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Yesterday I asked you what you think Apple should “budge” on when it comes to their next iPhone, along with the next version of their mobile platform iOS. In that article, I brought up the idea that maybe Apple could give a little bit on the file access front, and let the end user have a little fun on the internal side of their iPhone. While that’s not likely, we can all dream.

But, it got me thinking, and a few tweets I saw scattered around the Twitterverse today certainly helped. While I think Apple does need to budge on a few things, I don’t necessarily think file access is going to be one of those things. In fact, Apple’s walled garden is probably something that will never be taken down.

Does it have to be? Or, better yet: should it be?

As it stands right now, even with companies like Research In Motion doing their best to impress with their latest and greatest software, it really comes down to the two biggest players in the software zone: Apple and Google. You don’t have to look too hard to realize that they both stand for some pretty polar opposite viewpoints, especially in the mobile industry.

Google is about the open platform, and (at least on the broad scale), and allowing customers the ability to do what they want with their phone. There are obviously limitations, as carriers and specific manufacturers have different viewpoints on this, but as a whole Google is pretty open about creating an open platform.

On the other hand, you have Apple, which is about creating something for the end user, and then making sure that the end user can’t do anything to that experience. Apple wants you to enjoy what they create -- and nothing else.

On paper, looking at it right there, you’d think that Apple’s closed wall approach is pretty archaic and barbaric. Not allowing the customer to let them do whatever they want to their phone? Ridiculous. Then again, we just have to look at the Android side, and things like locked bootloaders, and obviously that point of view isn’t just an Apple-only situation.

Let’s keep it on the broad scale, though. Open versus walled. Which is better? It wasn’t too long ago that I actually didn’t have an opinion on this particular subject at all. I just didn’t think in those terms at all. It wasn’t until I started using Android a lot, and started rooting and adding custom ROMs, that I started to pay attention to it.

For me, one of the basic bonuses of the Android platform is the ability to root your device, and add custom ROMs. It was great to do, a lot of fun, and it was a way to make my phone different from everyone else’s. It didn’t last long, though, as there were always bugs. So doing hard resets on my phones became second nature.

The iPhone isn’t without its hiccups, though. While resetting my iPhone has never been as vital as it was on any of the Android devices I’ve owned in the past, there have certainly been problems. Apps closing right after launch. Lag in the keyboard. The worst thing though, and it has been much worse on the iPhone 4S than any Android device, is connectivity. I drop Verizon’s 3G service a lot. And I despise it.

I can’t honestly say which is better. While I have a belief that the open nature of Android, and the fact that there are many different companies building different versions of it, leads to a means to have a lesser experience than other platforms, I can see where the trade-off for the ability to do whatever you want with your device is pretty clear.

But this is where you come in. Which do you believe is better? Let me know in the comments below.

 


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52 Reactions to this post

"Enjoy what they created or do what you want to your phone?"


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Reinaldo Alvarez Maldonado what is better and open minded man or a close one. there you have your answer.
Gibby Garcia I think it all comes down to what you are willing to live with....
Andry Estevez I used to love throwing a whole bunch of launchers roots and all that on my old atrix but I recently got the vivid and sence 4 is great runs supper smooth and quick an open system is better because if you want to customize the option is there not like apple you can if you want to but when you get a high end android its really not as nesisarry but having the opioon will always be nice
Perro Rosello I used to love customization, till i got sick of constant tinkering and more timme setting up the darn thing rather than enjoying it. Im using a stock HTC Vivid with stock launcher / apps, iphone and wp7 never bothered me either. As long as it looks good and works well, im fine enjoying whats given to me
Samuel Claudio Open system is better, root baby.
Irvin Zamora I've heard the saying "With an iPhone, it just works" and until this day, every iOS device I've been shown or played with, had one fault happen. It's usually excuse was "oh, that? It was just a small hiccup" lol, anyways, being Android user since day one, there would be no comparison. I give props to apple for their great marketing, because my buddy is convinced that iTunes is the greatest thing on the planet. Lol. Open source and rom switching for me. ;)
Eugene Yap Android always!! the best
Benjamin Padilla Open of course! Android had issues but has little to do with it being open source. Basically Google just needs to do a better job at coding, or the manufacturers do. Anyway, I love my Epic Touch, fast, slim and great battery life. Suck it iZombies!
Eduardo Ordaz @David iOS can b laggy has well. Ever since I updated my moms iPod it lags and crashes.
David DiPilla Apple may be closed but their system is made right andorids system is laggy and slow and the more you put on them the more they get slow but hopefully the ios gets a big upgrade this year
Jaquan Anthony Saliard Open souce!!! IOS is good but i prefer doing what i want with my phone. And open source isnt laggy it depends on what the manufactuer does with the device. incorporating software with their hardware.
Joernie Berrios GS III tommorrow!!...yeahhhh!!!
Seth Boggs I think every person that likes closed has never said "you jail broke your phone!? That's not cool"
Jaden Chadwick Duncan open definitely
Stian Grøtåsen posts like this makes me wonder if phonedog wants flame wars.
Travis Lamar Pachan An open OS inspires innovation and creativity, were as a closed OS says its how it is deal with it and basically dumbs down tech to the point of devs becoming obsolete.yes the easy way out is having everything done for you. Like JFK said "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
Josh Lytle I think for most closed is better. If you are technically inclined and want to mess with your phone, then open is more appealing. I'm technically inclined but prefer closed.
Eduardo Ordaz Like open. Can customize my phone alot.
Nikolas Manuelides scot Milo I can leave Android exactly add the day you bought it, no need to hack, root, lag fix, over clock or anything, my 54yo mother has an Android phone, do you think she knows how to do any of that stuff? With iOS you don't have the option
Nikolas Manuelides Do what I want, open system.I have my own tastes.with an open system I can choose, with a close one I are trapped
Ricky Minervini like what they do but prefer to b free
Zach Cline Closed.
Scot Milo i like my phone because it "just works" no mods, hacks, tweaks, roots, lag fixes, over clocking, ect..android forces the user to be the administrator.
Humza Ahmed Open, because the devices are purchased with our money, so we own them, and we can do whatever the hell we want with them
Tabib Rehman I bought an iphone but got bored real quick that why i went back to android. As for closing apps that only happens with dodgy apps or cheap budget phones
James Daniels OPEN of course.... well unless I had no idea what i was doing then closed.....
Jim Mccoy I'll take my closed and keep breaking it out of prison with every update. Had open but had to force close apps all the time and shut off by itself to much.
Sarah Trimble Kee Open. I've not been too impressed with the closed devices I've used.
Kristopher Davis OPEN!!!!!!
Huelon Martinez I just want a phone that's fast and works well I don't mind the accessories to much and maybe a good camera would be nice but overall just work
Gordon Christie Ios is two years old is boring and should be replaced completely
Gordon Christie Open as most roms ESP for ics are better than the official
Tyler Brewer Depends who you are. People with a limited grasp of tech should choose closed source, while others may want more freedom.
Jamille Browne Closed Os doesn't ensure stability the company that makes the devices does that and even in that regard even the iPhone has had its quirks as has every device made in history.
Ayoub Hage Boobs are AWSOME!!
Rene Saenz Jr. Closed for sure iOS n windows locked down way more stable than android.. Why would u want a device that might not get an update for a year or you have to go n root it n install something else it's just not what most people than want a phone for phone calls not just a phone to keep telling people how much better n open their phone is
Gaby Piñeyro Depending on ur priority, both are useful. I prefer being up to date, apps that work, so I switch from open to close. Yea, i lost some nice features but I gain others i lack.
Tavaris Johnson Love open source. If your paying 4 to 6 hundred for a phone you should have the choice to do whatever you want with it
Hubert John Abiera Closed. I rely on stability and I need my phone for more important things than just looking cool.
Connor Henderson I think that apples iOS system can be opened one way or another
Chai Lee It's nice to have both so that users have more choice in what we want. But between close and open, I prefer close but both has its good side as well as bad.
Alfredo E. Lopez Open Baby Open.....free Wifi Tethering for life!!!!!
Jamille Browne Oh yes blame the os for app devs half assing their work
Chris Vaughn Open, definitely! I love the ability to customize my phone to my liking!
Abram Wenevermet Dennis The one that works without constantly force closing
Adam Catello Open way better custom ics on my galaxy note international version....ya I'm happy with open....u can keep your locked down ishit




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