- 1 Airdrop
- 2 A universal clipboard
- 3 The inbuilt dictionary
- 4 Handoff
- 5 iCloud integration with apps
- 6 iPhone phone calls on every device
- 7 iMessage & Facetime
- 8 Unlocking your MacBook with your Apple Watch
- 9 Build quality and attention to detail
- 10 App quality on iOS
- 11 Apple devices play together better
Like most people say, Apple sucks. Apple’s ecosystem is a jail; once you’re in that beautiful, walled garden, there’s a slim chance of getting out. As expensive as Apple devices are, the restrictions put in place by Apple in the name of security isn’t for everyone. While the iPhone is seen as the best smartphone in the world by a typical Apple fan, the Android vs iOS war rages on because the other party believes Apple and everything the company stands for suck.
MacBooks have always been considered overpriced, yet they sell in millions every year. Why then do people stay in Apple’s ecosystem despite all these? Why is it difficult for these so-called ‘iSheep’ to break out and leave Apple’s walled garden? As someone who belongs in this category, here are ten little features I would greatly miss if I decided to ditch macOS for Windows or make an Android phone my daily driver.
Wireless file transfer between devices isn’t new. As a matter of fact, it’s possible on every platform so far you have the right app installed. However, Airdrop is an inbuilt feature for macOS and iOS that lets you transfer any filetype between Apple devices. This feature is seamlessly integrated into both macOS and iOS, and you don’t need a third party application to enable it. It just works.
Whether I’m transferring downloaded movies from my MacBook to my iPhone or transferring email attachments from the iPhone to the iPad, Airdrop is always the preferable mode of transfer.
A universal clipboard
Your Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account share a universal clipboard. With this feature, you could copy a text on the iPhone, then go your MacBook and simply paste. What you’re pasting is the text you copied earlier on your iPhone. It’s as easy as that.
The inbuilt dictionary
This looks like a small feature but with a MacBook, an iPad or an iPhone, you might not really need to install a third-party dictionary app. On the MacBook, force-clicking a word shows the definition. This inbuilt dictionary is also available on the iPhone and the iPad. And by the way, an internet connection isn’t even required.
Handoff remains one of my favorite features. With this feature, you could simply hand over a task from your iPhone to your MacBook. For instance, if you’re reading an email on the Mail app on your iPad, you should be notified on your MacBook’s dock that this task could be continued on the MacBook. Clicking the Handoff notification continues the task exactly where it was on the iPad.
This isn’t just for default apps. The eBay app on mobile could also “handoff” a product listing page to Safari or Chrome.
iCloud integration with apps
Apart from default Apple apps, games and third-party apps using iCloud integration make it possible to sync data and game progress across all devices. I normally take out my iPad Pro out when going to events. Getting home, I don’t even need to transfer the notes to my MacBook, it’s already there waiting, thanks to iCloud. This same note is also automatically synced to the iPhone.
iPhone phone calls on every device
It’s possible to leave your iPhone in the bedroom and receive calls to your iPhone right there on your MacBook in the living room. It’s also possible to receive calls to your iPhone on the iPad if you set it up.
iMessage & Facetime
Free audio/video calls and free messages with other iPhone/macOS users is one of the features you get what you stay in Apple’s ecosystem. iMessage is integrated with your regular SMS and this makes it even better. It has become a great way to send free text, and with the release of each iOS firmware upgrade, Apple tries to make it’s messaging platform better.
Unlocking your MacBook with your Apple Watch
Build quality and attention to detail
This is debatable, but it’s generally known that Apple pays utmost attention to detail when designing products. As far as I can tell, Apple makes quality stuff and they’ve had this reputation for years. Again, that’s not to say competitors like Microsoft, Google and Samsung don’t push out equally good products too.
App quality on iOS
As someone who has used the best of both worlds in terms of applications, it’s easy to say that app quality on iOS is way better than what Android has to offer. When two similar apps performing the same function are built for both platforms, the iOS version is likely going to look (and feel) like the better one.
Apple devices play together better
Over the years, I’ve owned a number of smartwatches. From well-built ones like Sykla M1 to cheap Chinese smartwatches like UWatch U8, they all work great with Android devices. With the iPhone, it’s a different story. You might get a few features of the smartwatch to work (like making calls & Siri), but notifications and other important features would never work.
This is why the Apple Watch is the top choice for those in the ecosystem. This isn’t a feature per se, it’s actually Apple’s ploy to further make sure you spend more.
Apple’s approach to device security is way too harsh. Android will always be better than iOS as regards to freedom. However, these features and many more are some of the reasons some people decide to stay in the Apple ecosystem regardless.