I have owned Androids ever since the original HTC Desire. I had Nexus phones, and now a Pixel 5. Since I abandoned Nokia, long before their ill-fated liaison with Microsoft, I have never been tempted to get an Apple device.
I have a few things that consume me personally. One is a desire to know things and understand them. When I first saw the web, I was struck by how I didn’t know how web pages were created. My first experience with that frustration was when computer magazines made web interfaces for the CD that came on the cover.
Just aged myself a bit, there.
But my thought was, How do I not know how to do that? If they can make a webpage for a CD, it can’t be that hard. And the next step was me teaching myself HTML. I can still write myself a decent webpage, but I have to admit, I often Bing the appropriate CSS when I want to do something unusual – I would call that not 100% fluent.
Anyway, I care about information, and I like to watch Jeopardy, play trivia at pubs and similar. And I like to win at everything, so that includes trivia.
The more you learn about the environment, the harder it is to ignore the facts, and my wife – rightly – encouraged me to focus my intenseness on one thing. I have chosen the environment, rather than gay and minority rights, or medical advancement, or – as Paul Krautmann has – the vast waste and danger to life that is the US military, or the death penalty, or safe drug places, or ACEs awareness, or the modern slavery of American prisons, etc.
And if I am serious about the environment, I need to choose to patronize companies that support that aim. Now Alphabet (Google) , Microsoft, and Apple all have good environmental records. All three are carbon neutral at a corporate level and some have gone further with respect to their historic emissions. But Apple is the only one using 100% recycled rare earth metals, etc. This frees them from trading with objectionable regimes, but it also protects the environment from the serious ravages of mining.
Privacy And Google
As a European, I am also aware of the lack of privacy laws in the USA. There are a few around specific industries, like education and healthcare, but they are poorly enforced and do not protect to anywhere near the standard of the UK’s 1984 Data Protection Act, let alone the modern EU GDPR which is the planet’s best data protection law. And, for now, GDPR remains a UK law despite Brexit.
The state of privacy laws in the USA is ridiculous – basically, there is no protection from companies and the State, using any information they have about you except in a few limited circumstances. And in that environment, is Google a good company with which to do business? Definitely not. It’s a marketing company first, with ancillary products to support its advertising business. Even though its mobile phones are sold at a not-too-discounted price, it’s still clear that the Google Assistant is using the information we give it to market to us. I have noticed a significant drop in advertising quality since I started using Bing and Edge. Google no longer seems to know as much about my activity and this is delightful! But I can do better.
Getting a new phone
My Pixel 5 is a bit buggy, it’s getting old (only two years old, which is ridiculous) and so I am thinking about what device to get next. I don’t need a new phone yet, but I will need one eventually. Watching this afternoon’s Apple Event was very interesting.
I said before that Google lost my cloud business to Microsoft when it priced Google Drive storage higher than Microsoft Office 365 (link), and I now think some further ties to Google might be well severed by moving to Apple’s latest iPhone.
Over the past few weeks I have been doing a quick search every time I use something. Will my Pixel Buds work with an iPhone, will my Chromecast work with an iPhone, will I be able to use Edge, Microsoft Authenticator, and OneDrive? And every time the answer is yes. So I think that’s what I will do.
What do you think? Have I fallen for the shiny marketing, or is Apple now the only sensible choice for the privacy conscious, environmentally aware, averagely wealthy person?
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