Android and iOS are operating systems that run on computers. Granted, these computers are smaller than the ones you grew up with, but they’re still computers. And guess what? In many ways, they work like computers have in past — including the ability of accessing your other files. It’s a feature, not a bug.
I agree – phones are computers now. But we’re still right to be annoyed over this, in the same way we were right to be annoyed over PathGate. Apps on my phone have the ability to go behind my back and take my (and other people’s) personal data. Of course they can. It’s a computer. They can do all sorts of things, and there are perfectly good and safe reasons to do all of them. This power can be used for evil! And it’s not possible to tell in advance if a given application is going to do something evil.
But we’re still right to be annoyed, because preventing this sort of thing was pretty much the entire premise of the app store review process. (That, and stopping iPhones bringing down the entire West Cost phone network, of course.) Apple promised to protect us from evil applications, and used this as justification for all sorts of stupid rejections that in no way made my iPhone experience safer.
I’m prepared to accept the trade off of a review process that sometimes stops good things if it’ll also stop bad things. But it’s not stopping the bad things. And it’s not possible to stop the bad things. It probably stops a lot of them. But that’s not the trade-off I was promised.