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With the many apps Android phones provide users with, could Apple's App Store be in trouble? (source: Digital Trends)

Will it really come to this? (source: Engadget)
Ah yes, another development in the war between Android vs. Apple. This time, would you like your device 'open' or not?

What is the common denominator for references to North Korea, porn, and frozen yogurt? Operating platforms, of course.

The battle between Steve Jobs and his Apple empire vs. Google and their open source platform for smartphones, titled Android, is only increasing. Android 2.2, the newest version of the operating system, codenamed
Froyo after the yummy frozen yogurt treat, is due out soon.

A vice president of Google's engineering division, Andy Rubin, was recently interviewed by the 
New York Times about Google's adoption of Android  as the operating system for smartphones and other mobile devices. Google is currently behind Apple in the smartphone market – nine percent of smartphones run Android, according to Comscore. However, Rubin was convinced that that Android phones will one day outnumber BlackBerrys and iPhones. 'I don't know when it might be, but I'm confident it will happen. Open usually wins."

What about that 'open' idea anyway? Android 2.2 will support Adobe's Flash 10.1. Flash is considered an open interface, allowing mobile phone users to access a wide range of internet sites and online games. Apple banned such interface for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. In a colorfully-worded letter, Jobs trashed Android and Flash. He latter commented "Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone."

Apple, on the other hand, does not use this open interface. Rubin compared such a closed interface  to totalitarian governments which make the choices for their citizens. "I just don't want to live in North Korea," Ruben added.

Along with the compatibility with Flash, Android 2.2 reports to bring faster apps, usage of less RAM, and may enable FM radio on handsets. With Android phones allowing users to access a multitude of free online games and apps, could this spell trouble for Apple's app store which charges a fee for some games? 

Many questions arise from the controversy shrouding Flash and Android, however us mobile users best sit back out of the crossfire, and let the Jobs and the rest of the big boys duke it out.



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Android's model has it right
By Chaser on 5/3/2010 7:36:08 AM , Rating: 5
Android may not have as many apps, yet, but the open -and far less complicated- media system of Android is a breath of fresh air compared to iTune's martial law rat maze system touted as "people friendly". No thanks.

Carrier and phone independent, Android is the way to go.




RE: Android's model has it right
By Phoque on 5/3/2010 4:31:42 PM , Rating: 3
Apple software IS "people friendly". The problem is that it is "developer go f*** yourself" too often.


RE: Android's model has it right
By BurnItDwn on 5/4/2010 6:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's software is "people expensive" a lot more so than "people friendly."


RE: Android's model has it right
By B3an on 5/5/2010 3:57:49 AM , Rating: 3
No, it's a lot more "Smug B*stard".


RE: Android's model has it right
By Phoque on 5/3/2010 4:43:11 PM , Rating: 1
Still, Android is no magical solution either, even though it`s a step the right way. I'm shopping for a portable multimedia device right now. I'd like to stay away from Apple because it is so constipated. I was excited when I fell upon the Archos 5 this week-end. It really is a nice piece of hardware. Then I started looking at user experience and reviews around and found out Archos has just done a miserable job of making their hardware worthy. Their software is lacking in compatibility, at least as of 10/27/2009 ( http://reviews.cnet.com/portable-video-players-pvp... ).

I don't believe Apple would have let such a product go on market. I'd like to see this kind of caring for software from other companies than Apple.


RE: Android's model has it right
By Chaser on 5/4/2010 7:37:08 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone said it was. And everyone probably has their own definition on what their "magical solution" could be.

The article is about Apple vs Android, in the context that Android has made notable progress towards being a true competitor against Apple and their app store.

Archos? Yeah I glanced at one for like 7 seconds at Best Buy for fun. But I don't think this article is about personal media players.

Cheers


By ScotterQX6700 on 5/5/2010 11:31:06 AM , Rating: 3
The article you provided is 10/27/2009. That is about 6.5 months ago. In technology terms, a lot has happened in that amount of time. Was Android at version 1.5 at that time? The Nexus One was not even to be released for another 2 months. I'm hoping the Archos 5 has been updated since then...


RE: Android's model has it right
By FreeTard on 5/5/2010 4:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really care so much about how many apps. I mean couldn't someone just write 10 million apps that all have different variations of farts and win that contest?

Just throwing that out there because it seems to be a statistic that's used by both sides.


RE: Android's model has it right
By Mojo the Monkey on 5/6/2010 1:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
True. When the android app store was young, the FEW but innovative apps are what made me feel confident about my purchase and made my iPhone buddies red with jealousy. There just werent good bar code scanning, live mapping, data integrating apps on the iphone back then. Since then, I think the iphone apps have gained some ground, but the general trend seems to be that the truly creative stuff pops up on android first.


RE: Android's model has it right
By robinthakur on 5/7/2010 5:57:58 AM , Rating: 3
Erm, you are joking right? The iPhone wipes the floor with 99% of what's on Android app store. I can't think of a single App outside of Google's own brand stuff which has no equivalent on the iPhone and you don't have that whole waiting game to see if a popular and good App will even be released on Android once the iPhone version is released. The whole thing where people say its 50,000 fart apps really haven't used the App Store long enough to fully appreciate the way i changes the way you look at he smartphone in terms of functionality being available on demand and the sky practically being the limit on what functionality you can enjoy. 2 years ago, did I believe that you could hold your phone up and see tube station locations overlaid over live video or be able to scan a barcode and bring up the prices for the item online, it would have seemed like "minority report" Sci-fi, yet that is possible now.

More importantly and something you don't read that much about (I wasn't aware of it before I bought an HTC desire) you also aren't stuck storing them on valuable and scarce internal phone memory, in the sense that on iPhone the appspace is shared and developers aren't scared that you can take the memory card out of the iphone and give the app to all your drm-hating open source prolatariet chums :)


By Mojo the Monkey on 5/7/2010 2:25:11 PM , Rating: 3
You missed the point of what I was saying. I'm not talking about all of the random apps for the iphone (and droid) where its a glorified stripped down version of a website. There were innovative apps that I had on my android long before the iphone - and when the first round of iphone apps came out to emulate these, they were just pathetic. It took them a few iterations to catch up. Barcode scanning with location tie in (to show you a cheaper price was 1 block away at X store) was working in excellent fashion on no less than 3 different android apps within weeks of its debut. I know about these catch-up iphone woes first hand.

I'm not talking about all apps here. Just the ones that knocked my socks off. For sheer variety and even gaming, iphone is still undisputed.


By echtogammut on 5/11/2010 4:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
My company is the process of switching all of our phones over to Android/WebOS based phones. We were early adopters of first iPhones and overall we like them. Our issue came with the recent development changes, we create a lot of small in-house apps, but development costs and the closed environment on iPhone was costing us too much and time and money to continue. None of my devs like Java, but all agreed its preferable to the crap that Apple has been making us dance around with.

I am told, switching to Verizon will improve our data coverage and the slowly degrading quality of service from ATT. When we switched to AT&T about 3-4 years ago, all of our customers switched as well, hopefully I can convince them to switch to Verizon now, because previously 95% of our calls were "in network" and this saved us a tonne on our phone bill. Plus we got bonuses for over 200 monthly plans that AT&T received, with us listed in the referral.


Flash
By Flunk on 5/3/2010 10:44:41 AM , Rating: 3
Flash is a totally proprietary format opened by Adobe. It doesn't come close to being open. Just because a format is popular doesn't mean it's open.

Android is still much more open than iPhone but that's a bad example.




RE: Flash
By omnicronx on 5/3/2010 11:19:07 AM , Rating: 4
Its an open interface, that does not mean it can't be proprietary.. What it does mean is adobe has shared pretty much everything you need to know about the swf spec/flash, that makes it an open specification, a good thing for developers..


RE: Flash
By adiposity on 5/3/2010 1:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but it's an "open" marketplace, unlike Apple app store.

Anyone can write flash apps, and many have, dwarfing the number of iPo/ad apps.


RE: Flash
By Redwin on 5/3/2010 1:35:35 PM , Rating: 3
Its an amusing commentary on the state of the IT industry that you can easily make cogent arguments that nearly any system or technology is either "open" or "closed" depending on how you choose your definitions.

Microsoft is CLOSED because all its code is closed and private and it pre-installs its own software with its OS.
OR
Microsoft is OPEN because it will allow anyone to write software to run on its systems.

Apple is CLOSED because they only allow approved apps to run on their mobile platform.
OR
Apple is OPEN because they want to support free web standards like HTML5 instead of proprietary ones like Flash.

Adobe is CLOSED because they require you to use their tools to develop in Flash.
OR
Adobe is OPEN because they allow Flash to run on any device in any way you can program it.


RE: Flash
By zmatt on 5/3/2010 8:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone ever called Microsoft open.

Apple is only supporting HTML 5 because it gives them more reason to diss flash, and HTML doesn't even directly compete with flash, it's a markup language.

However the difference between Apple and Adobe lays in this, Apple is actively blocking the use of not only Flash, but silverlight and everything else that you could use to make iPhone apps, they even refused until recently to let adobe see their APIs to properly code flash. Adobe is guilty of no such thing. They provide free flash players to every major operating system, and Actionscript is well documented and understood. The only downside is you have to use adobe's software, but then again visual studio cost money, so paying for high end IDEs isn't uncommon.


RE: Flash
By B3an on 5/5/2010 4:15:02 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Apple is CLOSED because they only allow approved apps to run on their mobile platform. OR Apple is OPEN because they want to support free web standards like HTML5 instead of proprietary ones like Flash.


Now thats just stupid. Just because a completely closed company like apple supports an open web standard that has nothing to do with them does not make them open by anyones imagination. It's about what a company does and makes, not what they agree with (when it suits there agenda).

Apple are about as closed as you could possibly get.


I wonder...
By umop apisdn on 5/3/2010 10:37:44 AM , Rating: 2
if the reason they (Apple) do not want flash on the iPhone is that it will undermine their cash cow (iTunes). Think about it for a sec. If they allow it, then one can just circumvent iTunes and play games/apps for free. They won't be native, but at 3G speeds who cares right?




RE: I wonder...
By SkullOne on 5/3/2010 12:18:52 PM , Rating: 3
That's exactly why Flash is "bad" according to Apple. It destroys their business model.


RE: I wonder...
By B3an on 5/5/2010 4:18:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yes we all know this already (i thought?). Of course it's because Flash would effect there app store sales. Why pay for a game when you can get about a million Flash ones for free.

It has nothing to do with Flash being proprietary, as apple themselfs are as proprietary and closed as you can get.


Google need to be like Apple more
By vision33r on 5/10/2010 11:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with Android is exactly what MS had, too much devices and too many variants. Normal folks don't know anything about Android buys a cheap Droid and finds they can't run this app because it needs a newer version of Android.

The Dashboard designs between different handset makers and carriers are making it difficult for normal folks to learn the phone.

The App Store for Android is even more of a joke like the Blackberry App World.

Oh, there's an app for that on Android, hey stupid that's a setting on the iPhone and you call that an App?

The Contact management features on the Android phones are just plain messy, definitely will turn off Blackberry users who are used to tight integration.

I think Palm Web OS > Android but too bad they went on the wrong telco.




By bldckstark on 5/10/2010 4:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
Contact management on the HTC devices is tighter than anything on the Blackberry. I know because I have them both (BB OS 5.1 and Android 2.1). The ability to link nearly unlimited contact types to one database entry is something Blackberry users can only dream of.


By Bateluer on 5/11/2010 3:07:31 AM , Rating: 2
Disagree. While there is a fragmentation issue, with so many device changes, you can get a phone that suits you. If you want the fastest, most powerful available, you can get the Incredible or N1. If you need a physical keyboard, you can get the Moto Droid. If you need a physical keyboard, but are on a budget, you have the Devour. You have a great deal of choice and options, all of which are a good thing for the consumer. Having a single device with a single look & feel isn't a good thing.

MS's problem was that the hardware available at the time wasn't where it needed to be to do what they wanted to do, coupled with a more bloated OS. Even today, WinMo still lags on hardware that flies on Android.


Open
By Hare on 5/3/2010 4:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
If someone wants a truly open platform better check out MeeGo or Symbian.




Just thought I'd mention
By bug77 on 5/3/2010 4:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
While Froyo might be tweaked to use less RAM, it will also enable JIT. JIT improves application performance by generating native code at runtime. But it also uses more RAM in doing so. If anything, I'd say you'll need more RAM for Froyo.




By cusoman on 5/4/2010 11:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
We can talk all we want about open vs close environments but in the end the fate of Android rests on the quality of the apps developed for it. I hope that the open environment and market forces do get developers compelled to make great apps. This is what Apple is forcing with its totalitarian way of life....




By monkeyman1140 on 5/27/2010 3:36:31 AM , Rating: 2
Apple won't even let me install a free application unless I open an iTunes account, provide a credit card (no gift cards....) and give them all my identification including a stool sample.

Closed systems suck.




"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

















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