As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

cadis12

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I just plug my device(s) in with a USB cable and then drag/drop to my computer.

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douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

+1 on this. Google Music Manager is THE way to bridge iTunes and Google Play Music. You may still have issues with music that has since been removed from iTunes, however. I was able to get the vast majority of my music un-DRMed through iTunes Plus or uploading to iTunes Match, deleting the local copies, then redownloading. Anything that doesn't exist on Match may still be a problem, though. I seem to remember some of my old 128-bit iTunes content still being picked up my Google Music Manager, though.

BTW, Helium is a pain, especially comparing it to iCloud backups. It's not that the backup process is bad, it's the process you need to go through to "Unlock" the ability to backup (the USB stuff) is bad. Once you do it you're good until you reboot the phone, but I came to the same overall conclusion you did. Not worth it.

I decided match wasn't worth it for the few songs I had which were DRM protected. It was only 104 songs, and many of them were no longer available. So I just burned those to CD-R and reimported them.

Music is basically OK. Photo albums are a bit more of a hassle. And still not sure about backup. I am curious what exactly is backed up now.
 

chrisdiaz73

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I agree with your statements but those are all liveable problems to have. My issues actually stem from Movies. Which I am not totally sure I understand. I have ALOT of purchased iTunes movies....over 100+ of them. These are all DRM protected and will basically never get to watch them on an android device. Now this is somewhat OK because I absolutely love the AppleTV environment and dont know Google will ever catch up to that reasonably, but if I go on a work or personal trip, I have to make sure and load up my ipad with the appropriate movies and have the iPad or AppleTv with me. Now we are back to the making sure you pack your DVD's in the old days. DVD's dont care which unit you play it on, because you own it......not sure why there isnt a universal access for all devices to access any purchased movie content. If I bought it, technically I am allowed to rerip it for backup purposes....but im not about to attempt this for 100+ movies...
 

Farish

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Just going to add this here.

You aren't really locked.

Some of your problems is based on the user experience provides Apple provides because it is one manufacturer who integrates seamlessly among all their products.
They are also the manufacturer that controls all updates with major carriers and not the other way around.

Android's "openness" is the biggest strength and weakness of their products. You have similar issues with a windows computer too. The threads are out there on these boards.
Also remember Google's big push is the cloud which is why a lot of their services like Music Manager works so well with the cloud. The problem is the cloud isn't always there and available.

I agree with your statements but those are all liveable problems to have. My issues actually stem from Movies. Which I am not totally sure I understand. I have ALOT of purchased iTunes movies....over 100+ of them. These are all DRM protected and will basically never get to watch them on an android device. Now this is somewhat OK because I absolutely love the AppleTV environment and dont know Google will ever catch up to that reasonably, but if I go on a work or personal trip, I have to make sure and load up my ipad with the appropriate movies and have the iPad or AppleTv with me. Now we are back to the making sure you pack your DVD's in the old days. DVD's dont care which unit you play it on, because you own it......not sure why there isnt a universal access for all devices to access any purchased movie content. If I bought it, technically I am allowed to rerip it for backup purposes....but im not about to attempt this for 100+ movies...

Your DVDs had DRM, the DVD players were allowed to decode the DRM to play.

The Movie Industry just decided on a universal movie standard, Ultraviolet. The push really started last year. The problem is just like how Blu ray and HD-DVD had problems so does the Movie Industry in how to push things. Example, some companies release Blu Ray movies with a digital copy, but now they aren't always in the same format you may get iTunes or Ultraviolet, sometimes both. And Apple is too big to force into that standard now. The Movie Industry moves slow because they try to over protect their ip.
 

Rule9

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

There is another option. Buy your movies on actual discs instead of digital versions, and rip them yourself, while also stripping out any copyright protection software on the discs (please note I'm not advocating this for resale or otherwise but for only personal use). Keep all of it stored on HDD and you'll now have a digital movie collection you can use on any device, from now on. It's not a convenient solution but it's one sure way to not be forced into ecosystem lock which is why I like it.
 

Diknak

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I sync all of my photos to both Dropbox and Google+, but I take most of my photos with my Nexus 4. For Dropbox, I sync them to there because I burn them (pics and videos) to a DVD and store them in a fireproof safe. I then use Google+ because the auto-awesome is a pretty sweet feature and it is a nice way to keep all of your albums organized on the cloud.
 

dannyd86

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

It seems like Google Music Player is doing a decent job of syncing with selected playlists in iTunes. So I'm basically ok with that. I don't see any need to do anything with Box for that.

Why do you suggest Box for pictures? I have a Box account, but haven't done anything with it yet. It came with 50 GB which is the main reason I created the account. They are basically like DropBox, right?

You would think there would be a simple way to sync photo albums with Picasa, since it's such a long standing Google product. And there seems to be some sort of iPhoto plugin for Picasa, which I haven't investigated yet.

Thanks,

doug

I'm I Canada so I can't use Googles sync software, how retarded.
Both box and Dropbox are fully integrated into the file manager on my blackberry. box having the only advantage of auto uploading pictures. Android phones can also do this natively with Google drive I think but the idea here is to be flexible as I'm using a new blackberry. And Google has gone very apple these days and not made a single app for blackberry yet, let alone sync software. But box is on top of it
 

Kriilin Namek

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

There is another option. Buy your movies on actual discs instead of digital versions, and rip them yourself, while also stripping out any copyright protection software on the discs (please note I'm not advocating this for resale or otherwise but for only personal use). Keep all of it stored on HDD and you'll now have a digital movie collection you can use on any device, from now on. It's not a convenient solution but it's one sure way to not be forced into ecosystem lock which is why I like it.

Totally agree, IMO the cloud is overrated. Who says tomorrow the media companies won't impose new restrictions? Plus, I still like to have the high quality CD version for home use. The majority of my media consumption is on airplanes, tough to access the cloud from there. As well, removable media is cheap these days. I only use the cloud for a bit of Evernote and documents I may need in an emergency, in case I lose my electronics and paper documentation.
 

oldtimer42

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Thanks for the suggestion bug it it's not available in Canada. (Reconfirmed by trying the link)

We are just next door but ignored a lot. Likely because we are a small market with very different tax, royalty structures.

Also we typically pay more for the identical thing. Another reason i love the nexus programme is that the price is basically the same or within 10$ not counting shipping.

Now time for VPN learning. Can someone direct me to a good guide on how to do this.

Sent from my Nexus 7
 

carbon fibre

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Are you sure you need a PC for a backup? The screen snaps imply GoogleDrive or other cloud locations. To me this would be better than backing up to a PC.

Update. I just noticed you need pro version for cloud based backup. Still $5 seems pretty cheap for a little piece of mind so I bought it. Can't wait for the release with scheduled backups.

Posted via Android Central App

Just watched the Helium vid (paid version) on the Google play store. You can direct your backup data to a cloud service like Box, but you still must be connected by USB to a PC first.

This will not work to me.
1. I use my tablet(s)/phone for 98% of my computing.
2. Even if I regularly did use a PC, having to add this daily backup chore is unacceptable. With iOS I simply charge my devices. Hard to forget to do that. The dead battery will remind me if nothing else.

I am also not sure about the Helium restore. If I lose or destroy my iPad, I simply buy a new one and during the initial setup screens there is an option to restore from an icloud backup. Select this, enter your apple id username and password and walk away. An hour or 3 later you have an *exact* replica of your dead device.

On my Nexus 7 I have kept it really simple.
-Streaming apps like Netflix and a streaming music app.
-Cloud apps like Dropbox and an ereader.
-I have a simple text editor that saves to Drop box.

Before I download anything I ask if it will significantly make things easier for me. Skype for example. I have SkypeOut that gives me unlimited outgoing calls to land lines or cell phones. Was going to DL it to the Nexus, but decided not to since it works fine on the iphone that is pretty much always with me.

If this Nexus 7 were lost or destroyed, all I would lose is my Chrome bookmarks. I could deal with that by by turning on cloud sync for bookmarks I think, but wouldn't miss them if lost.

Again, I really like the Nexus 7, but without an integrated, automatic, complete back up solution I will never move my serious use to it
 

titaniumSS

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

What about converting the iTunes movies with handbrake? I know that's a popular program for conversion.

Edit: Handbrake doesn't get rid of DRM it seems. Here's a link for Lifehacker that gives other solutions to remove the DRM from the movie files though. How to Remove DRM from iTunes Video Purchases and Rentals
 

bearda

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I am also not sure about the Helium restore. If I lose or destroy my iPad, I simply buy a new one and during the initial setup screens there is an option to restore from an icloud backup. Select this, enter your apple id username and password and walk away. An hour or 3 later you have an *exact* replica of your dead device.

I agree that Android is missing a good backup solution, but having used iCloud restore it isn't quite that seamless. iCloud backup doesn't grab any of your music, video, or apps. It will backup the app data, though, and all the other info should be in iCloud already (you just have to tell it to download the content manually). Having recent restored from an iCloud backup it's a nice solution (and better than I've been able to do on Android so far), but an exact restore it is not.
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Thanks for the suggestion bug it it's not available in Canada. (Reconfirmed by trying the link)

We are just next door but ignored a lot. Likely because we are a small market with very different tax, royalty structures.

Also we typically pay more for the identical thing. Another reason i love the nexus programme is that the price is basically the same or within 10$ not counting shipping.

Now time for VPN learning. Can someone direct me to a good guide on how to do this.

Sent from my Nexus 7

I use a company called StrongVpn. It's about $50/yr but well worth it. Reliable, fast, good service. I can email you a referral invite if you like and I think we both get some discount on renewals that way. :)

I use it also for Netflix and Hulu streaming.

Doug
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I agree that Android is missing a good backup solution, but having used iCloud restore it isn't quite that seamless. iCloud backup doesn't grab any of your music, video, or apps. It will backup the app data, though, and all the other info should be in iCloud already (you just have to tell it to download the content manually). Having recent restored from an iCloud backup it's a nice solution (and better than I've been able to do on Android so far), but an exact restore it is not.

I agree about iCloud restore not being complete. It's also good to do a complete, encrypted backup on your Mac via iTunes. That is in fact a complete perfect restore, including network settings and the position of each app icon. I did a backup like that recently before exchanging an iPhone 5 which developed a hardware problem. Restore to the new iPhone was quick and 100%. You can always do one manually even if backing up important data automatically via iCloud.

Doug
 

IrishTR

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

In regards to the wireless sync look into the free app called AirDroid Im not certain there might be a backup option too. I use Samsung Kies not sure if its only for Samsung but its a good itunes replacement.

Im so glad I broke free from Apples grip!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Im so glad I broke free from Apples grip!

While I like using the Apple devices I have, I also feel somewhat "in their grip" - too much so. That was one of my reasons for getting the Nexus 7 - to see how much out of their grip I could get. It's not good to be wholly dependent on one company.

I don't think Google is any more benevolent than Apple, but there does seem to be more flexibility. And in addition to Google, there are more and more 3rd party cloud choices (Dropbox, Evernote, various shared drive solutions) and I do feel it's probably best and safest to use a combination of services rather than rely 100% on just one company.

doug
 

carbon fibre

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I agree that Android is missing a good backup solution, but having used iCloud restore it isn't quite that seamless. iCloud backup doesn't grab any of your music, video, or apps. It will backup the app data, though, and all the other info should be in iCloud already (you just have to tell it to download the content manually). Having recent restored from an iCloud backup it's a nice solution (and better than I've been able to do on Android so far), but an exact restore it is not.

You are mistaken. The apps / music / video are not put in a backup file but upon restore, they are automatically downloaded from Apple. There is no manual intervention required at all.

The end result is an exact replica on my replacement device. I will note that I stream the vast majority of my media. The music and video that is actually on my device is purchased from Apple. If you are a ripper, you may need to figure out something else, but presumably you will have your original media in that case. I haven't had rotating media, mechanical or optical, for almost 2 years.

"The iCloud feature that backs up your important iOS device information daily over Wi-Fi. If you lose your device or buy a new one, it?s easy to restore the same information you had on your previous device.

Here?s what iCloud backs up when your device is turned on, locked, and connected to a power source and Wi-Fi:

Purchased music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books

Photos and videos in your Camera Roll

Device settings

App data

Home screen and app organization

Messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS)

Ringtones

Visual Voicemail"
 

carbon fibre

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I agree about iCloud restore not being complete. It's also good to do a complete, encrypted backup on your Mac via iTunes. That is in fact a complete perfect restore, including network settings and the position of each app icon. I did a backup like that recently before exchanging an iPhone 5 which developed a hardware problem. Restore to the new iPhone was quick and 100%. You can always do one manually even if backing up important data automatically via iCloud.

Doug

I have restored twice to new iPhone hardware and once to new iPad hardware using iCloud backup. In all three cases I went to the Apple store, got the the replacement hardware, came home and started the restore. A couple of hours later I had perfect restores. All mail and settings from 3 accounts. Everything. The thing that surprised me the first time is that I have this password protected app to keep encrypted credit card numbers etc. I opened the app, typed the password and it opened up to show all the data perfectly preserved.

Perfect, complete restores all three times. That is peace of mind that is worth a lot to me.
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I have restored twice to new iPhone hardware and once to new iPad hardware using iCloud backup. In all three cases I went to the Apple store, got the the replacement hardware, came home and started the restore. A couple of hours later I had perfect restores. All mail and settings from 3 accounts. Everything. The thing that surprised me the first time is that I have this password protected app to keep encrypted credit card numbers etc. I opened the app, typed the password and it opened up to show all the data perfectly preserved.

Perfect, complete restores all three times. That is peace of mind that is worth a lot to me.

For some reason your experience is different from mine. When I restored from iCloud backups in the past there were many things different - icons were not in the same position, I needed to re-enter my wifi password and some other login information was lost.

However, when I restore from the encrypted manual backup on my computer is does turn out to be a 100% replicated restore.

I can't explain why my experience might be different from yours though.

In iTunes itself, with my iPhone 5 connected, for iCloud backup it just says, "Backup the most important data on your iPhone to iCloud." That doesn't sound like a complete backup to me. And just below it there is the option for backup to your computer instead where it says, "A full backup of your iPhone will be stored on this computer."

Those sound like two different levels of backup, which is what I experience as well.

doug
 

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