Saturday, June 6, 2015

Chai Time: Sticking with one mobile platform may soon be the best option-Sahen Rai

As a major Android Fanboy, it's sort of difficult for me to say this. But I may switch platforms with my next device... There I said it! Man can only live with one platform for so long, and while I could just go with multiple platforms for different devices. I'm beginning to think that may someday not be an option.
Google vs Microsoft vs Apple/Pc Matter
Let's start with the most blatant example of what I call platform lockdown: Windows 10. With Microsoft's new emphasis on connectivity and one platform for phone, desktop, and tablet. It seems like you can't fully enjoy the full ecosystem of Windows 10 without having all your devices run it. Continuum will allegedly allow you to run all of your Microsoft apps on all of your devices, regardless of the form factor. While this probably won't allow you to run full triple-A desktop games on your phone,  it does allow for some really cool ideas. Picture this, you have a major assignment due the next day at school or work, and being working on it from Microsoft Word on your phone

Microsoft Word Mobile/Idownloadblog

After you get home, you can then plug your phone into a dock. It will then charge, and output Word to a monitor, where you can edit your document with full keyboard and mouse support. Along with all the benefits of desktop Microsoft Word. This is a great and not-too-distant future, but would unfortunately not be possible unless you're fully invested in Microsoft's ecosystem. This is true with a lot of Microsoft services, take the Xbox Suite of media Apps. Things like music, apps, games, and more would be a lot better if you can use them of every device. Even though you can get these apps on other platforms, being part of just the Microsoft ecosystem allows you to make better use of them.

Microsoft isn't the only culprit here. Apple and Google have their own systems that are just as bad. But while Google's ecosystem can sort of be used with other ecosystems well, Apple does not like to play nice. Most of Google's services are web-based, so they can be used regardless of what ecosystem you're on. But looking at something at the iwork suite, Garageband, iphoto, etc..

iwork suite/Mac Stories
it's obvious Apple likes to keep things to themselves. You might ask why this has suddenly become more of an issue, after all the iwork suite has been around for a while. Well, I'll explain. Now that IOS 8 has brought continuity, if you want a really convenient experience between your devices and you have an apple device, you better have an iPhone, a Mac, and an iPad Mini. Because otherwise, you can't automatically answer phones calls on your computer or tablet, handoff emails and browsing sessions between devices, or send SMS messages from any device.

The final nail in the coffin for being platform agnostic is wearables.

Android Wear/Android Developers

At least before there were really only three devices you could have in an ecosystem, tablet, computer, and phone. The introduction of wearables opens up a whole new can of worms. Now we also have to deal with a whole new set of platform-dependent devices, that also allows for a whole new set of
platform-restricted apps.

Now I'm not someone totally against these companies making things for themselves. It just means that, for now, to really reap the benefits of newer, better software. We must try to restrict ourselves to just one platform. While I haven't really decided who I want to stick with, Microsoft's official Windows 10 release will likely help me decide. Have any other ideas for platform-dependent features? Let me know @masala_tech on twitter, and always remember to keep things spicy!

By Sahen Rai