Apple’s iOS is a huge success, due to the elegant hardware of the iPhone and iPad and massive collection of apps. Even though the Android operating system, which powers an increasing percentage of “smart phones” around the world, is itself open-source, the phone makers and mobile carriers have locked it down in most cases, preventing users from using it as they wish. There are some sound reasons for this, but the lockdowns have many negative consequences. In this chapter we look at the Android ecosystem, and discuss ways of “jailbreaking” your phone to give yourself the greatest freedom – and also how to avoid some of the problems that result when you do. We’ll also discuss several upcoming open-source mobile operating systems that may provide even more user freedom.
Sidebar: Andy Rubin, head of Android at Google