Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Ecosystem Dilemma

Choosing a computer, smartphone, and tablet in a three ecosystem world.
For all intents and purposes, there are three tech ecosystems right now; Apple, Microsoft, and Google are the three.

Apple's ecosystem is most familiar to people here I suppose. It consists of:

Phone: iPhone
Tablet: iPad
Computer: Mac
Living Room: Apple TV/ oft-rumored iTV (or whatever name they call it)
Odds/Ends: iPods

Phone: iOS
Tablet: iOS
Computer: OS X
Living Room: iOS derivative
Odds/Ends: iOS
Cloud: iCloud

iTunes/App Store
Great content selection in all media types, worldwide
Best apps

Google's ecosystem consists of:

Phone: Nexus (or any android phone for that matter)
Tablet: Nexus 7 (or any other android tab)
Computer: Chrome books/tops
Living Room: Google TV and Nexus Q
Odds/Ends: Lots of weird upcoming tech like Google Glasses

Phone: Android
Tablet: Android
Computer: Chrome OS
Living Room: Android derivative
Odds/Ends: No clue
Cloud: GDrive, mish-mash of service

Google Play and variety of web services
Good music and video store, but other content is lacking, especially outside of the U.S.
Decent app selection

Microsoft's ecosystem consists of:

Phone: Flagship is Lumia 920 (other phones work to, possible Surface Phone
Tablet: Surface RT/Pro (or other tablets)
Computer: See above plus many other OEM products
Living Room: XBOX
Odds/Ends: lots of accessories and projects like connect

Phone: WP8
Tablet: RT/Windows 8
Computer: Windows 8
Living Room: Derivative of Windows 8
Odds/Ends: I guess I should put Office and Server in here
Cloud: Skydrive

Windows 8/XBOX store
Good international music, good US video, lacking in other areas like ebooks/magazines
Worst app selection (currently)
Best possibility for games (DirectX cross platform XBOX games

My Dilemma: Picking a Phone, Tablet, Computer, and Content Store

I love OS X and Mac hardware, so there is one thing that I need in my choice and that is a Mac. Windows 8 has gotten better, but it still is not all there in features and in app selection. I already have a rMBP, and I am planning on getting either the next Mac Pro or Retina iMac. I make a lot of money using my Mac and I don't think I could switch easily.


For content store, I have almost decided on the iTunes Store, but I am willing to get content from other places if I choose other devices. Can someone explain to me if I can transfer music, movies, ebooks, etc, to non-Apple devices? I am pretty sure I can do that with at least music.

The real dilemma starts when I explain what I want for a tablet and phone.

For tablets, my first choice is a Surface Pro. I like Metro (although, I don't think it is the end-all-be-all of design), and Win 8 has some nice features over iOS like snapping apps and desktop availability if I need it. I am going to have to wait to see what the hardware is going to be like. The next iPad is definitely my second choice if the Surface turns out badly.


For phones, It really is a toss-up between the next Nexus and the Lumia 920 for me. Until the day of the Nokia announcement, I thought that I was going to get a Nexus for sure. Once again, I will wait for both phones to materialize. I currently have the iPhone 4S and I like it in that is a stable daily driver, but for me, a teen tech nerd, I want something a little more than stability and a great camera(even though I understand that most people just want a stable, fast phone). I understand that Android and WP8 both have pretty poor app selection in comparison to iOS, but if worse comes to worse, I will develop some apps for the platform to fit my needs, but I wouldn't want to waste time doing that if I could avoid it.



My Plan

Mac + Surface + (920 or Nexus) + iPod Touch 5th Gen


Wanting to stay in the Apple content ecosystem, I have thought seriously about this plan. My phone, be it a 920 or Nexus would be my daily driver, but it would also be used as a hotspot for my iPod where I could keep all of my calendars, media, and other iCloud content updated as well as using the iPod for iMessage. I could theoretically get the best of both worlds. The iPod Touch is actually quite an improvement over my 4S, so I would not be missing anything.

Seeing my situation, preferences and ideas, I have some questions for the Verge Apple users.

Has anyone had any experience with using an iPod Touch with a hotspot?

Does anyone have any experience using content from multiple ecosystems and switching back and forth?

Next Nexus or 920? Nexus would work better with widgets for hotspots, but the 920 and the Surface work together!

Anyone have a different plan or an experience with a different plan?

Thanks for any help, and the reason why I posted here is because I hope to find people who have switched to other devices, but still like Apple products.