The ongoing battle between Google and Apple is more important to us than I think most of us realize. “Apple is suing Samsung for copyright infringement”; so what? Is it really our problem? I think that if we gave it some thought, we would see that this battle is not just about copyrights and market-share, this is a fight that will determine the future of the mobile-web.

The very architecture of the Internet enables a free flow of information without any central hub, every node is equal, and no one is there to decide what we can and cannot do. It is decentralized, and very democratic in its philosophy. With this in mind, I want to go back to Apple and Android (Google) and look at their different ideologies.

The beautiful design of the IPhone, as well as it being very easy to manage has made it a worldwide sensation. Having an IPhone has almost become some sort of trend; a fashion that everyone has become very fond of. One of the many arguments that are used to complement the IPhone is exactly that of it being easy to handle, but this pleasure comes with a price: Centralized computing. Unlike Androids, Apple let’s no one explore and play with their hardware or software, the applications on an IPhone has been approved by Apple, some call this a “walled garden”, others call it a sterile disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers.

Apples’ vision is to be able to control the user, the content, and the platform being used. Although the company offers to the public a brilliant piece of technology, this product grants the Apple company extreme powers. I think the ideology of Apple is one incongruent with the Internet. Instead of being decentralized it is centralized, instead of allowing, it denies, and instead of keeping every node equal, it constructs a hierarchy.

I am personally very happy with my Android, but sometimes I find that things do not work on my phone because it has only been adapted to the IPhone or the IPad. To me, this is a sign of one company’s control and powerful deals made with other companies sharing its’ ideology. I also find Apple’s patent-raid to be a terrifying example of how one company can kill innovation by limiting creativity.

Google’s Android may invite a few viruses from time to time, and in some cases people find it harder to manage, but I value their philosophy enough to learn. Android vision is participation, collective intelligence, and distributed control to all users. As an open source technology it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. [It will] evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications. The way I see it, Android is maintaining the very architecture of the Internet, encouraging creativity and innovation.

So the future of the mobile-web is important to us. We all enjoy the Internet, we all react when we hear of bills like SOPA, PIPA or CISPA which threatens our online freedom, so maybe we should start reacting a little stronger towards Apple and their IPhones as well.

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Comments
  1. breeannadee says:

    I would say that Google has also created somewhat of a hierarchy with the monopoly it has over the market with its search engine. They’re able to make their money by keeping users connected to the Internet, and connected to Google ads and services. Apple did not have this luxury and therefore needed to make money through other avenues i.e. by streamlining its products to the exclusion of all others. I think it’s really quite smart as long as they can remain popular for the years to come.

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  2. I totally agree with you! Apple reminds me of a dictatorship, whereas I see Google as being a democracy. You said “Android is maintaining the very architecture of the Internet, encouraging creativity and innovation” and this is a very good point. I think innovation can only occur when we are free from restrictions. The vision of Google kind of reminds me of the mindset of groups like Anonymous who strive for an open, decentralised Internet.

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  3. Gavp says:

    The philosophy of Android is what has given it its success. As we studied earlier in the session about copyrights ability to withhold the creativity of individuals – Android embodies the concept of real time evolution. The coding program is so simple that it allows users to change whatever they wish and deploy it in a manner which suits them. This keeps them within the Google sphere and provides Google with enough hits to continually grow its profits. Apple closed system will continue to restrict its users from tweaking their phones, but the social stigma attached to apple products will keep its sales high.

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  4. Your comment in regards to the bitter battle being about determining “the future of the mobile-web” is right on par. Apple wants to come out on top and forever rule this empire, although do they have enough power? I think at the moment they do, as you said the iphone being a world wide sensation. I do strongly agree that Apple visions to control the user, and if they succeed with this vision, I think they may rule this mobile-web empire.

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  5. Alysse says:

    Your comparison of Apple and Google’s differing ideologies really illustrates the two different roads taken by the companies. The fact that Apple’s vision even touches on controlling the user should be an alarm bell in itself, yet their products are still so successful within the market – absolutely baffling. Apple’s incongruent nature to that of the Internet is a very interesting point; Google embraces the open nature and as you said, Android maintains the architecture of it, which allows for so much more evolution and innovation than that of the closed systems of iOS.

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