Last year, in the early months of 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook became embroiled in a bitter fight with the FBI over the right of law enforcement to force Apple to hack an iPhone. This particular phone belonged to one of the terrorists in the San Bernadino attack in late 2015. I had personally never cared about iPhone before, being so wrapped up in the world of Android, but the saga of this big legal fight in America had me riveted, and Tim Cook's absolute refusal to break the trust that every customer has in the company was amazing.
Apple ended up winning that fight, with a court ruling in favor of a company's right to not be coerced into violating their own privacy agreement, and the FBI went on to hack the iPhone in question on their own anyway, so all's well that ends well. In the meantime, I was now seriously considering a switch from Google's Android camp to Apple.
Privacy concerns were one reason I wanted to switch. Google uses the Android system to collect data on everything about a person, from the keys they tap out on the keyboard to where, and when, they travel to the contacts they text and talk to. Google uses this information to create a consumer profile of you that they then sell to advertisers. When you use an Android phone, you ARE the Google product. Apple depends on hardware sales and keeps their ecosystem locked down, hanging on tightly to all that sensitive customer data for their own use.
Another reason I wanted to switch was because I was just tired of Android. I had already been through a Samsung Galaxy SIII, a Nexus 5, a Nexus 5X and a Moto G, and I was tired of constantly dealing with glitches, battery issues, viruses, page redraws, random stuttering and lagging, etc. My wife was quietly rocking an iPhone 4S as well as an iPad Mini 2 and never once did they give her a problem. Like Steve Jobs said, they "just work". When I upgraded my Nexus 5X to Android 7.0 Nougat, that was the final straw. I ended up having to factory-reset my phone twice within a month. It was frustrating, and Google's stupid foray into messaging with Allo was poorly planned and disappointing. I sold my Nexus online and went out and got an iPhone 6S.
Going from a lagging and unfulfilling Android 7.0 experience to a fast, zippy, bright and always-working iOS 10 experience is like hopping into a Porsche after driving a beat-up Toyota. Any reservations I had about the iPhone (no customization, no task automation, etc) disappeared as I used the phone. The phone doesn't just open apps when I tap on them; the phone becomes the app! Everything works so much smoother and navigation is so much easier. While Siri doesn't hold a candle to Google Now when it comes to productivity, she is good enough to play songs and tell me the weather and send iMessages to my wife while I'm driving.
Switching to iPhone isn't just about the device, however. Moving from Google to Apple is about the entire ecosystem that these two companies have built. I personally find that, with the exception of Samsung Edge and Note products, Apple hardware is miles ahead of anything being put out by Google's OEMs (including the Pixel by Google itself). the iPad is way ahead of any rival tablet, and MacBooks blow Chromebooks out of the water, cost aside. Microsoft is the only real alternative to Apple with Windows 10 and their Surface line of tablet-laptop hybrids, but under the hood, it's still just Windows and the ecosystem that Microsoft offers lags far behind both Apple and Google.
When you own multiple Apple products, everything just syncs up nicely. Photos I take with my iPhone appear instantly on my MacBook or iPad. Songs I upload to iTunes show up on my Apple TV and my iPhone. Notes, eBooks, spreadsheets, pdf's...all of it just syncs seamlessly between devices without me having to do anything. I love that I can start typing an email on my phone, and then move over to my iPad and take over typing that same email where I left off on my phone!
With my wife already tied into the Apple ecosystem it only made sense that we would set up a Family cloud. Now we can effortlessly pass photos back and forth to each other's phones and iPads, add items to shared grocery lists (handy when I'm at the store and she's at home and suddenly remembered to add "muffins" to the list), and sync everything together without having to know how it's all working. The Apple ecosystem just works. Every. Single. Time. That's the main reason I switched.
After I first switched I played around with third-party apps, including Google's suite (which work even better on iPhone than on Google's own Android devices) but eventually just settled on using mostly Apple's native apps for my workflow. I even managed to ditch most of my Evernote needs (and saved $90/year in subscription fees) by going all-in with Apple Notes. While Apple Maps isn't quite as accurate as Google Maps, it still works and gets me from point A to point B, plus the UI is much easier on the eyes while I'm driving than the squished and hard-to-read Google Maps.
I've been an iTunes fan since I got my first iPod Mini in 2005, and I have more than 10,000 songs sitting there, so signing up for Apple Music was a no-brainer. Even the Podcasts app (on iOS 10) is great because it's the only podcast app that I can control with Siri while I'm driving.
To replace Google Docs I started using Apple's iWork Suite. Pages is better than both Docs and Word, in my opinion, although Numbers is missing a lot of things that other spreadsheets have (like a "Sum" button...I mean really, Apple? I need to type out each equation manually??).
Since switching first to iPhone, and then to a MacBook and most recently an iPad Pro (which has been replacing my MacBook for productivity. That iPad does everything!) I haven't touched my Windows 10 PC since last year! I recently booted up my old Nexus 5, a phone that was a pure pleasure to use, but there was Android 7.0 just waiting to annoy me with it's lagging and it's childish, cartoony animations. I put it back in the drawer and forgot about it.
The Apple ecosystem has everything my family and I need in our lives. For consuming content it is unrivaled, and for producing it is fantastic. I create WordPress blogs and design websites using an iPad, and research freelance writing projects on my iPhone. Through iCloud I can rest assured that all my data is safe and, through Apple's steadfast devotion to their core ethic of respect for privacy, I sleep at night knowing that my phone isn't spying on me.