Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Dangers Of Walled Gardens

Apple's current status with their development site illustrates just one of the many issues with walled gardens.   The most significant of which is the compromise if user freedoms.   The one illustrated by last weeks incident shows us just how much developers for the iPhone and Mac app stores are at Apple's mercy.   While this was inherently obvious it has never been more obvious than right now just how fragile this relationship always was.

The real evil of Apple's app store is not the app store itself, but the code signing technology that is tied to it.   Since Apple is the only entity which can approve binaries to run on iOS devices or to go into the iOS or Mac app stores it represents a single point of failure.   This is the true evil of it.  What happens if Apple goes away?   We're left with devices which can't be used since the mothership is now gone.  Is this right?

I only hope that this incident gives people who are enamored with this concept time to reflect on what it's weaknesses really are.  

Google has managed to implement an appstore without much of the evil that is inherent in Apple's implementation and, even though Google may have done some evil with the NSA, at least it didn't do quite as much evil as Apple did in this particular instance.

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