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Holo Theme Is Now Mandatory For Android Devices 206

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the a-breath-of-fresh-tron dept.
tripleevenfall writes in about the new theme changes in Android 4.0. From the article: "Starting with Android 4.0, support for the 'Holo' theme will be mandatory for phones and tablets that have the Android Market installed. Holo is the stock Android theme, known for its sharp angles, thin lines and blue hue. Third-party developers can now create apps and widgets using the default Android aesthetic, knowing that's how it'll look on every major Ice Cream Sandwich device that has the Android Market. " This is not banning custom themes; instead it is merely giving developers a consistent theme that is guaranteed to be installed if they want a consistent look across all devices. There are even a few improvements to the style protocol to help developers deal with dark and light themes.
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Holo Theme Is Now Mandatory For Android Devices

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  • Err (Score:1, Insightful)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @01:05PM (#38586940)

    Will the users be allowed to change the theme?

    They're still restricting the OEMs and carriers ability to customize the theme's look by using the Android Market stick.

    That's still good if it makes the UI consistent though, compared to iOS and WP7, the Android UI is all over the place.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @01:16PM (#38587086)

    You would think so. But it also seems that bonch has shit like this typed up, just waiting to copy and paste into any Android article that shows up on slashdot. A pretty good collection of pre-made posts that he modifies just a little to accommodate the article, apparently.

    The article was posted at 1:03PM and he posted that at 1:03PM. The length of the post and the fact that he quotes the article seems highly unlikely that he actually had time to read the article entirely, type all of this up on the fly, and put it up. But what's new? It's bonch.

    (AC because this is off topic and I'd rather not have it show up for everyone set to only see posts rated at 2 or higher, unless people with mod points are stupid enough to mod this up anyway)

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @01:24PM (#38587168)

    The problem is that the carrier's business model is to sell you a new phone every six months.

    I don't think carriers and handset makers are actually that clever. I just dont' think they consider software updates at all relevant. Given even in the days of yore, with WinMo and PalmOS, OS updates were largely nonexistant. Want Winmo6 from Winmo5? Buy a Winmo 6 device!

    The idea that you can have the latest and greatest OS with out custom flashing your ROM is kind of new.

  • by d4fseeker (1896770) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @01:55PM (#38587530)
    Give this one a try: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1363593 [xda-developers.com]
    I think you'll find it icy-sweet enough
    True, Samsung doesn't care about software updates, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't either.

    Oh, and if your GPS antenna is broken or has bad contacts; you can order a new one for roughly 10-20$ off eBay, replacement is easy with just 2 screws.
    However I usually find external bluetooth receivers with SIRF3-chips the best; my "Road66"-one even manages to get a steady and accuracte fix in large cities, has 6 hours battery charge and takes around 10 seconds to cold-start (I dont know how it does it... amazing!)

    I for one am quite pleased with my Galaxy S (first revision), even if not with Samsun'g customer service. Well, that's what homebrew is for, isn't it? ;)
  • by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:04PM (#38587644)

    An open platform will always have a certain level of fragmentation. It's part of the cost you pay for having an open platform. The benefit is that you get more apps and options. The downside is that they don't always play nice. So - I admit that there are negatives to so-called fragmentation.

    With this said, if you honestly parse the OP's post, look at the structure, language, word choice and links, not to mention the timing of it's posting, and consider modern marketing techniques as they pertain to blogs and social networks, it seems to be at least a reasonable to at least suspect that the author has either professional or monetary ties to Apple, or that he is a true Holy Warrior for The One True Platform.

  • Subsidized (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:07PM (#38587684) Homepage Journal

    The problem is that the carrier's business model is to sell you a new phone every six months.

    Why in the world would they do that? The carrier's primary goal is to get customers is to commit to the most expensive 2 year contract possible. The insane overage rates are really just to prod customers into upgrading to more expensive contracts is all. Smartphones require the most expensive contracts because they consume voice minutes, SMS texts and data more than any other type of phone. Thus carriers subsidize the phones to give customers the equipment to consume those resources. The ideal customer is one with a modern enough smartphone to require an expensive contract, who that keeps that same smartphone as long as possible.

    Does your monthly rate decrease after your contract is up? Does it decrease if you buy your own phone straight out? Of course not. Yet the carrier makes even more money off of you because you're still paying a monthly rate that factors in the subsidization cost of the phone.

    So to sum it up, there are only two reasons a carrier wants to put new cell phones in their customers' hands. To upgrade customers with regular or premium phones to smartphones that require a more expensive contract, and to keep the more demanding customers from switching to other carriers because they offer more cutting edge hardware.

  • by alostpacket (1972110) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:11PM (#38587718) Homepage

    With all due respect, you don't understand what you're talking about. The greater fragmentation threat revolves around custom implementations of core parts of the OS. Most specifically "ContenProviders" (the API, not media companies, although those are a problem for everyone of a different sort). This is even a problem with Google not following their own APIs but asking developers to use the MediaStore API (but that's a different discussion).

    With regards to upgrades, certain older devices had limited inter protected storage for the OS an apps. The original Samsung Galaxy S is one of these. Right after that phone came out more and more devices were implementing larger internal storage. This particular problem with upgrades, is an unfortunate one-time-only growing pain. That's not to say those devices cannot receive security updates, just that they cannot fit the entire ICS image + apps + a skin on the protected storage.

    You can sit back and play monday-morning-quarterback, but the truth is the internal storage+SD had some nice advantages for the user, but ultimately it was decided (rightly so) that there needs to be more room for apps and the OS.

    Finally, the point of this article, which has little to do with upgrades, is that app makers now have some more reliable and consistent APIs for UI widget appearance. There is nothing bad about this. Sure it's a small step, but it's a step in the right direction. It even allows devs to maintain a style inline with whatever skin the user is currently using, or use the more stock looking one. Finally, when you consider many apps use their own look and feel above and beyond any OS look and feel, this is probably not a huge deal regardless.

    Your tirade again fragmentation, especially being so uninformed on the issue, just seems irrational. iOS is great, Android is great. They have different strengths and weaknesses.

    Flurry is a joke to Android devs. They specifically cater to iOS devs, and were embroiled in a privacy scandal in early 2010 on Android. Further, Google Analytics provides a similar service for free, and one that is already hugely popular among web developers. Flurry puts out that same press release every year to garner press about themselves. This is absolutely the worst kind of skewed statistic. "Iphone analytics company that was previous burned by bad behavior on Android, says more of its customers are iphone devs than in the past" It was sad to see so many media companies pick up the PR release.

    With regards to who does the most web surfing, you would need a statistic that accounts for the fact that many Android phones used to report the UA string as "mobile safari" and that many Android users use a variety of browsers: Firefox, Opera, Dolphin, xScope, and more. I'd look to admob or comScore as at least decent approximations. Certainly

    There are some very valid fragmentation and bloatware arguments to be made against Android, but none of what you brought up holds any water when you dig a little deeper.

    Full disclosure: I'm and Android dev myself, as you can see in my sig.

  • by an unsound mind (1419599) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:21PM (#38587832)

    The problem here is that the fragmentation is so bad quite a few developers are jumping ship to Apple - resulting in Apple's quite monolithic ecosystem actually looking more appealing even from a choice viewpoint, at least to me.

    I could have my choice of poorly working, barely updated Android phones, and having to wrangle with the Android Market being full of malware even if I choose to void my warranty and go Cyanogenmod or get an official Google phone - or I can go for a much, much smoother user experience with iPhone.

  • by an unsound mind (1419599) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:25PM (#38587874)

    I could do hardware repairs by myself, then install an unsupported third party firmware... or I could pay a little more, get an iPhone, and not have to learn a ton about my phone and dedicate what little time I have to other things than repairing my phone.

    It's like the old saying that open source is only free if your time is worthless - but in this case, I'd have to pay anyway!

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:32PM (#38587938) Journal

    > He's a subscriber, so it's not surprising he has first post. Is anything even remotely critical of Android on Slashdot these days automatically considered an Apple or MS shill?

    No, not at all. For instance, I have several large beefs with Google, and I'm not happy with either MS or Apple for several reasons I'd be happy to bore you with at a later time. As geeks we have to use *some* devices to get our work done; the difference is, non-fanbois tend to judge devices on a case by case basis rather than buying entirely on logo and calling it good.

    What made the thread originator (since vanished, for some reason) an Apple shill is how he went on and on for paragraphs about how wonderful Apple's philosophy is yadda yadda. People who have any interest at all in the original topic are unlikely to be interested in how Apple is so much better. It's something that's written for the benefit of the writer rather than the reader.

    And just incidentally to the original poster if he's still listening, if Samsung won't play nice on Android versions, there's a simple solution: Don't buy Samsung. That's the thing about Android. When the vendor screws up, you don't have to go through the mental gymnastics to try to convince yourself that the vendor is correct and that's the way it's supposed to work and you're a better person for missing that feature. You just buy from a different vendor. Apple fanbois don't have any concept of that, and this causes a cognitive disconnect when they try to talk to the rest of us.

  • by danbob999 (2490674) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @02:47PM (#38588112)

    The main fragmentation that interest developers is the one between platforms, not within a platform. If Apple and RIM both switched to Android, it would be much easier to develop for mobile devices. They add a lot of fragmentation by continuing to push their proprietary platform. Google actually removes fragmentation by giving away for free an OS that anyone can use. There would be much more fragmentation in the mobile world if HTC, Motorola, Sony, Samsung and LG all pushed their own OS like Apple and RIM are doing.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @03:27PM (#38588472)

    Thank goodness, I hadn't realized that Samsung failing to upgrade the Galaxy S to ICS, and all Android vendor's and carrier's systematic failure to offer good support of anything, is actually part of an Apple marketing campaign.

    Fortunately, you offer the solution. All I have to do is stopping using the word "fragmentation," and start calling all vendor mistakes "diversity," and, my mind being thus made right, I will understand that bad support is actually a good thing.

  • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @04:16PM (#38588994) Homepage

    Don't forget the security aspect. We see threads on /. daily about Android malware. iOS is pretty much 100% secure when it comes down to incidences of compromised devices.

    Your point is partially valid, although exaggerated. I'll make two in return:

    1) Apple is hardly 100% secure. Every jailbreak method that has ever existed exploits an unpatched vulnerability in their software.
    2) The upside to Apple playing the role of Morality Police is that it reduces app malware to manageable levels. The downside is that apps that disagree with their social views or with the desires of their carrier partners are not approved or are quickly removed.

    With great power comes great responsibility. The difference is that Android largely endows the customer with that power, while Apple largely reserves it for themselves. There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

  • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @04:35PM (#38589236)

    What is funny is anytime I ask my friend who has an iPhone 4 if he can do things like swype (or any customized ime), inter-application data sharing etc - his answer is always - I can jailbreak my phone and do that.

    I guess it goes both ways ehh?

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