Technical Solutions People Love to Fight For
Technology identity politics is real. We become obsessed with the devices that power our lives, and they can nudge us into heated arguments – however absurd – with anyone who loves a competing product, platform or service.
It’s frighteningly easy to filter your life with tech shopping and mistake criticism of the device or service you use (or the brand that made it) as unwelcome criticism of your life choices. Don’t take it personally. This bitter rivalry has been going on since the days of Tesla and Edison, if not before.
Here’s an example of some of the more well-known technical arguments in which you probably put your flag, whether you intended it or not.
Windows vs Mac
This is one of the oldest technology trends that Apple has turned into aclassic ad campaign . Are you a PC or Mac user?
As with Android and iOS, the debate between Mac and PC boils down to “ease of use” and “customization.” Windows 10 has an accessible top tier, but gives users much more access to the underlying computer systems underneath (by default). Macs are designed to keep every aspect of the system intuitive, easy to use, and affordable.
To provide this experience, macOS restricts user access to the main systems of the computer. You might even argue that the simple process of installing a program on Windows is much more difficult than on a Mac – uninstallation too, because with Apple you just need to uninstall the application right from the Finder and … Okay, we’ll »Stop pouring gasoline on the fire.
Generally speaking, there are certain types of people who are more attracted to Mac. Creative professionals. Students. People who value form over function (or form and function, depending on your commitment). PCs also have a specific audience, including programmers, gamers, and system builders. At the very least, we can’t imagine many people looking to create a new Mac desktop from scratch.
With the smartphone surpassing the PC as the primary computer in most people’s lives, the debate between Windows and Mac seems softened over the years. There are still avid Mac and Windows fans out there, of course, but everyone seems to pretty much agree that both systems have their own strengths and weaknesses. Of course, you may never get the Boot Camp version of MacOS for Windows, but even better platform work together. And Apple seems to be paying more attention to what its devices can do, compared towhat Windows devices cannot currently.
In my opinion, the biggest “animosity” is that Windows and Mac systems are different enough not to be completely interchangeable. And when people are used to the intricacies of one operating system, another can be disorienting – perhaps enough to make them hate it. And if so, chances are you will return to your comfort zone and continue to defend your chosen computer more fiercely.
iOS vs Android
For most of us, a smartphone is the most important technology we own. This is our main tool for communication, the first thing we strive for when we want to interact with the world (even if our good friends are sitting next to us). Imagine people getting really annoyed when they discuss the merits of two main smartphone platforms: Apple’s iOS, which runs on the iPhone and iPad, and Google’s Android, which runs on almost everyone else.
As with the PC versus Mac debate, iOS and Android users are likely divided over customization and ease of use. Android provides more transparency and allows users to customize their devices more than iOS, while the iPhone is known to “just work”. On the other hand, what makes the user experience “easier” for lack of a better way to describe it prevents them from doing all sorts of fun experiments on their iDevices. For many (most) people, this is not a problem, but those who prefer – or insist – walking out of the walled garden may feel hurt by the limitations of iOS.
Android users also (rightly) note that Apple is very slow to implement industry-wide hardware improvements. Take OLED displays or the legendary in-display fingerprint scanner that’s been rumored all the time. More recently, Apple added dual SIM slots to the iPhone Xs , XS Max, and Xr, which was a new idea back in 2010 . This is a particularly egregious example, but the fact remains that most cutting-edge technology doesn’t make it to the iPhone until Apple is convinced it works and begins mass production.
On the other hand, iPhones (and iOS) are generally praised for superior security . Likewise, the iOS App Store, while more heavily regulated, is not burdened with illegal clones and copycats, some of which may contain malware. (Of course, Apple’s app review team is n’t perfect .)
Apple vs Samsung
A specific and significant front in the iPhone versus Android war is the competition between iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy series smartphones. The Galaxy has risen to prominence as the most recognizable Android phone in the past five years, and the company is quickly promoting the Galaxy S as a great iPhone alternative:
Apple and Samsung, two of the most popular smartphone makers, have chased each other for years, adapting each other’s hardware features to achieve a certain parity. When Apple added the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 5S in 2013, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor the following year. Coincidentally, Samsung also introduced built-in wireless charging in the S5, three years before Apple introduced it to its first smartphone, the iPhone 8.
These small differences are a great feud for fans. Galaxy users complain that Apple is slow to add new features or, in the case of the headphone jack , that the company is quick to remove important features. Conversely, Apple fans appreciate critics praising the iPhone’s greatest accomplishments.
Despite the arms race and the controversy that it generates, device-specific rivalry has always played a secondary role in the broader debate between iOS and Android. Many of the features that set the Galaxy and iPhone apart are often the complexities of iOS and Android. The Galaxy has become the gateway device to Android, just as the iPhone was once the gateway smartphone.
Sony vs. Microsoft
It is a known fact that gamers are some of the smallest tech geeks on the planet. I say this fondly, but “console wars” – feuds between fans of specialized gaming platforms – have been going on since Sega boasted that Genesis did “what Nintendo doesn’t.”
By choosing one console over the other, you are specifying controller preference, prioritizing a selection of exclusive games and potentially limiting your social circle, as most multiplayer games do not allow cross-play between different consoles. Historically, players have been very protective against this choice.
Today, this battle is largely two-sided. You’ve got Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One fans. Nintendo is also releasing a console, the beloved Nintendo Switch, but the company is mostly successful these days. (Due to lower hardware specs, inappropriate hardware form factor, and annoying friendly codes, comparing the Switch to other consoles is a particularly dumb proposition.) Since most games are released on both platforms, the difference mainly comes down to a handful of games.
However, the next generation of consoles is just around the corner. Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, says the next Xbox is on its way . Sony will presumably release a new console around the same time. You can expect to be reading a lot of PS5 vs Xbox 4 lines and notches soon.
AMD vs Nvidia
Among PC gamers, an endless platform feud is centered around your graphics card. It is perhaps the most talked about PC component among system builders because it is critical to the look and feel of your games.
AMD and Nvidia are the two main graphics card manufacturers. While picking a graphics card from either company won’t stop you from playing games with friends or doing that kind of nonsense, there is inherent competition between PC builders looking to build the best (or fastest) systems, which prompts fans to take sides.
However, in recent years, the rivalry has declined. Although AMD supplies graphics cards for a number of devices, including the PS4 and Xbox One, Nvidia’s graphics cards have taken over the market. By all accounts, Nvidia’s graphics cards are more powerful, and the company is happy to charge extra for that. While many publications may argue that low- to mid-range AMD cards are more valuable than their Nvidia counterparts, gamers looking to check the maximum frames per second in recent games are more likely to choose Nvidia over AMD. …
The status quo may soon change, however, as the next generation of Nvidia 20-series graphics cards are more expensive than ever – up to $ 1,200 for a top-notch card. Pricing like this could nudge more gamers considering upgrading to an Nvidia card to think twice about their shopping list (or consider setting up CrossFire instead of a brand new Nvidia card).
There was also a temporary ceasefire due to the greater hatred of computer gamers towards cryptocurrency miners. Over the past 2-3 years, high-performance GPUs from both companies have become very difficult to acquire due to the insatiable demand of increasingly ambitious cryptocurrency miners who have been buying high-performance GPUs to expand their mining operations. Thankfully, even Nvidia itself believes that the gold rush with cryptographic GPUs is ending, so PC gamers will soon be able to refocus their anger on each other again.
Chrome vs Firefox
While this rivalry mostly boils down to forums and the more “boring” corners of the Internet, some people have very strong feelings about which web browser you should use. You have a few options, but the drums usually hit two main camps: Google Chrome and Mozilla’s recently redesigned Firefox Quantum browser.
Unlike some of these controversies, which can actually seep into regular conversation and / or have some kind of impact on your daily life, the web browser debate starts and ends with performance (and whether you trust Google).
Chrome and Firefox look and look very similar, but Chrome has an Achilles heel – it’s a giant memory eater. Mozilla (and many users) claim that Firefox is generally faster than Chrome, but this inconsistency is obvious in situations where Chrome is somehow using up all of your memory. (However, Chrome tends to load sites and web apps faster, so …)
Many users endure Chrome memory issues because they feel more comfortable with the browser, like how it integrates with other Google sites and services, or they actually stream their browsing to devices like Google Chromecast. However, this integration is a major issue for some security-conscious users. Between Google Search, Chrome, Gmail, Android, and Google Assistant, they usually don’t like how much data Google collects about you every time you interact with the Internet. Mozilla, on the other hand, is more opposed to online tracking .