At this point, the Android vs. iOS and Windows vs. Mac arguments are old and irrelevant. No operating system is objectively superior to another, and it’s mostly a matter of personal choice.
That said, it still makes sense to buy into an ecosystem. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all now trying to marry computers and smartphones to provide a seamless experience for users.
If you’re on a Mac, you should grab Apple’s own iPhone rather than an Android or Windows Phone. Why? Well, there are many benefits to the iPhone-Mac combination.
Continuity and Handoff
In 2014, Apple introduced two new features that made iPhones and Macs communicate better with each other. Continuity and Handoff sync your smartphone and your computer so that you can start working on one and then seamlessly switch to another.
A good example of this is in the form of Messages. When you can start typing a message on your iPhone and realize it’s going to be a long conversation, just open it in your MacBook and you can continue typing on your full-sized keyboard instead. Similarly, you can answer or ignore calls directly from your Mac screen, without ever touching your phone. It works seamlessly, and is available only with the combination of iPhones and Macs.
Continuity, similarly, syncs several different apps, most of which come preloaded on your Apple devices. It supports your contacts, calendar, email, maps, browser tabs, and the iWork suite of office apps. You just have to be signed into the same iCloud account on both devices.
Continuity and Handoff combine to make for a terrific experience, especially in reducing how often you need to reach for your phone while using your Mac.
Facetime and iMessage
Apple has two proprietary communication apps—the instant messaging service iMessage and the video call service FaceTime. Again, both of these apps are only available on Macs and iPhones, and unavailable on Android or Windows.
There are plenty of benefits to this. You can start a video chat on your Mac when your iPhone is running out of battery. You can continue the same conversation on iMessage with different devices.
Sure, Windows and Android have alternative apps like Skype and WhatsApp, but if your friends use iMessage and Facetime, then you’ll need to do it too!
One of the best parts of using an iPhone with a Mac is AirDrop. It’s the easiest and most seamless way to share files between your Mac and your iPhone. Just open AirDrop in Mac’s Finder, start AirDrop from Control Center on your iPhone, and drag-and-drop or share the appropriate files.
No messy cables required, no iTunes needed, it just works. On the other hand, throw Windows or Android into the mix, and you’ll need cables and special drivers, or software to make the transfers possible.
“Apple Ecosystem” Apps
Several developers swear by their Apple devices and build apps exclusively for these. In fact, some of our favorite apps across platforms are exclusive to Apple gadgets.
For example, take Tweetbot, the best Twitter client on mobiles or desktops. It’s exclusively available on Mac OS X and iOS, and even syncs across the two. That’s also the case with Carrot Weather, the snarky weather app; Fantastical, an expensive and totally-worth-it calendar; Day One, the daily journaling app; and Reeder, one of the best RSS readers around.
All of these apps are as good as they get, and we’d even go so far as to say they don’t have competitors on Android or Windows.
Android & Mac Isn’t Bad, But iPhone & Mac is Better
Now, none of this is to say that Mac users shouldn’t buy Android phones. The Android and Mac combo isn’t bad. Yes, you’ll miss out on Handoff, Continuity, and AirDrop. There are alternative apps you can use, like AirDroid to wirelessly manage your Android or cross-platform apps like Google Calendar and Feedly.
The advantage of the iPhone and Mac combo is that it makes everything better and easier. Technology is at its best when it gets out of the way and lets you be productive, concentrating only on getting things done instead of figuring out how to get things done — and that’s where the Apple ecosystem excels. The famous “it just works” philosophy is at its best with this.
What Do You Think?
Given the number of extra features you get with an iPhone, Mac users should definitely consider an Apple smartphone or tablet over Android, Windows, BlackBerry, or anything else. In fact, it works the other way around too — if price isn’t a barrier and you have an iPhone, buy a Mac rather than a computer running some other operating system.
Do you use Apple devices and agree? Have you got an iPhone and a Windows PC, or a Mac and an Android phone? Tell us your experience!
Image credits: Apple, Johan Larsson / Flickr