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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 66873 25-Aug-2010 09:35
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According to ZDNET, the Open Handset Alliance is now in shambles:


"By some reports, the Open Handset Alliance is in now shambles. Members such as HTC have gone off and added lots of their own software and customizations to their Android devices without contributing any code back to the Alliance. Motorola and Samsung have begun taking the same approach. The collaborative spirit is gone — if it ever existed at all. And, Google is proving to be a poor shepherd for the wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing that make up the telecoms and the handset makers in the Alliance.
As a result, we now have a situation where the U.S. telecoms are reconsolidating their power and putting customers at a disadvantage. And, their empowering factor is Android. The carriers and handset makers can do anything they want with it. Unfortunately, that now includes loading lots of their own crapware onto these Android devices, using marketing schemes that confuse buyers (see the Samsung Galaxy S), and nickle-and-diming customers with added fees to run certain apps such as tethering, GPS navigation, and mobile video."


As I said before, too many OEM with their own interest at heart. Why share in the spirit, if they can have a "competitive advantage"?








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  Reply # 372489 25-Aug-2010 09:44
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A real shame but that was going to be hard to stop.

I had read users complaining about either the captivate or vibrant that had tethering to start with then a firmware update suddenly removed it, the carrier didn't want it there and was left there by mistake.
You have to love it when new firmwares remove great features.

It was also interesting to see vodafone UK telling people if they updated their samsung galaxies with the official updates being rolled out to them by samsung with the samsung kies software that it would kill their warranty with vodafone.   They still have the warranty with samsung but still..... Lots of wars going on out there.
Vodafone customers are only supposed to use the upgrades supplied by vodafone which of course are loaded with the crap.. and will probably be a long way behind...



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  Reply # 372492 25-Aug-2010 09:48
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This is what happened before with Windows Mobile...

The telcos were the real customers, not the people buying the phones. Operators mandated feature removals, viewed the handsets as PC and loaded bloatware, changed functionality at will.

When Microsoft had Windows Update ready for those devices, the telcos said they wouldn't allow those to be delivered. Then we started having perfectly good hardware not being updated to the latest and greatest version.

When Android came along Isaid many times "beware of fragmentation". Also too many OEM around that were not completely transparent and embracing the "free" spirit. I doubt many of the features added by those OEM were fed back to the project.

This means a lot of device specific features would not be available to others. This is their "competitive advantage".





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  Reply # 372504 25-Aug-2010 10:22
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freitasm: According to ZDNET, the Open Handset Alliance is now in shambles:
As I said before, too many OEM with their own interest at heart. Why share in the spirit, if they can have a "competitive advantage"?


I agree generally....with one important reservation*.  

That's why the Nexus One was so important. It's a real shame it was crippled by supply shortages. One can speculate as to whether that was intentional or merely a by-product of exploding demand. Probably the latter, but certainly good luck anyway for the competitive phone makers.

I suspect Google will do it again for the next Android reference phone. Meanwhile, it may well be that the modding community becomes the glue that holds it all together in the meantime. Anyone who has used CyanogenMod 6.0 RC already knows it's better than any Froyo on the market from a phone vendor...and the list of supported phones grows almost daily. The strength and power of the modding community is inversely proportional to how well the telcos meet customer demand.  

* As long as app compatibility is maintained across a given version / level of Android and to a large extent between various versions, there isn't *really* a problem.  Phone buyers do have a fair amount of choice now - and more all the time - as to which brand they buy. As long as the apps work and the phones are affordable, what any particular phone vendor does....doesn't really matter. 



 

 




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  Reply # 372505 25-Aug-2010 10:25
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freitasm: This is what happened before with Windows Mobile...


The key difference is that WinMo is proprietary and Android isn't.

Sure...not everyone who buys a phone will hack it if the phone maker gets in the way....but they don't have to do it themselves. There is already an after-market of sorts helping iPhone and Android and WinMo users who lack the skill to mod their phones get the job done anyway. 

Buyers of phones have other options...and the apps do / will work on all phones....(or the phone won't be an attractive purchase). App compatibility is the whip in Google's hand to keep the herd of cats heading in - generally - the same direction.  




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  Reply # 372512 25-Aug-2010 10:34
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It's pretty sh... lame.

Android has such potential. Noone seems to be taking a leaf out of Apples book even though they're doing so damn well. Noone WANTS crap/bloatware, noone WANTS silly little logos of your company all over their phones with half assed apps that are of no use to anyone and only serve as a selling platform to the telcos. Why do they keep pushing it on to consumers? The biggest selling handset in the world is the iPhone, and it's no wonder why...

If I had to stick with the stock ROM, I would've bought an iPhone. Google should take a harder rein on what the telcos can do to android before allowing them to use it.

I've said it before, but the consumer should be given the freedom, not the telcos. We all know they screw things up time and time again :P



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  Reply # 372514 25-Aug-2010 10:35
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Linuxluver:
freitasm: This is what happened before with Windows Mobile...


The key difference is that WinMo is proprietary and Android isn't. 


Yes, and no. Android is open source, but if thoese OEM changes are not fed back into the project, it doesn't really help and could as well be closed source.

Also there is a community of modders for Windows Mobile out there - regardless of it being closed or open source...

The similarity I point out is mainly the excessive control operators have over the contents of devices sold through their channels.







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  Reply # 372517 25-Aug-2010 10:39
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aim: If I had to stick with the stock ROM, I would've bought an iPhone. Google should take a harder rein on what the telcos can do to android before allowing them to use it.

I've said it before, but the consumer should be given the freedom, not the telcos. We all know they screw things up time and time again :P


QFT





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  Reply # 372519 25-Aug-2010 10:42
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aim: It's pretty sh... lame.
I've said it before, but the consumer should be given the freedom, not the telcos. We all know they screw things up time and time again :P


You can vote with your dollars and buy the most 'open' phone you can get.

Right now, arguably, that's the Nexus One.  But any Android phone is unlocked and which can be modded without too much hassle is a worthy choice. 

Phone makers who make their phones closed units *should* find no one wants to buy them.....

But.....90% of phone buyers can barely operate a computer, never mind a smartphone...and the telcos know it. So our role as early-adopters nad opinion leaders is the primary source of any real influence we have. 

Advise people not to buy closed phones (while bearing in mind some people will buy "the pink one" no matter what it does or who sells it). 

 




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  Reply # 372521 25-Aug-2010 10:46
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freitasm:
Linuxluver:
freitasm: This is what happened before with Windows Mobile...


The key difference is that WinMo is proprietary and Android isn't. 


Yes, and no. Android is open source, but if those OEM changes are not fed back into the project, it doesn't really help and could as well be closed source.

Also there is a community of modders for Windows Mobile out there - regardless of it being closed or open source...

The similarity I point out is mainly the excessive control operators have over the contents of devices sold through their channels.



Agreed....with one more reservation: the modders are feeding lots of code back into the core of Android. That wasn't possible with WinMo (AFAIK). At least there is a path around any phone-maker blockages that may arise. 

But, like you, I see the risk of telcos attempting to capture some chunk of Android's user base with proprietary add-ons ....and I don't like it much. My dollars won't flow that way. It's one of the reasons I bought two Nexus Ones (for myself and my daughter). 






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  Reply # 372542 25-Aug-2010 11:16
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I'm guessing HTC's Sense UI is a prime example of what you guys are talking about?

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  Reply # 372559 25-Aug-2010 11:39
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This is making the OHA out to be something it never was. Read the FAQ, it is an alliance primarily to build and release phones and services on the Android open platform. It is not the Android open-source project, and it was not set up for manufacturers to share code built on top of the platform.

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  Reply # 372628 25-Aug-2010 13:17
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 The biggest selling handset in the world is the iPhone, and it's no wonder why...

I've said it before, but the consumer should be given the freedom, not the telcos. We all know they screw things up time and time again :P


Not that it matters to your point, but both Nokia and Rim make more smartphone handsets than Apple - just thought I'd set the record straight. :)

The Telcos have the power through their network ownership, so unless governments get involved, something that many will find philosophically repugnant, there's little hope that will ever change.

Somebody else mentioned the fact that most people looking for a smartphone just want it to work and really those people don't give a rat's whether it's an Android or MeeGo or iOS device so long as they get their 'must-have' apps and it works like the iPhone their friends have.

I want an Android phone because I don't want to follow the herd into Apple Land, which I'm sure will make many roll their eyes. But I also want independence from what I think are overly-restrictive practices from handset makers and telcos. Android seemed to be the way. I hope that it's true. 




Galaxy S has gone to its new owner. HTC Sensation has gone to its new
owner. Galaxy S3 has gone to its new owner. Now using Galaxy Note 3. Skipping Note 4 I think...

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  Reply # 372660 25-Aug-2010 13:55
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ArtooDetoo: 

....

I want an Android phone because I don't want to follow the herd into Apple Land, which I'm sure will make many roll their eyes. But I also want independence from what I think are overly-restrictive practices from handset makers and telcos. Android seemed to be the way. I hope that it's true. 


That sums me up, too.

I think it will prove to be so. Not that some phone maker or telco won't try it on along the way. AT&T in the US is a good example. They're trying to lock down their Android phones to be more like the locked-down iPhones they have been the sole US seller of. But there are other telcos who behave in a more open way. T-Mobile (largely owned by Deutsche Telekom) are more open and were the first to embrace Android. 

Any telco who can't sell iPhone is embracing Android as their smartphone for non-corporates (RIM largely own that segment). 

There is choice..and phone buyers will have some power to shape their own future. The clueless will cede that power....as they always do....but the openness of Android still gives those who have a clue a way through if they want to follow it up (root the phone and load something else). 

 




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  Reply # 372662 25-Aug-2010 13:58
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A little "people's revolt" recently made Vodafone UK roll-back their plans to encrapify the 2.2 update for the HTC Desire, so there's hope for market forces yet.

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  Reply # 372667 25-Aug-2010 14:06
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aim: I'm guessing HTC's Sense UI is a prime example of what you guys are talking about?


I guess so. Or SE's "Timescape"...

HTC also use Sense on their WinMo phones. You have to look closely to tell them apart. 

A lot of people REALLY like Sense UI. I've not been a fan. I prefer my Android the way Google makes it: leaner and less lush. 

 




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