Like most Linux-based mobile platforms, Android is not entirely open source. The core operating system consists of the GPL-licensed Linux kernel and an Apache-licensed middleware and userspace stack. Several key components at the higher levels of the platform—particularly the Android market and several other pieces of Google-branded software—are proprietary. Device makers that want to use include those components on their products have to commercially license the software from Google.
— Ryan Paul, Android’s ascent in China might not elevate Google (via David Chartier)
This sort of thing is what makes me so uneasy about trusting Google with anything. It’s the same story: Google is “open” with the products that don’t make them money and closed with those that do, using “open” as a marketing buzzword against Apple and hoping nobody notices how incredibly closed and secretive most of their products and operations really are.
iOS is far more “closed” than Android, but at least Apple doesn’t try to bullshit me about it. They put it right out there. “We control everything because we think it’s better that way. If you don’t like it, there’s the door.”
And since they’re honest with me, I trust them more.