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Android Handhelds

An Android Tablet Victory May Be Problematic For Free Software 208

An anonymous reader writes "Glyn Moody writes at The H that Google's Nexus 7 tablet seems to be in a good position to shake up the market and pave the way for serious Android competition to the iPad. That said, he's worried about the potential downsides to a market full of mostly 'open' devices: 'Such customised systems are likely to be as locked down as they can be – the last thing either manufacturers or companies want is for users to start fiddling with the settings or installing their own software. As a result, the apps that run on such systems are likely to be closed source, since that's the way vertical markets tend to work. Such systems will also expose a persistent problem with the open source development methodology. While big and general projects find it relatively easy to attract interested developers, smaller, more targeted solutions tend not to thrive as free software.'"
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An Android Tablet Victory May Be Problematic For Free Software

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  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:26AM (#40612211)
    I agree. This article is full of FUD and little off-hand remarks about Android being of lesser quality and implies Google doesn't care about their brand because the Android OS is on low-end devices.
  • Re:FUD (Score:2, Informative)

    by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:29AM (#40612229)

    I think what is meant was that the tablet business model is different from the phone's. A phone is sold as is, with exorbitant prices if not subsidized by a carrier. This table is sold probably at the price it costs to make or even less, since it is supposed to make money by the use of google's store.

    And for google to make money on it, they have to guarantee (somewhat) that you'll be using their services. And that's why these are different than phones, most brands provide easy to root Android phones, since they don't expect to make money off them - and it also saves them some warranty money, since rooting voids that. I highly doubt this table will be anything like that.

    So, no, OSS on Android phones is not the same as the tablet. It wasn't the same with kindle fire, it won't be the same with this.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:33AM (#40612255) Homepage Journal

    There is the openmoko which can run enlightenment.

  • by kav2k ( 1545689 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:40AM (#40612291)
    You probably missed the news that 4.1 code was released well on schedule, before devices arrived. They have learned from past backlash in this regard.
  • Arrrgh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Psychotria ( 953670 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:41AM (#40612293)

    There is nothing that infuriates me more

    [...] a persistent problem with the open source development methodology.

    Methodology is the "study of method". The correct word is method


  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:48AM (#40612321) Journal

    This table is sold probably at the price it costs to make or even less,

    The teardown suggests Google is making about $15 over hardware cost on each of the 8GB models, and a bit more on the 16GB version. That's not much margin to pay for development etc, but does mean they're at least breaking even. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:57AM (#40612351)

    Looking at the version history [] for android (and a few other sources), they contradict you.

    I couldn't be bothered to go back before eclair but I'm pretty sure it follows a similar pattern:
    Eclair - Release date: October 26, 2009. Source code release date: Nov 16th 2009 (source [])
    Froyo - Release date: May 20, 2010. Source code release date: Jun 23rd 2010 (source [])
    Ice Cream Sandwich - Release date: October 19, 2011. Source code release date: November 14, 2011
    Jelly Bean - Release Date: not available on a shipping device yet. Source code release date: July 9, 2012

    Now I know they didn't release Honeycomb in a timely fashion but gave reasons in advance for that. As that code forms part of the version history for Ice Cream Sandwhich you still have it available to you. However, I don't think you can say that they are particularly slow in releasing their code. And let's look at the definite positive here: they are releasing the source code!.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:01AM (#40612369)

    Kommander Liz, first posting on Wednesday July 11, @05:08PM. Three anti-Google posts since then.

    Prognosis: yet another Buston Marsteller shill from the same stable that brought you Bonch, Sharklaser Tech* etc etc.

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Informative)

    by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:03AM (#40612381)
    I work as developer of specialized Enterprise Android applications. So, we order tablets with pure ICS and we put selection of our apps that we need to have there. Yes, for end-users it is "locked", but it is not locked by Google, it is locked by anyone who wants to create such tablet, and it is locked in way end-user demands. If there is demand for whatever style of tablet, however open, there is company that will provide it, Android is fully open-source, there is no limit to customization. And I am not talking about 'jailbreaking" here, Chinese cheap and fully customizable (including hardware!) tablets are completely legal (minus nonsense on rectangular shape in US, etc.).
  • Re:Arrrgh (Score:2, Informative)

    by mister2au ( 1707664 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:14AM (#40612431)

    Nope ... methodology is in fact the correct word here, meaning a system or set of methods

    "open source development methodology" refers to a framework or system not individual steps or methods so is absolutely fine to use

    your definition is by far the minority usage of the word

  • by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @06:59AM (#40612633)

    Android has already won.

    Apple: 50+% of the phone industry by revenue, 80+% of the phone industry by profit, and the tablet industry? hell, let's just call a spade a spade and call it the iPad industry.

    Yep, Android's winning all right.

    Look, I'm a Linux nerd from way back. I love what Linux and open source have done for the world. But saying that Android has won ANYTHING is just crazy talk. Thanks to Google, Android is just another tool to enable phone manufacturers and telcos to fuck me in the ass.

  • Re:Arrrgh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @07:13AM (#40612681) Homepage

    I may be in the minority but there is no escaping the meaning of the suffix "-ology".

    In English, suffixes that are part of complete, known words do not have meaning. The word as a whole has meaning. The meaning of the suffix is relevant mostly to the etymology, not the definition. That the suffixes are consistent and have isolated meaning is very useful, though. Normally. But in this case rigid and over-simplified rules are getting in the way of vocabulary. Methodology is not only the study the methods. Like many -ology words, it also covers formalized, repeatable, or characteristic patterns in addition to study. Or you could say, it embraces both the academic and applied systems with a single word. So you may be doing something using a certain method, but regardless of any study or lack of study, if you are doing something using a method known to you that you already decided on or learned, and presumably (though not necessarily) named, that is a methodology.

  • Re:FUD (Score:4, Informative)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @07:48AM (#40612847) Homepage Journal

    Actually if I had my choice I would rather have an 11.5 inch ipad. I want an 8.5X11 or A5 size screen.

    A tablet with an 8.5"x11" screen would be a 13.9" tablet. Screens are measured diagonally, for some reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @08:46AM (#40613311)

    ....if you have more than 100 queries a day. You conveniently left out the part where it is indeed free if you have less than 100 queries per day. Maybe not ideal, but don't try to paint a misleading picture.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @09:28AM (#40613781) Homepage

    Hell, they stretch GPL requirements by releasing source code months later and no one does anything.

    I didn't like it either, but this is just wrong. They did release the GPL parts - namely, the kernel. They didn't release all the userspace, but that's Apache2 licensed, not GPL.

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