Ahead of Valentine's Day, a few of us here at Android Central were thinking about how we keep our digital lives in sync with our significant others and family members. We all have different apps and services for shared files, photos, notes, calendars and to-do lists — but one thing we kept coming back to was that using Google apps and services is a great way to keep your digital lives in sync, even when you have an Android and your significant other uses an iPhone.

When it comes to these critical parts of our daily lives, Apple's apps and services just aren't an option unless both of you are using iPhones. That's rather upsetting, isn't it?

iPhone X and Galaxy S8+

When I look at how my girlfriend and I keep things in sync, I realize it's all about Google. Part of that is, of course, because I write about Android and Google for a living and therefore have more exposure to it. But beyond that, when I think about it, it's actually just the best way to keep everything together and portable between platforms.

Google Pixel and iPhone 7

We're still using Hangouts between Android phones, iPhones, PCs and Macs for our daily communications. (And hey, if you don't need the computer side of it you can even download Allo for iOS). We have a shared shopping list in Google Keep for our weekly groceries. Google Photos lets us have shared albums, and automatically identifies and shares pictures of one another. We can both use the Google Home app to configure our Google Home speakers to work with our individual accounts.

There are more general features like email and calendars that can be handled with third-party services well across devices, and of course there are other shopping list apps and chat apps — I'm not trying to claim that Google is the only way to do this. But what's clear is that Apple decidedly is not an option. Anything that's designed to keep two people synced up across an Android and an iPhone just can't come from Apple itself. By design.

Being able to interact together on Google's services is far more appealing than being alone on Apple's.

Now obviously there are countless versions of this story. Apple doesn't make it easy (or in many cases, possible at all) to use its services on other platforms, cutting down opportunities for staying in sync. But in this particularly love-filled time of the year, it becomes extra apparent that Apple only really cares about creating meaningful interactions between people when they both use iPhones and Apple's services. And that's rather upsetting. It's a time when Google's "Be together. Not the same." campaign has a particularly strong meaning.

I appreciate Apple's design. I use a MacBook Pro every single day. I even like some of Apple's services. But I don't get to use them, even if I wanted to, because (aside from Apple Music) they just don't work with my Android phone. This has a knock-on effect: not only do I not get to experience Apple's cloud services, neither does my girlfriend — because using Apple's apps and services would mean not being able to share with me. And no matter how nice and elegant it may be over there, being able to interact together on Google's services is far more appealing than being alone on Apple's.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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