Google Pixel Ecosystem: The Good, The Bad, and The Apple

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Surprisingly good, but can it be as good as Apple?

Google Pixel Ecosystem
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It’s been almost two years since I moved away from the Apple ecosystem to pursue a more open ecosystem which consists of devices from various brands.

After switching I decided to check out Google’s offering and I liked what I saw. I initially purchased the Google Pixel 6 Pro, with the Pixel Buds A and after around a year with the devices I upgraded them to the Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel Buds Pro and eventually the Google Pixel Watch.

Alongside that, I used an iPad as my primary computer and the Windows computer I built a few years ago for the more demanding tasks.

The Google Pixel ecosystem combined with Google’s smart home products and their apps work well together in what I call the Google ecosystem.

I think Google has done wonders to the ecosystem over the years, but if I compare it to the Apple ecosystem, I still think that they have a long way to go, mainly with perfecting what they already have.

That’s why as someone who used to be fully in the Apple ecosystem and is now in a mixed ecosystem featuring Google devices, I wanted to share the good, the bad and the Apple!

The Google Pixel’s Ecosystem

At present my main sim is in the Google Pixel 7 Pro. I think that it’s an exceptional phone that is a huge improvement from the Pixel 6 Pro.

The main reason for that is that I genuinely think I had a bad Pixel 6 Pro unit. It was constantly overheating and the camera app kept crashing no matter how many times I restored the phone to factory settings. There was also something rattling inside of it, which is never a good sign.

But I decided to upgrade it to the Pixel 7 Pro, and it was a great decision. I have yet to experience a bug or any lag, the phone works great and doesn’t overheat.

Obviously, Google has released the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro models. However, I am so happy with the Pixel 7 Pro, that I don’t think I will be upgrading any time soon. However, if it ever gets released, I may get the Pixel Fold 2 as I like the idea of foldable phones.

Google Pixel Buds Pro

Moving on the my earbuds, my main go-to earbuds are the Google Pixel Buds Pro, which I think are a phenomenal set of earbuds.

However, I don’t think they are designed with audiophiles in mind, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they sound bad as they actually sound really good and have powerful bass.

As someone who reviews headphones and earbuds and is a bit of an audiophile, I would classify these as great everyday earbuds. But if you are after great sound and active noise cancellation, I wouldn’t necessarily pick these.

That doesn’t mean that they are bad, it’s just that there are better alternatives available if those are your main requirements.

But if you are after features such as Google Assistant integration, Multipoint Bluetooth and other cool features, these are for you.

That’s why as a whole, I think that they are great for daily usage.

Google Pixel Buds A

I still tend to use my Google Pixel Buds A, I think that they are an equally good set of earbuds, but obviously, they lack the features that the pro version has, the main feature being active noise cancellation, which in all fairness is acceptable as they still tend to block out some noise due to their design.

I mainly tend to use the Pixel Buds A for when I’m at the gym or when I go out running as they tend to stay in my ears incredibly well, especially due to the dangly thing on top of the earbuds that helps them stay in my ears a little bit better.

I think that the Pixel Buds A are a great choice for anyone who doesn’t need any special features and is just looking for a basic set of earbuds that sound good and have decent bass.

Google Pixel Watch

I still have the first generation of the Pixel Watch, which I tend to swap with the TicWatch Pro 5 all the time.

I think that both watches are great, but the one thing that is missing on the TicWatch Pro 5 is Google Assistant support, which I tend to use a lot.

That and the fact that the battery life is better on the TicWatch Pro 5, is the reason why I treat the Google Pixel Watch as more of a everyday smartwatch. But if I plan to go on long trips or abroad, I will likely choose the TicWatch Pro 5.

With that in mind, the battery life isn’t as bad as it sounds and with an adequate charging routine, I am able to get around 1 and a half days of battery life.

Speaking of which, I tend to charge the watch during my morning routine, which gives it enough charge to last me throughout the entire day and night for sleep tracking.

If I plan to go somewhere, such as to the office, I will charge the watch during my morning routine, if I’m working from home, I usually let it get low.

Both of the Pixel Watches look absolutely stunning, but I wish that they could be a little bit bigger.

I also like the fact that more and more of the mainstream apps support the platform and that Google is actively developing, building and making it better.

Other Devices

These devices combined work great with other Google smart home devices such as the Google Nest hub.

On top of that, as I am able to connect a wide range of smart home devices from other brands, I can easily control my smart home from my watch, phone and Google Assistant.

Speaking about other devices, I really like the idea of the Pixel Tablet. I’m putting it with other devices as I haven’t tried it as of yet, so it’s not part of my Google ecosystem.

However, I like the fact that it’s always docked and ready to use. It makes it the perfect family and smart home device for the living room.

A device I do have is the second-generation Pixel Charging Stand, which I seriously think is an underrated device. Not only does it charge my phone at speed, but when it’s docked it also turns my phone into a smart home device allowing me to interact with my smart home.

I can also charge other devices on it wirelessly such as the Google Pixel Buds Pro and other wireless earbuds.

The Good

Now that I’ve introduced the Google Pixel ecosystem, let’s talk about some of the good points, starting with the fact that Google Pixel devices look absolutely beautiful.

I love how the Obsidian blends in well with the aluminium camera bump on the Pixel 7 Pro and the general look of the Pixel Watch.

It’s definitely a breath of fresh air in the Android world. That’s not to say that Samsung or any other brands make bad-looking devices, it’s just that Google has brought a whole new style into the market which I honestly feel is a breath of fresh air.

I also like the fact that if I set a reminder on the Pixel Watch it will sync with the Google Tasks app and it will appear on my phone and my Google Nest Hub.

Speaking of which, I love the idea of the At a Glance widget on Pixel phones and certain watch faces. It shows useful information to help me stay on top of things throughout the day.

For example, it shows tasks and calendar events and if you are flying somewhere, it gives you basic flight information, which is handy. It also shows you the weather!

It does this in a very minimal way so that it doesn’t waste room on your home screen, which I think is brilliant.

In terms of the user experience, I generally feel that as a whole, the experience is really good, but I still think they have a long way to go, especially if we compare Apple’s ecosystem. But we’ll talk about that later in this article.

Google is also serious about updates, they tend to release monthly updates on the Pixel phones some of which include feature drops. I think it’s great to see Google actively making their devices better!

Another area where I think Google has nailed it is the browser-based apps. I’m talking about Google Docs, Gmail and Google Drive. I think that it’s very generous that they give you 15GB worth of storage free, compared to the 5GB you get with iCloud.

The apps are also well-built and feature-packed. Put it this way, my go-to office suite is Google Docs and I actually pay for Google Workspace for my side hustle.

I love the way I am able to manage my files and emails with the help of Google, but I will be writing a dedicated article about that soon, so stay tuned!

Earlier I talked about using the TicWatch Pro 5, that’s the beauty in the Google ecosystem, if we forget the Pixel for the time being, we can actually connect devices from other brands to it. You may not get the same Pixel experience, but it will still work to an extent.

Last but not least, I think that the Google Pixel phones have exceptional cameras and editing features such as Magic eraser.

The Bad

Moving on to the bad, as much as I love the Google Pixel ecosystem, I still feel that it’s being developed, which compared to Apple, they still have a lot of catching up to do.

But that is understandable as it’s a newer ecosystem.

The first thing I wanted to talk about is the fact that the Pixel ecosystem feels incomplete, especially when it comes to the Google apps. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Gmail and Google Docs are amazing apps, but it’s the basic apps that they need to get right first.

One of these apps is Google Tasks. Using an iPhone SE as my secondary phone as well as an iPad and MacBook, I feel that Apple has nailed it with their reminders app. It has a great interface, it’s not too cluttered and it has some pretty cool features.

But the Google Tasks app is just a very basic app, with a very basic interface, and after using it for a while, I miss features from other To-Do list apps as well as the sidebar for my lists.

I also think it’s a shame that there isn’t a dedicated Tasks app for WearOS as I think that will improve the user experience.

Google should improve the availability of apps for WearOS. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see more apps support the platform, but I feel that the platform has nowhere near as many apps as the Apple Watch.

On top of that, many apps available on WearOS feel poor and forgotten about, with basic features missing.

It would be nice to see Google release a Pixel Book Chromebook. Based on my experience with ChromeOS, I think it is a brilliant platform, but Google should make an affordable Pixel Book that integrates well with the Google ecosystem and doesn’t break the bank.

It would also be nice for them to make accessories such as an AirTag equivalent. I’m a huge fan of AirTags and I have several to help me track my stuff, but obviously they don’t work with Android, so if I don’t have my iPhone on me, I can’t use them.

However, Chipolo is making a device known as the Chipolo OnePoint, which I have preordered. The tracker is supposed to be compatible with Google’s Find My Device app, but the’s won’t be despatched until Google updates the Find My Device app to work with them, which feels like a very long wait!

The Apple’s Ecosystem

Now that we have some of the good and bad points of the Google Pixel ecosystem out the way, let’s talk about the Apple ecosystem.

Having been fully integrated with the Apple ecosystem, I have yet to come across a close competitor. I think that Samsung, Google and Huawei have done great things with their ecosystems. But in terms of usability, ease of use and just the way it functions, I think Apple has the best ecosystem.

And yes, I have tried the Samsung and Huawei ecosystems, both of which are incredibly good, but for some reason, and I don’t really know how to explain it, I simply prefer the way Apple does it.

I mean, just the way the Apple Watch integrates with an iPhone and other Apple devices and services is amazing.

I feel that as a whole the ecosystem integrates well with my life and helps me stay organised. Even the apps that are available for iOS and MacOS are amazing. Not only are they clean, but they function incredibly well.

If we compare them to what’s available on Android, I feel that Apple has more productivity apps and out of the ones that are available on Android, I feel that they work better on iOS.

I also like the idea of iMessage and FaceTime being built into the system. But this isn’t something new as a similar feature has been available across multiple platforms for a while and has recently surfaced on WearOS. That feature is actually an app you may be familiar with, WhatsApp.

But the only trouble with WhatsApp is that the person you are calling or sending a message to has to be on the platform.

I hope that things will improve between the two platforms once Apple implements RCS support, but that won’t solve the FaceTime issue.

I also like the idea of AirDrop, I think that it’s a brilliant tool for being able to quickly send stuff to friends or from one device to another. Now Android does have an alternative which works quite well, but I haven’t been able to transfer files to my PC which I guess is something I need more for my workflow.


To summarise this article, I think the Google Pixel ecosystem is getting there, but it’s still in its early days.

I seriously think that Google has huge potential here and that Apple needs to be careful because the truth of the matter is that Google also has some really good devices and apps.

I have spoken to friends who moved from the iPhone to Google Pixel, and they both love their Pixels and have started making full use of the Google Pixel ecosystem. On top of that, speaking to people on Twitter and Reddit, I have found that many Apple users have made the switch, but whether they returned to Apple or not is another question, it just goes to show that Apple needs to be careful.

If I were to discuss all of the good and bad points, I would likely end up writing a book. That’s why I decided to share some of the things I like and some that I feel need more work.

But based on my experience with both the Google and the Apple ecosystem, I think that both ecosystems are great, Apple is just further ahead of Google as they’ve had more time to work on the system.

I must admit, it felt that Google gave up after the Pixel 5, so it’s nice to see them pay so much attention to it now. It’s only a matter of time before the system will be equivalent or even better than the Apple ecosystem.

One question remains and I don’t think I can answer it just yet.

The question is, whether I will move back to the full Apple ecosystem or stay in a mixed one. I think it’s likely that I will get a new iPhone, I was even thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 15 Pro Max, but I think I will miss a lot of features from the Google Pixel ecosystem, such as the At a Glance widget and the excitement of waiting for monthly updates.

I know that these are only small examples, but they can make a difference.

Have you tried the Google Pixel ecosystem, if so what do you think? Let us know in the comments, I would love to hear your opinions!