Development models and mobile operating systems

Almost every company’s, especially software manufacturers, underlying concept and philosophy depends on the development model. Companies that kept their source code open like Google Android, for instance, have very little control over whoever modifies them and how they use it. On the other hand, companies that keep their source code closed have more control over them since they already know the Operating system can not be modified and are quite picky about which devices they license it for, for instance, Microsoft Windows.

Open-source vs closed-source

One of the catches here is, that with an open-source operating system such as Android, random companies building various devices which use the OS d not necessarily have to share the OS’s original idea and philosophy. They have different capabilities with different ideas and philosophies in mind. In addition, if the OS license allows, they can have extended modifying abilities before they embed and install the OS in their device and never even release those modifications. These modifications might work hand in hand to perform some special function or operation of the device. They may also install some third-party apps which you may not want and can not even remove, because third-party apps are coded without having any knowledge of such modifications may cause the device to malfunction or collect the user information about how the device is used.

To sum these up, a manufacturer can put an open-source operating system on a closed-source device but, it is not that device itself that is open-source. Rather, few of the devices with an open-source OS are typically seen as open-source products.

Apple iOS

Apple’s takes the route of closed-source operating systems running on both the iPhone and iPad as well as on the iWatch. Apple’s development model is quite tightly, with both the software and hardware, integrated. They heavily control how there hardware, OS, developer tools, and app deployment platform. Apple’s strict development model is quite apparent in their strict development policies and controls for the third-party developers, which lends it to the most high-level security implemented device and their OS.

Almost all the iOS apps are exclusively bought, installed, and updated through the heavy security of the App store. One exception is, that providers of some line-of-business apps are specific to the particular organization. They can be anywhere under an organization and deployed in devices which directly under the control of Apple, which skips the public app store. Still, they need to have some kind of partnering with Apple by going through the enterprise licensing process.

Google Android

For the sake of keeping it simple and you can think of the Android operating system as absolutely the opposite of Apple iOS. Google Android is an open-source operating system like Linux and of course owned by Google. Since Android is an open source operating system, manufacturers can and do a lot of alterations to the original operating system that fits their needs but there are differences in the implementation from several vendors. Google is responsible for writing the code for OS and releasing some occasional releases of new versions. The major updates of these versions are generally named after desserts or candies. Along with this update, vendors customize it and add unique features or provide a new branded look and sort of feel.

Android apps are generally available in various app stores, the most popular being the Google Play and Amazon App Store. Users can free download, purchase, or in-app purchase these apps. Android apps store is rather open as opposed to the high standard and control of Apple App stores. Therefore, android makes it easier to download and install random applications from a Web site.