Monday, January 4, 2010

An example why Open Source rocks... Take that, Apple!

My colleague Luca Olivari wrote about the excellent site GetApp.com, where you can find loads of good Open SOurce applications. Where Luca goes wrong though is when he compares this to AppStore for iPhone. Apple does encourage iPhone application development, but it is not Open Source, which is why one crucial Web component is missing: a Flash plug-in. Yes, for those of you without an iPhone, you can NOT view Flash-based pages with an iPhone. The reason? Apple will not allow one, at least not yet, and Adobe has not announced a player for the iPhone.

Although the Flash player in and of itself is not Open Source, this still shows what an active eco-system can do for you, it will encourage and promote more and innovative development. Looking at the competing Android platform (I'm on an Acer Liquid myself), a Flash player has been announced, but is not yet released. The eco-system around Android is much younger than that around iPhone, but it is just as large and is truly innovative. If we exclude that fact that tethering applications has been banned from Market (the Android app site), as a result of some telco companies realizing that this was not "in their best interest" (not that this will stop tethering in the end anyway, and excellent PdaNet, which I use right now, i close to as good, except that it is wired only (Bluetooth enabled PdaNet will be there with Android 2.0 though)).

All in all, comparing AppStore and Market will show you just what a true live Open Source environment can do in terms of eco-systems. That Android is less mature in terms of usability and partly in terms of features compared to an iPhone is true, but it is close enough, fully Open Source, intergrates with all the neat Google things (GPS with Google maps is just great, for example) and is about 1/2 the price (at least here in sweden) (I got mine on an auction, and paid even less than my old clunky Nokia E66 even).

So, all in all, if you want a true Open Source phone and is willing to accept that some assemply is required, then go for an Android. Take that, Apple!

/Karlsson
BTW. If you are wondering why I am not blogging as much on databases here as I used to, this is because the heated tone on the MySQL blog-front right now. Me being an evil person and all that.

1 comment:

Luca Olivari said...

Anders, thanks for your comments! Good analysis of the differences. Disclaimer: I'm writing with a Mac and I own an iPhone! ;-)