Not even close. I have a totally bone-stock Android 2.1 load on my tablet. I can do anything possible on it. The HTC Sense UI would MAYBE be a different experience that I may or may not like, but it brings no new basic functionality to the deal.
As far as Android goes, the source is freely modifiable, redistributable, and available. I do NOT have the source to many of the apps I've loaded - those are NOT available.
Same with iOS. You're telling me I can download the source for iOS? I can look at the WIFI stack? I can redestribute as I like?
And your claim about OSX is laughable. Psystar ring a bell?
It's not even close. You're really grasping at straws, anti! Heck, we're discussing whether an alternative UI is distributable on Android; good luck even FINDING an alternative UI for the iPhone!
Wait on that one too. Hardware locks just started coming down on Android phones.
And they're already cracked, too...
You like to say "just root" the Android phone. Uh, this is effectively the same as jailbreaking an iPhone. You can do anything with an iPhone too if you jailbreak it.
Except you DON'T HAVE TO ROOT YOUR ANDROID PHONE to try a different UI. That alone is a big difference. You don't want to admit it though, I know...
If alternate home screens are so important to you, then don't buy the product. The fact remains BOTH platforms are artificially limited in what you can do, and BOTH platforms need rooting/jailbreaking to get around those limitations.
Look, the fundamental point is what you're trying to hand-wave over. Android gives the USER choice, and it also gives DEVELOPERS choice, both of which will inherently make a better system. Only by trying new paradigms and ideas will innovation flow. Android is a magnitude better than the iPhone in this regard.
Android breaks a basic premise of open source
BS. If you're going to just start lying about things, well, then this thread is dead...
I remember, navigation, mapping, etc., advertised as parts of Android. Turns out they aren't. They are closed-source apps.
Same with iOS. You're telling me I can download the source for iOS?
It's called Darwin. It's BSD/Mach. On top of that is built the rest of the proprietary OS (except for the open source parts like WebKit, etc.).
Except you DON'T HAVE TO ROOT YOUR ANDROID PHONE to try a different UI.
That's just one feature. I'm talking about what you have to do to have the freedom normally associated with open source. You have to jailbreak both. You wouldn't even have the concept to "ROOT YOUR ANDROID PHONE" if they were completely open.
Look, the fundamental point is what you're trying to hand-wave over. Android gives the USER choice, and it also gives DEVELOPERS choice, both of which will inherently make a better system.
Actually, that total freedom has seriously hindered open source, since it fragments the market and leads to wildly different user experiences. Examples now, the custom manufacturer UIs, different closed-source software loads, undesired yet undeletable software, the carrier locking you into a search engine, etc.
I can buy a computer pre-loaded with Ubuntu. I can then do anything with it. Nothing's locked or mandatory or closed, and I can download and install any version of Ubuntu or any other Linx. I can mess with it to my heart's content. That's open source freedom for a user. It does not exist with most Android devices.
Only by trying new paradigms and ideas will innovation flow.
Like Apple introduced with the iPhone and that Android copied? You're welcome.