Our mobile devices have become a central part of our lives. We need them to maintain social contacts, to call people, listen to music, watch videos, learn new skills by e.g. reading e-books, even in some cases we can use our mobile devices to pay for public transportation and groceries. It’s clear, our mobile devices have become an extension of ourselves and we depend on it. Many may even not own a computer anymore.
For this reason it’s important that this platform remains open and not monopolized. Unfortunately, this is already the case. Android is basically spyware from not just Google, but many companies that collect private information about you. Google also has the power to push and delete apps and settings onto your phone. And although the core of the Android operating system is open-source, the core apps are not and depend on the closed-source Google Play framework. Without it, many apps won’t work. iOS is no better, it’s completely closed-source.
If we want to keep moving forward, we need to maintain public control over these mobile devices. That means we need devices that run on open-source software and respect open-standards. Open-hardware would be awesome too! But that may be too difficult at the moment.
A great overview is maintained by the Fairphone community: