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Open or closed, what’s better Android or iOS?

iOS 4

Everyone seems to be debating the benefits of Google’s Android OS versus Apple’s iOS and which mobile operating system is better.


There are reasons that both sides contend make their operating system the best one to use, but for the most part it’s a personal choice to allow you to get things done. At least that’s what I thought.

I got a call from a friend of mine the other night and we talked for a while before the conversation turned to Google and why he thought it they made a better operating system. I’m paraphrasing, but the conversation went something like this.
Friend: I like Google because Android is open and Apple is a closed system.
Jim: What difference does that make?
Friend: Lots of people are working on Android.
Jim: Lots of Apple engineers are working on iOS too.
Friend: Yeah, but they all work for Apple.
Jim: What difference does that make?
Friend: They are a closed system.
Jim: I’m going to post this on The Loop.
Friend: Why?
Jim: Because you’re not making any sense and you deserve it.
Jim: Okay, Google is open. Is there anything you can do with an Android phone that I can’t do with my iPhone?
Friend: That’s not the point.
Jim: What is the point?
Friend: You don’t understand.
He’s absolutely right, I don’t understand. What difference does it make if you have an open system or a closed system as long as you get what you need?
There is nothing that I want to do with a mobile device that I can’t do with my iPhone or iPad. If Apple was a closed system and they were somehow limiting what I could do on my device, I’d be angry. That would make me want to switch, but I just don’t see it.
Google’s Android Market has had malware in its apps, it’s delayed the release of Honeycomb and they are being more strict about the modifications its partners can make to the OS.
Those things took a lot people by surprise. With Apple, I know what I’m getting and I’m happy with that.