Essays on Technology and Culture

Apple Works. Android Works. Windows Works. Just Maybe Not For You.

There’s been a bit too much griping in the technology media I consume about the inferiority of certain “competing platforms” in the mobile and tablet space…

Oh, hell with it. I’m sick of hearing knee-jerk Android bashing come from obviously smart people who should know better. The most recent episode of Amplified was absolutely painful to listen with Jim Dalrymple’s claim that Apple “is the only [company] that has lead” in the tech space. This is absolute nonsense, and he knows it. Jim “likes to use products that work” and Apple products work for him. Great. They work for me too. I wouldn’t have a MacBook on my desk, an iPad in my bag, and an iPhone in my pocket if this were not the case.

Jim’s blanket dismissal of Android as “not working” ignores people like Andy Ihnatko. The great thing about Andy’s three-part rationale for switching to Android is that he doesn’t claim that Android is for everyone. He explains the reasons why Android works for him, and suggests that if you have a similar set of needs and wants as him, Android might work for you. He doesn’t say that iOS “doesn’t work,” or tacitly insult those who deign to use a competing platform. Compare Jim’s statements with Andy’s on the most recent The Ihnatko Almanac where he discusses putting thought into the tools you choose to use, and not just buying a product, knee-jerk, because of the logo on the back.

It’s to everyone’s benefit to have a variety of options for hardware and software. A competitive environment drives innovation, and provides options for all of us. There are people whose ideal mobile computing environment is iOS, a customized Android, or even Windows Phone, Symbian, and Blackberry OS. It’s not our job as technologists or technology pundits to tell people the choices they’ve made are wrong. It’s our job to help people choose what’s right for them. No matter what we use, or how well it works for us, the tools we use are conscious choices and not dogma. We are free to explore other options, change our minds, and be wrong. There’s something to take from everything out there.