A lot of people use Apple’s devices, and if Apple had their way, those same people would be using all of Apple’s services, too. Over the years the Cupertino-based company has expanded its portfolio of apps and services, hoping that, instead of using some kind of third-party alternative, Apple can create something that’s just as good that you want to use.
I’ve gone back and forth with this. When I get into an ecosystem of devices, one that just so happens to be attached to services, I tend to want to go all-in. When I use an Android handset, I typically drop using other services that aren’t directly linked to Google’s own. That includes switching away from music streaming services like Spotify or Rdio and opting to use Google’s option. I veer away from using whatever other note-taking app I was using at the time and go with Google Keep.
You get the idea.
The same can be said for Apple and Microsoft. Each of these companies offer their own services in one way or another, and some of them are great while others could use some sprucing up. This goes for Apple, Microsoft and Google. But when it comes to Apple, there’s something that really stands out to me: Apple’s launching of app stores, and apps in general, into the general populace led to there be amazing third-party alternatives to apps that Apple wants to make on its own.
It’s been happening for awhile now. Apple wants to make just about anything and everything that someone might use on their smartphone, and instead of that being due to advertisements or something like that, Apple’s simply aiming for providing an in-house experience. It started with a maps application. iOS had been using Google Maps, and that was the obvious choice because Google had been working on that for seemingly forever. Google Maps is the definitive, go-to app when it comes to this sort of thing for most people.
And then Apple went and kicked Google Maps to the curb in favor of its own Maps app, which, let’s be honest, just hasn’t been able to see the same adoption — even from iOS users. Maps suffered right out of the gate, and while Apple is adding new must-have features, the year-long update wait is simply holding its first-party Maps app back. (Google adds new features to its Maps app pretty regularly, which is a huge bonus for Google.)
Apple’s done the same thing with a variety of different apps/services. Apple Music is probably the biggest one as of late. But at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple took special time on stage to show off the “new” Notes app. There’s new features in there for sure, but . . . I don’t think they were enough to get people away from things like Evernote or OneNote.
I got to thinking about this over “Find My Friends,” Apple’s own service that lets you keep tabs on people you know — after they give you permission to, of course. The app/service has always been optional, up until the release of iOS 9. Now Find My Friends is a stock app that can’t be deleted, which means someone at Apple honestly wants people to use it.
So I have to ask: Do you use Apple’s services? And, more to the point, have you stopped using something else, like Google Maps, in favor of Apple’s own service? Or, like me, do you use iOS and opt to favor third-party apps? Let me know!