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Facebook developer says Android no more open than iPhone

Facebook developer says Android no more open than iPhone

Facebook developer Joe Hewitt is the latest high-profile individual to step into the ongoing spat between Apple and Google on the openness of the Android platform.

Only two days ago, Apple head-honcho Steve Jobs launched a tirade against Google for being “disingenuous” in its branding of Android as a more open operating system than Apple’s iOS. It didn’t take long for Google VP Andy Rubin to respond in an equally headache-worthy retort via Twitter, posting a set of Linux commands that supposedly allows anyone to copy Android code, thus proving it is open.

However, Joe Hewitt, noted for his work on the Firefox web browser and the iPhone version of the Facebook app, dismissed Rubin’s response, saying that Android was not open like Firefox or Linux because Google ultimately held the decision as to how the platform would progress, not the open source community.

He said: "Until Android is read/write open, it's no different than iOS to me.

"Open source means sharing control with the community, not show and tell... Rubin bickering with Jobs is a farce, because both refuse to share the one thing that matters: control."

Android is generally considered more open due to its more lenient attitude towards third-party applications, which has helped the Android Market amass over 100,000 apps worldwide in just under two years.

Whether or not it is genuinely open is another matter as consumers continue to vote with their wallets to help Google’s platform outpace its rivals in both growth and mindshare.

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