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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > The great irony of Android's "openness"

The great irony of Android's "openness"
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imitchellg5
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Jun 29, 2011, 10:53 AM
 
I've been trying to restore my Droid 2 Global to the way it came from the factory all morning. I love how Motorola actively tout their phones as being "open" (along with Android), yet they don't actually provide a way to get back to the way the phone shipped. "Closed" Apple does, no questions asked, and their method works on multiple desktop platforms: Just plug the phone in and hit restore.

There are a lot of things I enjoy about Android, but every time someone calls it "open," I have to chuckle. If I can't get back to normal, I think I'll just buy a T-Mo SIM card for my Nexus One. Some solution.
     
exca1ibur
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Jun 29, 2011, 11:46 AM
 
The phrase open has been a major misleading part of the entire Android marketing, as technically only 'open' to the carriers, not the consumers. You have to root it "jailbreak' it to do some of the custom things (Install apps to SD, Overclock, update OS, tethering, custom keyboards, use apps/widgets from other phones, multitouch on some older phones, etc)
     
imitchellg5  (op)
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Jun 29, 2011, 11:50 AM
 
Yep, it's only open to the carrier and OEM, who, except for the Nexus series, will lock it down in any way possible. So frustrating.
     
hyteckit
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Jun 29, 2011, 02:07 PM
 
It's open to the carrier, OEM, and developers. However, it's pretty locked down for the regular customer of these devices.

I want to upgrade my galaxy tab to gingerbread or honeycomb, but I can't.
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imitchellg5  (op)
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Jun 29, 2011, 02:41 PM
 
Samsung still sells phones running 2.1.

Also, I have to use Windows to get my phone back to normal. FAIL.
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 29, 2011, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Yep, it's only open to the carrier and OEM, who, except for the Nexus series, will lock it down in any way possible. So frustrating.
It's not even completely open to the OEMs, e. g. Google has not and does not intend to release the source code for 3.0. This is particularly ironic since Andy Rubin in his infamous tweet defined open to be able to get the source code and compile it.
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nonhuman
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Jun 29, 2011, 04:13 PM
 
LG is shipping their new Android phones with an unlocked bootloader (ie: no rooting necessary). HTC is making noises about moving in that direction as well. And I believe Sony Ericsson is as well. The market is correcting itself.
     
besson3c
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Jun 29, 2011, 04:22 PM
 
I agree that the term "open" is chuckle worthy and those misusing it should be ridiculed, but I'll also point out that this is nothing new. The term "open" has been used as a means of manipulating customers/users for years, including by Apple.
     
imitchellg5  (op)
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Jun 29, 2011, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
It's not even completely open to the OEMs, e. g. Google has not and does not intend to release the source code for 3.0. This is particularly ironic since Andy Rubin in his infamous tweet defined open to be able to get the source code and compile it.
3.0 is an interesting case, because while Google have said they aren't going to release the source code, clearly OEMs are able to play with it. For instance, the Acer Iconia Tab and the Asus eepad Transformer have the home and menu buttons redesigned, as well as different icon sets and system fonts. Clearly there is a bit of leeway.
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
LG is shipping their new Android phones with an unlocked bootloader (ie: no rooting necessary). HTC is making noises about moving in that direction as well. And I believe Sony Ericsson is as well. The market is correcting itself.
True. HTC have said they will unlock bootloaders coming forward, which is good, yet their versions of Android are the most heavily skinned out there. And LG has only unlocked one phone on one carrier.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I agree that the term "open" is chuckle worthy and those misusing it should be ridiculed, but I'll also point out that this is nothing new. The term "open" has been used as a means of manipulating customers/users for years, including by Apple.
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Salty
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Jun 30, 2011, 03:53 AM
 
Why on earth did you get that phone to begin with? For however much I love the idea of Android, I can't stand it's current implementation. It's as awkward as a Google employee hitting on a woman.
     
OreoCookie
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Jun 30, 2011, 03:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
3.0 is an interesting case, because while Google have said they aren't going to release the source code, clearly OEMs are able to play with it.
Google's justification is a good one IMO, but it still isn't open source. It's not as if the community can suggest APIs or changes to the architecture. And this is not necessarily a bad thing: someone needs to steer such a big project and Google has the people to do it. But it's hypocritical and non-sensical to proclaim `We're better, because we're open!' if you're not open and the latter does not imply the former.
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imitchellg5  (op)
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Jun 30, 2011, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
Why on earth did you get that phone to begin with? For however much I love the idea of Android, I can't stand it's current implementation. It's as awkward as a Google employee hitting on a woman.
Because I needed a phone that works with GSM networks on Verizon and it was the only option at that time besides a BlackBerry. Sorry you don't like Android in it is current implementation.
     
Kerrigan
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Jul 1, 2011, 09:36 PM
 
I don't mind Android. Hell, I don't even mind Windows Phone. Apple has raised the bar for usability so ridiculously high that most of the competing phones are quite good--minus Blackberrys (the Bold is my primary phone.. ugh).
     
Salty
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Jul 3, 2011, 12:57 AM
 
Do you travel that much?
     
   
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