Linked by David Adams on Thu 24th Jun 2010 16:22 UTC, submitted by Governa
Privacy, Security, Encryption About 20 percent of third-party apps available through the Android marketplace allow third-party access to sensitive data, and can do things like make calls and send texts without the owners' knowledge, according to a recent security report from security firm SMobile Systems. There's no indication that any of the highlighted apps is malicious, but the report does underscore the inherent risks of a more open ecosystem as opposed to Apple's oppressive yet more controlled environment, with every app being vetted before availability.
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But that violates principle #5 of your rant--limiting what the apps are allowed to do. In particular limiting the way the UI presents itself in regards to border, widgets, etc. strikes me as a very Apple-esque way of handling things that would certainly lead to developer discontent on any kind of open platform.

It's true that you have to accept some limitations, but here I think there is no choice. I can't find a way of visually separating system and app controls without possible spoofing that doesn't involve giving system messages a specific UI toolkit and forcing other applications to use the standard one.

However, you have to consider that none application, except games maybe, should use non-standard widgets without a very good reason ? Non-fullscreen borderless windows, bitmap buttons, bitmap background images of a specific color, are all things which cause bugs when changing visual theme and screen resolution, and which reduce usability due to inconsistent behavior. Moreover, blind people cannot use such applications easily because screen readers won't read text when it's written in an image.

If enforcing use of the standard toolkit for all non-system applications is apple-ish, then so be it, but I think it's the best choice for millions of good reasons. And as an example of why non-standard toolkits are bad, I'll invoke the multiple qualities of HTML websites facing Flash websites.

Flash is good for tiny apps, like games and video players, but it shouldn't ever be used as a website creation platform. The reason why it's here is that it fixes the lacks of HTML+Javascript, which were never designed to build full applications.
Modern operating systems have the chance to include complete UI toolkits which can be used together with real application programming languages to create full-fledged apps. This removes the need of non-standard toolkits like Flash, which should hence be wiped out of the surface of the user application world.

Edited 2010-06-26 14:34 UTC

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