I’m an absolute hypocrite. I got a PC … and an Android.

Got this cheap MSI for $700. Has a Nvidia 1660Ti; not the latest and greatest to play AAA games, but at low or medium settings, I should be able to play some of those, along with plenty of other games that don’t need such decked-out specs.

I miss commenting on YouTube. I miss playing video games others are playing.

I made the mistake years ago, being stubborn with Windows Mobile, missing out on all the trendy apps my friends had but unable to interact, play with them, as they all had iPhones and Androids. Not a mistake I want to make again.

The iOS ecosystem has its perks … but Windows made it so your PC can communicate with your Android much the same way (for the most part, with frequent hiccups) as all your iOS devices can.

Google Messages allow for you to interact with your texts on the web. The Google Drive desktop program syncs all my files between all my devices easily. Using Chrome syncs all my passwords, cookies, and web data between the two OSes. Chromecast is easier to stream everything to, like wireless HDMI. Google gives more comprehensive results compared to DuckDuckGo.

The IRS stimulus almost doubled my PC budget, so I went with a “low-end” gaming PC I got from my local Target, instead of a cheap PC I’d probably regret buying later. Instead of a Samsung, I went with the Google Pixel 4a because it’s directly from Google (meaning day-one updates), it’s a basic smartphone that suites my needs, no competing OEM bloatware … and a fingerprint sensor. Took me the better part of two days to set everything up, because OS updates.

Instead of the cheapest HP gaming laptop from Target, I got this big boy from MSI.

iOS still has its perks, but the inability to play many of the same games—or use many of the same apps—as my buddies was constantly off putting. AirDrop, with the exception between my own devices, is pointless when everyone else I’m interacting with on the daily uses Android. Without using any third-party apps (only those from Google and Microsoft themselves), I was able to easily set up something and cohesive almost as seamless as the iOS ecosystem.

With my new PC, I have all kinds of I/O ports, almost no need for dongles. Fuller fletched out programs, not watered-down apps. Universal standards. Plenty of game platforms to purchase from, not limited to one store (I don’t buy from shady markets nor pirate stuff, so don’t @ me). The ability to at some point install Linux and get back into coding and the open-source community. The ability to customize my rigs to suite my needs, rather than tailor my flow to that of my devices. The freedom to choose wired or wireless connections, not reduce my options to another’s vision of a wireless future. Headphone jacks. It’s easier to connect my Pixel to my PC, than an iPhone to anything not a Mac; it doubles as external drive. The worldwide support system if I want to try or troubleshoot something.

It’s also cheaper, and easier to find a local fix-it shop, to get my devices fixed if something goes wrong, then have to travel all the way to my local Apple store to get things done if it’s beyond my understand—being tech-savvy, it’ll be more for a hardware issue, rather than a software one.

Tons of games, programs, and apps I had to repurchase, yes. I don’t care. I am able to easily forward all incoming messages from my icloud-based email address to my Gmail account. (I actually use multiple emails for differing purposesthanks to this new domain.)

Yes, Windows’ UI is inconsistent…but it’s meant to support legacy users. Yes, things still crash … but nowhere like it used to. Microsoft isn’t the evil it used to be.

I also allow Microsoft and Google to collect my data to personalize my services. Complain about privacy all you want; if you don’t want them to follow you, don’t use their services. Google for PC and phone OS alternatives.

I am happy to get my feet wet outside the iOS walled garden once again. I still have a good 6 months on Apple Music, so I’m using it up while I still can, after which I’m just switching to YouTube Music. I’m glad to be in on something all my friends and (most of) my loved ones utilize, so we can better collaborate or share.

It’s funny how so many companies are trying to push people towards tablets, 2-in-1s, etc … and here I am, taking a few steps back and going a bit retro with a big gaming rig with all this I/O, a cheap Android, (mostly) wired peripherals…a sucker for nostalgia?

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