Last April Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, explained to us in a clear, concise and well-argued way why iOS is an operating system that revolves around the idea of “Fenced garden”In other words, it is a place with a careful aesthetic that allows the user to do many things, but which, once inside, does not allow you to “go out” or resort to external sources.
It is not difficult to understand, and in fact that idea of ”fenced garden” is a great way to contrast the approach of iOS with that of Android, since the latter it is a true “open garden”. When we choose Apple’s mobile operating system, our access to applications and games is limited to those content that are present in the App Store, since we cannot download other content from external sources. However, in the case of Google’s operating system, the opposite happens, we can download content from external sources without problem.
This difference is so important that, for many users, it has been decisive when choosing between iOS and Android. We might think, a priori, that having the freedom to download applications and content from external sources is an important advantage, and the truth is that yes, but there is an important nuance that we must take into account, and that is deeply related to security and user privacy.
Apple believes that iOS would become unsafe if it allowed downloads from external sources
Erik Neuenschwander, head of user privacy at Apple, has defended in an interview the importance of limiting the download of applications and games to the App Store, and has explainedor the risks we should be willing to face if we download this type of content from external sources.
In his explanation, the Apple executive commented:
“By downloading applications from external sources, users access content that has not been reviewed in any way. On iOS, users know that nor they can be fooled, and they won’t end up in a dark position, with an unwanted download that could compromise your privacy or security […] They would also face numerous attempts at deception. “
For Erik Neuenschwander, allowing downloads from external sources on iOS would be a major mistake on Apple’s part, as it would remove an important layer of security, and would leave users exposed to numerous fraud attempts, and could also skyrocket malware infections on said platform.
We may like him more or less, but the truth is that he is right. In this case, sacrifice downloads from external sources has a positive consequence, that greater protection and security of the user, something that may be irrelevant for the most expert users, but important for those with less knowledge.
In my case, I must admit that I experienced a curious evolution. When I had more time and could “tinker” more, I really enjoyed that freedom of Android, in fact I remember that I installed and tested several games and emulators on my Galaxy S SCL, a terminal that I was able to get a lot out of despite its limitations, although on more than one occasion I got scared.
However, as time went by, my needs changed, and when I bought the Apple iPhone 4s I realized that this model was a perfect fit for my current situation. I’m not going to deny that at first I missed that freedom that I had with my Galaxy S SCL a little, so much so that I went back to investing in Samsung and I got a Galaxy S6. It was a fantastic smartphone, one of the best I’ve ever had, but coming back to Android made me realize, definitively, that iOS was a better fit for a new reality, and that’s why I bought an iPhone 8 Plus in 2017, a terminal that I still use.