Microsoft wants to make iOS and Android even better


I recently talked about the reason that I’m “loyal” to Apple, insofar that I’m most comfortable using iOS and there are some features that I just don’t want to give up (Control Center) by switching to another platform. The most troubling part of this is the fact that I still want to switch. I’m not completely immune to devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8, or even the LG G6.

My loyalty gets tested all the time.

There’s a saying that everything is eventual, and I think this is certainly the case for technology and companies like Apple. Some of the features they’ve baked into their software, like being able to easily switch between an app from iOS to macOS (as long as the apps support this), or, with Universal Clipboard, being able to copy text from my computer to my phone have kept me interested in sticking around. But it always felt like, eventually, other companies would figure out how to do this, too, and, just by default, make it better in some way or another.

In the case of Windows 10, that seems to be the case — or will be, later this year. Today Microsoft announced Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and, aside from the familiar naming scheme, there are some genuinely interesting new additions coming to the platform. Like a Universal Clipboard-like feature, called Clipboard (genius!), which will let users copy content from their computer and paste it on their iOS or Android device.

And then there’s the Timeline feature, coupled with the brand new Pick Up Where You Left Off feature, that will allow Windows 10 users to start a project on their computer and then switch over to their iOS or Android device to keep working on it. At face value these features are exactly the same thing as what Apple already offers, but there’s just an extra kicker in there:

Going beyond the ecosystem.

That’s only true in part, really, because you’ll still need to have Cortana, Microsoft’s digital personal assistant, installed on your device to take advantage of these features, but that feels like a pretty small price to pay to link iOS, Android, and Windows 10. (Developers need to make it happen on their end, too, so it will be interesting to see if it takes off at all.)

Apple has always been confident in its own ecosystem, which is why it probably isn’t worried about Microsoft rolling out these features. The executives in Cupertino know iPhone owners probably own a Mac, and probably want to keep it, so as long as they keep offering these features those folks might not feel tempted to jump ship. And they’re probably right, for most Apple consumers.

I’m perpetually on the fence, though, and it’s certainly not getting any easier now that Microsoft offers these same features that, up until this year, I could only get between macOS and iOS. Plus Microsoft says it has more to announce later this year, before the September release date for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Then again, I guess the good news is that I should probably force myself to wait, through June and through September, because Apple has its own Worldwide Developers Conference and iPhone reveal dates, respectively. Maybe the new versions of iOS and macOS will boast new features to keep me around even longer.

Either way, Microsoft’s doing a great job, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stay away for too much longer. The fact that Microsoft’s goal at this point is to not only improve Windows 10, but also make iOS and Android better, too, is a great thing all around.

Has Microsoft’s changes in the last year or so convinced you to drop your Apple-branded device? If so, what did you switch to? Let me know!

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