Am I sick of being judged for my iPhone?

Yes! Just when iPhone users thought the judging was over, it seems once again, we’re being judged. As a HR and business consultant, bias makes me recoil in horror, so I tend to avoid getting into debates based on people’s opinion. Having said that, as an Apple user I’ve been judged way too many times and the eye rolling has now evolved into this blog piece. So here goes…

Blind Loyalty?

While there are some that like to stay firmly in the anti-Apple or pro-Apple camp, for me it’s not about camps or loyalty, my device use is a simple decision based on performance, quality and the seamless ecosystem Apple has created.

Every encounter I’ve had with the anti-Apple camp tends to consist of those who have never had an iPhone, or used a Mac in the last decade. It seems only those from one side of the ‘debate’ have used devices from both camps – that’s us Apple users, and we’ll never go back.

Past, Present and Future

Until recently, most iPhone and Mac users were using non-Apple devices in the workplace. We were issued Blackberrys, Samsungs and Nokias galore, and using our personal iPhones felt like pure relief. For us, the arguments of “nothing works on a Mac” still ring in our ears, despite the reality that everything worked better on a Mac, apart from Microsoft Office. We had Boot Camp which solved the Microsoft Office issue, but for some this defeated the object of having a Mac to start with. Most businesses relied on Microsoft Office (and still do) for their day to day admin, and Apple’s alternatives just didn’t hold up.

But it’s 2017 now, and that’s no longer a valid argument. We have Office 365 and the Mac versions of Microsoft Office are almost identical. Yet for some reason Apple and its customers seem to still be repeatedly judged – it’s as if we’re selling out for choosing to pay a little extra to get a superior product. We’re always being told we’ve fallen for the hype for deciding not to conform to windows devices. Yet, those devices have issues ranging from poor user experience, viruses, random crashing and even catching fire, to the “blue screen of death”.

Perhaps some of the negative perception of iPhones and Apple in general stems from the famous fraught relationships between Apple and Microsoft, or Apple and Adobe Flash. Admittedly this left Apple users little recourse to the “Apple is great, but….” arguments, especially during the time when Adobe Flash player wouldn’t work on iPhones. It didn’t help that the general public presumed these issues were purely down to Steve Jobs being arrogant. Then, Steve Jobs published an open letter, Thoughts on Flash, and we were given some insight into why Apple had taken their stance. It wasn’t arrogance, it was logic. Apple had surpassed the current technology, and tried to drive innovation in a stagnant market. Flash stuck their heads in the sand and, by not keeping up, innovation passed them by. By the time they noticed it was too late.

Doing More in Less Time

This drive for innovation is one of the reasons I continue to buy iPhones and Macs. It’s not about flashiness, fads, hype or other’s recommendations (as a self-confessed geek these things are not things I care about). It’s about logic, new technology, and wanting to spend less time on things that aren’t productive. With each release, Apple makes our lives easier with their ever-growing ecosystem, Siri improvements and associated device integration. With each iOS update we’re one step further away from the faff we experienced with other phones and computers and it’s nothing short of fabulous. We don’t want to know why everything works so fabulously (we don’t have time for that), we’re just happy they do and wonder how we survived using those other devices that seem so medieval in comparison. The reality behind Apple’s popularity is that Apple doesn’t just think about hardware or software – they think about the way people use devices and strive to make that use easy.

As a business consultant with a HR and social science background – I have a similar philosophy when helping my clients. Apple don’t care about what their competitors do, they exist in their own world and that world is just better. That’s why we buy them, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

For my clients – they just want a phone with apps that work well all the time. They care that their experience is seamless, easy and natural. In fact, 99% of the cloud apps we offer as a business are designed and programmed on Macs – these include XeroWorkflowMaxDropbox plus many more. Xero’s Add-on App Marketplace is inspired by Apple’s App Store, and the superior user experience of these apps on Apple devices is obvious. In addition, when training clients on windows devices I’m amazed that the user experience is still pretty much as it was ten years ago. Not much has changed.

Logic, not Loyalty

Recommending iPhones and Mac computers to my clients is the logical way to go for me – it’s not about being in an Apple camp or flashiness, it’s about giving my clients the best chance to run their businesses from wherever they are without interruption, feature loss or faff. There’s also the added assurance that their phones won’t become a fire hazard or be confiscated from them when trying to take a flight, which is always nice.

I’m also mindful that becoming the Adobe Flash of business is not the way to go. Business decisions on hardware and software should be made on what your business objectives and growth plans are – personal preferences shouldn’t come into it, but that’s an issue I see over and over. For me, if an app that is integral to my business is designed for iOS, works better on iOS, then I’m using iOS. I’d rather be at the cutting edge than playing catch up. Sometimes the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one can be as simple as being left behind.

I realise that there are plenty of businesses that don’t use the apps we offer, and rely on non-Apple supported software such as mail-merge and Access. Switching to Apple would mean re-thinking how they do things, and for some that sits in the to- hard basket. So, to those people – I understand, but in the same breath – we have apps that will probably make your lives easier than what you’re using. But hey, if you’re happy, then carry on. I won’t judge, and I won’t try and sway you.

So, while we Apple users might have to endure being judged by those who don’t get it, we don’t judge those who aren’t with us. We may not understand why you wouldn’t want to use seamless, easy systems, but we don’t judge. Maybe one day you’ll pluck up the courage to give Apple a go – until then, we’ll be over here, virus free, using the latest, most productive and innovative technology, and apparently looking pretty in the process.

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