You can pay with money. You can pay with time. You can pay with attention. You can pay with data. Depending on what you have the most of, and what holds the greatest value to you, there exists options to meet your price. Apple and Amazon want your money. Open source wants your time. Facebook and Google want your attention and your data. Sometimes this results in discord. Sometimes in harmony. I'd argue that, with the iPhone, they exist in harmony. Apple charges a premium price for it and, because people willing to pay that price are highly valuable, everyone include Amazon and Facebook and Google want their attention-grabbing services front and center so they can collect as much data as possible. That makes the iPhone not only the only Apple phone on the market, but one of the best phones for Amazon and Facebook and Google customers as well. Hell, throw Microsoft on that pile too.
Sure, the Amazon Fire Phone might be better for Americans on AT&T who live on Prime and Nexus might be better for Android aficionados savvy enough to seek it out, but iPhone is a better, saner, more consistent, more polished experience than a lot of other phones out there, and it gives you access to pretty much everything. You have a lot of choices.
If you find Apple best aligns with your values and what's important to you, you can buy an iPhone and stick to iCloud and iTunes and never have to worry about anything else. You can pay your money, take your goods and services, and go on about your business. If you prefer the primary services of Google or Amazon, or even Microsoft you can use those as well, all of them or any mix of them you choose.
(I use Apple services personally but everything at work runs off Google.)
Google I/O starts this week. The keynote will be on Wednesday. There will be a lot announced for Android, but I'm guessing we might just see some interesting things for the iPhone and iPad as well.
Take photos for example. Nokia has done some great work with camera optics. Apple leads the industry on image signal processors (ISP). Google, on the other hands, is doing its heavy lifting on the server side. And unlike sensors and chips, servers can work on photos from any device. That's only one example. There's plenty else Google could announce that would be of interest to iMore's community.
Apple is getting its own new photos services up and running with iOS 8, of course, for those who want to stick only to Apple's ecosystem and don't mind paying for the over 5GB privilege.
But for those for whom data — their photos and other content stored on Google's servers — and attention — the Google screens and ads they have to stare at — are an easier or lower price to pay, then I/O and next week will mark the second or third major event of the year. Both Microsoft and Amazon have had their shows already and iOS has gotten Office for iPad (technically before Build) and Amazon Prime Music (technically before Fire Phone). WWDC offered nothing for Android or Amazon or anyone else.
That's the biggest benefit of being on iPhone or iPad. We really can have it all.
Our sibling site, Android Central, is going to be providing complete Google I/O coverage. I'll be watching it with great interest. Will you?