Avoid Apple Ecosystem Lock-In

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Be Conservative with App Store Purchases

Despite my willingness to avoid Apple ecosystem lock-in, I still prefer their hardware. I will continue to buy iPhones and Macs. That said, I am much more conservative with App Store purchases, just in case. If Apple launches a defective iPhone and I need to purchase a competing smartphone, my apps can’t be moved over. For this reason, I only buy apps if it is absolutely necessary. There are so many great free apps in the App Store, I rarely find it necessary to purchase one.

One consolation is that Apple’s apps are often transferable across several devices. Their Universal apps can be used on multiple devices with one purchase. An app you buy for your iPhone can be used on your iPad and Apple TV (if there is a tvOS version available). Despite this advantage, you’re still locked into the Apple ecosystem. You may still want to think twice before purchasing an expensive app.

Don’t Subscribe to Apple Music

Apple Music is a defective Spotify clone. It’s not original and its quality leaves much to be desired. The app is buggy and Apple’s data center operations are inferior to their competitors’. Apple fans may believe they are supporting their favorite company or saving the music industry. I think they’re enabling Apple to sell inferior products and services. If Apple Music fails, they will need to take a long, hard look at the quality of their apps and services.

Apple Music also locks users into the Apple ecosystem. While they do offer an Android app and Windows compatibility using iTunes, there’s no web-based player. Unlike Spotify or Google Music, using Apple Music anywhere can be a challenge. If you go to a friend’s house you may need to install iTunes on their computer in order to use Apple Music. Google Play Music and Spotify subscribers can just open a browser window, log in, and it’s party time!

While Apple Music doesn’t lock in users in as much as iTunes movies and TV shows, the lack of a web-based player limits your options. Both Spotify and Google Play Music also offer better audio quality, better app quality and even better user interfaces. Don’t be fooled by the halo effect of Apple’s UI expertise. That’s absent in Apple Music. It almost seems like the app was designed by summer interns.

Don’t Buy iBooks

The digital world has replaced paper books with e-books. Instead of lugging your library everywhere, users can access their book collection on a single, compact device. Amazon has always been the leader when it comes to e-books, and their popular Kindle app is available to every Apple device. The Kindle app works on Android devices, and of course, on Amazon Kindle and Fire devices. No matter which device you use in the future, your Amazon e-books will be available. Simply download the Kindle app, sign on, and download your e-books.

Apple’s iBooks are overpriced. Although their format offers some advanced interactive capabilities, they charge an exorbitant price. The Kindle version is always less expensive.

Apple went through some notorious legal struggles over e-books. They colluded with publishers to fix e-book prices, which hurts consumers. They claim this was done in response to Amazon dumping e-books below cost. Apple alleged that Amazon did this in order to dominate the e-book market. It’s possible that they did it to sell Kindle tablets. Let’s face it — everything Amazon sells is inexpensive and everything Apple sells is overpriced. Even the biggest Apple fan has purchased something from Amazon at some point. (continue…)

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