Warning! It drags you in!
At the end of 2023, I decided to get a MacBook Air to replace my ageing PC. At the time I didn’t really think much of it, I just wanted a MacBook for writing blog posts, basic video editing and basic computing needs.
The M1 MacBook Air fit the bill perfectly and was well within my budget.
What I didn’t expect to happen was me fully joining the Apple ecosystem again after a two-year break.
After using the MacBook Air for a while, I decided to get an iPhone 14 Pro Max which was also available at a pretty good deal and a second hand Apple Watch SE, which is now my daily driver.
It’s now been a month since I joined the Apple ecosystem, and I wanted to share the 5 things you need to know before joining…
1. Not all apps are cross-platform compatible
During my 2-year break from the Apple ecosystem, I quickly discovered the pain of certain apps not being available on Windows and Android.
It meant that I had to find suitable alternatives that worked for me and allowed me to stay productive.
Things 3 is an excellent example of this, as I had built up a system that worked incredibly well for me within the app, but I couldn’t access it on Android or Windows.
It took me ages to find a suitable substitute and until this day, I haven’t found one that worked as well as Things 3 did for me when I used it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t only Things 3, there were many apps that I used that simply weren’t available on other platforms.
That is why one of the biggest tips I can give you is that if you are unsure about the Apple ecosystem or you plan to use different platforms such as Windows and Android, ensure that you use apps that are available cross-platform.
2. It can quickly get expensive!
Let’s face it, Apple devices are not cheap, but they can be!
If you are just testing the waters with Apple or if you don’t need the latest and greatest, the second-hand market can be a good place to start.
That is precisely how I got my Apple Watch SE. I purchased it from a local CEX store for £120 in excellent condition, even the battery health is 92%, which, considering the fact that it’s a second-hand device, is excellent.
The best part is that I have a 2-year warranty with the store (Not advertising for CEX), but I genuinely think that this is a good deal.
If you would rather not use the second-hand market, there are other ways of getting your hands on cheaper Apple products, such as buying older models, which is what I did with my MacBook Air and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
But if you take this route, you have to ensure that you are genuinely getting a good deal. For example, if there is a difference between the new and the old version of £180 or less, I would probably look at getting the newer version.
3. The default apps work great, but…
One of the first surprises I had after joining the Apple ecosystem was that the default apps work really well, so much so that I use many of them in my everyday life!
They are definitely helping me be more productive and the fact that I can use many of them on my MacBook, my iPhone, and my watch just makes the entire experience even better.
But, there is something you need to know before using the default apps, and that something is that they don’t all work with devices from other brands.
I mean, you can use many of them in the browser, such as Reminders, Notes and Email, but, they feel so much better on the devices they were designed to work on.
4. There are many differences you will need to get used to
Not all systems are built in the same way, and not all systems function in the same way. This is something you have to bear in mind when switching to any platform.
You will have to get used to the way the system works and for some that can be easy, but some struggle with it.
Some great examples of this are the scroll direction on the mouse or the keyboard layout, which may just be a UK thing, but the symbols are located on different keys on a Windows and a Mac keyboard.
You will also need to understand how the system functions and where things are located, which once again can be easy, but can also be difficult for some.
Sometimes, it’s the simple things like searching for the App Store instead of the Google Play Store that can make the experience seem overwhelming for some.
5. Research is important
I’m not sure why I left this last, as research is possibly one of the most important things you need to do before moving to the Apple ecosystem.
I don’t just mean watching videos on YouTube or reading content online, I mean going to the Apple Store or any other electronics store that sells Apple products to have a go for yourself.
You could even try your friends or relatives devices to see if they work for you. The last thing you want to do is to switch because everyone else is using Apple, when in fact you’re perfectly fine on Android and Windows.
I remember when my mum would only have Samsung phones because that was what all her friends and relatives used and recommended. But, she wasn’t getting on with Android and when she switched to Apple, she started to enjoy her phone and understand how to use it.
It just goes to show that everybody is different and that it is important that what you spend your hard-earned cash on works for you personally and not your friends! Life is too short for that!
That is why research is essential! I recommend trying the devices yourself, apart from watching videos and reading online.
To summarise this article, the two main things you need to understand before switching are whether switching is suitable for you and whether you are ok with switching to different apps.
The Apple ecosystem is incredibly powerful, and it really does drag you in, but it’s not the only ecosystem out there, Samsung has a pretty good ecosystem and so does Google and many other brands.
Which ecosystem you choose, totally depends on your needs and preferences and people seriously need to understand that we’re all different, and we all use technology in different ways.