Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Sep 2015 15:13 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

For the past few years, we've been in a relatively healthy balance when it comes to our smartphones. Both Apple and Google provided us with relatively decent platforms that were pretty straightforward to use, provided us with interesting and useful functionality, and at mostly decent price points. In return, we accepted a certain amount of lock-in, a certain lack of control over our devices and the software platforms running on them. I felt comfortable with this trade-off, whether I was using an iPhone or an Android phone at the time.

Recently, however, I've been feeling like this balance in iOS and Android is tipping - and not in the right direction. The users' interests have taken a decided backseat to corporate interests, and the user experiences of the two platforms in question have, consequently, suffered, and I see little in the future to counteract this development

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Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 4th Sep 2015 18:14 UTC
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First and foremost, Google is transitioning more and more functionality into Google Play Services. In and of itself, this is a good move; it means more parts of the Android operating system can be updated through the Play Store, which benefits users.

There's a massive downside, though, and it's a big one: Google is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Play Services are closed source, not freely available, and as users

The 98% doesn't care, they just want usable software. They don't care about the blueprints of their car or cordless phone, they don't care about the blueprints (source code) of their software either. You are confusing freedom with "freedom" as defined by a loon with an axe to grind, who couldn't keep a job in the private sector (Stallman).

we really have no idea what's in them,

False, you can cut open the executable any time you want with a hex editor and/or a decompiler. How do you think the code of the first Pokemon games was understood? Access to Nintendo's source? Nope. You are confusing having access to what's inside with having easy-to-read blueprints to better understand what's inside (a convinience, not a right).

or what will be in them in the next update

Don't update it, I don't. For example, I still use an old YouTube app in my Optimus 3D, because the new versions don't do stereoscopic 3D. Yup, it works.

Even though Google does not allow it, Youtube has been using the Android notification system to spam you with "recommended videos". You can turn off this "feature" somewhere deep in the settings (for now), but the fact that's on by default clearly shows where Google's priorities lie.

In case you need more evidence, opening the YouTube application now just shows you one giant ad (and an irrelevant one in my case, too), instead of showing you the videos that you actually want to see (like your subscriptions). Again - your interests take a backseat to their interests.

You are confusing the OS with one (or two) bundled apps. Nobody forces you to use Google's YouTube app, even if you want a YouTube app, it can be easily disabled using the app manager and you can use any replacement app you want, with a minimal hit to storage space.

Edited 2015-09-04 18:22 UTC

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