There are many who would argue that Apple’s iOS platform is a closed platform, meaning that developers only get to access whatever Apple decides to let them access. Google’s Android on the other hand is slightly more open, which has led to the creation of many different Android ROMs as well as allowed OEMs to create their own custom versions of Android.
However it seems that Mozilla’s chief technology officer Andreas Gal doesn’t seem to agree. In an article by The Guardian, Gal criticized both iOS and Android for being closed systems that not only rely on proprietary software, but also have a complete lack of transparency, claiming that users should have the right to know how a device is using their information.
According to Gal, “Right now the user has a choice between one phone where you can’t tell what goes on inside it and another phone where you can’t tell what goes on inside it.” He also has this to say about Android.
“What an Android phone essentially is, it’s like Google’s agent in your pocket… they don’t intend to put you first, they put Google first because Google needs to increase their value. They’d like to know things about you and track you so they can target you. Google sets the rules that serve Google in the end, not necessarily the user.”
Unsurprisingly Gal also took this opportunity to promote Firefox OS as being a more open and transparent alternative. So far a handful of OEMs have created smartphones based on Firefox OS, such as LG and ZTE, but what do you guys think of Gal’s statement? Do you agree that iOS and Android needs to be more transparent? Or are you not that fussed?