We have smartphones with advanced biometrics and watches that can make phone calls. Yet, setting these devices up is a nightmare of apps, passwords, and sign-in portals. Surely, there must be an easier way.
Say what you will about Apple’s products, its marketing, its closed ecosystem, but there’s no denying the company has taken the biggest strides toward rescuing us from setup hell. Often, all that’s required of a user is ten minutes and a few button presses. Everything else is automatic
Take the HomePod. The setup is so simple and seamless almost no effort is required. That sounds like an awful marketing slogan, but it’s true.
Once you update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, place it beside the HomePod and a window will popup. Tap the setup button and let Apple’s technology do the rest. Everything from your username, Wi-Fi password, and Apple Music settings will be consumed by the HomePod, requiring very little legwork from you.
You won’t be stuck entering a password you can’t remember or waiting minutes for pairing to occur. Just put the iPhone near a HomePod and the two devices will instantly start talking to each other.
Setting up a Google Home is a little more involved. You need to have the requisite app, sign into your Google account, wait for pairing, and more. The same goes for the Amazon Echo, which can be even more complex. Neither offers a particularly friendly setup process. In fact, setting up an Echo or Sonos product is feels downright archaic compared to getting started with a HomePod. Apple’s technology proves there are easier ways.
Apple’s easy setup process applies to the AirPods, too. All you need to do is open an AirPods’ case near an iPhone and you’ll be up and running. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Part of why Apple is able to offer such a painless experience is because of its harmonious ecosystem of products. By controlling the software and hardware, Apple’s devices can more easily communicate. It’s a beautiful synergy that must be experienced.
What’s cool is that once you setup a gadget like AirPods, they’ll be ready to use with all of your devices. I can go from using AirPods with my iPhone to my MacBook Air and back again in just a few taps. Apple has figured out how to completely erase the headache of using headphones across multiple devices.
Apple’s approach to setting up a new phone is just as clever. What’s typically arduous and difficult is incredibly easy. Simply place your new iPhone next to your old one and a Quick Start screen will appear. Follow a few onscreen prompts and that’s it. The process of going from one Samsung device to another isn’t nearly as seamless.
There are signs other companies are working toward a more streamlined setup process. Google, for example, makes it easy to pair Pixel Buds with a Pixel phone. It’s these kind of innovations we need, not smartphones with foldable displays.
When the technology we use gets out of the way, it creates a meaningful relationship between it and its users. Perhaps that’s why something as familiar as setting up an Apple product is such a joy. It makes for a great argument as to why someone would stay inside the company’s closed ecosystem.
For now, Apple’s method for setting new products up is the easiest, and we wouldn’t mind seeing other companies follow suit.