iPhone SDK is as Open as Google's Android

Although Android touts it’s platforms openness; It is really no more open than any other mobile platform on the market as of now. You cannot download the source code for any of their components. What does this mean? Well, basically that they have YAMOS (Yet Another Mobile Operating System) that is less stable and complete as their competitors and nothing more. You may be able to run Android on dozens of devices in the near future, but is it going to be to late? Today you can test Android on exactly zero devices and in the meantime millions of iPhones are being sold. If iPhones becomes the iPod of their market, then the best Android can hope for is to eat the crumbs from it’s table.

So as a developer with a little spare time I look at both iPhone and Android and see:

  • Open API’s
  • Closed (or hidden) Source
  • Retarded amounts of money within reach.

So the only real factor left IMO is stability and sexiness of the platform and iPhone is the clear winner at this point.

Most consumers could care less if their mobile phone is running on an open platform, but developers care a lot. So while Google is watching their stock price rise out of control marketing projects like “Open Widgets” and Android as open platforms, developers like me are asking “Where’s the code!” It seems like “Open” has been reduced to another buzz word that’s meaningless 2.0.

Both Android and iPhone are attempting to throw copious amounts of money at developers to motivate them to develop for their platform, but I wonder if they realize that developers would just appear if they put their code where their Benjamins are and give developers something they can mold. I’m pretty sure the Android team never actually had the Bazaar model in mind, but why not?

Sure, Money is a great motivator, but so is code and code has a nice side affect of promoting collaboration and communication where money does not.

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