Competition among companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon has led to a vast array of high-quality device and service choices for consumers. However, numerous options cause some people to pick one company and go all-in on its products and services for simplicity, while others remain on the sidelines waiting for a winner to emerge.
Bryan Irace suggests a third path that mixes devices and services from multiple vendors:
Just as the lack of deep Google and Amazon integrations on iOS hasn’t stopped most of us from using the Google Maps and Kindle apps on our iPhones, mixing and matching devices and services from different vendors can be a completely viable strategy depending on your particular home and familial needs. Of course, there are downsides – heterogeneous setups are more complicated, redundant, and inconsistent – but what you lose in simplicity, you gain in flexibility and optionality. And I hate to break it to you, but there’s likely never going to be a “best” setup much like how Google’s services are likely never going to integrate with iOS as deeply as Apple’s.
Irace’s point is more relevant now than ever as smart home devices, voice assistants, streaming services, and other technologies multiply every year. The fierce competition among today’s tech giants means no one company is going to have the best approach to any one product category. The key to mixing and matching though is understanding which devices work together and where services overlap, so you can piece together a combination that suits your needs.