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walled gardenA network or service that either restricts or makes it difficult for users to obtain applications or content from external sources. Cable TV and satellite TV are walled gardens, offering a finite number of channels and programs to their subscribers. When AOL was king of the Internet providers, it did an excellent job of keeping users on AOL-affiliated sites.
In 2007, Apple's iPhone was a walled garden with a basic set of applications. Soon after, Apple opened the iPhone, encouraging third-party developers to write apps as long as they were approved by Apple. Thus, the wall was broken, but not entirely, because Apple can disapprove any app that is submitted to its online store (see jailbreaking). Google Play (formerly Android Market) accepts all apps as long as they are not xxx rated. See iPhone and Android.
Company and Home Walled Gardens
Any organization can filter URLs and create a walled garden for its employees, preventing them from casually surfing the Web. Likewise, a computer can be set up to keep children from websites deemed inappropriate by parents. See parental control software.