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Android's 'clopen' Ecosystem is Taking Toll on Customers

Mountain View based technology giant Google Inc. never shies away from boasting about the openness of its Android mobile OS platform in comparison to rival platforms such as iOS and Windows Phone.

However, the truth seems to be a little bit different from what the Android maker claims. True, that Android is far more open than its key competitor iOS, as well as other key players in the smartphone OS market including the likes of Microsoft and Research In Motion.

While the company makes the source code for Android available for virtually any individual, its mobile suite Android Market, Gmail and other offerings such as Google Maps are closed source. This eventually leads to confusion amongst consumers while purchasing a no-Market Android device notes BGR.

Vendors release handsets with different UI to stand apart from rest of the crowd. This is creating more or less a divided eco-system whereby customers are the ultimate losers. Currently the latest Android edition i.e. the Ice Cream Sandwich is available on just one handset. Handsets which were released just a few months back, which are capable of handling the OS, might not just see the update reaching them as the vendors and carriers both would have to work towards making it possible. This dual dependency creates delays and by the time the version is ported, Google would have dished out a new one.

All in all, it's a pretty complicated ecosystem that Google opted for while dishing out Android to end users as well as to the developers community, and thereby creating confusions time and again amongst users.