By Aldo Panessidi
The debate rages on over Apple’s insistence that its mobile and desktop platforms remain closed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation published a report calling for Apple to adopt a more open model for its iOS and OS X.
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EFF calls Apple’s platforms “beautiful crystal prisons,” because they impose unnecessary limitations on its devices. EFF’s position is that Apple is hurting users by shutting out developers in the open source community. It should mimic Android’s open source model as this is part of the reason for its widespread use by so many device manufacturers.
On the other side of the argument are those who point out that Apple’s closed model is not just a benefit but one of the most important features of its mobile and desktop devices.
Eric Testorff, a Technology Coordinator in Crossville, Tennessee, points out the benefits of a closed system in the education environment. His position: “Thank God Apple is the way it is, especially with so many schools purchasing iPads. It is good that it is so difficult for kids to download and install bad Apps. Not every school knows how to police that. At least Apple does some of the policing for us. With Androids, it’s like the Wild West.”
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Apple’s App Store model as provides a level of security that is appealing to businesses as well. As an IT manager at a large privately held company said in a recent interview, “When we decided to dump BlackBerry last year, we ran trials with the iPhone and with Android phones. During the first week of trials alone, I had one guy crash his Samsung from installing a bunch of poorly made software. Then someone else rooted his phone and all of his stock apps stopped transmitting data. This was just the trial; imagine what would happen if we deployed these phones to more than 200 employees across the company.”
We’ll just guess that his company ended up going with the iPhone.
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