photo credit: http://www.talkandroid.com
I need to admit something to you. I secretly read all the web/tech blogs. I love it. I can’t get enough. Ask me the difference between the ‘interest graph’ and the ‘social graph,’ and I’ll have an answer. Propose to me all your reasons why the laptop is an evolutionary dead-end, and I’ll add three more reasons.
I think I’m so into this stuff because more pure innovation happens here than anywhere else. The lessons begging to be learned and applied in other fields are endless. Such is the case with the raging war between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
To be up front with you, I operate on Android–phone and tablet–but I choose not to get into the petty word battles. I think Apple products are amazing. Steve Jobs will be remembered less as a computer genius and more as an artist. But the benefits of Android in my opinion are worth the draw-backs.
Nevertheless, Android and the ‘Fandroids’ love slinging mud at Apple and her followers, and the latter have no problem throwing it right back. The fundamental argument is over what Apple calls Android’s problem of ‘fragmentation.’ Here’s the simple version:
Because only two hardware platforms use iOS–iPhone and iPad–the people who develop our precious Apps have very little work to do in order to make sure the Apps function perfectly, regardless of your device. Android on the other hand runs on 216 unique devices at last count, manufactured by more than 20 companies. 216! That means when an App developer wants to make your life easier when it comes to, say, choosing a restaurant, he has to consider how it might scale differently on each of the 216 devices, not to mention all the different screen sizes or versions of the OS. (Too much geek talk? Let me get to the point.)
Apple and Google say they see this issue differently. While Google say their ecosystem is ‘inclusive’ (‘look at all the devices you can choose!’), Apple calls it fragmented (‘Don’t expect an App to work on your Xoom just because it works on your Razr.) And herein lies the problem–which is better? An operating system that works perfectly but only on two devices? Or one that gives you tons of device and brand options but may not offer the same experience across them all?
The answer isn’t easy. It’s a philosophical debate. And we face the same dilemma in the church at so many levels. Shouldn’t we ‘be all things to all people?’ But if we attempt to make the gospel work across all ‘platforms,’ isn’t that diluting the message? What about weekend services–hymns, drums, liturgies–do you try to be ‘inclusive’ in your styles? Or does that just lead to ‘fragmentation?’ If we say no to inclusion, well, isn’t that… exclusive? Are we OK with that?
What’s your answer? Should our ecclesiology–the way we do church–be functional across our own platforms at the risk of exclusivity, or should it work in countless ways, at the risk of fragmentation?