need to pick one of their other versions. Do they raise the price? The next time you upgrade, you will need to pay that premium unless there is a sale or you be a used device. You are at a certain level just bound to the decisions the company makes and that isn't always the greatest feeling.

Another con is that once you are in deep, it is VERY hard to bring other products in or leave the platform. The companies don't want you to move off of their platform so they do not make it always easy to just move off of it. Apple seems to get the most slack for it, but honestly, each of the companies is doing the same thing or heading in that direction. That is why some people say to be careful of how deep you get into an ecosystem because once you are in, it is going to be tough getting you out.


With all those pros and cons, I do live in multiple ecosystems, but I do call one home in particular…Apple's. Yes, I have jumped into that ecosystem and used all of their products from their iPhones, AirPods, laptops, and all of their services. I use iCloud for my photos, contacts, and calendars. This ecosystem just works for me, but I do pull out for occasional things. When I need to grab a third-party application, something that I usually tend to do is find a solution that is available at the minimum on iOS and Android. I carry an Android phone in addition to my iPhone and realistically, the only thing that I can't access from my Android phone is my iCloud photos and that is okay for me.

I just use what fits my life in the best way that I see fit and that would be my advice to you. If living inside of Microsoft's and Google's ecosystem works best for you, then do it. If mixing them and trying to use them all together works best for you, then do that. As I said before, there are pros and cons to using an ecosystem. But if you take your time and know what you are doing and looking for, you will be able to navigate them successfully.

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