Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

Diversification And Legacy Data

May 23, 2014

I’m told that I’m a very loyal customer. That I’m loyal to Apple, Starbucks, Portland Fruit West, etc. — very few companies receive my business, and those who do receive my business receive a lot of it. Instead of making things complicated by buying from a diverse array of companies I keep things very simple by only buying from a handful.

There are many benefits to not diversifying yourself in computing platforms, and probably the most clear example of why it’s good to stick with one company is legacy data. Apple is what I know, so I’m going to try to stick to it for this blog post, though most of what follows can be said about other large companies which provide a wide array of services.

TL;DR: Through backups, my iPhone 5s and iPad Air have a data trail that dates back to 2006 with my MacBook Pro.

In 2007 I synced my brand new iPod touch with my MacBook Pro, and moved over .Mac mail, Calendar Events, Contacts, and Music/Movies. Every iOS device I’ve purchased since my iPod touch has been set up using backup data from the iOS device preceding it. I’ve actually gone through four generations of backups setting up new devices.

  1. 1. My iPhone 3G was just my iPod touch in a new shell.
  2. 2. My iPad and iPhone 4 were copies of my iPhone 3G in different shells.
  3. 3. My iPad 3 was a copy of my iPad.
  4. 4. My iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iPad Air are really just copies of my iPhone 4 and iPad 3, but they can also be considered simply grown up versions of my 2007 iPod touch.

(In addition, my iPhone 5s and iPad Air seamlessly share a remarkable amount of data with each other through iCloud.)

If I mixed things up with an Android device now and then, and if I used a different Mail service, 3rd party Contacts, Calendar, Notes, web browsers, office suites, photo management apps, etc., I could have moved over everything from device to device regardless of platform. The problem is it would require more work than I’d like! There’s beauty in simplicity.

Diversification is an important part of our development as humans. It’s great to travel and be around people who aren’t like you, who take you out of your comfort zone and force you to develop new ideas of culture and humanity. What I’ve learned traveling is that people are at a base level the same everywhere, although there are differences which have been imposed through the arc of time. When you immerse yourself in a culture other than your own, you can learn those impositions and adopt the ideas that you like, making yourself a truly unique individual.

Where diversification falls short of being important for development, is in our product purchases. You see people who have an iPhone, a Samsung Android tablet, and a Dell Windows PC, and use Yahoo! e-mail. This can be in the name of diversification, that different platforms have different benefits, and that it’s generally a bad idea to put all your faith in a single company in case it goes out of business.

As far as Apple goes, however, it’s very far from shutting down with its $151 billion in the bank and all. And the more companies you tie yourself to, the greater the chance you’ll find some services you rely on disappearing. It’s important to measure everything such as functionality, profitability, and how the company has handled product/service transitions in the past. From what I’ve measured Apple is the company I feel safe relying on.

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