In a bid to become more platform agnostic I have tried various things over the last few weeks. Things like switching to Gmail, Yahoo!, and the new Outlook.com email providers, but configuring them to be able to send/receive email on behalf of my existing iCloud address, so that everything is transparent to the recipient.
I liked Gmail because of it’s web-based interface and the separation between “Important” and “Normal” emails. Then I had a nostalgiagasm and switched to Yahoo! because, well, just because. Suddenly, Microsoft announces Outlook.com and when I claimed my infamous alias I was logged straight into the inbox and was very impressed! I didn’t go as far as importing all of my mailboxes into Outlook.com like I did with Gmail and Yahoo! because a friend of mine (who for legal reasons I can only mention as a direct descendant of the late Karl Savage) pointed out that there isn’t much that Apple does with iCloud that makes it impossible to be able to use it in a platform agnostic way.
This got me thinking a lot and I have since revised my entire approach to my platform agnostic ways.
When I look back at what I had been doing it is very “consumerish”. What I mean by that is the mentality I had towards finding a solution. All I kept thinking was “Which provider should I switch to?”. Of course, this consumer mentality of needing to buy or use something new created the whirlwind that has been my life for the last few weeks. Instead, with some inspiration from the direct descendant of Karl Savage, I have altered my way of thinking into “How can I use my existing service in another way?”.
By doing this, I no longer have switch providers or subscribe to something new. Now I can keep what I have, because it works for me, but use what I have differently. If I am on the Mac I can fully utilize iCloud’s services the way they are intended to be. If I am on Windows I can use a browser, Outlook (native app), or Thunderbird. Similarly on Linux I can use a browser, Thunderbird or some other open source mail client.
As far as the phone side of things go I will continue to use iOS. The Android OS looks enticing in tablet form, but I have played around with a few colleagues Android phones (Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3) and all I could envision was a lot of time spent just trying to do the basics. A phone shouldn’t need to be that complicated, plus almost everyone I know has an iPhone too, so iMessages and general support is easy.
Going back to the tablet I actually don’t foresee a purchase coming my way any time soon. I really hope that iOS 6 introduces multiple logins for iPad users because I feel as though the main reason I haven’t fully adopted the tablet form factor is due to the fact that the iPad that is in our house is my wifes. Whenever I use it everything is configured under her iCloud account, so I don’t get to use the things I want to use it for other than the odd bit of browsing.
Anyway, I am starting to stray away from the main topic, so I will end it here.