Flirting with alternatives.

It’s always good to do a bit of flirting with the alternative technologies available – not only to see what else is out there for the sake of curiosity and education (which can help with work – when customers come in with a new toy and I’m having to help provide technical support) but also the appreciation one acquires for what one already has. One of the oldest chestnut has to be the ‘Apple products cost more than xyz’ and Rene does a good clarification and refutation.

For me, I’ve never cared for the reasons why a person chooses product a over product b since it doesn’t impact me one iota but I do get a bee in my bonnet when a person is dishonest. If you prefer Windows because it allows you to build your own computer which is something that you’re interested in then be honest – don’t BS around the edge and don’t try to masquerade opinions as objective fact, and for goodness sake don’t do the ‘but I can built it cheaper’ then bring up some costing from NewEgg that no one outside of the United States can buy from. It’s like saying that you can buy a car from junk yard, do it up and then have it as a good as new – all while ignoring the time spent working on such a project which, if counted, wouldn’t be hard to justify when one could buy a brand new one off the lot for close to the same price.

Anyway, over the last month I’ve been using Google services and software (on my iPhone and Mac) to keep up with the play on what things are like in the Google ecosystem. Something I have observed is that although the ecosystem in some ways is feature rich it does miss a lot of the niceties that one has come accustomed to when it comes to iCloud. Some of the positives of Google are that t web applications are a lot more feature rich – although you can setup your mail client to use IMAP/CalDAV/CardDAV the impression I got is that Google would sooner you be using their website instead with their applications being relegated to being used on smartphones. That is one of the things you’ll notice with Google’s services on smart phones you use the applications but for everything else it is web apps. I guess it depends on what is bought up on but I’ve always found that web apps are a compromise that never quite have the same degree of integration, fit and finish, and integration that a native application does.

On the other hand the iCloud ecosystem has web apps however the impression I get is that the web apps are more like a stop gap measure such as wanting to check your email on your friends computer rather than something that one would be using all the time. The preferred way is through local applications – each service has its own application so the whole experience feels as though it is part of the device itself rather than some intrusive outsider that has barged in and taken over ones phone – that the application was always meant to be there. Then there is the niceties, iTunes Podcasts when compared to Google Podcasts that attempts to use the Google search engine to index podcasts.

I’m looking forward to seeing macOS 10.15.3, iOS and tvOS 13.3.1 to be released in the next few weeks. It appears the cover Christmas and the new year that Apple closes down and in the new year they start back up again. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the coming year – and once again this year on June I’m going to take a week off to bask in the awesomeness that is WWDC.For me what I am looking out for aren’t giant leaps forward but further refinement and building on what is already there such as making Safari support more web standards, refining Catalyst (which enables one to bring iPadOS applications to macOS with minimal changes) along with technologies like SwiftUI maturing to the point that we might even see some early uses of it large visible applications.

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