The Document Foundation is currently planning to port LibreOffice to two mobile operating systems: Android and iOS.
Being an advocate for open-source software, for privacy and free speech and against monopoly and lock-in, I’m not too thrilled with the planned iOS version. An operating system is only as good as it’s software, and as long as Apple has developers treating it as the premiere platform to develop for (along with Android), it will maintain a sizeable userbase, much like Windows has managed to do.
That’s too bad, though, as Apple’s turning out to be a lot more monopolistic than Microsoft. It strictly filters its app selection and allows users to install apps only from its own marketplace. Its App Store policy prohibits (L)GPL-licensed software. It actively fights against jailbreaking, in case users doesn’t want to play by Apple’s rules. If one wants anonymity, he has to jailbreak the device in order to use Tor. It attacks the rest of the industry with (mostly bogus) hardware and software patents. Its iBooks textbook platform locks students into Apple’s proprietary software, especially as all paid textbooks made with Apple’s iBooks Author can only be sold through the iBookstore. Apple was also a backer of SOPA/PIPA and refuses to support WebM for HTML5 video on iOS, rather backing its proprietary counterpart H.264. The list goes on and on.
So how about instead of targeting iOS as a second platform for LibreOffice, what about WebOS? Or Plasma Active? Or Tizen? These platforms need LibreOffice way more than iOS. Let’s stop fueling Apple and target the platforms that should succeed, platforms giving you some freedom, platforms that don’t tie you to a filtered list of applications, platforms that allow (L)GPL licenses, platforms that you can trust because you can read the source code.
Incidentally, Karen Sandler, GNOME’s Executive Director, gave an excellent speech on the importance of free software on devices. Go check it out.