It Just Works

Apple's been good at the It Just Works thing locally for a while. Installing apps is easy, settings live in sensical places, the cameras have always been nice– until Android 4.0 or so, they completely trounced Google in user experience.

They've never really been good at cross-device experiences, though. There was iDrive, then MobileMe, then several revs of iCloud that always came up wanting.
I think they've mostly gotten a hang of it, though, and I just had an experience that drove home how much progress they've made in iOS 8.

"Where are those photos you took of grandma?" my mom asked me. "I looked in Drive and couldn't find them."

Google Docs is great; Google Drive sucks. It feels like the files are in a random order each time you go to the site, and less nerdy folks don't really understands the online-to-offline dropbox-type functionality. When I send my family a Drive link, I have to send them to the specific doc or they'll never find it.

"Open your phone. Tap 'Photos.' Tap 'Shared.'"

"Oh! There they are!"

After I took photos of my grandma and our family for her 95th birthday, I made a new shared album, and added my mom as a subscriber. The best part is that she could easily add her own photos, saving us from the usual emails back and forth to get everything in one place.

That's the Apple promise and value proposition. If everyone's on an apple device, the stuff you want to do just works. You pay a few hundred dollars more for the hardware, but amortize that over the hours you'd spend helping everybody keep their stuff working across other platforms, and it's completely worth it.

Happy 95th, Grandma!

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