When I first started using smartphones some 4 or 5 years ago, I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed about all of the possibilities that my smartphone had in store for me. I had a Samsung Galaxy Vibrant, and although I didn’t really know my right from my left when it came the key differences between Android and iOS, I did know that like the iPhone (which I had never had the opportunity to use) Android also had apps. What’s more is that, at the time, many had praised Android for the amount of free apps in their market. If there’s anything that can set my heart a-flutter, it’s knowing that something I’m about to get is free.
I spent a lot of time researching and finding applications that I wanted to use - most of which were free. Of course, what I hadn’t realized at the time is that just because something is free doesn’t necessarily mean it comes without its own set of problems. No, I didn’t have to pay money or attach my credit card to my Google account, but I did have to deal with a lot of ads. At the time, as slow and as buggy as Android was at the time, accidentally clicking on an ad wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. Over time it became more frustrating to deal with the fact that I was constantly clicking on these ninja ads than to just pay for the upgraded version and not have to deal with them at all.
They got me. It was time to start putting some money into the apps I wanted to use.
I didn’t see it as a big deal at the time, because I had no intention of ever switching platforms. I liked Android, and the idea of ever switching to iOS at the time wasn’t really an option because iOS was only available on AT&T and I didn’t have any intention of switching to AT&T ever. So I’m thinking, okay, I’ll sink a few bucks into these apps and then I won’t have to deal with ads anymore. Since I’ll always use Android, I don’t have to worry about feeling like I wasted money.
What’s that saying about hindsight? Right, right - it’s 20/20.
I guess I never really feel like I wasted a ton of money on Android. I’ve spent a good chunk of money on Android apps, and a lot of the time I don’t use the apps anymore because they’re really outdated. Mostly I was wrong about not switching ecosystems, so my reasoning behind spending the money is kind of invalid. As it stands now, I’m currently using iOS - a completely different ecosystem which I found that I’ve spent money on. I’ve also spent money in the Windows Phone Store.
Monetarily speaking, I’m invested in 3 different platforms. I am most invested in iOS and Android, which I link mostly to my excessive use of Google Services throughout any given day. My e-mails are through Gmail, Chrome is my browser, YouTube is somewhat of a staple, I use Hangouts quite a bit, and I prefer Google Maps over almost anything. It’s my Google-centric lifestyle that keeps me around iOS or Android most of the time, until I just plain get bored and want to use something else. I believe that I’m also keen to stick with Android or iOS above the other two major platforms because of how much money I’ve spent on each of these; while I have spent money on Windows Phone, it hasn’t been nearly as much (or as worthwhile, in my opinion).
Another thing that might be considered an investment into a certain platform would be accessories, but this mostly pertains to iOS devices as Apple is a special snowflake with special types of chargers. You have the 30-pin connector for anything that was iPhone 4S and below, and the lightning connector for anything iPhone 5 and above. I do so fondly remember the disappointment proclaimed across the Internet when people realized that their expensive iPhone accessories that used the 30-pin connector would no longer be useful if they wanted to get a new iPhone. And they didn’t even switch to the more standard microUSB. Jeez, Apple.
In the end, these little investments that we make add up over time and can ultimately influence which platform we choose to use in the future when it’s time to upgrade smartphones. What we want to know, dear readers, is just how invested you are in your current platform’s ecosystem? Have you invested a lot of money into apps and accessories that ultimately keep you on board with the same platform? Have you spread out your investments so you have accessories and apps for multiple platforms? Or do you simply not invest much at all, because you know you like to switch and switch often? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!