The Apple ecosystem does give Apple apps unfair advantages.

Sometime, this is good. Like I often take high quality scans of documents without unlocking my iPhone, just by swiping up to access the control panel, and then using the 3D Touch menu in the Notes app. The scans are pretty good and I use this function all the time.

Sometimes this is bad. Like when the system automatically defaults to Apple Maps, which is a half baked app in India. I had to struggle to be able to use Google Maps instead of Apple Maps, when I was making a shortcut using Apple’s Shortcuts app.

That way, I appreciate how Google has managed to work with this constraint, and yet deliver apps that often outdo Apple apps. Google Photos ‘just works’ and it’s what I turn to when I want a photo I shot on my iPhone. Ditto for email. Snapseed is another great app which has some photo edit functions which I haven’t seen in any other app. Then there’s an app like PhotoScan, which does just one job (scan photos) but does it perfectly. That’s why I have an entire homescreen dedicated to Google apps on my iPhone.

Having said that, Google and Apple apps competing on iOS has been good for users. They keep stealing each other’s features, improve it a bit, repackage it, and give it back to us. The latest is the swipe-to-type keyboard on iOS. I’ve been using Gboard for many years, and now I hear Apple is finally coming with its swipe keyboard in iOS 13. Knowing Apple, I’m sure they will launch it with a fancy name, and make it seem like they have just invented the swipe concept themselves. However Apple does have a privacy edge over Google, and if both apps are equally good, that just might tilt me in favour of Apple.

That way, I’m not too influenced by the Apple or Google branding. I will go with whichever app gives me a better experience.

it’s an odd world

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