Funny how your choices are the opposite of mine, and neither of us is fully in one ecosystem.
Computers - Mac OS X by choice at home. Windows 10 PC at work, linux occasionally - those two have improved enough that any of the three can do the job.
Android. Used an iPhone 3GS briefly, moved on to a Droid Razr 8 years ago, haven’t looked back.
Roku for TV.
Home automation is a hodgepodge, nothing tightly integrated or widespread. Really just personal testing right now, trying to stick to wifi compatible and not get too deep in one of the competing standards.
For phones, I’ve been #TeamAndroid since the Galaxy S4. I love how easy it is to make the phone exactly as I want it to be. My wife has had an iPhone for about 4 years now and I can’t get used to using it. I don’t feel like it’s as intuitive or that you can make it work the the way you want it to, but perhaps that’s just familiarity.
I’ve never actually had a Mac mostly because of cost. I’ve built my own desktop and bought pre-configured laptops for far less than the cost of a Mac. Plus, my background is in software development and I feel comfortable fixing most Windows problems whereas I feel lost on a Mac.
I have an Amazon Fire Stick, but my preferred streaming box is Roku. I’ve been with them since the very early days and recently jumped to a TCL Roku TV which was the best decision ever. Great balance of features, cost, and quality.
With regards to home automation, my home is all over the place with regards to who makes each piece of equipment, but it all works with Alexa. Nest, Eufy, Etekcity, Wemo, Belkin, and TP-Link, they all have served me well so far.
I will use Mac more when they stop with the lightning cable nonsense and go to usb-c across all lines.
Android phones for as long as I can remember, but as they reduce the ability to customize I am slowly losing loyalty.
PCs are either anything I can build from spares or HP/Dell.
All manner of gaming consoles and Fire tablets for simplicity.
Roku and an apple tv top off my arsenal.
I built a hackintosh for less than $500 in parts, and the two laptops in the house that run Mac OS X came in used. Couldn’t justify the premium for their desktop. The laptops tend to last much longer than comparable windows laptops though, if you don’t drop and shatter something earlier.
I feel like most computers are basically used as web browsers these days, so the operating system matters a lot less than it used to.
Roku is great, and for a smart TV the TCL/Roku would be my choice. On the other hand, TVs generally last for longer than computers, so I prefer a dumb TV (monitor) and a separate and easily upgradeable box to connect.
I think @Dane_AUKEY and I were discussing this in another thread.
I like Apple’s App library. They had some titles that worked better on their platform than on Android or Windows.
As far as hardware, when I made the switch from Apple to Android/PC, I will never go back. I feel Apple as a company may be starting to show signs that they have peaked last decade and that this will be be the decade of Android technology shining over them. I mean, we have foldable phones as a first step, and Apple felt it wasn’t necessary until they saw the benefits.
Microsoft was the first company to put a movie onto a plate of glass! The movie? Superman The Movie from 1978! Ingenious!
Android for me, only using Samsung galaxy note phones, I’ve no windows pc at the moment, only a Chromebook.
I could never take to Apple products and always found them very over priced for what they offer
I was once told that Macs are ideal for the artsy types and windows/android are ideal for data processing. The gap is slowly being whittled away but I still find this to be true if looking at everything as a whole still.
I generally prefer Windows and Android, though I also carry an iPhone for my work device. I can see the appeal of the Mac/Apple ecosystem, but I just always have known Windows the best. I’ve dabbled in Linux a tad (I work in networking, so I’ve touched them all at some point) and can usually pick up any of the “major” systems with little to no learning curve.
The appeal to me for Windows is the compatibility aspects. Most common software is written for Windows and it’s also what the majority of computers are on as well. If I ever had the extra money, I’d possibly consider a MacBook Air just because (I’ll be honest here) they look pretty darn slick.
Where to start… It isn’t pc to pc or mac to mac that is difficult. I think we all agree with modern systems that isn’t a big deal. But cross platform compatibility can be a pain.
First, for huge media files or VMs sharing external hard drives is often the easiest way to go. But macs can natively read but not write NTFS. Windows can’t natively read or write HFS+ or APFs. And neither can natively do anything with many of the other file systems available on linux. FAT32 is the lowest common denominator, but then you run into volume size and file size limitations. exFat should be supported by both sides now, but that is recent. Or you buy software to let your mac read / write NTFS, or vice versa for windows.
Second, macs have some unique data storage structures, largely for legacy reasons, in the form of storing files as resource and data forks. On HFS+, this is completely invisible to the end user. But share it with a PC, and the resource fork becomes a separate file, with a ._ prefix on it. Check out this wikipedia page:
Specifically the section on Compatibility issues, if you want to learn more.
Plus, historically, macs used AFP for network file sharing, vs SMB for windows. Plus you have ftp, nfs, etc. With different support or not in the OS. They can talk to each other now pretty reliably, but occasionally a new update to either side will break something unpredictably.
iOS and Android aren’t as challenging, as they tend to stick to services for cross platform stuff rather than exposing their underlying file management, and many major apps are available on both anyway. But even there, you have some integration options between iOS and Mac OS X that aren’t available for Android.
I’ve been working cross platform for many years, and it isn’t actually that big of a deal once you have a process in place. But there are a lot more pieces to break or not work together properly. You can save time by sticking with one platform as much as possible.
My company has well over 900 connected devices last I checked. Windows 7 & 10 laptops and pcs, ipads and iphones for floor activities where they are more useful and a few macbooks for design and graphics activities. Establishing an infrastructure that could seemlessly handle all of this was the hard part, but after done correctly cross platforming has been a no issue. The thing needed to do it right is forethought and proper planning. After that its really easy, even when expanding. Our bigger issue is trying to run smaller company softwares.
Agreed, it is definitely possible with good design and software choices, and easier today than in the past. But more things to break in any case. And selecting a storage format for sharing external hard drives cross platform is still a matter of tradeoffs.