Apple's Walled Garden

I'm a big fan of Apple products.  Probably not enough to call me a fanboy but definitely enough to call me an enthusiast.  This post is being typed using Standard Notes on my Macbook Pro.  I then also re-reread it on my Iphone or my Ipad while watching Netflix on my AppleTV, while listening to the dialogue on my Airpods.  In the past, I have tried Chromebooks, Android tablets and Pixel phones but I find their ecosystem to be fragmented and the user experience to be not as fluid as on an apple product.

My attraction to Apple is that everything just works.  They function very much like my toaster functions.  I don't have to think about how it toasts bread, I just put bread in it, push the lever down, set it to how dark I want it and voila, toast.  This is how I have always thought about Apple products.  I don't have to think about how they work or futz with them.  I just open my Macbook or Ipad and start doing my thing.  

Much of this consistency, ease of use and fluidity comes from the fact that apple controls everything about their hardware and software. This even includes the manufacture of the CPU on their iphones, ipads and even the M1 Macbooks, the latter of which I don't currently have.  While this level of control does great things for user experience it is tough when you want to do something unsupported and deemed unacceptable in the Apple kingdom.

This complete control prioritizes stability and user experience over choice.  For example, If I wanted to completely swap out my desktop environment on a Linux system that is completely doable.  On a Mac, no such luck.  This creates a much more generic but consistent operating environment.  Much to power users chagrin.  Techies want choice and Apple does not provide that.  

This lack of choice is both a good and bad thing.  For a general user, it provides guardrails and guarantees a consistent and almost flawless experience.  For a power user, this can be limiting and constrain their ability to customize their system to their particular needs and wants.

Neither one is right or wrong.  It's just a matter of use case.


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