Algorithmic control II: Hardware Platforms, Access Permissions and Ideologies of Control

Locked Appliances vs Generative Platforms

Locked appliances are devices that are in control. They have total control over the platform, the information that appears on the platform and all users of the platform. A great example of a locked appliance is an iPhone. Apple falls under permission culture as the company locks the options you have on your iPhone such as apps. This is because they claim to know you and your likes and dislikes the best. In opposition, Android is a generative platform and falls under open culture. This means it allows users to make their own choices and provides access to multitudes of information and services.

Lets look at some key differences between Apple and Android:


  • Walled garden of apps
  • Complete control over platforms, content and user
  • One hardware manufacture: Apple


  • Open garden of apps
  • Open and free platform
  • Cutthroat hardware manufacturers competition: Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus.

Assessing the differences between these two major companies really exposes the control that different platforms can have over our online lives. Technology is constantly evolving and it is important to be aware of how we can easily be manipulated by it.

To conclude this weeks blog I would like to include this quote as food for thought:

“The world we live in today is made of computers. We don’t have cars anymore; we have computers we ride in. We don’t have airplanes anymore; we have flying Solaris boxes attached to bucketful’s of industrial control systems. A 3D printer is not a device, it’s a peripheral, and it only works connected to a computer. A radio is no longer a crystal: it’s a general-purpose computer, running software.”

Cory Doctorow

Crosland, A 2012, “Locked Appliances Vs Generalised Platforms, <>

Mitew, T 2021, ‘Algorithmic control II: Hardware Platforms, Access Permissions and Ideologies of Control’, online lecture, BCM112, University of Wollongong, viewed 17 May 2021, <>


2 thoughts on “Algorithmic control II: Hardware Platforms, Access Permissions and Ideologies of Control

  1. Hey Sophie! I really enjoyed reading your blog post for week 11. I think locked appliances VS generative platforms is such an interesting topic– I actually wrote about the same thing in my blog post for this week. I liked the way you outlined some of the key differences between Apple and Android side by side, making it engaging and easier to take in. In my blog for this week, I embedded a couple of YouTube videos at the end that related to my post- this is something you could do in the future so that readers have the option to learn more if they wanted to. Other than that, I think your post was great, well done! Here’s one of the videos I looked at that looks at that outlines the differences between IOS and Android in more depth if you’re keen to learn more!


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