Let’s get real about something for a little bit, shall we? I’d like to discuss technology standards. One of the reasons I dislike apple so much is that they don’t allow for choice. You have to use their devices, and only their devices and ALL of their devices.
Using other platforms I am able to choose how I use technology to better suit MY needs. One of the things currently driving me crazy is Apple’s iMessage. I understand that the mobile carriers really need to get their act together to standardize with RCS (which will bring iMessages-like capabilities to Android devices).
If you have an Android device make sure you download and use the Google Messenger application as your default texting. The more people that adopt this as their default the close we will be to cross-platform chatting.
Fortunately, Google was tired of waiting and has released the capabilities in their Messages app. The problem is that most people are still using their carrier or device branded texting applications, so the standard is still somewhat lost.
Plus, of course, Apple is refusing to play nice with Google. If only all of the tech companies could put their greed aside and standardize on RCS to allow iMessage users to chat with Android Messages seamlessly. I would say that many kids, given the chance to chat seamlessly with Apple devices would choose Android. They stick with the iPhone because they want to chat with their friends using iMessage.
If you have a quality product, it shouldn’t matter how you let your customers use their devices. They will continue to choose you because they like your product. Don’t force them to use your products because of the closed environment you build.
A similar problem is happening with smart home devices. The good news here is that the companies ARE realizing how silly it is to force people onto their own platform. If I buy a smart light bulb, I want to be able to choose how I control that light bulb. Whether I use Alexa, Google, Apple Homekit, etc.
Tech companies are realizing that smart home devices won’t gain massive adoption until users can make these choices. Being fragmented is what is currently holding widespread acceptance of the devices back.
We also see this problem with ports. Apple had the lightning port, computers have all sorts of different ports for charging. All of the companies can standardize on a single port for charging, connecting and more. USB-C is a great standard that all of the companies should get behind.
Standardization really just opens the doors for people who are not technical to be able to adopt the technology. It makes it simple when it’s the same no matter what I choose. Tech companies can differentiate themselves with features that people want, with design, and more.
If we could get a messaging standard to be widely adopted across various platforms if smart home devices could work with any assistant, and if they could all connect and charge with the same kind of connection, technology will be more accessible and the whole world will benefit.
My plea to the tech companies… Can’t we all just get along??
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com