Speaking of an ecosystem, we mean a perfectly integrated system of interaction between gadgets: the operating system of a computer, TV, smartphone, watch, etc.
That is, in the best case, no matter what device you are currently using, you will get maximum access to your own data and files, and will be able to perform the same tasks. All content at your fingertips.
Several ecosystems that have formed from different devices and their capabilities can be called leading in the world today. Among them, of course, Apple, Google and Xiaomi. All three companies have many similarities in their approach to solving this problem. For example, a very large load falls on a smartphone. As a device that we carry with us almost always, it is he who is the source of access and control over other devices. But there are also many differences, for example, the number and capabilities of devices.
We will consider each of the ecosystems in order to determine the most functional.
The main advantage of the Apple ecosystem is the operating system. Since the company develops its own OS, it gets the opportunity to give equal access to information on a computer, TV or smartphone without the need to configure or download additional applications. Everything you need is right there when you first install the system or start the device for the first time. By creating an Apple ID, you immediately get your cloud, which is open to any device.
However, the ability to share files is not limited, as you can automatically stream photos, videos, upload files via AirDrop and use features such as SideCar, where the iPad acts as a graphics tablet for a laptop or computer.
One particularly handy feature is the ability to copy text on your smartphone or tablet and paste it on your laptop. The shared clipboard is incredibly handy for those who work on both devices.
Even a digital signature can be created on the screen of a smartphone and used for documents in the Preview program.
Most of these features work well thanks to the operating system, which also has visual similarities and common applications. Keychain is one of the most convenient features that allows you to access accounts from any of the devices in the ecosystem.
A significant plus is that Apple offers a lot more features than other brands. Even applications that share the library between devices are an option that no other manufacturer can replicate yet.
The choice of devices, however, is limited. Apple offers computers and laptops, smartphones, tablets, watches, a TV set-top box and a smart speaker.
All other devices, despite the fact that they can be connected, still do not give the same freedom that the branded devices of the company provide. When using a third-party smartphone with an Apple laptop, you will often find yourself needing to transfer files but not being able to do so. And when you consider the fact that the price of some devices is very high, Apple creates very serious difficulties for its fans.
The Apple ecosystem is convenient and really shows its best side in the process of work, however, after it it is very difficult to get used to any other, and in a sense, the user becomes dependent on the company’s devices, without the possibility of choosing more affordable alternatives.
For a long time, Apple also made things harder by not using standard chargers. Now at least laptops are charged via USB type‑c, and smartphones and watches can be charged from wireless devices. Therefore, it cannot be said that the company does not take steps towards the user.
Google followed a similar path, but it turned out to be much more difficult for the company to come to a similar result. Everything does not start with the device, largely because the vast majority of modern smartphones use the Android OS. For this company, everything starts with the operating system. The company now offers Android and Chrome OS. Initially, the systems were independent of each other, and they had practically nothing in common.
It was recently that operating systems began to interact and the beginning of this process was the ability of Chrome OS to launch Android applications through the Play Store. In other words, on a Pixelbook laptop, you will use the same application that you use on a smartphone, in the ideal case for Google, on a Pixel smartphone.
That’s not all, as ambition won’t let Google stop there when Apple offers such a great opportunity. The company has added a “Better Together” feature, again to the Chrome OS operating system. It allows you to use the same messenger, unlock your laptop from your smartphone if you are nearby, and use your smartphone as a portable wi-fi transmitter.
But what can make a user buy products from Google? The most significant advantage that the company offers now is early access to all operating system updates and the ability to update automatically. All other manufacturers have to wait longer. Also, for a while, Google was in no hurry to allow other brands to use the special “Better Together” functionality, so owners of Samsung smartphones, One Plus, etc. remained on the sidelines.
Yet, despite the preventive measures that the company has taken and the attempt to limit the opportunities of competitors, there are several insurmountable difficulties, and one of them is the popularity of Chrome OS.
Mac OS has been around for a long time and is the direct and most popular competitor to the dominant Windows market. Windows is installed on most computers in the world. Therefore, many users will prefer to look for opportunities to synchronize their Android smartphone with this particular OS. Chrome OS, despite the quality and convenience, has not gained such popularity and there are no serious reasons to expect that this will happen yet.
But this is not to say that Google is stopping, on the contrary, Google Home and Google Chromecast have become very popular devices. And many are still counting on the arrival of the Pixel Watch.
Many experts back in 2019 advised Google not to follow the path of Apple and not try to create an analogue of an existing system. On the contrary, inclusiveness and willingness to interact with competitors in order to create a better and better product can be a winning strategy for a company.
However, the maximum that we can get from Google so far in terms of cooperation with other axes is Google Docs, Google Drive and a number of applications that allow you to copy records and a calendar. All this is not as debugged as Apple’s, but with proper configuration it will expand the functionality of devices.
The Xiaomi ecosystem is almost entirely based on apps. The company hasn’t built its own software yet, with the exception of EMUI, which is based on Android, but the production of an incredibly wide range of devices allows you to create a larger ecosystem, which includes household appliances and appliances, such as smart TVs. In essence, the Xiaomi ecosystem is more of a smart home, but with a link to mobile devices and the benefits of using brand products.
You can consider Xiaomi as an improved version of the Google system, which, admittedly, takes into account the requirements of the user much more. A significant disadvantage is the lack of own operating systems. The already mentioned EMUI has many drawbacks, including built-in advertising and a lot of unnecessary applications recommended and pre-installed by the manufacturer.
However, Xiaomi is trying to give users the ability to share files and documents between devices, to some extent, allowing them to build their own system, which will often include applications from a third party. Therefore, we can say that the company paid more attention to the number of features, rather than their quality and thoughtfulness. This, too, becomes a positive feature when it comes to device accessibility. However, it does not work if you have to work not alone, and you need to share data with others.
In this regard, Xiaomi does not compare with Apple, although it can compete with Google.
And yet I would like to note the ability to assemble your own way of interaction between devices as a plus. Imagine the same possibility at Apple and Google, so that one company’s smartphone could transmit information to another company’s laptop. This would be incredibly convenient, and certainly lessen the need to strictly stick to one brand’s products.
Who is the best?
Undoubtedly, considering the pros and cons of the three ecosystems, one can conclude that Apple at least has a clear idea of \u200b\u200bwhat to strive for. If we put aside all the negative comments about the price and elitism of the products produced, and focus on the experience that comes with using them, then Apple is definitely coming out of the race as a winner.
When you can successfully apply the same features on different devices, open apps, start work, and finish it in the same file on another device, workflow comfort really becomes invaluable.
However, among the pitfalls, you can identify the security of devices and data. When all devices can access data, the loss or theft of one only becomes more dangerous. It turns out that Apple both simplifies and complicates the user’s task. The company is committed to protecting data, and doing so more confidently than competitors who do not pay as much attention to the structure of their ecosystem.
Competing companies, in turn, emphasize the availability and wider variability of devices — there is interaction with Windows, Chrome OS and even MacOS, albeit not at the same high level, but still its presence cannot be denied. And many users are ready to prefer just that, corny because companies do not seek to limit their choice in the same way.