These days, it can be challenging to find products and services for a mixed ecosystem environment. Fewer products are being designed to function with everything. Apple’s mastery of the vertical market is partly to blame. They showed the rest of the industry a more profitable way of doing things. Now, everyone wants a piece of the vertical while trying to keep Apple from using it as effectively.

Regardless of how it started, we are now living in a world where buying an accessory device or peripheral means buying into one ecosystem or another. If you are in a household or business that is a mix of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, you have a lot to navigate. There are not many products that work to their fullest on every platform

After maxing out the budget purchasing computers, smartphones, and tablets for your team, you might realize too late that you need different printers, smart gadgets, cables, and services. If you need a small loan to complete your new setup, you will find that is the easiest part of the upgrade process.  

Western Shamrock and a handful of other lenders make loans available for whatever you need. The keys to look for include the following:

  • Fast turnaround between application and receipt of funds
  • Different types of loans for different situations
  • Availability even for people with less than perfect credit

Finding the right loan is easy when you know where to look and what to look for. Once you have sorted that, you are still going to need to find products that work for everyone. That is quite a bit more difficult. Start here:

  1. Streaming Services

Accessories specifically made for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches are not going to work with anything else. Some things have to be that way. A case made for a specific Samsung phone is not going to work for any other Samsung phone, let alone an iPhone. 

However, some services are a bit more ecumenical. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+ all work on every platform and streaming box. They even work natively on smart TVs. The thing to remember is that all of these services have different relationships and deals with other providers that can change the equation. On Apple TV, Netflix does not offer all the same integrations as they do on other devices. The interfaces will also be different from one place to another. Still, you can be pretty confident that any streaming service will provide the basic functionality on every platform.

  1. Watch out for Drivers

The printer you bought from the big box store will likely work with everything that can take a USB peripheral. If what you want to do is hit a button and cause the thing on your screen to come out on paper, almost any printer will get the job done. 

What you have to beware of is the peripheral that comes with drivers. Drivers have to be written for specific platforms. You will often get Windows drivers and not Mac Drivers. That doesn’t mean it won’t work on a Mac. It just means that the special functionality will not work unless the box advertises drivers for Windows and Macs. You’re on your own with Chromebooks. 

  1. The Wild World of USB

You can still buy plenty of budget PCs that don’t come with USB-C. And if you do have that connector, it probably won’t be Thunderbolt. If it is, it probably won’t be Thunderbolt 3. Macs tend to have these connectors. Watch out for this specification. You can always adapt an advanced port to USB-A (common USB). But you can’t adapt upward. Most any product that only specifies USB and no modifiers is likely to work on any platform. With everything else, you have to be more vigilant. 

  1. Server-side and Web-based Applications

If the application is written to the metal for a specific platform, it will only work on that platform. Often, such developers have the same app for multiple platforms, but not always. However, something like a banking app is mostly server-side or web-based so that only the shell is platform specific. The functionality of the app will work on anything. 

It is hard to find products that work for everyone in a group across multiple platforms. But you will be fine if you look out for connectors, drivers, and apps that rely on web services more than specific platform hooks.