Crystal prison or rocky freedom


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‘Apple’s devices are like beautiful crystal prisons’

By: Zach Epstein | May 30th, 2012 at 10:45AM
Filed Under: Software

Apple makes use of a number of open source technologies in its software products, but operating systems like iOS and OS X are hardly considered “open.” Apple has tight control over nearly every aspect of its mobile and desktop operating systems, ensuring that its products come as close as possible to resembling Apple’s vision from the moment they reach consumers’ hands until they are eventually replaced. While no one can deny the fact that Apple’s strategy has been a recipe for success thus far, a number of pundits believe Apple needs to loosen its grip on iOS and OS X if it hopes to maintain this success moving forward. Now, digital freedom fighters at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have weighed in on the issue.
“Apple’s recent products, especially their mobile iOS devices, are like beautiful crystal prisons, with a wide range of restrictions imposed by the OS, the hardware, and Apple’s contracts with carriers as well as contracts with developers,” the EFF’s Micah Lee and Peter Eckersley wrote in a post on the group’s blog. “Only users who can hack or ‘jailbreak’ their devices can escape these limitations.”
Apple pundits argue that this very notion is the reason Apple’s products are so successful. According to the EFF, however, consumers are being hurt by Apple’s closed model. Using the iOS App Store as an example, the group states that Apple is locking down its devices and preventing users from accessing an endless supply of great apps since only software approved by Apple makes it into the App Store.
“Apple changed the way we think about mobile computing with the iPhone, but they have also lead the charge in creating restrictive computers and restrictive marketplaces for software,” the EFF wrote. “You may have purchased an iPad, but unless you’ve exploited a vulnerability in iOS to jailbreak it, there are many things you cannot install on it. The App Store has thousands of apps to choose from, but your choices are limited to apps that both Apple has approved, and which can function without ‘root’ or ‘administrator’ privileges.”
The organization continued, “Apple has been known to reject or remove apps from sale because of their content (WikiLeaks app banned, eBook reader with access to Kama Sutra banned), for not using Apple to process payments, and for being capable of executing code that Apple can’t approve. While Apple’s policies have improved in the the years since the iPhone first launched, the company still maintains total control over what apps are available to consumers. Unlike Android, iOS does not have an option to install apps from sources other than the App Store.”
Lee and Eckersley conclude that Apple and its customers would be best served if the company takes the advice of Apple co-founder and former executive Steve Wozniak, who recently called for the Cupertino, California-based company to open its platforms for those who wish to alter them or add functionality not approved by Apple. ”No place, and no system, can be perfect if it denies its citizens the freedom to change it, or the freedom to leave,” the EFF said.

I like that article by bgr but I have to ask how do you feel and please keep it respectful. Personally I like what apple continues to do in pushing the envelope, though I must admit they been slightly disappointing the past few years. They have not really innovated as far as the iphone is concerned. Its basically the same design, they took ideas from android (siri, notification, multi task (ios half baked version)). I say this not to bash apple but hopefully light a fire. Though I prefer android I dont hate apple infact I want them to succeed. I realize we need a strong adversary for android and we not going to get that from windows and rim. Apple has taken ideas and made them mainstream. They were not the first to invent smartphones but they were the first to take the idea of a phone, computer, music player and bring it together in an easy to use and awesome looking design. They were not the first on the tablet market but when they burst on the scene they brought ideas that pushed the game. I highly doubt the Galaxy Nexus or the Asus Transformer would be where it is now if it wasnt trying to rival the popular apple brand. I prefer android as my daily driver but realize it still needs work but it is constantly taking leaps and bounds forward. I am amazed where android has come from compared to the og droid. When I had my droid overclocked I was just trying to imagine what dual core on a bigger screen would look like. 2 years later we have that with oems pushing for quad core. So yeah android may not be as polished as ios but I love it any how with that said I am glad apple continues to be successful and I am pulling hard for the iphone 5 to be a game changer. I need them to continue pushing the envelope and making android fans and manufacturers angry because when we are angry we desire to see a better products built to crush the competition. Its like sports rivalries its only a good rivalry when the other team knocks you out of the playoffs a few time. Back in the day I hated Brett Favre and the packers because they constantly had the niners' number in the playoff. One year we finally triumph and it felt good. Beating your rival feels great when you know they have the ability to beat you as well and its just and all out slug fest until 0:00.
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