There has been a war waging for quite some time now right under our noses. A war so massive and so violent, that it would have Churchill and Captain America quaking in their boots. This war is not between cultures, or between countries, but rather between two groups of religious extremists – the Apple-ites and the Android… ites.
These two parties represent those who support Apple and all of their products, and those who prefer phones and tablets to run Google Android. Both groups would die for their cause, and in both cases their love for their own brand is matched only by their hatred for the alternative.
The argument comes down to many different matters, from the business tactics of Apple, to the apparent lack of polish in Android devices. But while there are lots of things at play here, more often or not if you ask an Android fan what it is that puts them off of Apple, they will tell you that it’s because iOS is too ‘restrictive’ and prevents them from doing all the things they’d like to do.
However there is a reason for this, and while Android users may not always understand it, some iOS users actually prefer these restrictions. These are conscious limitations that have been consciously added – not limitations in programming or power. Obviously then Apple had a plan, and seeing as they’ve stuck to their guns regarding these limitations it would also seem that plan is working. So what’s the deal?
Less to Go Wrong
One of the first and most obvious reasons to prevent tinkering in a device is to avoid things going wrong, and this is something Apple does nicely. Because there’s no option to go into your system files and start clicking delete, there’s no way you can delete anything that’s crucial to the operation of your system.
Of course on the odd occasion this does backfire – as it also means you’re limited when you come to make your own repairs. This is particularly frustrating if you’re trying to delete a file you don’t want or in the worst example of this of all – the fact that you can’t remove the battery yourself.
More Universal Settings
The fact that there are fewer settings to be changed by the user means that most apps and software will be launching in essentially the same environment. This then in turn means that when that software runs, it won’t have to adapt to the settings of the device and it won’t go wrong as a result. In other words it won’t be overly slow because too many system resources are being used up in the background, and it won’t be too big because you’ve changed the DPI settings of your device.
For Apple, keeping things consistent is good news. It means that they’ll never have a device misbehaving because someone’s altered the way it runs and it means that people will always be able to instantly recognize their products by sight. By keeping things restricted they’ve kept things a) reliable, and b) consistent across the board.
In short then, if you want a device that’s going to run smoothly, rarely go wrong and where everything will work together well, then flexibility is something you might have to sacrifice. But be honest – how often do you change most of the settings on your phone anyway?
Robbie Crowe is an avid tech blogger who has shared iphone 3g jailbreak guide through his blogs.