Don’t get stuck into Apple’s “walled garden”, my a**: better part of a walled one than living with no garden at all.
I’m thinking about important integration features that you can’t get anywhere else, like music being turned down on MacBook when my iPhone rings, or like Apple Watch notifies me by light vibrations when I’m driving and I’m approaching an intersection if I’m using Apple Maps for directions.
(Looking over the walls from time to time is also advisable, though.)
Let me explain. While this may otherwise lead to long discussions, “fanboy” calls, and more, please read this as a humble opinion alone:
Other producers may be more open and more standards-oriented, indeed, their devices can offer more features, more impressive specs, and have way better prices, but their hardware-software and hardware-hardware integration levels — even within a single “ecosystem” — are simply… dull.
Read as: not acceptable. At least when you’ve seen how Apple gadgets work.
OK, an Android tablet (besides an iPad) for kids, or an Echo Dot in the living room may be fine too (there’s probably no need for a HomePod, you’re right, just like there’s no use case for an Apple TV there either — at least not yet, or not for anyone from everywhere), but that’s pretty much all.
Until some revolutionary other company would do things better — that’s why we do need to keep looking over the walls too: we don’t want to miss that moment — a MacBook (with an old yet excellent Magic Mouse 2*, needed especially if you’re a programmer like me or you would otherwise need to manipulate on-screen items more often than you could do it comfortably with the trackpad), an iPhone, a pair of AirPods and a Watch 5 are — again, in my personal opinion! — absolute musts, especially from a tech-integration/ecosystem point of view, but also for their stunning design, usability, performance and more, and living with a PC and an Android phone (plus fourth and fifth party peripherals and wearables) is just like having to eat dinner in one room, drink wine in another, and then drive more than 200 miles to make love. And, eventually, the condom breaks.
* Its charging “hassles” that reviewers talk about rarely occur in practice.