I'm not exactly sure when it happened, probably just a few years ago or maybe even earlier than that, but it happened without warning. I went from just caring about what my phone did, and what it featured, to having to consider how it might react with other devices in my home, or car, or accessories. It wasn't just about the device anymore. It was about how the device would fit into my life, with other gadgets and devices. The device by itself became practically pointless.
Sure, I'd still try it out, because that's the best way to find out if it will work with everything and how well. But no matter how much I liked a phone, or will like a phone, if it doesn't work well with the other devices in my life it just has to get the boot. No question about it. No long good-byes, either. It's just gone.
Move on to the next.
As I'm writing this, I still have my iPhone 5s sitting next to me. I can hear it trying to stay in my life, trying to tell me that everything is okay, that "I'll get used to" the slow animations in iOS 7. Everything will be fine! But, I know better. This is a rare case where, despite how well the iPhone works with everything else in my life, I just can't do it anymore. Me and iOS just don't get along anymore. We don't see eye-to-eye, and we don't want the same things out of life.
That's why I know it's time to move on, and to find something else that wants what I want. That has the same values in speed and ease of use. While I'm prepared for this journey (I hope), I understand that I'm playing with fire here. The iPhone and I have grown comfortable together over the years, and everything just works with it. Jumping ship to another device, to another platform, is risky business that could lead me to land a handset that just doesn't get along with the other gadgets in my life.
I'd say that I'm too invested in the iOS platform to really give it up, and that would be true to a point. I am invested in the iOS ecosystem, but there's plenty of apps that I've purchased or spent time with on other mobile operating systems, so I'm not necessarily worried about that. And while I could make a case that iOS has the best platform, I'm not sure I'm worried about that anymore, either.
My household isn't a one ecosystem household, either. It almost is, with me being the outlier at the moment, just because. But, what other people own isn't all that important to me, either. They've got their usage bubbles, and I rarely ever find my way into them. What they do is what they do. It's none of my business. (Unless something breaks or stops working, and then it's all, "Evan, come fix this"!)
And yet, I still want to have an unbroken ecosystem in my life. It's like some insatiable need. The moment I start looking to get my hands on a new phone, I can't help but look at what I'm using for a work machine, or what I'm playing my video games on, or what's connected to my TV to give me access to the shows/movies I watch. I look at all these things, and start weighing my options. I can't help but think about how it's all going to play together, work and live together on a daily basis. It has to go smoothly. It has to.
That's why I haven't decided what my next phone, or which mobile OS I'm going to go with when I finally ditch the iPhone and iOS. There are just so many great options, and I'm ready to switch things around. I've already said once or twice that I want to go all Windows, with the Xbox, Windows Phone and with Windows 8, but I didn't last there very long. Maybe it's time to try again with the Surface Pro 2.
Do you have an ecosystem of devices in your home, or in your life in general, that work well together because you've gone out of your way to make it work like that? Or do you just care about how your phone works, and it doesn't matter about any of the other devices in your life? Do you still want that one ecosystem experience? Let me know!