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Android Cellphones Software

CyanogenMod: the History of an Android Hack 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the rolling-your-own dept.
An anonymous reader points out a Wired story about some of the efforts behind CyanogenMod, a popular piece of Android modification software. Quoting: "CyanogenMod expanded into a team of 35 different 'device maintainers,' who manage the code for the 32 different devices that the project supports. Like Google, the team publishes its code to an online repository and accepts online submissions for changes to the code from other developers. Seven core members decide which of the submitted changes make it into the next release of CyanogenMod, and which don’t. ... Ultimately, CyanogenMod aspires to be more than just a software mod. 'I think one of our biggest dreams is to see a phone ship with Cyanogen on it,' says Soyars. But pairing the software with a phone is no easy task. First, CyanogenMod would have to pass the tests required by Google’s certification program in order to bundle Google’s proprietary apps — Gmail, Calendar, etc. — on the phone."
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CyanogenMod: the History of an Android Hack

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 21, 2011 @07:23PM (#36205026)

    The hardware and resulting drivers (often proprietary) is where the fragmentation is.

    Google wanted to give manufacturers enough freedom to build what they they want so that innovation could happen but by doing that there is obviously going to be possibly major differences between different pieces of hardware.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday May 21, 2011 @08:41PM (#36205504) Homepage

    It's true. The industry is being suppressed by the carriers. It reminds me of the old days when you couldn't own your own phone at home and had little to no choice of which phones you could select for rent from Bell.

    Even now, you are highly controlled as to what you can do and what you can use. It hasn't gotten "bad enough" just yet for the government to step in and do anything about it... but take heart -- things are getting worse in the U.S. so we can look forward to much worse things as TMobile will be acquired and even fewer choices and more abuse will reign. As that happens, something will have to happen... eventually.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 21, 2011 @08:53PM (#36205578)

    On most (all?) phones, installing this or other mods requires using an exploit to get around the phone's security. It's a sad, dismaying situation to me. With PCs, you get to own it after you buy it, by design. You can install whatever OS and software you want, and it obeys you. With phones, even if you pay full price and forgo a plan, they're mostly locked down hardware. Newer ones like the HTC Sensation have cryptographically signed bootloaders and haven't even been broken yet.

    The whole situation is fucked up. By default, you don't actually own the device even if you've paid for a full price non-subsidised phone. Since the future lies in most computing needs being met by these devices, why on earth are so many people financially supporting companies that retain control over things you buy, after you buy them? It seems like a stupid direction, to me. Sure, exploits can get around some of that, for the moment, but is this *really* the direction we want to take, letting multinational companies control our personal electronics?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @02:14AM (#36206628)

    The problem with giving the users root access is the same as giving users admin access on a windows machine.

    This is a phone, first and foremost. If it cannot make calls or function properly people will scream b*tch and yell at the phone companies. Letting the average users (idiots) have root access to their phone would inevitably lead to them screwing it up leading to a massive increase in support calls and complaints about phone manufacturers. Having a "you will void your warranty if you root" will keep most of the idiots out and hopefully semi-intelligent users will not screw things up.

    It would be really neat to have CM7 certified for some phones where it would not void your warranty, however CM7 was released before many of the bugs were worked out, when it should have remained in beta for another month they went ahead and released it anyways with known bugs/glitches, what does that tell you about their quality control? Would you certify somebody that released something with major known bugs?

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