Jul 2, 2012

Dark Apple or Evil Android

source: iDownloadBlog

First of all, I like both brands and philosophies behind them. As far as I know, Google is the best tech company founded during the last 15 years; highly ethical, forward-looking and technically advanced. At the same time, I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool Mac & iPhone user. So, I can't tell in general which one is more evil; rather, this post is shedding light on just one aspect but yet vitally important in this era – openness.

...After finishing the introduction above, it took me unexpectedly long time to go ahead. When I started to work on this topic, I took things easy by thinking:
Google as a proponent of openness is being in trouble with ‘walled garden’ trends promoted by Apple joined by Facebook. With regard to the freedom of the Web, Google is good Apple is bad.
Although my overall simplified argument is still held in this statement, it turns out the discussion over the Web openness has a number of layers such as censorship, demands for curated information, or impacts on future software innovation. To follow up the last post, the single focus is placed on the openness for networked intelligence.

It appears that Android keeps infringing Apple’s patents. Reflecting on this, there’s a story from Steve Jobs biography; he once said “I'm willing to go thermonuclear war” against Google. Over the last four years, I often wondered how come Google got away with it if the myriad patents were registered. It was really bad impression on Google, to be honest. However, during the same period, Apple itself seemed to deliberately violate the unwritten rule of the Internet. That’s openness.

As you know, the world is increasingly flooded with iPhone apps. With Internet access, they bring tons of goodies to our life. They are cheap yet handy or just fun! So, basically it's good. There is, however, one not-so-fun issue around, which is actually very serious. We cannot search for the information generated by those apps despite online activities.

Activities on apps are as rich as what we do on the web such as discussing, blogging, gaming, sharing videos & photos, etc. Besides, some apps are far more dynamic and interactive; thus, data produced through them may have higher or different values. There's no point of not utilizing such data in order to reach unprecedented heights in any intellectual efforts. Imagine, individual data from medical apps can be combined with professional knowledge for new scientific discoveries. What about educational apps or games, which can contribute rich human cognitive data to the development of neuroscience or education.

I love Apple’s sensibly and aesthetically simplified products & services. But, Apple is not privileged to leave behind such an externality in the name of consumer’s well-being. And I doubt it would considerably hamper the current level of service even if Apple opens up access to the data in numerous Apps.

In addition, we consumers shouldn't give opportunities for excuse. It’s understandable that some people are anxious about their privacy that is constantly scrutinized by our phones. But, at the same time, most of us don’t know how to make good use of them. Instead of hoarding them like assets, why not under the appropriate conditions give them away to someone capable in the interests of human being?

As far as openness is concerned, I cannot help but champion Google’s position and wish Apple would be more respectful to the ongoing evolution. We’re in the midst of networked intelligence age in which:
“Internet gives us to access not just to information but to the intelligence”

1 comment:

Marc said...

Good post Yuji! I agree with you that Apple definitely seems to be over-secretive, and it remains to be seen whether anything in that regard will change given Steve Job's passing.

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