“Ever since Apple introduced the iPhone, first with no third-party apps allowed then permitting apps only under Apple’s strict supervision, there has been hand-wringing in some quarters of the tech world about how Apple’s locked-down mentality would stifle freedom and innovation,” Steve Wildstrom writes for TechPinions. “The latest blast against ‘Apple’s Crystal Prison’ comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”
“Fortunately, there’s no reason to believe that Apple is listening to the siren song of openness coming from places like EFF, the Free Software Foundation, Harvard’s Berkman Center, and the Software Freedom Law Center,” Wildstrom writes. “Completely open systems would give opportunities for anyone with programming skill to get into the guts of any device and see what he or she could do with it. It’s possible that some wonderful things might result.”
Wildstrom writes, “But this same openness clears a pathway for the malicious or the merely incompetent. I don’t care if people want to mess up their own systems, but I don’t want their badly written or downright evil software corrupting mine.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: And throw away the key!
Google loves to characterize Android as ‘open’ and iOS and iPhone as ‘closed.’ We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches… Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same. Twitter client, TwitterDeck, recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than a hundred different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations presents developers with a daunting challenge. Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets running selected Android versions. And this is for handsets that have been shipped less than 12 months ago. Compare this with iPhone…
…There will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store which offers users the easiest to use, largest App Store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.
“In reality, we think the ‘open’ vs. ‘closed’ argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue which is: What’s best for the customer? Fragmented versus integrated. We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day. And, as you know, Apple strives for the integrated model so the user isn’t forced to be the systems integrator. We see tremendous value in having Apple, rather than our users, be the systems integrator.”
“We think this is a huge strength of our approach compared to Google’s. When selling to users who want their devices to just work, we believe integrated will trump fragmented every time. And we also think our developers can be more innovative if they can target a singular platform, rather than a hundred variants. They can put their time into innovative new features, rather than testing on hundreds of different handsets. So we are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as “closed,” and we are confident that it’ll triumph over Google’s fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as “open.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010
EFF: ‘Apple’s Crystal Prison and the Future of Open Platforms’ – May 29, 2012