Having spent quite some time and quickly becoming comfortable with OSX, I’ve made a conclusion that at this point in time there’s only one company that truly mastered user-friendliness: Apple. Have they reached perfection? No. But are they constantly improving? You bet!
Now, having said that, if you’re only using OSX in it’s full version (on Macs), you probably won’t feel it as much, but once you start adding iOS devices to the mix, you realize that Apple didn’t just come up with some cool devices that are well thought through, they created a whole ecosystem, where each component has an important role to play and the best thing is, you can easily configure it to suit your personal needs. Think about it, I type this post using iPad with Apple wireless keyboard – something that would be hard to imagine 5 years ago – but nowadays I don’t feel like turning on my MacBook, never mind my PC for something that can easily be done on a tablet, which also provides a much better picture quality than either of my monitors (excluding iPhone, which obviously doesn’t count due to obvious size restriction). Having said that, this could easily be done by using iPhone alone, or by connecting the same wireless keyboard via bluetooth, but it’s just not something you want to do when you can choose an iPad.
Excluding one very specific class of application software, namely IDEs and compilers, pretty much everything else is present on the tablets nowadays. Including image processing software. And considering the display quality it may even be a better choice for some photographers on the go.
So, while I’m writing this, I’m listening to the music which is (surprise, surprise) stored on a network accessible RAID storage. It’s being played by a PC, that’s running iTunes and it’s not even in the same room where I am now, thanks to the Airport Express, which is just connected to my stereo’s input. So, using a remote control app on my IPhone I’m controlling the iTunes in the other room, which is streaming it back to this room. And all this without a single wire, except the one that connects the Airport Express to the actual amplifier. Yes, there are proprietary non apple systems that do that, but they’re nowhere near as flexible as the Apple solution. This whole setup in theory could be implemented using Android technology stack, but I’m sure that I would spend much more time setting it all up and going back and forth to the store because one device would for some reason be incompatible with the others. Android’s diversity also is it’s big problem – hardware compatibility leaves to wish for the better. Apple devices obviously play nice with each other and hardware and software compatibility are not an issue – everything just works. Yes, you pay premium for that, but in my own humble opinion it’s worth it.