Being someone who covers the Android platform, I get asked a lot why I use Google's mobile operating system. I could, of course, answer that question with a single, simple word: Flexibility. After all, it's one of the main reasons why I use Linux and open source software.
I like doing things my way. Whenever I tried to use iOS devices, I feel hemmed in, as if I was only allowed to do things Apple's way. With Android (like Linux) if I don't like the way something works, I can change it. If I'm not a fan of the stock Android home screen launcher, I can install a third-party tool, such as Nuvo Launcher. If I like a minimal home screen, I can remove every icon and launch everything from the App Drawer. If I want to automate processes, I can install the likes of Tasker and create some seriously impressive automated tasks.
SEE: Open source vs. proprietary software: A look at the pros and cons (Tech Pro Research)
Google integration and open source perks
But there's more to my inclination toward Android than the ease at which I can change things. Being a power user of Google apps (such as Docs, Drive, Calendar, Keep, News, etc.), and having a platform that is tightly integrated with those services is important, and no other mobile operating system does as good of a job of seamlessly integrating with the Google ecosystem than Android.
Finally, I am a big fan of open source. And although a small portion of the Android operating system is closed, a good amount of it is open. Couple that with a large number of open source apps, and you have a platform that at least offers a modicum of openness. Apple devices are closed—as in very, closed. From software to hardware, few have the keys to that kingdom.
To make this more interesting, you can go to source.android.com and check out a good amount of source code for the platform. You won't find that with Apple—on any level. And so, the main reasons why I use Android are flexibility, Google integration, and open source. Those might not be the perfect storm of reasons for you, but it's what inclines me to Google's mobile operating system.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.