Now here’s something for the books. If you all remember back when Steve Jobs provided Apple’s 2010 quarter results, one of his comments about Android was very controversial. Job’s said that Google’s claims of Android’s openness are “disingenuous”, and he did mostly because Android was open for carriers and manufacturers, but it wasn’t the same case for the end user. Users were barely able to opt out of all the bloat ware provided by carriers, and unlocking your phone to do more than it was supposed to involved skill and lots of risks.
Later that same day Andy Rubin, Google’s Mobile VP and Androids creator, showed his disagreement with Steve’s comment by tweeting:
Which in human terms allows any developer to access its code and contribute to the platform.
So the question is, why did he pull the tweet? In a way, we all know both Jobs and Rubin are right. Rubin designed Android to become open source from the start, but the problem is that open is a double-edged sword.
- On one hand, it’s so open that Google has no control over what manufacturers or carriers do with their OS. If Motorola chooses to lock their boot loaders to the development community, they are open to do so. You are open to choose to buy a phone with that limitation or not, but that just defeats the point of claiming that a platform is open source.
- On the other hand, Google has no control over what can be developed for the platform, and just like developers can do a great job providing us with apps, other developers can choose to provide malware.
- And to make matters worse, Google has no control over which version of their OS is being used on the smartphones that are in the market. Android is so open that manufacturers get to make that decision, even against the customer’s will. Fragmentation and the lack of support for legacy hardware are truly a problem for a large percentage of the Android customer base.
So, do you consider Android to be truly open in your benefit? I, for one, am a huge fan of HTC Sense and prefer a well tweaked UI if I had to compare it with a stock version of Android, but I must admit I hate all the bloat ware that AT&T provides, and hate not being able to easily opt-out of it. The fact that there is no guarantee that the phone that I buy today will be upgradable in the future is just another one of my rants. Leave us a comment down bellow and share yours.