Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Dec 2011 16:22 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless It all started with Apple/TechCrunch blogger M.G. Siegler making a huge fuss over something he didn't understand, and while that in and of itself isn't particularly interesting, one of the outcomes of this little internet drama is a comment on Google+ (the tenth one) that so perfectly encapsulates just how important Android is for the world that I felt the need to share it with you. It's the holiday season after all.
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Revolutionary?
by _xmv on Thu 29th Dec 2011 16:37 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

Uh.
Android's barely evolutionary.
Android's barely open source.

If you were a dev, and you'd have checked out the code you'd know. I ran my own AOSP, thank you very much. Half of it uses binaries for the stock phone(s) because unless you're going to reverse engineer for a year or two there's no other way.

First of all, it's not always open. It's open, sometimes, as history proved. Plus, updates arrive in packs, not gradually, because it's development model is closed.

And when it is opened, it's missing all the important stuff - of course -.

You may wonder why huge teams like CyanogenMod struggles to port Android 4 to many devices?

Well, guess what! That's because the code to support the devices is NEVER there. The drivers are always user space closed source, and the API breaks with Android upgrades.

They also break with standard APIs (alsa, etc) more often than not *on purpose*.
The RIL (radio interface layer, mind you) is generally closed sourced as well.

So it Android as a whole open? Absolutely not.
Is Android technically superior to anything else that has existed so far? Nope. Different? Nope.

Even the libc implementation is crippled on Android.

Shall I go on? Android support of security updates is non-existant. Many devices ship with working exploits, right now.

And no, iOS ain't really better (but they do have proper updates).

For that matter, despite some mobile OSes being more open, I don't see any right now that is decent in all areas.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Revolutionary?
by earksiinni on Thu 29th Dec 2011 16:44 in reply to "Revolutionary?"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Gotta love it when techies miss the main point.

Reply Parent Score: 17

RE[2]: Revolutionary?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Dec 2011 16:48 in reply to "RE: Revolutionary?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Gotta love it when techies miss the main point.


+1.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Revolutionary?
by _xmv on Thu 29th Dec 2011 16:54 in reply to "RE: Revolutionary?"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

The point is that "Android is so cool it's what history books will remember, as being the open source OS that changed things"

Well, as pointed out, it's not actually open. Plus, if anything, it's Linux which made the difference.

Finally, it's just marketing bs obviously. Just like iOS fans would claim iOS changed the face of the mobile (and thus the mobile web) and will make it into history books.

Heck. Freaking fanboi world.

What makes it into history books is the winner, no matter how, no matter why. The winner is the biggest seller. And that's Android.

That's still not revolutionary.

Reply Parent Score: 1

v RE[2]: Revolutionary?
by bonchbonch on Thu 29th Dec 2011 18:13 in reply to "RE: Revolutionary?"
RE: Revolutionary?
by Neolander on Thu 29th Dec 2011 23:42 in reply to "Revolutionary?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You may wonder why huge teams like CyanogenMod struggles to port Android 4 to many devices?

Well, guess what! That's because the code to support the devices is NEVER there. The drivers are always user space closed source, and the API breaks with Android upgrades.

Welcome to the ARM world. This is precisely why ARM devices taking over x86 would basically mean doomsday for alternative OS developers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Revolutionary?
by zima on Thu 5th Jan 2012 23:55 in reply to "RE: Revolutionary?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Not really? Alt OS seem to be largely developed on emulators, anyway; what hardware is actually popular, at the time of development (and not a decade earlier, in chipsets for PII) seems largely irrelevant already.

And once something would get enough of a following so that running it on current hw will matter, the community could perhaps just as well order something to their liking.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Revolutionary?
by SojoPhoto on Fri 30th Dec 2011 11:54 in reply to "Revolutionary?"
SojoPhoto Member since:
2011-12-08

Android is revolutionary, on many levels. I have a huge disgust for Apple, their products and their ways of dealing with competition. I am upfront with that.

But all this story was about was to explain how Nokia helped third world countries get cell phones, and how the Android platform is doing the same for smart phones.

Thankfully for Android, and Google, they have created an open platform to do this. You say it is not "open", and you are correct. There are many companies, not Google, that will not allow Google to open source some of the drivers, code and other pieces of Android.

Is that the fault of Google? If so, then the explain why? I just read a message from one of Google's top Android developers, and he explains alot in a little space.

Android is revolutionary, and it is surpassing Apple at every turn. Apple is now the platform that is playing catch up with Android. Look at the newly created "Face Unlock" patent that Apple applied for.

Instead of looking for ways to pick apart a story, read it first. This was an awesome story, and one I enjoyed reading, as well as posting to my Facebook and G+ Account.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Revolutionary?
by frderi on Fri 30th Dec 2011 12:59 in reply to "RE: Revolutionary?"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17


Look at the newly created "Face Unlock" patent that Apple applied for.


I think you're a bit confused. Apple did not apply for a "face unlock" feature. Face unlocking is stupid as you can easily trick it with a picture. Apple did apply for a "face personalisation" feature, an entirely different thing.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Revolutionary?
by MOS6510 on Fri 30th Dec 2011 14:04 in reply to "RE: Revolutionary?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Apple is now the platform that is playing catch up with Android. Look at the newly created "Face Unlock" patent that Apple applied for.


Like someone else mentioned it's not an unlock feature.

The news you read is about a patent granted to Apple, it was submitted in 2010. Like other companies Apple patents stuff that may or may not ever be a feature in a product.

And IIRC the Android face unlock feature didn't work on stage, but does off stage when someone dangles a picture in front of it. So I guess it's one of those fun-to-show-off features, but not a very useful one.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Revolutionary?
by computrius on Sat 31st Dec 2011 20:16 in reply to "Revolutionary?"
computrius Member since:
2006-03-26

Why would it be up to google to get you device drivers for every possible device? It doesnt make sense that the code to each device's drivers would be in the repository for the android code because that code isnt google's. They dont make the devices, they make the OS. It would be up to the likes of motorola, htc, etc. to get you the drivers for their devices.

Reply Parent Score: 2