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Android is Socialist. Apple is Capitalist.

Posted by: Mobile Kugel

Mobile Kugel

I was talking to my sister the other day, the one that resembles a kichel. She was asking me what the difference is between all the phones that are on the market.

In particular, she asked me about this “Androg” thing she had read about.

“Androg”, I repeated.

“Ya man, that little green robot thing. What’s up with that?”

“Oh, you mean Android”, I giggled.

I tried to explain to her that Android was just another operating system like iOS, BlackBerry and Symbian.

“Oy Babes, I have no idea what you are talking about”, she replies.

So I decided to make a comparison between Android and iOS using a rather heavy politicized metaphor.

Android is socialist and Apple is capitalist. While a lot of the smaller detail of the metaphor did not make sense, the overall principle was a solid one.

I went on to explain that Android is an open source system which is open to the masses. The Open Handset Alliance has allowed for some of the biggest mobile companies in the world like Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Dell and Sony-Ericson to create devices in all shapes and sizes. In other words, the system is built independently from the mobile vendor.

For developers, Android is open source, so one can develop an app with a lot of freedom. Furthermore, it is based on Java which is one of the more popular programming languages which makes the prospect of developing an application more accessible.

BlackBerry and iOS, I explained is more capitalist because it is closed, benefits the elitist, is more expensive and caters mainly to the middle and upper classes.

Regarding developers, with Apple, one has to sign up to a developer program which is roughly R670 ($99) a year. The developer then has to develop in Xcode and once the app is ready to distribute, Apple rigorously takes the app through an approval process for the App Store. This is the only way to distribute an iOS app.

Like, capitalism, iOS is good as it separates the wheat from the chaff and makes the product a more rigid but more consistent one.

Google Android App Inventor is an online based development tool for android applications. Anyone who has access to the net is able to build an application for an android enabled smartphone without any fees.

Android is socialist because it allows for ordinary people and developers from all over the world to participate in creating applications without having to spend too much money doing so.

The Android space allows for multiple players to compete in creating a superior Android device while with Apple, there is only one company who creates and develops the iOS phones and tablets, and the product is by and large the same bar one or two new or improved features with every new version.

While I was explaining this to my sister, I was aware that it was a rather ridiculous comparison to make but it made more sense than comparing Android to running tackies and Apple to stilettos.

I was rather impressed that she seemed to understand this metaphor.

Then she asked me another question.

“Do you think one day, eventually everyone in South Africa will be using a BlackBerry?”

This made me think. Maybe BlackBerry’s will continue to be popular in urban areas because of BlackBerry Messenger which allows for BlackBerry users to chat for free, but Android is a winner for the masses and the more rural areas because of the potential to compete for a good, cheap Android smartphone.

I know that Google have launched a new smartphone in some parts of Africa called the Google IDEOS which is a compact smartphone with all the features of any other phone but is sold for as little as R750 in Kenya, Nigeria and other African countries.

 The Google IDEOS is a touch screen device, runs on the latest 2.2 version of the Android operating system and comes in a number of colours, and Google seems to be winning over the hearts of the masses with this phone.

It is all very well saying iOS is better than Android or visa versa. It seems the war is not between socialism and capitalism but rather a war between the geeks on platforms like this to prove who is better.

There will always be a cyber battle, but the point is that in South Africa and Africa, the challenge isn’t so much about the hardware, but the bandwidth.

Bandwidth is stupidly expensive on this continent and for all these smartphones to actually work, we need data to run the apps and access the internet.


Comments (12)Add Comment
written by msbodetti, April 27, 2011
You pointed a lot of the facts on mobile OS's. But you appraise Android because of it's free development access. But does it even come close to the iOS?

Same with Linux, it doesn't come close to Windows or Mac OS X. Yes there's a lot of ways a user can manipulate how their Linux system runs but it's not user friendly.

A lot of work gets put into iOS and Blackberry that's why there is no glitches with the end App and if there is glitches, the developer will get it patched ASAP. However with open source OS's the developers don't work as hard for the App.

And Google got sued by Oracle because they have implemented Java into the Android OS. And it shows that Android is not top notch as it should be because there is no hard work being put into it.
Mobile Kugel
written by Mobile Kugel, April 27, 2011
@msbodetti, thank you for your input.

While I was comparing Android and iOS, I was not saying one was better than the other. I was merely mentioning some pros and cons of both.

written by msbodetti, April 27, 2011
There is no pro for iOS in your post...And I dont think the metaphor "...comparing Android to running tackies and Apple to stilettos." stands as a pro.

Did you even read your post before sending that comment?
written by barrmar, April 28, 2011
A very cool explanation of the operating systems. Have never thought about it like that. Have you used the Android system? What is it like?
As for Msbodetti's comments on Linux - there is a whole range of Linux versions. Some of these are quite amazing! I certainly would not class Windows as superior - an operating system that has a permanent 'back-door' to let in hackers and other malicious attackers better than a system that is quite secure?
You can carry on running Linux for years without daily security updates.
Both Linux and Mac are more or less virus free, by comparison to Windows. If you don't believe me then just expose your Windows system to the Internet unprotected for just minutes and see what happens!
As for the propriety operating systems for cell phones - Nokia is very unfriendly and unreliable, Blackberry is archaic. iPhone is (I believe) much better. But what about the Android? We need a full review!
Mobile Kugel
written by Mobile Kugel, April 28, 2011
@barrmar, I have briefly played with an Android phone(I think it was an HTC). Because I am used to using a BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad it did take a while for me to navigate the phone, but I think after spending a little time playing around on an Android phone, one would easily 'get it'.

I also think that maybe some Android phones work better than others depending on hardware which could affect things like the response time.

@msbodetti, I agree with barrmar, I would love a full Android report from you.

@barrmar, I briefly played with an Android phone(I think it was an HTC). Because I am used to using a BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad it did take a while for me to learn to navigate the device, but I think after spending a little time playing around on any Android phone, one would easily 'get it'.

I also think that maybe some Android phones work better than others depending on hardware which could affect things like the response time when using apps.
written by msbodetti, April 28, 2011
@ barrmar I know how advanced Linux systems can be and I know it's potential. My main input on the matter, is that it's not user friendly. Major suppliers for PC's don't use it as it's default OS because of this. Windows is not prone to back door viruses or hackers and I can prove this with my Windows 7 PC. It doesn't have an anti-virus because I know what and how I download media or programs on the system. Unfortunately not everyone is cautious like I am or don't know sites that are safe to download these things.

Mac, Windows and Linux are all powerful OS's but it's my understanding of how the common user knows the commands for all of these OS's to be able to take full advantage of them. I am a newbie at Mac OS X but in the last 3 months, I have taken an understanding of terminal to edit files that Mac wont let me edit easily.

As for a review on Android, all I can say is that it's a advanced Symbian OS for mobile devices. The interfaces look similar to Symbian and unfortunately I lost interest in Symbian a long time ago.

Now with Android 3.0 just being released, developers need a fresh SDK to start off with when developing which makes a big drawback for different devices.

In conclusion the OS that wins is the ones that are user friendly which is Windows and Mac for computers; Blackberry and iOS for mobile devices. Only time will tell if Android will conquer the public but I am certain it will need a few years to kick in.
written by DBS, April 28, 2011
The my operating system is better than yours debate is one that has gone on for the length of time that I have been in IT and that is more than 40 years.
Each operating system has its own merits and demerits.
As to this particular debate I have an android HTC and it is easy to use. I found it easier than a colleagues Blackberry. The touch screen works every as well as an iPhone but just a bit smaller which suits me as I carry it in my pocket along with wallet and all the other stuff that a man has to carry around.
Have I had applications that don't work? A couple of the "fun" ones but generally the more business ones work fine.

SO it really is a matter of trying it to see which suits you and your poscket at the time.
written by barrmar, April 28, 2011
With any version of Windows, you only have to be connected to the internet to get attacked. I only go to sites that I know, but the operating system makes the computer vulnerable. I have had a number of attacks by Trojan Horses on Windows 7.
written by msbodetti, April 28, 2011
@DBS I agree with you but I still find that Android is not suitable. As you have said that some of your Android Apps don't work, when all Apps for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad work including the ones being developed as a 3rd party (Jailbreaking to access Cydia store)

@barrmar I have had no attacks what so ever on my Windows 7 PC and it is connected 24/7. A Trojan Horse is only active if the user has downloaded the file and executed and in some cases the Trojan Horse gets executed way after the file has been executed.
written by dirk.leroux, May 09, 2011
Hi Guys,

First one correction: Android is not based on Symbian or in any way related.

I own multiple iOS and android devices, both phones and tablets and here are my thoughts:

1) The first major difference is this: Android is open, iOs is closed. This has different benefits: Open creates more competition and innovation. Close gives more control, consistency and can enforce quality.

2) I disagree with your PC OS comparison, I think:
Android is like Windows, and iOS is like Mac (surprise).
Android runs or any hardware (even washing machines) and hardware manufacturers can pre-load it onto devices. It is also very easy to use and very pretty. Vendors can add even more eye candy if they like.
iOS is even more polished (like Macs) and always work because the supplier controls the hardware and software and even the apps that run on it. This comes at a cost and only some people can afford such luxuries.

3)In the end I do not think this is the correct comparison. Android and iOS only rarely compete, and even then it is only because hardware manufacturers want to take on Apple in the high price market. I think iOS will serve the niche high end and rand aware market (but not alone, like Mac) and Android will dominate the low end masses (but play on the whole field, like PCs). The real question is this: Who will be able to stay standing in the face of the iOS & Android combined onslaught? What will RIM, Symbian, WebOS and Windows do and will it be enough to stay in the race?

Dirk le Roux
written by msbodetti, May 09, 2011
@ dirk.leroux

Thanks for the correction. I wasn't trying to imply that Android is based on Symbian, I was trying to say it looks like an advanced Symbian OS. The interface of the Symbian Media player found on HTC looks like the Sony Ericssons U10i's.

I would like to add my own thoughts to yours:

1) I agree with you on closed and open OS's but I have to say that iOS is not closed entirely. The jailbreaking community has proven that. You can develop your own iOS Apps and load it on the Cydia Store for free or your own OS tweaks.

2) I don't think you understood my PC OS and mobile OS comparison. You need to develop the OS first before you can load it onto the device. It needs to be compatible with the device's specs otherwise it wont work. Mac and Windows has made this easier for developers or even individuals. You can download the drivers for the device specs from the relevant Windows sites. As with Linux you will have to wait for the drivers to be ready for the specs or not get it at all which is sad. I haven't developed anything in Android as yet but it's based on the Linux kernel.

3) I don't know if you were keeping up with the news but Apple has sued Amazon for the title 'App Store' for uploading different Android Apps for users. Apple has also made allegations against Samsung for similarities in their Android OS to iOS. If those are not signs that Android and iOS are competing then I don't know what is. And you basically flipped your last paragraph by asking "Who will be able to stay standing in the face of the iOS & Android combined onslaught?"

Your last question has made me think. RIM is doing well with their Blackberry Messenger; Symbian I thought died out but they're still kicking; WebOS I haven't tried; and Windows Mobile has actually developed something for their developers to work hand in hand with the iOS platform.

written by John, June 18, 2012
I just googled political metaphors for iOS and android (because I thought of one), and to my surprise, someone had posted the exact opposite of what I was thinking. Note that this isn't meant to be pro-Apple or pro-Google.

I read what you have to say, and I agree, but here's why I think Google is the market-driven device, while Apple is the more socialist offering. I'm thinking in a retail-specific manner, mind you, not taking into account any hacking of either system (as easy as it may be)

Apple offers an all-in-one package, by that I mean the OS and hardware are all bundled into one. The app store is the only way to get apps. Apps go through a screening process to be approved by Apple. Syncing is supported through Apple's own systems (iTunes, iCal, etc.) Updates roll out for support of the iterations of the phone less than two years old, at the same time. A single new version is released (almost) exactly every year. Apple only allows insurance through their own applecare warranty system. You are up to the power of Apple to deem if your phone is worthy of repair through them or was a result of careless damage/accident, rather than through another entity.

Google creates an OS to be distributed by third-party companies. (These next couple don't withstand for the Nexus releases) These companies tweak OS implementation, at their on will. Flagships are created by manufacturer, not google, allowing for competition within the context of having the "best" Android phone. Updates are released by google, but implemented by carrier. Their is no reviewing (that I know of) by Google for releases to their app store. Android phones manufactures/carriers are allowed to add bloat-ware to the phones.

And one point to contest in your piece, while Apple devices are more expensive than some phones, I would say they are cheaper on the flagship end. Android phones almost never (including the Nexus line) pass that two-year upgrade rule. Meaning to have the latest phone (OS-wise), you'll need to upgrade out of two-year subsidy. Essentially, you have the choice of spending more or less than on apple devices.

On a personal note, I think my next phone will be an iPhone. While I do enjoy my Android-based Evo 4G, I don't like all the bloatware installed on the phone, that the 2.3 update took a pretty long time, and that it will never see an official ICS update. While I know I'll be missing out on some features of being in the Android ecosystem, I know that Apple will support upgrades of the phone for two years, at which point I'll be able to grab the next iteration of the phone (or go back to Android). Let's just hope that I don't drop it in the pool or something and be SOL through the applecare system!

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