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Cellphones Google Handhelds Open Source

The Shortcomings of Google's Open Handset Alliance 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the modeled-off-the-un dept.
eldavojohn writes "Former T-Mobile and Apple executive Leslie Grandy reports some pretty harsh words about Google's Open Handset Alliance. We've heard grumblings before about control in open source projects, but now an unnamed former leader of an OHA member company is calling the OHA 'oligarchical,' and said, 'The power is concentrated with the Google employees who manage the open source project. The Open Handset Alliance is another myth. Since Google managed to attract sufficient industry interest in 2008, the OHA is simply a set of signatures with membership serving only as a VIP Club badge.' But what privileges do they have? Not many. The OHA's problems don't stop there; Grandy maintains that 'many OHA members are developing proprietary user experiences, which they are not contributing back into Android — as is standard for open source projects — for fear of losing competitive advantage in the marketplace.' She goes on to paint the OHA as toothless and directionless, with a nearly abandoned message board. It's been around for almost three years, and while Android has become more prevalent, the OHA's contributions seemingly have not. Do you agree that the OHA has amounted to nothing but a checkbox for manufacturers?"
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The Shortcomings of Google's Open Handset Alliance

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  • by nweaver (113078) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:49PM (#32076136) Homepage

    Its not a checkbox, but rather a shortcut.

    If you are making a smartphone, you need a powerful OS, with a lot of low level features, and as robust as possible an app market.

    And if your name isn't Apple or RIM, you need an off-the-shelf OS from someone else. WinCE (or whatever Microsoft calls it this week) doesn't have the app ecology and costs money to put on a phone. So you go with Android.

    So its not a checkbox, but rather a necessary shortcut, if you want to bring a smartphone to market, you run Android. But at the same time, of course you customize it: you don't want to be a commodity vendor.

    After all, whats the difference between Dell and HP? Not much. HTC doesn't want to be the same as motorola, so in order to preserve a competitive advantage, you try to make your GUI better AND don't feedback your gui changes back to your competition.

    • Indeed. HP bought Palm to differentiate itself from all the other vendors using Android. Its own original efforts failed, so it was their only choice to create a significantly profitable platform and not become yet another Android commodity vendor.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlts (1038732) *

        Want a way to not be a commodity vendor? Make cellphones that are of good quality and can stand the test of time. A few examples:

        A decent keyboard on a slider. Blackberry is good at this. The Cliq is pretty decent too, although it would be nice to have five rows of buttons (including the function keys) as opposed to four, so numbers can be typed in without having to hit another key.

        A standard USB port. Micro USB is good because it is rated at a ton more insertion/removal cycles than Mini USB, and the s

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      app ecology and costs money to put on a phone.

      So I see you've never owned a WinMobile device ... It had an appstore (a really shitty one mind you) before the iPhone existed, and I can safely say the OS has more apps than android and iPhone OS combined.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        With Windows Mobile, even before app stores on the phones themselves, there were Web based stores such as Handango which offered .cab or .exe files for download via ActiveSync. Similar with Palm apps, and those have been around for over a decade.

        Times have changed though. App stores are a must on cell phones these days, just to allow for impulse purchases that likely wouldn't happen had someone have to find the app on their home computer, download it, then perhaps register it and put in a registration key

      • Everything I have seen lists the Windows phone ecosystem at a few thousand, Android at ~50,000 last I heard and iPhone well over 100,000. Of course that says nothing about quality, but that is a huge and important difference in the overall health of the platform.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Too bad SenseUI sucks. So glad I did not get an Eris or Incredible. If you are going to make changes they should be good ones.

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)

        You know you can turn Sense off, right?

        • Out of curiosity, how? I have an Incredible, and if there was a way that I could turn the whole thing into a vanilla install of Android, I'd be interested to try it out.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            You should be able to flash another rom onto it at the very least. May not have been hacked for this yet though.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Random5 (826815)
            All you have to do is install a replacement 'launcher' app and set it as default - helixlauncher is quite nice, gives you almost stock android but has a persistent dock for 4 icons which don't change when you swap homescreens. There are other versions like advanced launcher / launcher2 out there which offer variations of stock android and then things like home++ which mix things up, but not to the same degree as sense.

            Without flashing a different rom (which will require root, not sure if the incredible ha
            • Honestly, I don't know why I'd want to either. I also don't know why i wouldn't want to. This is my first android phone, so i have no idea what the difference is between Sense and stock Android. It'd be nice if i could try the stock Android settings without doing anything irreversible to my phone so I could try it out and decide which I liked better.
      • by jDeepbeep (913892)

        SenseUI sucks

        What don't you like about it?

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          It replaces some default apps.
          The unlock on the Incredible moves down instead of to the side, easy to unlock in pocket. I admit I do ten to put the screen side towards my flesh when it is in my pocket.
          It means your phone will never see an update, check out the Eris for evidence. I admit not a technical issue.
          In general it is change for the sake of change without offering anything in exchange.

          • by jDeepbeep (913892)

            It means your phone will never see an update, check out the Eris for evidence. I admit not a technical issue.

            Both the Hero and the Eris are still waiting for the 2.x ROM, no? It seemed there were promises made about that, but I don't recall hearing anything further.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              They are still waiting, seems HTC has little interest in upgrading their phones. You can flash a newer rom on their, but all the SenseUI phones seem to show this pattern.

  • I love my work Droid- best work phone I've had, but fragmentation really is a problem with the Android eosystem. To show my point check out this site [appleinsider.com]. Now I realize this is an Apple-fansite, but the numbers quoted are from GOOGLE's Admob. One of the smart things Apple has done is make sure old HW is supported. An original EDGE iPhone for instance, runs the same version as the iPad or 3GS. Fragmentation not only affects the user experience, but it makes things a lot harder for developers too.
    • by Imagix (695350)
      Haven't looked at the requirements for iPhone OS 4 ? Old HW isn't supported...
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        iPhone OS 4 is supported, but some features (that will not affect apps that much) will not be supported, like being able to use the multi tasking feature - you'll have to do it the current way the iPhone does it which will be less feature-rich, but not broken. This is similar to moving forwards with things like the 3G chip itself (which the first iPhone does not have) and the magnetic compass (that the 3G does not have) and video recording (that the 3G does not have). Hardware progression is inevitable.

        I'm

      • Uh, yes it is. iPhone 2G is not, iPhone 3G is except for multi-tasking, iPhone 3Gs is... All of that is old hardware when OS 4.0 ships...
    • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:05PM (#32076336) Homepage

      Well, the original iPhone runs the same OS number but that doesn't mean they have the same abilities. The 3GS is capable of quite a few things the original iPhones just aren't and that leads to fragmentation as well, just not visible through the version number. Look at multi-tasking for the most obvious example of this.

      • I have an edge iphone I don't notice any fragmentation.

        Apps that want your location get it through cell tower triangulation rather than GPS, with no help from me. I've yet to install an app that wouldn't run due to the hardware differences, although some are unacceptably slow to me.

        I'm not sure what you mean by multitasking. I can browse the web at the same time I have a call going. Or listen to music. My email is downloading while I do those things. Maybe there are things the 3G phones can do in that area

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by BarryJacobsen (526926)

          I'm not sure what you mean by multitasking.

          He means the multitasking that is coming out with iPhone OS 4, which doesn't support the original iPhone.

          • Thats one significant exclusion in 4 major iterations of hte OS - yup, certainly signifies a major difficulty in developing for the highly fragmented iPhone market...
        • Multitasking, like using an app while using another app. Such things are impossible without jailbreaking.

          Think about it this way, want to use Pandora while checking your e-mail? You can't. Want to surf the web while listening to a YouTube video? You can't. Etc.
        • by dr.newton (648217)

          I'm not sure what you mean by multitasking.

          You're lying.

      • by MrCrassic (994046)
        It's nowhere near the same level of fragmentation as trying to buy an Android phone and worrying about whether the next point release will even be supported for it.

        Kind of reminds me of the days of owning Windows Mobile devices (or Palm devices, for that matter), when Microsoft (or Palm) would announce a new version with a jackload of new, awesome features...that won't be coming to your device because it's either (a) not fast enough for older phones (sort of fine) or (b) not approved by the carrier (wtf?
    • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:09PM (#32076382)

      Sadly, iPhone OS 4 isn't supporting the 2G EDGE only model.

      The fact is though. The HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 was one of the first mass market Android devices out there, released a few months after the iPhone 3G and it's not getting 2.xx goodness, yet the iPhone 3G is.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        You can run 2.1 on a G1, you have to do it yourself though. It is a hacked nexus rom cut down to make it workable on such old hardware.

      • The G1 originally shipped with Android 1.0. It was upgraded to 1.5 which provided for an on-screen keyboard and bluetooth audio, and then to 1.6 with navigation and other useful features.

        iPhone OS, on the other hand, is just now getting multitasking, something that has been around since the 1.0 version of Android.

        What was once Android playing catchup to iPhone has quickly become iPhone playing catchup to Android, and now that the 3GS is being brought to the level of Android 1.6, then we can't really compar

        • You can compare them in terms of how much software support they've received for their duration of existence. Is 1.6 even still getting security updates?

      • by fabs64 (657132)

        From what I understand last word from HTC is still that 2.x is coming to the G1.

        Personally I don't care, Cyanogenmod 5 for G1 will likely go stable in a couple of weeks and I'll be set.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        The fact is though. The HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 was one of the first mass market Android devices out there, released a few months after the iPhone 3G and it's not getting 2.xx goodness, yet the iPhone 3G is.

        Au contraire enter the brilliance of Open Source and Android.

        Android modder Cyanogen has ported his version 5 mod based on Android 2.1 [xda-developers.com] to the G1/Dream and MyTouch3G/Magic.

        With Android, you are not beholden to a single supplier of updates.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      We're learned this the hard way. I know a lot of weekend coders who rant and rave Android because they can open eclipse do their thing, and go and be cool, but when you have to produce apps commercially and guarantee quality in contracts Android looks a lot less attractive compared to the iPhone. In the last two years we've spent about $3k in test hardware from Apple. We've spent twice that since last August on droid phones for testing. We're now quoting android development costs at 4x's that of the iPh

      • Shocking! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:50PM (#32076908)

        You mean supporting phones from four different makers costs more than supporting one?

      • We're now quoting android development costs at 4x's that of the iPhone because of QA.

        I know someone that's in the exact same line of work. (iPhone and Android apps) His company quotes 2.5x the cost, so while the issue isn't as bad as you make it sound, it is an issue.

        On the other hand, how much bigger of an install base do you get? There's more Android phones out there - they're just fragmented a lot more than iPhones are.

        His company is migrating to some framework that apparently targets iPhone, Android (All), and I think either WinCE 6 or WebOS - can't remember which. It reduces dev time a

      • by mjwx (966435) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:26PM (#32079886)
        Wow, its amazing the PC industry hasn't collapsed under the weight of all this testing, I mean with so many versions of Windows, .net, DirectX, Java. I mean it's so fragmented. Then you have the hardware.

        All these problems have been solved on the PC, now they just need to make the transition to Android. How does MS, Adobe, Blizzard, ECT... ensure that their software works on multiple platforms. Beta testing, various other testing tools. You know that you can run any version of Android on a VM, it's in the SDK, simple applications can be tested in that fashion, only the complex applications have the issue you describe. Many of the applications I use on my Motorola Milestone have not been updated since the HTC Dream was the only game in town and they still work, some get updated on a near weekly basis.

        Android is new, we are waiting for the tools to catch up. Soon the costs chances of getting a random rejection from the Apple app store will be higher then developing for Android. Fortunately, most of the companies jumping into the mobile development space are simply doing it because it is the Latest Cool Thing(TM) and havent put too much thought into it, thus they wont survive.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084)

      My understanding is that Google realized this (albeit a bit late in the game) and has addressed [engadget.com] this with the Froyo (Android 2.2) release, by making more pieces of the OS itself into the Market auto-updating framework, and apparently reducing their release frequency to once a year or so after Froyo.

      Whether it all works out that way, we'll see.

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      So what? If you want the largest install base, use the lowest API set. After all, not everybody *wants* to upgrade. Especially in a commercial setting, you need a business justification to change something. You don't fix what ain't broke.

      Have Google broken any APIs between versions? Not that Apple would never do that... *cough*

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dudpixel (1429789)

      oh go sob in the corner.

      I own a HTC magic and guess what, its still on Android 1.6 boo hoo. That means I supposedly should be having compatibility problems with apps from the android market right? or somehow this non-existent fragmentation issue should affect me...

      nope. I can run whatever app i choose on the Android market because those requiring a higher API level aren't shown.

      Does my phone still work? yep. It works just as good if not better than the day I bought it. Will it be upgraded to 2.1, who k

  • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:52PM (#32076170)

    First Steve, now Leslie - OHA is still a hundred times better than anything Apple has come along with - at least for users.

    Also all the article does is spread FUD about Android.

    • OHA is still a hundred times better than anything Apple has come along with - at least for users.

      Yet, based on the market numbers, the users seem to disagree with that assertion. I wonder why... Perhaps it's because engineers don't necessarily know what consumers want. Being the best does not always equate with being desirable.

      • What market numbers? Last I heard Android was poised to take over the iPhone's spot in 2012. Lets look at some facts:

        * Pretty much every carrier (in most countries even - friend sent a photo from the middle of nowhere in the Philippines of an Android Ad for some phone company) has an Android phone of some sort.
        * Every US/Canada carrier has at least one android phone offering - and there are many with multiple offerings from multiple carriers and manufacturers.

        Again - all this article is showing is that Appl

        • all this article is showing is that Apple is running a bit scared at the moment.

          How do you figure this article implies that, in any way. A _FORMER_ employee of the company offers her thoughts and you view that as an entire company running scared? Ok. Sure.

      • Yet, based on the market numbers, the users seem to disagree with that assertion ... Being the best does not always equate with being desirable.

        But being first can seriously skew one's interpretation of what users seem to want. Apple had a significant head start, but iPhone adoption has slowed while Android's is still growing. In 3 years "what users want" will be more clear. For now, it's not. (How many of my iPhone-owning friends are waiting for their contracts to expire in order to get an Android? At least one, but who knows?)

      • by hitmark (640295)

        consumers do not know what consumers want, beyond what some talking heads say that consumers are buying, and therefor want. Mossberg praising anything apple to high heaven probably do more for apple sales then any ad campaign or real product quality.

        the half eaten fruit have become tech fashion. Either for "tweens" (a mental state as much as a age, imo) combing it with skullcandy headsets, or suits that want to appear a bit more "renegade" then the blackberry packing mainstream.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      I think that in terms of usability, it is one area where the iPhone soundly competes with the OHA.

      Knock the app store ecosystem all you like, but the actual experience of *using* the hardware is very similar on the iPhone and iPad vs hardware from the OHA.

  • by MadKatAlpha (1393157) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:53PM (#32076182) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone really expect the OHA to be a real collaborative effort? By getting the big names on the OHA list you bolster OEM and consumer confidence in Google's platform. It doesn't really matter if the members of the OHA have not made any meaningful contributions other than their names. The names were enough to get the product out and get people using it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tcr (39109)

      And I'm guessing that the members [openhandsetalliance.com] are sitting on one hell of an IP portfolio...
      Could be interesting if the platform needs defending.

  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:55PM (#32076198) Homepage Journal
    I am not familiar with OHA at all, but doesn't it seem like someone who once worked as the CEO of two of Google's competitors might just be biased a little bit? I guess what I am asking is why should I take Grandy to be anything other than an astroturfing shill?
    • While your point is valid, I'm not sure T-Mobile really counts as a competitor? They're a Google partner, last I checked?
      • Yeah, I suppose so. I was kinda thinking along the lines of T-mobile marketing phones that compete openly with Google phones. But since they don't develop those phones themselves, that's really just the effects of late afternoon - coffee hitting my brain. Ah well...

        Still, the history at Apple rankles my nose.
  • by tzenes (904307)

    So Apple's main complaint against OHA is that its mostly proprietary?

    This is kind of like Steve Job's open letter about flash where he warns that Adobe could make it proprietary at any time.

    Meanwhile no apps can be accepted at the App Store if they even mention Google...

    Mr. Pot meat Mr. Kettle

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Mr. Pot meat Mr. Kettle

      Sounds like a stag film.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      So Apple's main complaint against OHA is that its mostly proprietary?

      For the love of God, the first 5 words of the damn article say that she's not part of Apple anymore... "Former T-Mobile and Apple executive"

      This is kind of like Steve Job's open letter about flash where he warns that Adobe could make it proprietary at any time.

      Steve Job's never said anything like that. Please re-read the SJ letter. Although I disagree with the App Store being so closed, what you are saying is just completely false.

      Meanw

      • For the love of God, the first 5 words of the damn article say that she's not part of Apple anymore... "Former T-Mobile and Apple executive"

        I parsed that as (former T-Mobile) and [current] Apple Executive rather than former (T-Mobile and Apple) executive. The phrasing is ambiguous.

      • by qortra (591818)

        I understand that Apple hate is crazy high in Slashdot lately, but I'll say about 50% or more is all about blind fanaticism.

        Funny, most of the "Apple hate" that I've seen at Slashdot lately has been perfectly cogent and justified. Of course, that could be due to the moderation system filtering out the cruft. I admit that the grandparent post was sensational and misleading, but in at least one case, it was a minor correction away from truth.

        Meanwhile no apps can be accepted at the App Store if they even mention Google...

        If you replace "Google" with "Android" in that quote, there is at least some precedent. This page [maclife.com] claims that an author was asked to remove an [innocuous] Android reference from his iPhone app

      • by shermozle (126249)

        Agains, completly false, there are even 3 apps developed by google (not to mention a youtube client that is included with every iphone/ipad/ipod touch).

        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/panoramio/id331007973?mt=8 [apple.com]

        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-earth/id293622097?mt=8 [apple.com]

        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-mobile-app/id284815942?mt=8 [apple.com]

        Hmmm, I can't seem to find Google Voice in that list.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      The Google app on my iPhone would beg to disagree with you. Do you even look any of this garbage up before you spout it as "fact"?

      Also, this commenter is no longer affiliated with Apple, so anything she says are not "Apple's complaints".

      Reality, meet tzenes and the person who modded him insightful - they have been gone for a while.

  • Whiner (Score:3, Insightful)

    by buback (144189) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:00PM (#32076288)

    So google is doing all the contributing, but they have undue power over the direction of the platform?

    Shouldn't those that contribute have the most influence?

    If they want to take the OS in a different direction, why don't they just write the code themselves and fork?

    Oh, right. Because it's easier to whine and complain than to actually write good code.

  • by pavon (30274) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:02PM (#32076292)

    Google's Android specific code is released under an Apache license which has no restriction on creating proprietary derivative works. Members of the OHA were not required to commit to releasing open handsets, and in fact some mobile companies are already planning on shipping versions of Android that will only run signed code purchased from their app store.

    This is what happens when you don't demand reciprocal behavior in your contracts and licensing - the freedom you give to others will be used to restrict the freedom of end users and third parties.

    • "the freedom you give to others will be used to restrict the freedom of end users and third parties."

      No, because if you don't give that freedom to others you're already restricting the freedom of end users and third parties.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Microlith (54737)

        if you don't give that freedom to others you're already restricting the freedom of end users and third parties.

        I hardly believe that denying corporations the ability to abuse their customers is truly restricting freedom.

    • And that's not necessarily a bad thing. If every member of the OHA commits all of its changes back to Android then we'll have a fairly homogenized Android market. What would the handset companies be competing over? A better camera? More storage? If it's fast enough the user experience will be pretty damn similar across the board and would end up hurting Android. Of course this can go too far like locking a phone to only use signed code. It's a balancing act.
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:05PM (#32076330) Homepage

    many OHA members are developing proprietary user experiences, which they are not contributing back into Android

    So you are saying that every smartphone in the market will not have the exact same UI?

    Say it ain't so!

    Why does a teenager who is concerned with facebook and twitter have to necessarily want the same user experience as the corperate employee who is more worried about Outlook sync and calendering?

    Having a diverse platform ecology, while still maintaining a consistant underlying architecture to enable a vast application ecosystem, is the main strength of the Android platform (especially compared to the iPhone or Windows Mobile), it is not a weakness.

    • Many Android buyers are stuck with Android 1.5 and 1.6 because that's what not only the phone shipped with, but with what the vendor's willing to support through out the supply chain and if they want the new version OS, they've got to upgrade their entire device.

      The strengths of the Android ecosystem are largely the weaknesses of the Android ecosystem as well. You really don't expect an end-user to manually upgrade their device and potentially brick it do you?

      • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:24PM (#32076550) Homepage
        Yes, but Google has already committed to fixing those shortcomings in FroYo (at least that's the implied release timeframe). Basically, they are going to uncouple everything from the core OS they can, and provide updates through the market just like for apps. So then it would do dependency tracking. So even though your phone is using an older "core" OS, it can update many of its libraries and "core" applications without the need for a full ROM.

        There's really a fine line between the major player's stances on open source...:

        Apple: Proprietary and Open Source can live together! Just as long as the Open Source is in our interests!

        Google: Proprietary and Open Source can live together! Just as long as the Proprietary is in our interests!

        RIM: Proprietary is where the money is, so we don't really care about Open Source at all...

        Palm: I'm still here guys, don't forget about me!
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      It's a major strength, but it is also a weakness - it's all swings and roundabouts, when Johnny Handset A user suggests an app to Sally Handset B user and she can't use it, despite both using android and having similar phones (in terms of hardware).

      Fragmentation is a concern for Android and the plethora of phones it runs on at the moment - it's not insurmountable, but it needs to be addressed.

    • Gratuitous car analogy: Why should a teenager who drag races want the same brake-on-the-left-gas-pedal-on-the-right setup as a bus driver?

    • by Arccot (1115809)

      many OHA members are developing proprietary user experiences, which they are not contributing back into Android

      So you are saying that every smartphone in the market will not have the exact same UI?

      Say it ain't so!

      Why does a teenager who is concerned with facebook and twitter have to necessarily want the same user experience as the corperate employee who is more worried about Outlook sync and calendering?

      That's a false dichotomy.

      Ideally, the user would be able to decide which device to select, AND which UI to select for their needs. The UI does not need to be tied to the device. Making all of the UIs available and as interchangeable as possible is the best option.

      Proprietary UIs are anything but a good idea on an "open" platform.

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        the UI provides access to phone specific features and settings, and provides means to launch applications. I fail to see how "proprietary" UI's will hurt the market, manufacturers want to distinguish their products and a custom UI is a reasonable way to do this. now if it were up to me, it would be nice if the UI program was just another app, similar to the old SHELL=EXPLORER.EXE in the windows 9x system.ini, so the user could select another application to load as the UI (and presumably also have a way to
  • Simple Question... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082) <tim.almondNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:17PM (#32076480) Homepage

    ... how many shares does she still own in Apple?

    That article reads like pure FUD to me.

  • Quite honestly, Android needs to be -far- more open to end users. For example, take a look at the Motorola BackFlip. It has an interesting hardware design, runs on AT&T, is pretty cheap on contract, but fails in a few main areas.

    A) Uses Yahoo search.

    Ok, if you want to make Yahoo the default and get a few bucks, fine. But let me change it to Google or whatever I want. Really, I think Yahoo is a crap search engine. I don't want it on my phone. I prefer Google to Yahoo/Ask/Bing/Live/AltaVista/whate
    • by ianare (1132971)

      Let us change the OS, let us install what we want, etc.

      This will never happen in the US, at least not on a subsidized phone. The carriers will see to that.

      • Which really I don't think I will ever understand. Why would Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. really care what my phone has on it? If people are using too much data, don't advertise unlimited and spend some time upgrading your towers (I'm looking at you AT&T who would rather battle on maps with Verizon than add some more 3G towers).

        Also, is it really worth pissing off a few of your most influential customers? How many people are going to re-flash their firmware to a custom update? Not many.
    • "Uses Yahoo search"

      I have the same problem on my PC - I have to use a browser if I want to use Google search.

  • Innuendo (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArtDent (83554) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:35PM (#32076700)

    Ugh. Both articles are pure innuendo. For example:

    Technical Glitches

    The biggest challenge for Google may be to improve its software and ensure that it can adapt to the mobile market, said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research LLC in San Francisco. Google is on its fourth revision of Android in the past year, in part because of software glitches and missing features, she said.

    Golly! Missing features and glitches...that sounds really bad! But wait, aren't all new revisions of software always to add new features and fix bugs? Seriously, in the four revisions over the last year, Android has far surpassed the firmly established competition in just about every respect. I don't know if I've ever seen such a rate of innovation in a platform before.

    Thought they're written to sound alarming, there's nothing surprising about anything in either of these articles. We already knew that Google's doing all the development in the core platform, so why should we be concerned that they are the ones making the decisions about its direction? We already knew that Android is designed and licensed to allow pieces of the system to be replaced by OEMs and users, so why should we be concerned that they're doing that?

  • I've got an 2G iPod touch, with iPhone OS 2.x. This means there is software that simply won't run because it is not an iPhone (such as Sleep Cycle), and software which won't run because it is not the 3.x version of the OS (games - at least the Street fighter demo). With an iPod Touch you have to buy the OS upgrades, which I haven't bothered to do.

    By this summer you'll have to support the 1G, 2G and 3G versions of the iPod touch, the 1G, 2G and 3G iPhones, the 3G iPhone with more RAM and a faster processor

2.4 statute miles of surgical tubing at Yale U. = 1 I.V.League

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