Linked by David Adams on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 16:42 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Here's the dirty little secret about Android: After all the work Apple did to get AT&T to relinquish device control for the iPhone and all the great efforts Google made to get the FCC and the U.S. telecoms to agree to open access rules as part of the 700 MHz auction, Android is taking all of those gains and handing the power back to the telecoms.
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choice
by kristoph on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 17:21 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

It's always the users choice to buy one device or another. If you like an 'open' environment (both to users and to device distributors) you go Android or Windows and if you liked a very specific user experience you go iPhone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: choice
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:56 UTC in reply to "choice"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

'open' environment (both to users and to device distributors) you go Android or Windows

Why are you open to users and carriers in the same sentence?
I have a phone that was "openly" modified by a carrier. Boy that sucks. The right button just below the screen always dails Vodafone's expensive web service (I entered a bogus toll-free 0800 phone number in the internet settings to avoid to dail to the actual web service).
The first 10 or so installed apps are locked in place. I can't remove them, I can't hide them, nothing!
Oh what I also totally like is how Vodafone modified the MP3 player. They put a special Vodafone ring tone in the regular music folder. Again locked -- can't delete it, can't hide it. So occasionally instead of listening to my songs, I hear my phone ring!

If that is supposed to be freedom and iPhones draconian control, I'd prefer Apple's draconian control that doesn't get in my face all the time!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: choice
by Neolander on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: choice"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

If you want to avoid that kind of issues, just buy your phone instead of having your carrier buy it for you ;)

It's more expensive, sure, but that's the price you pay for something that just works...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: choice
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: choice"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

You missed the point of the entire article. Did you even read it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: choice
by kcorey on Tue 24th Aug 2010 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: choice"
kcorey Member since:
2007-11-06

Kinda depends on the market you're in...here in the UK it's more expensive up front, but much cheaper over two years.

I bought my Nexus for $535, and am on a £15 per month sim-only simplicity plan. That's roughly £700 over 24 months.

An equivalent plan when I bought my phone would have ended up costing £840 over 24 months, even if the phone had been free.

Same quality(?) reception, same data plan, no operator-based restrictions to the software, and cheaper to boot.

The break-even point for me was just under 18 months. If you're willing to commit to having your phone for that length of time, it just makes sense to buy the device outright and get a sim-only plan...at least here in the UK. I understand that may not be available in the US.

-Ken

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: choice
by Timmmm on Tue 24th Aug 2010 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: choice"
Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

Indeed. And actually it's usually cheaper to buy the phone up-front, although I think in the US only T-Mobile have SIM-only contracts.

The article is extremely US-centric, and it also misses the fact that Google *does* have control over the market. They could use it to force carriers not to load crapware if they wanted.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by AnythingButVista
by AnythingButVista on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 18:26 UTC
AnythingButVista
Member since:
2008-08-27

There are three mobile operating systems I will avoid at all costs: 1. iOS, 2. Android and 3. Windows Phone 7.

If I have to put up with smartphones crippled by either evil manufacturers/developers (Apple, Google, Microsoft) or evil carriers (all US wireless carriers), there's no point in having a smartphone at all. I'd rather have a dumbphone in those cases.

For what is worth, BlackBerry is working OK for me while I'm waiting for some TRULY OPEN smartphone platform to emerge. The moment I have to jailbrak a BlackBerry to install whatever I want outside RIM's app store, BlackBerry will be dead to me as well.

Edited 2010-08-23 18:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by AnythingButVista
by joshv on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by AnythingButVista"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

You are aware you can install any software you want on an Android phone without jailbreaking it aren't you?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by AnythingButVista
by calfolds on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by AnythingButVista"
calfolds Member since:
2010-08-23

You are aware that you are correct only by technicality? In order to install any software you want you must root (instead of jail breaking) your phone.

Reply Score: 2

drillchart Member since:
2010-08-23

Not true, at least on my phone I have the option to allow installation of applications from unknown sources rather than just the market.

Reply Score: 3

calfolds Member since:
2010-08-23

Yes you can use other app stores, but your telco has already decided what the user apps can and can't do. Most Android implementations are locked down on the user access level as opposed to the app store level. If your app doesn't access any locked down features, than it will work. Otherwise it won't, no matter where you download the application.

Technically, the hardware vender could give you root access but I'm not aware of any phone that actually does.

Search your app store for "root only" and you'll see a few apps that your telco probably won't let a stock phone run

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

You're simply wrong. The only things an app needs root privileges for are the usual things that only a root app can do, like listening to a port below 1024, writing to system files, etc. I've got a few root only apps, and none of them have got anything whatsoever with what my telco wants or does not want me to do. One lets me backup and uninstall system apps, another lets me run an obex ftp server over bluetooth.

If my phone was branded, then maybe, just maybe, the telco would give a flying shit about me debranding the phone. But it's highly unlikely.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

You are aware that you are correct only by technicality? In order to install any software you want you must root (instead of jail breaking) your phone.


If by software you mean different ROMs, you're right. But then again, so what? Once the bootloader is unlocked, it's not like rooting an android phone is rocket science.

And anyway, this isn't really any different than the PC world. You buy a PC from an OEM, they load it down with crapware. You format it as soon as you get it home and install whatever you want. No biggie ;)

Of course, you DO have to wait for the phone to be rooted, but rooting a phone is legal now, and they almost always figure out a way to unlock the bootloader.

Reply Score: 2

Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

#1, it depends on the phone - i checked a few days ago and the droid 2 still hasn't been rooted (of course, it depends on the phone).

#2, to the poser saying that allowing unknown sources gets you any software, this is also wrong; what rooting a device lets you do is install software that doesn't necessarily run on Dalvik or software that modifies system configuration files. A useful example is a wireless tethering application.

Reply Score: 3

calfolds Member since:
2010-08-23

I was responding to the claim that you could install anything you want on android without jail breaking, which is just wrong. I wanted to make the philosophical point that will generally less restricted on Android, the phones are just as locked down as iPhones.

And I think it is a different situation from a PC because with a PC you don't have to hack a firmware to over come carrier imposed restriction on the software that is allowed to run.

To make an iPhone truly yours you have to jailbreak it. With an android you have to root it. 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

Reply Score: 0

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

To make an iPhone truly yours you have to jailbreak it. With an android you have to root it. 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.


Eh, not quite... the big difference is that in android, there's an option to enable installing apps from outside sources, and you don't have to root for that. Granted, that doesn't give you access to EVERYTHING, but it's a lot more open than the iPhone out of the box.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by AnythingButVista
by joshv on Tue 24th Aug 2010 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by AnythingButVista"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

I was responding to the claim that you could install anything you want on android without jail breaking, which is just wrong. I wanted to make the philosophical point that will generally less restricted on Android, the phones are just as locked down as iPhones.


Sorry, you are wrong. You can install any apk you want, regardless of where it comes from, and it will have access to all of the same APIs that are available to Google Market applications.

No, you don't have arbitrary access to the underlying Unix APIs, but shit dude, this is java running in VM (er.... sorry, java like code running in a java-esque vm). This isn't a carrier restriction, it's a platform restriction, and one I happen to like. If I want to hack linux I'll do it on my desktop, not my phone.

Reply Score: 2

baskus Member since:
2010-08-24

I think you misunderstand. You can, like joshv said at least on his phone (and my Nexus One), install anything you want without rooting, jail breaking or whatever. You just check a box in the settings to allow "Unknown sources" and you can install any .apk you lay your hands on. ;)

Some stuff like screenshot programs and stuff doesn't work without root tho I've heard. But I think that's just for security so apps can't screenshot what you're doing and send it to the internet somewhere for example.

I'm kind of sorry for you guys tho that the carriers over in the US are such bitches. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Disagree with article.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 23:46 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I don't think google has handed the carriers anymore control. In fact its made phone application portability that had never existed before. It busted up all of the carrier specific market places. Killed the rigntone business completely.

Look at Samsung's Galaxy S line of smart phones. Yes Att locked down the captivate and added some carrier specific apps. But does the presence of carrier apps really make it worse than iphones? I have my choice of three different keyboards that can be used. Overall, the device offers me more choice than an iphone. I'm not locked into a single carrier or a single handset maker , should I decide I want a new device. I can take all the apps and move them to the new phone.

Reply Score: 3