Google Contacts, Gmail, iCloud, iCal, does it matter?

Here's a quick Ricky Pro-tip for managing your personal data:
Pick an ecosystem, and stick to it loyally!

I have an iPhone, but not that long ago, most of my data services were on Google.

Wait, what does that mean? Well, it meant that I was using a Gmail email address, my contacts synced up with Google, and I stored my virtual documents on Google Drive. You'll find today that most of these services have their own apps that work relatively smoothly with iPhone, but I would advise you to spend time learning the Apple equivalents and switch your stuff over.

Why does this matter if it all works?
Consolidating your data to one 'ecosystem' will make life much easier in the end. In addition to the simplification, knowing that your information is kept together and tied to one account (meaning one password!), you'll find that as we move more and more towards a 'in the cloud' digital world, you'll want your data to be on the right company's servers.

Apple is notorious for not 'playing well with others'. They tend to keep their higher levels of integration and fluidity between services and apps to only their proprietary software. It's kind of like using Excel and Word on a Microsoft PC- it just works better that way. When it comes to pulling up documents to be uploaded using your mobile browser (which, you should be using Safari on an iPhone), it's a lot easier for iPhone to find your stuff in iCloud Drive, vs trying to use the 3rd party integration to google drive.

On top of this, Google Drive has a decent amount of free storage, but when that runs out, are you going to pay for more Google storage in addition to whatever you might be paying for Apple Services? I'd recommend against that.

I pay for the highest storage plan available from Apple. This benefits me in several ways- all of my device backups always have plenty of room. My massive digital photo library can stay in sync and out of harm's way in the cloud. My almost-as-large media and music library can also stay in there. Plus all of my iWork documents, app back-ups, contacts, email, and more.

I can access all of those items I mentioned across all of my devices seamlessly and effortlessly. From my Mac, to my iPad, to my iPhone- and all my media on my Apple TVs.

Have you ever noticed that Siri sometimes doesn't know who you are after you upgrade your phone or swap out for a new phone?
That's because Apple doesn't have a way to 'mark' a contact card that you've indicated is 'you' when the contacts are synced from another platform. If you're using iCloud to manage your contacts, you're in luck. After you set up who you are the first time, Apple will keep that synced across your devices, even new ones.

If you're interested in starting this journey, the first step is to consolidate your contacts. You can pay a few bucks for an app called "Contacts Sync", or you can do it for free by exporting your contacts on a standard web browser, then re-uploading them to your apple contacts.

If you're interested in learning more about how to do this, leave a comment and let me know, and I'll work on putting together a step-by-step guide for moving contacts from one system to another

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