comfort or freedom? – apple vs android

When considering the current mobile phone market there is an obvious clash between the two main operating systems, Apple and Android. This is because of a comparison between centralized and distributed systems in these devices.

The difference between these two systems is identified within the platform, content and user ability; and what has become clear is that even though apple is “easy to use, elegant and cool – and had lots of applications right out of the box. The iPhone could not be programmed by outsiders.” It also prevents users from releasing their own apps to the public through approval. Tim Bray describes this culture as “a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers… I hate it” Because of this “the iPhone remains tightly tethered to its vendor and users no longer own or control the apps they run – they merely rent them minute by minute.

Android breaks far away from this philosophy, and as a result has become around 80% of the smartphone market. Android instead functions through open source software, a free platform where anyone can modify the OS, build hardware for the system and release apps without approval by gatekeepers. A flow of information and more products has become more significant and ambitious than a single phone, allowing users to speed up software improvement, as Eric Raymond described as “the permanent beta” the proposition that “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”, meaning if users are able to modify operation systems, improvements and feedback loops can occur at a much rapid rate.


These two different modes of mobile internet are based on two conflicting philosophies. Jonathan Zittrain explores the closed software of apple as “more consistent and focused user experience at the expense of flexibility and innovation”. Android picks up this freedom that apple restricts, allowing users a more personalised experience. My remediation reflects this user friendly philosophy, demonstrating just how dynamic the experience of Android is through hardware, software, apps and user experience, and opening up the question of would you rather comfort or freedom in your mobile phone experience.

One thought on “comfort or freedom? – apple vs android

  1. Hi Emma! Your blog post is written in a really clear and concise way and you can tell you are very well informed through your writing! I personally am an Apple person and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you why. Which one do you prefer? I feel as though a lot of people buy Apple just because of the “brand” stigma that it comes with. I noticed you referenced the freedom to build apps in your post, while there are both pros and cons to both, I feel as though it once again comes down to personal preference mainly(e.g. if I were to create an app I’d probably do so on iOS), regardless if the software is closed or open source. If you have some spare time I would recommend reading this article for a bit of fun!

    I look forward to reading your other posts!


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