Or, rather, it’s evil, but perhaps it’s less evil than certain alternatives out there. In this case, surprisingly, Google’s answer to Apple’s success–Android. It’s being advertised as being probably the most open system currently available, but there’s an article being floated now that tries to question that. Oddly enough, the article makes sense. Android may be the most open system available, or at least more open than Apple’s, but it’s just open enough that the individual carriers may decide to lock it down on their own. From the article:
Case in point: the last couple of Android phones I’ve gotten as demo units from Google: the EVO 4G and the Droid 2, have been loaded up with crapware installed by the carriers (Sprint and Verizon, respectively). Apple would never let this fly on the iPhone, but the openness of Android means Google has basically no say in the matter. Consumers will get the crapware and they’ll like it. Not only that, plenty of this junk can’t even be uninstalled. How’s that for “open”?
It gets better, too–carriers have just enough maneuvering room to close it off on their own, and in their own way.
And it’s not just Verizon, it’s all the carriers. One of the great features of Android is that you can install apps without going through an app store, right? Well, not if you have an a Motorola Backflip or a HTC Aria running on AT&T — they’ve locked this feature down. How? Thanks to the open Android OS.
Oh, and how about tethering? It’s one of the truly great features of Android 2.2, right? Well, not if you have a carrier that doesn’t want to support it.
Google has to defer to them to enable their own native OS feature. It’s such an awesome feature — in the hands of Google. Once the carriers get their hands on it — not so much.
On the one hand, you’ve got Apple telling you what you’re allowed or not to put on or do with your phone. On the other hand, you’ve got the carrier telling you what you’re allowed to put on or do with your phone. And telling Google what it’s allowed to put on the phone it manufactures.
There are a few more examples in the article–skype, anyone? But you get the idea. Between the two, if I was force to pick, I’d have to say maybe Apple isn’t quite so evil. And now I go thank my lucky stars I’m not actually forced to pick.