General Question

rawrgrr's avatar

In what way does Apple's "walled garden" inconvenience you as a user?

Asked by rawrgrr (1559points) September 17th, 2010

Ok, so, we all know how Apple is famous for their “closed” smartphone, and Google for their “open” smartphone. This seems to be the biggest complaint towards the iPhone and most people who chose to buy an Android say it’s because of it’s “openness.” So I simply ask you, as the end user, to tell me how Apple is really inconveniencing you to get your job done?

We must realize that, paradoxically, being “open” like Google can give us the very opposite.

The idea of a truly open mobile operating system is great. The problem is that it’s just simply not what’s happening. Sadly, they have to deal with a big problem, the carriers.

Users have to deal with stuff like crapware and bloatware from carriers (that sometimes you can’t even get rid of without a fee!). Why? Because Android’s openness means Google has no say. The carriers design the phones.

Carriers have been standing in the way of excellent user experiences for ages, and Apple was the first to stop this. Carriers where able to charge for every single feature. They decided the carrier should let the phone designer design the phone. There has to be a wall between the carrier and the phone company to be truly open.

Sorry for rambling on, I’m just curious, so educate me. Is the walled garden really inconveniencing you to the point where you need to get an Android? If so how?

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7 Answers

jerv's avatar

Apple has just as much crapware, so that argument falls flat. The big difference is that the Android Market isn’t censored arbitrarily. I’ve had just as many (actually, more) broken apps on my iPod as on my Droid.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerv What exactly is this crapware that is pre-installed onto the phone?

And although the app store is censored is it really that much of an inconvenience for me to switch to a different phone because of it? Sure Google voice would be nice (but it really doesn’t make a difference for me since I live in Canada, it doesn’t work here yet and if it did I could use the web app) but the app store has a very large selection. I don’t feel the impact. I have about 150+ apps that are actually useful.

So other than that what benefit is Googles openness, really?

jerv's avatar

For some, it is a matter of principle. Many who prefer Linux or Android are also big supporters of the First Amendment and consider it a matter of freedom.

As for Apple crapware, there are a few useless icons on my ipod I wish I could hide or delete, so that is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black as far as I am concerned.

Now, the selection may be larger in iTunes, but how many flashlight apps do we really need? Also bear in mind that Apple had a hell of a head start yet Android is well on pace to pass them. Being the first or the biggest doesn’t automatically make you the best.

But I’m rambling now. The simple truth is that different people have different tastes, and some people really don’t like the way Apple operates and find them too restrictive for whatever reason.

And then there are those of us who dislike AT&T, and those of us with large hands who find the iPhones’s keyboard to be a hassle, or who just like big screens. Apple has only one phone on one carrier, and some people like having options; something Apple doesn’t offer.

DeanV's avatar

@jerv Have you seen this?

It pretty much sums up how I feel. That being said, both are still excellent devices.

The amount of innovation that has occurred in the last few years is incredible (Droid pun intended) and I’d gladly buy either phone provided data plans get cheaper. The manufacturers aren’t not the problem, the carriers are.

jerv's avatar

I agree, and I think that having a viable competitor is the best thing that could’ve happened to Apple; now they have to be innovative again as opposed to resting on their laurels. The competition will lead to a win for consumers regardless of which phone they choose.

And yes, the carriers are a problem. Fortunately, they must also compete.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerv Those “useless” native apps (or tools) may not be of use to you, but are to many others. If you don’t care about stocks, whatever, neither do I, fine, but it’s not crapware. Now when a carrier tries to stuff in things like Nascar apps in all their phones its a bit different.

“Being the first or the biggest doesn’t automatically make you the best.”
I know that. If it was true then Windows would be the best. But not only does Apple have the largest selection, they have higher quality apps than other stores. Sure joke about fart apps or flashlight apps but the crap to useful/fun/entertaining ratio isn’t as high as you might think.

That AT&T agreement was necessary in order to keep the phone separated from the carrier (like it should be) but keep in mind it’s not the same in other countries. Here we have it on 5 different carriers.

I am not a follower, Android might surpass Apple in many ways, and when that day comes i’ll ditch my phone. As of now, it’s not happening. And im not being inconvenienced in any way right now. I was simply asking how other people are since thats the #1 reason to buy an Android apparently. Until Google finds a way to separate themselves from the carrier without breaking their “commitment to freedom” there is no stopping the carriers from doing whatever they want to the phones and it’s the users that get screwed over.

The users are the customers, not the carriers.

Zaku's avatar

iPhones only work with AT&T so far, and AT&T gives money to politicians whom I abhor.

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