Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Aug 2011 12:04 UTC
Google Okay once again I'm breaking my own one-week time-off from OSNews due to, you know, taking a break and being too busy with other things, but this one is big - very big. Also, only the second time in OSNews history we've used the 'breaking'-tag. Google has just announced it is going to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (more here). While providing Google with a dedicated mobile phone business, it also gives Google ownership of one of the most valuable mobile technology patent portfolios in existence. Update: Responses from the Android ecosystem are positive. HTC: "We welcome the news of today's acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem." Sony Ericsson & LG: "We welcome Google's commitment to defending Android and its partners."
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RE[5]: Mistake by Google
by Neolander on Tue 16th Aug 2011 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Mistake by Google"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

The main advantage for iPhone (from my own point of view) is that it has no vendor bloatware/carrier crapware to contend with

Vendor bloatware is a good point, but I don't think Google buying Motorola will do anything for carrier crapware. I may just be lucky, but I think carrier "customization" these days is not what it was in the WM6 days (huge unoptimized graphical layers on top of the manufacturer shell) and essentially revolves around removing features which annoy them like tethering (a rule which even Apple abides by, AFAIK).

and I can actually get updates from the manufacturer the day they're released, instead of having to wait for 6 months and/or hope that the hardware vendor releases the update at all on my phone.

As for binary (yes/no) update availability, Google have made steps in that direction at this year's IO, and some manufacturers are already pretty cool with OS updates. Now, about delays, this is really just a matter of language constructs. If Google changed their vocabulary and "announced" new releases of Android instead of "releasing" them, we'd get the same situation as iOS : announced in June, released in late September (probably).

Plus, the app store is better curated, so there's much less of a chance of getting hit with malware,

Good point, but has nothing to do with hardware/software integration. Google just have to do their work in their area.

and there's more apps to choose from as well.

I don't think "more" is the right word there. Once you get into hundreds of thousands, no human may ever fully parse the contents of the store anyway, so what's a few dozen thousands fart/gun apps more or less ?

Now, I think that you wanted to say something else, so I give you the benefit of doubt on that one.

And to be honest, things don't really change that much when you add rooting/jailbreaking to the equation, except with Android, I can then rely on hackers working in their spare time for updates, who are very hit or miss when it comes to releasing custom roms that are actually stable.

Sure, but it dramatically changes the relationship between users and OS manufacturers/OEMs/carriers. Without jailbreaking, they can impose whatever they want on you, with jailbreaking you can impose whatever you want on them.

As an example, "Carrier X has bloated up my phone !" and "The App Store won't let anyone compete with Apple !" becomes invalid with jailbreak. All phones become pretty much one and the same.

Note: I have an Android phone and like it, but IMHO, if Google buying Motorola means I can get a vanilla Android phone in the US on Verizon, I'm all for it. Otherwise, my next phone just may be an iPhone; they say the vendor bloatware (Sense inparticular) has gotten better since I bought my phone in April last year, but I don't plan on getting burned twice.

Note : To put it simply, if a phone has one of nowadays' touchscreens as its primary input interface, I won't buy it unless some external factor forces me to. Tried it, and in my opinion most useless computer interface ever created on this form factor. Guess this is another, weird form of neutrality in this debate ;)

That being said, if you don't like OEMs messing up with vanilla Android, you could also try one of them Nexus phones. Seems like you are part of the target audience, and if you have iPhone-like budget when you buy a phone...

Edited 2011-08-16 07:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Mistake by Google
by WorknMan on Tue 16th Aug 2011 07:46 in reply to "RE[5]: Mistake by Google"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Vendor bloatware is a good point, but I don't think Google buying Motorola will do anything for carrier crapware.


Well, I can deal with the carrier crapware as long as I can root, but you said list advantages without rooting ;) As long as it's vanilla underneath.

Now, about delays, this is really just a matter of language constructs. If Google changed their vocabulary and "announced" new releases of Android instead of "releasing" them, we'd get the same situation as iOS : announced in June, released in late September (probably).


LOL, what are you talking about? Gingerbread was released in Dec 2010, but Google announced it WAY before then. I couldn't find the exact announcement date, but I found a couple of articles from June 2010 that talked about it, so they announced it at LEAST a good six months before releasing it. I think they announced ice cream sandwich back in January.

And anyway, it looks like the Droid Incredible (the phone I have) will finally be getting Gingerbread, only 8 months after it was released. That is INEXCUSABLE!! And companies are still as of a month or two ago) releasing phones with Froyo (2.2) installed. I just want a phone where I can get new updates in a month or so, or in less time than that if it's minor update to fix a vulnerability. IMHO, I don't think that's too much to ask for.

I don't think "more" is the right word there. Once you get into hundreds of thousands, no human may ever fully parse the contents of the store anyway, so what's a few dozen thousands fart/gun apps more or less ?


I mean, more as in better overall quality, but I suppose that is subjective, depending on what you want to do.

As an example, "Carrier X has bloated up my phone !" and "The App Store won't let anyone compete with Apple !" becomes invalid with jailbreak. All phones become pretty much one and the same.


I'm not saying that jailbreaking/rooting isn't valuable, just that I'd rather not have to resort to rooting in order to rely on hackers to get timely updates. I mean, some people like installing the latest nightly builds of a rom, figuring out which features don't work, overclocking the CPU, trying to find a kernel to improve their crappy battery life, etc. I know that those guys are really into that kind of thing, and that's great. But hey... I'm not in high school anymore and don't have time for that shit. And even if I did, I still wouldn't want to.
With my Incredible, I did it because I had to in order to get Sense off my phone. And still, I never found a really stable vanilla rom. At the moment, my LED notification light doesn't work, and my GPS randomly stops working, and I have to reflash the rom to get it going again. Not really problems most people would experience with stock roms.

That being said, if you don't like OEMs messing up with vanilla Android, you could also try one of them Nexus phones. Seems like you are part of the target audience, and if you have iPhone-like budget when you buy a phone...


Would love to, if they would just release one on Verizon ;) In the US, if you want a carrier with decent coverage, your only two optiosn are AT&T and Verizon. And well, I've had enough experience with AT&T to know that I'd rather tongue the sweaty asshole of a Kenyan marathon runner than to deal with those f**ktards again.

Having said all that, things are not exactly rosey on iOS either... you just have to decide which set of annoyances on either platform bother you the most ;)

Edited 2011-08-16 07:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Mistake by Google
by Neolander on Tue 16th Aug 2011 09:23 in reply to "RE[6]: Mistake by Google"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

LOL, what are you talking about? Gingerbread was released in Dec 2010, but Google announced it WAY before then. I couldn't find the exact announcement date, but I found a couple of articles from June 2010 that talked about it, so they announced it at LEAST a good six months before releasing it. I think they announced ice cream sandwich back in January.

Then they could 1/announce it later and 2/synchronize release on all manufacturers. I really think that's a communication problem, due to Google doing stuff in their corner instead of communicating with their partners. When Microsoft label a new version of Windows as released, you find it in every computer store in the following month, generally less.

And anyway, it looks like the Droid Incredible (the phone I have) will finally be getting Gingerbread, only 8 months after it was released. That is INEXCUSABLE!! And companies are still as of a month or two ago) releasing phones with Froyo (2.2) installed. I just want a phone where I can get new updates in a month or so, or in less time than that if it's minor update to fix a vulnerability. IMHO, I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Now, as a first goal, they're announcing 18 months ( http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/android-momentum-mobile-and-... ), and claiming they can do more later (without going into more details about what's "more"). So guess that's not enough for you. Myself, as long as I have my minor security updates, I'm happy.

I'm sort against feature updates on old devices the way we do them currently, because manufacturers test them insufficiently on old hardware (remember iOS 4 on iPhone 3G ?), and as such these updates break stuff and can't be installed with confidence. If manufacturers are not going to test their updates, they can say it and not release the update at all, that's fine by me. I paid for a set of features when I bought my device, no need for more. But security and stability are features, so they need to take care of them through minor updates.

I mean, more as in better overall quality, but I suppose that is subjective, depending on what you want to do.

Guess so too. So far, only few mobile apps have proved themselves worthy of staying very long on my devices. These mostly corrected what the manufacturer had done wrong in the bundled feature set (home screen widgets, Opera Mobile/Mini), which is forbidden by Apple. Others were essentially funny toys to play with for a minute, then became quickly boring.

Would love to, if they would just release one on Verizon ;) In the US, if you want a carrier with decent coverage, your only two optiosn are AT&T and Verizon. And well, I've had enough experience with AT&T to know that I'd rather tongue the sweaty asshole of a Kenyan marathon runner than to deal with those f**ktards again.

Can't you buy the phone unlocked ? Following the links from www.google.com/nexus, I've quickly found this one : http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Nexus-Unlocked-Phone--U-S-Warranty/dp...

I buy all of my phones unlocked for two reasons. First, it makes me see the real price of things, which is always enlightening and forces me to ask myself the question "what do I need ?" instead of going for what's essentially a credit contract. Second, I can use whatever mobile plan suits my needs best, instead of going for the crazily-priced ones. Third, carriers don't tamper with my phones before I use them, which means no stupid carrier-specific bundled crap and useful stuff like tethering is still there.

Having said all that, things are not exactly rosey on iOS either... you just have to decide which set of annoyances on either platform bother you the most ;)

Or, as I say it, which is the least painful ;)

Edited 2011-08-16 09:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1