Apurva's (@unitechy) write up on Closed and Open systems on mobile on Mobile Knots, made me think what open on mobile really means? Or what it should be. At least for me.
1. Open as in anyone can do anything with it?
No. I dont like device manufacturers changing the UX of Android and hence not able to provide updates when Google has it ready. Simply no one should meddle up with the basic OS. However allow OEMs to innovate on hardware.
Android is on the wrong path here.
2. Closed like the big brother types?
No. May be Apple is right in saying no to apps that dont make them happy. But I dont think we need more of Apples. Let there be apps that can deeply be integrated into the OS to bring in new functionalities and no restriction on that. Let it be the user's choice to go for them or not. Let there be an app for every need of a user from a phone. Let them change the home screen. Let them change the icon themes. Let HTC offer their superb weather widget in the Market and not force on their (non)Sense UI on to their devices. Let the app intercept a call or the dialler to fix a "facebook sync" issue.
Android is on the right path here.
3. Open to competition?
Yes. Apple is all about design and I can understand they saying no to any app that will make their phone look or perceived bad. I also like the "App store" approach of selling apps. But I dont agree they say they wont allow Amazon kindle app to have books bought out of the iTunes ecosystem. I dont agree when they reject Google voice saying the functionality is very similar to their dialer app. I like Amazon App Store.
Android is right here too. Its open to competition.