Apple vs Android: permanently permanent beta.

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.


5 thoughts on “Apple vs Android: permanently permanent beta.”

  1. You explained the difference between what an open source and closed source system is quite well and you showed the advantages of each rather than a one-sided view. I think it’s important to note that when someone chooses to jailbreak their phone, this voids the warranty which further emphasises Apples attempts to keep those garden walls closed. Also, I think you should have been more detailed on the concept of permanent beta and explained whether, in your opinion, it was beneficial or it would depend in what industry you were talking about (for example, games that are continuously updated). Here’s a short look of how final product and beta have merged:


    1. Hi Jess

      I like that you mention warranty when people decide to jailbreak their iDevices. Personally I consider that is a trade-off as they give up the protection of the walled garden that Apple offers.
      Definitely I will think about your recommendation. It is obvious that not just the phone industry but others (like games, as you suggested) are experiencing ‘permanent beta’ as well.

      Thanks for your comment.


  2. I like how you approached this weeks topic comparing apple and android, displaying both the advantages and disadvantages of the way in which they operate. Its interesting to know that although it can seem like we are quite limited in terms of apple, it has been proven to be a lot easier to use as opposed android devices and platforms that comes along with broad possibilities. Imbedding links into your blog posts helped assist me in reading more about the topic and explain further what you were writing about which was a nice touch.
    Great meme, and captivating title. Good job.


    1. Hi Isabelle

      It is clear that Apple is somehow limited but once iDevices have been ‘jailbroken’, it turns into a really open field. However, users will lose the protection of the ‘walled garden’ which is Apple. On the other hand, Android is already open but users still want to cross more borders.

      Thank you for your comment.


  3. Love the way you explained open vs closed sources – simple and succinct. However, I’m not sure if the idea of rooting however opposes the idea of android as an open source, as this way of operating ALLOWS for users to choose how their system works and how much control they want to have.


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