I don’t use the iPhone. I use a Droid Incredible (P.S. A Droid Incredible commercial came on the TV JUST as I wrote that sentence. Wow!). But being the apple lover I am, I get asked why I don’t use the iPhone daily. But here’s why.
I believe that computers in general started as a hobby. People could do whatever they wanted to do with their computers. People wrote code and embedded it into chips however they wanted to. The point behind the computer was that people could create electronic devices that could do things that people never imagined.
But to bring this to more than nerds in a garage, it had to be commercialized.
I have no problem with commercialization, but I have a problem with being selfish with your software. Keeping it to yourself for you to have fun with, and not sharing with others. That’s not how my mom taught me to be.
Android is open-source. This means that anyone (even if you are in a garage) can take what google has created and play with it. Mess it up. Make it better. Google is sharing.
Now Apple on the other hand, starts a lawsuit whenever someone uses their software. Psystar, for example. If you’ve never heard of them it’s not a big surprise. Psystar was a manufacturer of PCs that came with OS X preinstalled. And Apple decided to grab it back out of their hands and would you look at that, Psystar is gone.
And it is the exact same story with the iPhone OS. You will never find customized versions of the OS that you can install. You can tweak your current one with a couple of themes but you will never find a customized version of the OS. And if you do, make sure you don’t tell apple.
There are many many many different twists on the Android OS. One of the most popular ones would be Cyanogen, which is Android with some cool tweaks. It can be installed by rooting your phone, downloading an app from the official Android Market, downloading the ROM, and clicking install. Things will flash, files will move, and time will pass. But in the end, your phone is running a completely overhauled android OS. Now google recently got upset with Cyanogen, but the reason was because Cyanogen was including Google’s apps with it (Market, Maps, Navigation, etc.). Now it is disappointing that I can no longer download apps from the Android Marketplace when using Cyanogen, but at least cyanogen is available to download and install at will (without google’s apps, of course). Even though google is now keeping a little for itself, it is still sharing. And I like to see people share.