Yesterday, Steve Jobs went on a bit of a tirade against Android, pointing out its flaws and fragmentation issues. As you know, the two operating systems have completely different philosophies: iOS is closed, but streamlined, and Android is open, but maybe a bit messy in its implementation. During his rant, Jobs somewhat clouded the true meaning of an “open” platform, and compared it to a very closed system.
He used Microsoft Windows as an example of “open” software, which is a little confusing, since Windows is not at all “open”. Yes, you can install it on any PC, just like Android can be installed on a variety of hardware, but unlike iOS or Windows, Android is open source, which is one of the true benefits of the platform. In a response to Jobs’ misleading example, Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, sent out his first tweet.
the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”
This is roughly the process used to build and compile the latest version of Android from source, which is what open source is all about.
Later, when talking about Android’s fragmentation, Jobs used the device usage statistics from TweetDeck’s Android app as an example, saying that they “…had to contend with more than 100 different versions of Android software, on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations presents developers with a daunting challenge...”. This is true, and developers do have to accommodate for the many versions of Android while programming apps, but according to TweetDeck, it’s a “small issue”.
Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn’t. It wasn’t.
We only have 2 guys developing on Android TweetDeck so that shows how small an issue fragmentation is
Both platforms have their pros and cons, but if Jobs is going to attack Android, he should probably get his facts straight.