Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Cellphones Google Handhelds Open Source

The Shortcomings of Google's Open Handset Alliance 208

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?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Shortcomings of Google's Open Handset Alliance

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:55PM (#32076216)

    Trolls play an important part in the Slashdot ecosystem. I know, you think they're just annoying with their repulsive antics and annoying behaviors, but in reality they help keep the delicate balance of idiots with modpoints to sensible mods in place.

    Like a lion taking down a gazelle, trolls help keep the number of idiot mods in check, ensuring Slashdot stays an enjoyable venue for geeky internet discussions.

  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:05PM (#32076336)

    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.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:19PM (#32076504)

    I can easily install the HTC look and feel on the Nexus One and can use the original Android 2.1 on HTC Desire too.

    So, what "not sharing the UI" ?

  • by BarryJacobsen ( 526926 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @04:19PM (#32076508) Homepage

    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.

  • 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?

  • by Random5 ( 826815 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @05:35PM (#32077594)
    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 has that yet) you won't be able to get rid of the colour scheme and senseui apps but you can just launch alternatives (though I'm not sure why you'd want to, the sense browser and music player are a lot better than the stock android versions!)
  • by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:47PM (#32079488)

    Meego is the obvious choice apart from Android. Only think is... Intel seem to be focused on netbooks, and Nokia can't seem to support their hardware for more than a couple of months.

    In particular, Nokia's N900 came with Maemo, which was largely incomplete (the front camera driver is very noisy, for instance, the GPS is slow, FM transmitter is underpowered so much that it doesn't work, portrait mode is largely unavailable and buggy, navigation isn't turn-by-turn, doesn't sync to PC, etc.) An upgrade to Maemo 6 was supposed to be coming, but this is now Meego, except that last Nokia said, they're counting on the community to do their support for N900 for them. This is their flagship product and they're trying to attract open source developers based on that kind of support? Don't they realise that open source developers are used to having hardware support for much longer than windows support periods? Who is going to develop for a platform that routinely doesn't even last a few months before it's abandoned?

    Also, Intel and Nokia are claiming they want to do this Meego development all out in the open. But they seem to want to develop the source code only in the open, and then roll their own very different distros, with their own branding, including separate app stores, which is pretty much insane. That said, I'd welcome a nokia app store, since intel's app store for Moblin required credit card details just to browse it. Also insane.

    I'm interested to see how this plays out. But really, I suspect Nokia will need to produce a properly supported Meego 1.x (and maybe even 2.x) on N900 if Meego is to have any chance of competing with the already established Android. Otherwise, a lot of N900 owners will probably do what they're already trying to do: replace Maemo/Meego with Android.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger