An open source is the fundamental way in which the internet flows in the eyes of most users, but in fact this isn’t always the case. You’d be surprised to note that most of the platforms we use every day are CLOSED platforms (walled gardens or closed ecosystems), meaning the service provider is in control of restricting users and content. Okay so maybe you’re not so surprised after my last blog post labelling the government as ‘Lords’ over our content. Nonetheless, my point is that freedom in both open and closed technology structures mean different things to different users and developers.
Society’s ever expanding knowledge about technology has created this tension between both sectors and it is crucial to address the two ‘Lords’ in each of these developing sectors being ANDRIOD (OS) VS. APPLE (IPHONE IOS). I have been a user of both open and closed ecosystems in this technologically connected world and I have previously been caught up in the worldwide debate of which is the better platform. The thing is these are evolving sectors and both have expanded in scope and influence. The real question is where do these platforms take US, the future generations of users and developers? Like these versatile phones we come in generations and it is up to the developers to create spaces that accommodate our knowledge.
I mention generations because I believe these platforms reflect society’s generations. Starting with baby boomers and gen X we see similar traits to an Apple system. Slower in terms of being less technologically advanced, lived a more simple life, closed in not wanting to maintain one identity through the years and set in their ways. Not wishing to incorporate features like swapping out one dialer or SMS app for another, supports home screen widgets and even lets you install alternative launchers like the Android. At the other end of the spectrum I see similarities with gen Y and Z in the way Android operates. Like these generations it is an OPEN spirit in terms of new ideas and different technological opportunities. It is a free, OPEN source mobile platform that any coder could write for and any handset maker could install.
So which generation wins when it comes to the future of the internet? With an obviously trusted brand Apple is a competitive source in itself with it’s CLOSED feature being attractive to users. Whereas Android brings an open aspect to the way we customise our use of the technology. I am an avid Iphone user and have been since my 3rd phone onwards (my first two were Android) but if I had to place a bet my bet is on OPEN sources; today’s generations don’t like restriction, limitation nor being told what to do.