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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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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.
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.
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.
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
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.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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