Why I’ve Switched Entirely To Google Technology

I am committing one of the Pragcap cardinal sins here by writing about Apple Corporation.  I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me, but I’ve had a number of requests on my opinion here so….

In late 2011 I wrote a controversial piece about how I was dumping my iPhone for an Atrix 2 and particularly the Android operating system.  I said Google was about to go “thermonuclear on Apple”.  Not surprisingly, this was not a popular opinion at the time.  I thought the tide was changing and that consumers were yet to realize that the Android operating system was not only a better value, but that it was bound to close the gap on Apple and render its competitive advantage marginal.  Since then, we’ve seen a huge rise in Android phones and now there are cracks in the once unbreakable Apple foundation.  In my opinion, the tide hasn’t stopped changing.

I should start by saying that Apple is an amazing company.  Their string of technological advancements in the last 10 years has to be one of the greatest runs in the history of tech companies.  From the iPod to the Iphone to the iPad.  And that’s not even touching on their computer business which remains a behemoth.   I’d had an iPhone since the original one came out.  I loved it.  It was jailbroken, customized to my liking, the perfect phone at that time.  Definitely the most incredible technological advancement in smart phones in the last decade.   But technology changes fast and boy has Google closed the gap quickly.

I’ll admit that the Atrix 2 wasn’t nearly as awesome as the iPhone.  How could it be?  But the software had made leaps and bounds since I first used an Android phone and decided it was a piece of junk.  I later upgraded to the Galaxy S3 when it came out and that sealed the deal.  Not only had the software improved even further, but the hardware was now coming along. Now, no one will beat Apple on hardware.  Their designs are too sleek, too sexy.  But that’s not why I own technology.  I own it primarily for its functionality and that’s where Google has now matched Apple and depending on who you are, they’ve surpassed them.

Of course, it depends here.  I’d say that the primary reason I have now switched permanently to a Google phone and a Google note pad (Nexus 7) is because the software integration is seamless.  I am a very heavy Google user.  Gmail, music, calendar, the works.  And the way Google integrates you into their software is seamless.  I literally carry my Nexus with me everywhere now.  It’s that awesome and convenient.   But ultimately, it’s all in the user experience.

To me, I think that’s what it comes down to.  Is your technological life mostly Apple based?  Or is it mostly Google based? If you’re like me and you use mostly Google apps/accounts then it’s a no-brainer.  You should be moving to a Google based software platform with Android.  If you’re an Apple user it probably makes more sense to stay with Apple.  But the reality is that Google has now closed the gap in terms of software and hardware to the point where it’s no longer a matter of which one is better or worse, but which one is more convenient for the user based on how seamlessly they can integrate your on-line life into their software.  For so many of us who are embedded to the internet through Gmail accounts and other Google services, it makes me skeptical that the Android system won’t continue to improve and integrate its software dominance across these handheld devices.

 

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Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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Comments

  1. Nice write up, Thanks.
    I wonder if Google is better for business docs since they have Google Doc’s on cloud.

    Does anyone know if Apple has a DOCument platform?

  2. Why is it impossible to disagree? Apple’s hardware was never necessarily better; it was more about their software. I have used the Galaxy S3 and the display (screen) is not up to par with Apple (proven in tests) and the touchscreen is not sensitive enough.

  3. Apple is not the producer of the harware that powers the various iMachines. For that you have to look at LG, Samsung itself etc… where the real hardware expertise is. Apple is a great great great marketing and designing company, his software is old and some of the core applications are just embarassing (like iTunes or iPhoto etc…) The latest OS version disappointed a lot, slower, bigger etc… But the fact is that the future in tech is tomorrow and not 5 years from now and the business model of Google is far superior and smarter. In tech there is also one big problem: the champ takes all and Google moved first and now has such an advantage that all the Apple’s money cannot recover. Expect iTV, iWasher, iOwen, iWhatever but it doesn’t matter, Google cloud computing is here to stay. This doesn’t mean Apple is trash or will loose money, on the contrary it will continue to make tons of money but like Microsoft his best days are gone.

  4. Interestingly enough, the MS ecosystem is even better engineered for all-purpose and business uses. Windows 8 hasn’t had its fair shake yet, as the mobile platform is excellent. Every “phone guy” I know stands behind the new Nokia Lumia line as the best in show. In fact, Nokia is on the brink of completely rendering BlackBerry irrelevant on the enterprise front while also making standalone digital cameras obsolete. The Google ecosystem has developed quite a bit over the last several years, though their business solutions leave much to be desired, namely their office surrogates.

  5. Watch out for Ubuntu Phones and tablets. They will posit the first unified OS from computer to tablet to phone. Their Tablet/Phone OS not only look more intuitive than apple or google – assuming they can launch w/ out too many bugs – they’ll be far more powerful and much more secure. They’ll actually open up the full power of a computer in a phone and give you full access to modify the access permissions whichever way you see fit… I have a droid, but I think it sucks. It’s certainly not secure, though it at least tells me what access permissions any app I install has. But it won’t let me modify them. Moreover, the best I can do is to freeze my bloatware. All of that will be history with a full linux distro ported to the phone. Moreover, everything will be cheaper. Most of the programs will probably be free. It may take time, but I think this will be the makings of a revolution. Can’t wait til it launches (uses android drivers, so any current android device can be flipped as soon as they launch). Word.

  6. It’s simple for me, I don’t like (trust) Google’s privacy policy so I don’t use their products including Google search. Apple designs the hardware, foundries like Samsung and Global Foundries manufacture the chips. Apple makes a quality and reliable product, well engineered, I haven’t found a good reason to switch yet. You get what you pay for.

  7. No discussion of Amazon? I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about what apps/accounts you use. Amazon doesn’t make a phone, but the kindle fire is the largest share of the android tablet market and gaining.

  8. I don’t know if Windows 8 is the right approach. It’s already something that irked me about Ubuntu that they want to use the same Interface on every device, from smartphones to workstations. I’m using two large screens for my work and two large screens for trading, without touch (which I wouldn’t want for my workstation anyways), so why would I want to run an interface that’s designed for a puny little phone?

  9. I’m running W8 right now; it’s actually pretty simple to toggle between the tile panel and the standard W7 desktop background (push of the windows key). I’ve found that it hasn’t caused me any undue alteration of my work routine while adding the functionality of the tile panel. I have a feeling most people won’t even notice the distinction two years from now. There will always be those users who long for yesteryear (ie XP users still fighting the transition to 7), but W8 is actually a fine OS.

  10. I’m just as skeptical of Apple’s privacy policies… I would agree the strategy of giving your infor only to one or the other a good idea for the privacy minded, and I’d even pick apple over google. But that’s doesn’t mean I trust apple at all. Both upload everything you do, whether or not you like it or not… And both use that information for very similar purposes.

  11. Ultimately Google will become the next Microsoft as they run out of things to copy and eventually drop the ball. And Apple will continue innovating whatever’s next until some other company comes along and tries to copy it. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.