This week we discussed about the difference between Apple and Android, the two most dominant mobile operating systems. These two reflect a huge difference between the open and closed nature.
Apple, is a closed-source system. It is an example of what is called ‘the walled garden’ where users are allowed to facilitated what is permitted by the owners, Apple. No apps which are unavailable on the AppStore and no changes can be applied to the system. It seems like it is inconvenient but it has its own advantages as the users are protected from potential threats from outside. It also maintains a consistency for the whole ecosystem of Apple including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macbook and other devices, according to Jonathan Zittrain. Due to the fact that the source is closed, it is understandable that users are finding way to break the wall to have more control, to jailbreak.
Android, on the other hand, is open. Google shares and empowers users to freely discover and apply changes to the system as beside Google Play, the official appstore, other third-party app markets are also made available. In this way, Google makes money by selling support to the system, stated by Daniel Roth. It seems like Android fits perfectly in the new paradigm of distributed control or free flow of information. However, we should question why users still want to climb over that wall even it seems to be no wall ? It is reality that people still ‘root‘ Android devices to acquire more and more control over the system as they can ‘customize everything’.
Therefore, we can come to a conclusion that it is never enough for people as such a free system like Android cannot satisfy them. This fits perfectly with the notion of permanent beta, as it creates permanently permanent beta.