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Platform independence strategy


A friend of mine once said: “If someplace is difficult to leave, it's a good sign to get out of there as soon as possible.” We were discussing a topic unrelated to tech at the time being, but it looks reasonable to have a similar approach for tech.

Think about it: certain companies are very much interested in people to keep using their services at all costs. Thus, all the complications for data migration and changing platforms. They want to lock a user in their system to prevent them from moving anywhere and to make sure their money will be spent on their platform. Sometimes, it comes with benefits from the platform owner, but lately, such benefits are questionable: after all, we only need as much convenience and instant file transfers, and after a certain point, it gets irrelevant.

This post describes my platform independence strategy for 2024. I started using it years later, and so far, it serves me well. The idea is to have digital independence, which, while not 100% possible at this point, is a good idea to strive for.


It's an old good “iOS vs Android” debate, but I guess it's never been less obvious than it is now. While Apple adds USB-C ports and allows access to files (albeit via only one app of their own), Android adds permissions requests for apps to use data or sensors from devices, drastically improves UI, and provides more compelling hardware.

It almost looks like while Android is aiming up, iOS is aiming down. It is also noticeable in development tools, not only in the final product. Not sure where Apple's focus is going, but it doesn't look like phones are their priority anymore.

But this is not how it has always been, and there is no guarantee that it will continue. In the future, iOS can regain its power again, and then it will make a lot of sense to get back to it.

Regardless of the choice in any particular moment, it's better to leave doors open and be able to seamlessly switch from one platform to another.

To do this, the most essential rule will be:

  1. Do not use platform-specific apps. Reminders, notes, calendars, no matter what it is, better make sure the app library consists only of multiplatform, preferably open-source solutions. This is especially important for health-related data. It could be very compelling to store everything on one platform, but it's worth remembering that data export is usually not that easy, if possible at all. Nothing beats Doc or Sheet files backed up on cloud/external storage when it comes to keeping important data.

I think it is especially important to use open-source alternatives for medication and health-related tracking.

Next, in case anyone is still using the phone for calls and relies on a contacts list:

  1. Backup contacts separately from Apple/Google accounts.

And finally:

  1. Don't allow accessories mess to grow. It's easy to buy tons of cases, the most convenient phone holder for a specific technology, a nice cable. All of that is worth nothing; it locks a person further into one specific device and can be easily replaced with the simplest setup possible. Good for money, good for the environment, and good for mindfulness in everyday life. Accessories also include things like Apple Watch, which only works with one platform.


There's a little more variety here, and the choice is even less obvious. In my case, the usage of all three Windows/macOS/Linux is necessary due to the various instruments available on them and the limitations around those. Still, if I had to choose one, it would be Linux, for its flexibility and amount of open-source high-quality software. It's also more mindful of computer resources than the other two.

The principles are similar to mobile:

  1. Avoid platform-specific apps as much as possible
  2. Don't use platform-specific accounts for storing personal data
  3. Learn usage patterns for all platforms to be comfortable with every one of them if needed. This also includes learning most common shortcuts for all of them.
  4. If you use cloud, don't use one for everything. In any case, back it up regularly on physical storage. Remember encryption; all modern OS nowadays support it out of the box.

For example, right now, the platform I have the most knowledge about is macOS, but learning basic navigation shortcuts for both Windows and Linux has already saved me tons of time and also provides flexibility for cases when all of a sudden someone decides to release 8GB laptops in 2024 is a good idea.

The computer is mostly a working tool, and it should serve its purpose despite the desires of its manufacturer. If OS creates problems, search for better alternatives.


It all comes down to software choices and skillset. Being comfortable with most common platforms makes the platform itself less relevant and allows more freedom to choose the most suitable tool for whatever task is at hand. As for now, it looks like each platform has been holding a specific toolset for specific tasks for a very long time, and only in recent years has it become less strict — for example, high-quality music production tools like Bitwig are available for Linux, which was not exactly media creation platform for a long time, macOS strives to introduce more support for 3D creators, and Windows integrates WSL for programmers.

Technologies change fast, and it doesn't look feasible anymore to use only one tool for years and years — the value will decline while the price increases. Relying on one tool also creates cases like the one with Unity in 2023, when the community had to put significant effort into keeping the whole platform afloat. It's good to have a backup plan for extreme cases of greed in the future, which are in no way limited by the gaming industry.

Choose wise, don't lock yourself up in one thing, and take care.