Despite obviously different business models, Apple and Google have decidedly similar approaches regarding smartphone platform choices. For now, the world is divided into two camps. iPhone and iOS vs. Android. Apple provides customers with a level of built-in stickiness that keeps them on the iPhone, while Google’s stickiness works cross platform.
Apple makes it drop dead easy to upgrade to a new iPhone. All you need is your Apple ID. Apple makes it easy to move settings from one device to another. Google makes it easy on both iOS for iPhone and Android OS for any other smartphone with Google’s apps.
What’s the difference?
Apple wants you to remain on Apple devices, so moving information stored on an iPhone to Android can be cumbersome and an exercise in futility. Google makes it drop dead easy to move from an iPhone to an Android smartphone, or from an Android device to an Apple device.
In that regard, Google plays nice-nice on both sides of the competitive fence.
All you need to upgrade from one iPhone to another is the Apple ID. iCloud then ensures the new iPhone is setup the same way as the old iPhone.
What about switching from iPhone to an Android smartphone?
If you live in Apple’s ecosystem– Mail, Safari, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Photos, Reminders, and Notes– the move is not so easy. On the other hand, if you live in Google’s ecosystem– Gmail, Chrome, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Sheets, et al– then moving from one device to another is not so difficult.
It’s not as easy as upgrading to a new iPhone, but far less difficult than moving from iOS to Android.
There are seemingly plausible reasons to avoid Apple’s lock-in. Ben Gilbert:
If you’re a devout user of Apple services — Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Maps, etc. — it can feel difficult to transfer to Android.
Even if you’re not looking to move to Android, there’s a good reason to stop using Apple’s services: they lock you into Apple devices.
While Google only locks you into using their applications, most of which are designed to gather private information about you, your online purchases and browsing habits, and your locations.
Can you see why Google makes it easy to live within its ecosystem on iPhone and Android smartphones? And, can you see why Google wants to track you regardless of which platform you occupy?
In the case of using Google’s services over Apple’s, Google simply makes a stronger argument by offering a better product.
Not one mention of how and why Google tracks their users, and why living on Apple’s ecosystem is better for your privacy.
Google’s ability to allow users to move between platforms with relative ease comes with a huge caveat. Loss of privacy. Apple’s ability to lock-in customers on their platforms comes with a huge benefit. Privacy.