You and I use technology at almost every single point in our days. Whether it's our phone, laptop, TV, headphones, or anything else, we're constantly surrounded by these things, and they're hard to live without. The beauty of technology today, however, is that a lot of them work cohesively with each other. In other words, today we have tech ecosystems, the largest ones being Apple and Google. You've probably heard this word several times, and sometimes in the form of a joke. Something along the lines of, "I'm trapped in Apple's ecosystem, so I literally can't buy anything that's not Apple." It's basically a set of products that a company makes that are designed to work better together than they would with other products. This is not a coincidence and was done on purpose by the tech companies. While this may sound like just an evil plan to keep taking your money, it's actually really beneficial to put yourself into a tech ecosystem, and these are the reasons why.
If you own an iPhone (or even if you don't) you're probably familiar with iMessage and that blue bubble that's so widely celebrated. It's completely changed the messaging game. Now you can chat with people, FaceTime, and even play games with each other in real-time. iMessage has truly become a messaging powerhouse, and if you also have a MacBook or iPad, these messaging capabilities transition over to those seamlessly. That's a big perk of the Apple ecosystem, since it makes staying in touch with people so much easier and more fun no matter which Apple device you use to do it. It's pretty awesome that you can start a conversation on your phone, and then switch over to your laptop in the middle of it, or respond on your Apple Watch without any problems.
The Google, or Android, ecosystem also has its own messaging perks, even if they're not up to par with Apple's yet. If you use the Messages app on your phone to text people, you can do that on any device with a browser by going to messages.google.com, however it's optimized more for Android devices than it is for Apple devices. Unfortunately you can't make calls through it, but it allows you to respond to texts easily. And unlike Apple's iMessage, you can use Messages on any device. Messages also has iMessage-like capabilities, where you can see when the other person is typing and when they've read your message. In order to stay in touch with your friends and family anywhere and anytime, it's helpful to choose one of these ecosystems.
2. Digital Assistants
This is a big one! The future is going to be all about making our technology work with each other and digital assistants, like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, are going to be the primary ways we communicate with our technology. Unfortunately, Siri has lagged behind when it comes to its capabilities and accuracy, while Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa have become the front-runners. Regardless of which one you plan on using, make sure you try to stick to just one (with one exception). If you're a big user of Apple's stuff, then you're going to want all of your devices to be Siri-enabled so that you can control all of them using your voice. If you're an Android user, then you want to use Google Assistant across all of your devices because it's just that much more powerful in what it can do. As an example, here's a list of some of the things I use my Google Assistant for: making calls, playing music, casting YouTube, controlling my lights, setting reminders, and starting my car. Truly incredible.
The exception I mentioned before relates to using an Amazon Echo device if you're mostly an Apple user. Apple doesn't really have a true equivalent to a Google Home or an Amazon Echo - they have the HomePod but it's less of a smart speaker and more of an enhanced regular speaker. Therefore, if you're in the Apple ecosystem and you want a smart speaker, your best bet would probably be something from Amazon that can do more than the HomePod. The reason I don't say the Google Home is because Google's devices work so much better with Android phones than they do with Apple phones.
Believe it or not, payments have become really tech-oriented now. I mean, think about how much you use things like Apple Pay or Google Pay at stores instead of your physical credit card. This is another part of your tech ecosystem that's going to continue to get bigger and bigger. Now we pay for stuff from our phones, our laptops, and sometimes even with our voices. By being part of Apple's ecosystem, for example, you'll be able to seamlessly use Apple Pay across all of your Apple devices and won't have to worry about remembering your credit card details or getting up to grab your wallet every time. Not to mention the Apple Card, which integrates with your iPhone to show you all of your expenditures in a gorgeous way.
On the Google side of things, things work similarly in the sense that you can pay for things using your phone, laptop, or some other device. Google can store your credit card information (securely), so that it's readily available for you to use in any Chrome-based browser. It's truly awesome and a huge time saver when your payment methods are stored across all of your devices. I almost never have to grab my physical credit card to make purchases online.
Tech is no longer just functional, it's also meant to be beautiful. When you're part of a tech ecosystem, the products you use not only work well with each other, but they look great next to each other too. Apple is the king of this - their devices are sleek and utilize the same color scheme across their products. They also just feel cohesive when you hold them. It's hard to put a price on the feeling you get when you look at your desk and see all of your Apple devices side-by-side looking like absolute perfection.
The Google ecosystem has tons of variety when it comes to aesthetics and this is because there are so many manufacturers under the Android umbrella: Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Google itself, and several others. By sticking to one manufacturer, however, you get a similar level of consistent aesthetics as Apple, and you know that all your stuff is going to work perfectly with one another.
While it doesn't suit everyone's lifestyle, building a tech ecosystem around you can make your life that much easier, and it's just plain cool when you can do everything, with everything. Yes, the downside is that once you're in the ecosystem it's really hard to get out and switch to something different. When building your ecosystem, you have to put some thought into what you use the most and which products are going to make your day-to-day life easier so that you can focus on other important things. For me, in the past I've been part of the Apple ecosystem and even the Samsung ecosystem, but I've now found myself sticking with Google's own ecosystem. Simply because it makes my life easier!