Yager: Google’s openness and lack of restrictions make better consumer products

Apple Inc. is evil. I don't mean in the sense that they torture people, commit crimes that are particularly severe or that they do outright bad things. I say that Apple is evil because Apple is not looking out for the best interests of consumers. Apple wants to control everything you do in life. On the flip side there is but one opponent willing to do the exact opposite to reach success: Google.

On Jan. 9, 2007 Steve Jobs released one of the most revolutionary inventions of the 21st century. With a central processing unit three times slower than current phones and specs that would make current consumers laugh, the original iPhone sucked. The iPhone, however, was important in that it opened up the smartphone market beyond the enterprise-entrenched BlackBerry and Palm. The iPhone gave a good user experience for its price and as such it quickly garnered a cultish following. This worried other phone manufacturers. So on Nov. 5 of the same year, the Open Handset Alliance released what they thought to be a possible alternative to the iPhone operating system (iOS): Android.

There is a major philosophical difference between Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS. Apple reviews and handpicks the applications that are available to consumers in the App Store. If an app adds functionality that Apple didn't originally add, it is rejected. If an app duplicates current functionality – such as web browsers – it gets rejected. If a competing company such as Google creates an app, it is at the very least delayed an extra two weeks, according to Google engineers and the International Business Times, and at worst rejected. Take, for example, Google Voice, the VLC media player and BetterPhoto.

When people tried to "jailbreak" their iPhones to grant them access to additional applications, Apple started sending cease and desist letters to jailbreak developers and attempted to make the practice a violation of federal copyright law. This would have warped ownership laws, however, and in 2010 the United States Copyright Office declared jailbreaking completely legal.

Conversely, with Android, anyone can develop an application and sell it on the Android Marketplace. Currently there are over 300,000 apps on the Android Marketplace and Android OS is slated to surpass iOS in number of apps and app downloads in the summer of 2012. Better yet, the entire Android operating system is open source; therefore, anyone who wishes can download the operation system, edit it any way they please and run it to any compatible device. There is even a version of Android OS to be run on a laptop. This, of course, has given many opportunities for handset manufacturers to use Android OS on their own hardware.

Within the first week of iPhone 4S's release, it sold 4 million units – an unprecedented amount of sales, especially since only 6.12 million original iPhones sold in total. With Apple's 10-month lead, they held the dominant market share until the middle of 2010, when Android phones hit a critical mass with the release of the Droid 2, Droid Incredible and Droid X phones. At that point, the number of Android handsets exploded. In the first quarter of 2010 there were 65,000 handsets sold per day and by the third quarter of 2010 over 200,000 phones were sold per day.

Google's strategy of openness has given way to massive success. As of Android's fifth birthday on Nov. 5, there are over 500,000 Android devices activated per day. So do your part. Support a product and a company that doesn't restrict or control you. Step back from your desire for Apple's carrot, avoid their stick and use a product that supports the ideas of community development and freedo