Are we losing Android?


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  1. Drhyde

    Drhyde Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Sometime ago, I made a thread about the worst case senario of Android being destroyed through legal action. Just this week another lawsuit was filed against several makers of Android handsets. The outlook seems to be growing ever grimmer.

    However, that is not what I want to chat about. This is related to the continued life of Android. Does anyone here think that we are slowing losing the openness and freedom of Android? By that, I mean we are seeing more attempts to restrict the ability to root the phone (feeble as they may be), more bloatware appearing on the phones that can't be removed (Verizon just hit us with a smattering of it), and ever more restrictions on data plans.

    Now we all know that Android being open source and free allows it to take on a variety of skins (Sense, Blur, etc.) and these range from great to mediocre. However, these skins typically don't bloat the phones with meaningless crap that we won't use. Typically they enhance the overall feel of Android. The bloatware does not. While stock Android comes with a few pieces of crap (Amazon MP3), it is largely untouched. Of course, there are only about a half a dozen truly stock phones out there.

    What I worry about, and what I want your thoughts on, are we losing Android to carrier control? It seems as though now that Android has taken off, the carriers are trying to limit features like tethering (while offering it as a paid service aka "double dipping"), reducing data caps or the loss of the unlimited plans. Verizon most famously for its recent VCast programs that are nearly reviled by most and ATT with crippling sideloading and the market are in essence, removing the very freedom Android stands for.

    Right now, only Sprint and T-Mobile still offer a nearly free Android experience, but that seems to be coming to an end even with them. T-Mobile has attempted to make the G2 and MyTouch 4G root proof and removed tethering from new phones.

    Is this really the future of Android? A bloated, crippled, carrier controlled experience so far from its original design that we'll likely not recognize it? I certainly hope not. I'm getting the Nexus S because I can't simply stand the fact that the carriers remove features or add programs onto Android that cannot be removed. The loss of freedom in Android may have it looking like any other OS out there and I hope that's not where we're headed.
     

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  2. Thefoodman52

    Thefoodman52 Well-Known Member

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    That's how I feel about it.

    Right now, it's the top dog in my eyes, but the carriers are turning it into just another OS to throw on any phone to make it cheap. Android doesn't belong on feature phones, and it doesn't need to be half crippled and rolling out in a wheel chair.

    I can understand carriers removing tethering in lei of their own half-assed apparently so they can charge you money, that has potential to use up a LOT of data. But... ****ing up the market? Disabling the installation of any apps that are outside of the market? Taking Google out if it's own damn operating system and replacing it with MICROSOFT'S junk? WHAT?!

    If this shit continues, we'll see either android die out and become second banana to the generic, carrier OS thrown on most feature phones, or just watch it go so far that Google cuts it completely.
     
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  3. MJM128

    MJM128 Well-Known Member

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    People need to do their research and stop supporting companies that don't support them. The sad thing about android in comparison with iOS is you don't always know what you'll get in terms of upgrading. You may get the update, you may not. I'm hoping that with time, as android matures more and more, that some of these issues will vanish and will just be a thing of the past.
     
  4. ArthurIhde

    ArthurIhde Well-Known Member

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    no i dont think so [​IMG]
     
  5. Drhyde

    Drhyde Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    My thoughts exactly. Also, there's been a lot of debate about whether carriers should be able to charge for tethering when it is built-in to the OS natively. It's your data, what's so different about using it the way you want? Obviously that's another discussion, but the point still stands.

    Of course the carriers are in it to make money, but if you consider the outrageous prices on data, double dipping, the fact that Android is free and costing them nothing, etc. I feel that the carriers are royally screwing us over. Cell phone companies are some of the most profitable businesses in the world today. We're talking on par with oil companies on the level of profit vs. loss. Them ripping about our OS for whatever way they can nickel and dime us just seems so depressing and wrong.
     
  6. princetonbc

    princetonbc Active Member

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    I am not sure what it is like in Europe or Asia but I think that this is mainly a North American issue. Our carriers have such a grip on the wireless market that they have been able to do whatever they have wanted for so long. This is especially true in Canada where we only have 3 real players. Telus being the worse of the 3 in my opinion.

    I hope you are wrong.

    I hope that the reason that everyone is targeting it is because of its success and like someone else mentioned we need to stop supporting companies that are the problems.
     
  7. scottie2345

    scottie2345 Member

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    Here in the the uk, vodafone put a load of crap ware on their phones, users kicked up a fuss and now froyo update has removed most of it, so it is a improving situation for us :D:D

    Scottie
     
  8. Benjie

    Benjie Well-Known Member

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    Your analogy of cell phones / oil companies is a bit whacked. Take a few moments to look at what each of the above makes against others and the the numbers are a bit different.

     
  9. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    I think with the phone being open, we are always going to see bloatware added to it. The good new is that (at least to my understanding) the dev community usually has custom installs so you can have as much or as little of this bloatware as you want.
     
  10. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    I guarantee you that if this is opened up by law to be free of extra charges, we are going to be seeing a lot more stringent caps on data. A $29.99 plan will include 2GB a month (or less) and that will be it. AT&T has already done this... although they still charge for tethering. The reason so many companies charge for tethering is because their networks cannot handle everyone coming in to buy a phone and then using it as their home internet (and plenty of people do this currently with rooting/hacking their phones). While it would be nice to see no extra charges, I wouldn't want to give up the large amounts of data available.
     
  11. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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  12. Jammy

    Jammy Well-Known Member

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    Fortunately, it's not as bad here in the UK - almost all phones can be bought unbranded so the carrier doesn't get a chance to mess with it...
     
  13. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    That's the way we need it here.
     
  14. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    Don;t you also pay for this by not getting much subsidation for your phone? In the US we like to complain, but not when we get a $600 handest every year for $100-$200...
     
  15. LaTuFu

    LaTuFu Well-Known Member Contributor

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    US Cellular has released largely stock Android for the most part. The HTC and Samsung units they've released so far have only had the HTC/Samsung tweaks added to it. So there is some hope that the smaller regional carriers will continue to push the big boys.

    The part of it that I cannot fathom is how the wireless carriers get away with the stuff that they do.

    For example: Verizon locking out Google in favor of Bing, and not giving you the option to change it. Microsoft was taken to court by the US Government back in the late 90s/early 00s for "bundling" IE into Windows and not allowing it to be uninstalled if people wanted to use Netscape instead. The justice dept was threatening to break MS up a la the old Ma Bell because they were "strong arming" PC users.

    Why am I allowed to buy a laptop, take it home, strip it down, and uninstall/install anything I want on it, but I am not allowed to do that with my cell phone?

    Yet another example of how Corporations have been allowed to run amok in our economy over the last 10-15 years.
     
  16. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    ^^^

    This I completely agree with.
     
  17. princetonbc

    princetonbc Active Member

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    That is how it should be.

    We pay for a service from these companies. Phones should be like computers you buy what you want and then choose who you buy your service from.
     
  18. Jammy

    Jammy Well-Known Member

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    Well, you can buy the handsets unsubsidised, however, carriers do offer them subsidised, but most brand their devices(although not as much as Verizon, etc would in the US). My O2 Desire came with an O2 splash screen and a bookmark to the O2 website. Unfortunately, O2 control the updates for O2 branded devices, so I'd have had to wait a while longer if I hadn't rooted.

    You can also buy from a shop like Carphone Warehouse, and get a subsidised handset untouched by the carriers.


    A friend of mine recently bought an unbranded Desire from mobiles.co.uk. His two year plan + a free phone came to
     
  19. gcobb

    gcobb Well-Known Member

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    Hype, there is control and specific models distributed to each carrier. That's part of what keeps things somewhat competitive. I'm sure there's politics involved, someone supporting their favorite crooked politician. So the regulations in place by and for the carriers is part of what keeps things somewhat interesting. It's branding and marketing. Android isn't going anywhere.
     
  20. Tino

    Tino Well-Known Member

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  21. stan00311

    stan00311 Member

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    everyone just want to get a piece of the android action. its all about advertising i think they think that just because the app comes preloaded in to the device that we will use it. they fail to realize that the android community is a bunch of people that understand that there a better and free ways to do things. im not exactly computer literate but im learning more and more everyday. where there is a will there is a way no matter what we will always find a way around the bull shit.
     
  22. wtfj1n

    wtfj1n Active Member

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    People need to educate themselves on buying unbranded phones as it is already easily achievable in the States. Tmobile and ATT users can already do this, BUT you can not do this thru a direct dealer (Corporate stores). Your best bet is to go thru an authorized dealer (who in all honesty offers the same programs with WAY better benefits), when working with one of these authorized dealers you have the options of selecting overseas unbranded phones whereas if you go thru a direct dealer you only have the choices of fones that the carrier carries. Also if open up a new line of service and think that your old phone can still be used for another 2 years, you have the choice of receiving a cash rebate instead of selecting a phone. This is the knowledge I acquired from working at a few different Authorized dealers, but that was over 2 years ago and alot has changed in the cellular industry since then. Hope this helps.
     
  23. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    And what about for those of us who don't want that crappy GSM stuff
     
  24. gcobb

    gcobb Well-Known Member

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    This isn't completely true. The retail stores are required by the Corp to maintain a certain pricing structure. Secondly, the retail stores cannot legitimately buy and sell anything they want from whomever. The one I worked at was required by AT&T to buy from them. If you're referring to a ANR I am correct. If a ANR store was buying and selling unbranded phones I am shocked that they haven't been busted and had their line pulled yet. I worked in IT and in Inventory for an ANR. :)
     
  25. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately in the US, you would be forced to use EDGE on AT&T, T-Mo or with a regional network. With CDMA you don't have any other option.

    To start with, the entire telecom infrastructure in the US was built to screw you. Don't just blame the carriers, blame the politicians, the FCC, and whoever decided on this telecom mess which is now nearly intractable.

    On this Earth, there are two places in this world that we can call mobile paradises. One is Hong Kong. The other is Singapore. They share a number of attributes:

    1.) By legislation, every phone you purchase either from the carrier or from a dealer is unlocked. There is no freaking lock on any phone, not even your iPhone or Blackberry.

    2.) All carriesr must use the same GSM and UMTS global standard. For 3G, that is Band 1 2100.

    Moving one phone from one carrier to another is as simple as changing SIMs and the APN station name assigned.

    To top of all that, there is not one corner in those cities where you can't get good 3G coverage.

    The number of phone models being sold in these places, exceed well over 100. You name it, they got it, and if they don't got it, its on the next store on the same floor of the same tech mall you're in. In the entire US, there are under 50 models.

    Of course, you don't find US specific carrier models like EVO or Droid Incredible or Samsung Captivate or the G2. But you will find unlocked no branded, regionalized Samsung Galaxy S i9000s, HTC Desires, HTC Legends, Motorola Milestones and Motorois and so on.

    It is unrealistic to expect it should be Google or Apple or Microsoft to change the telecom system in the US. You just can't. The US legislated itself blindly into a corner. Like Japan, it suffers its own Galapagos syndrome. It takes massive legislation, a Telecom Overhaul Bill, in the same scale of controversy and debate as Obamacare, to fundamentally change the US telecom system. The US is already paying the highest contract rates in the world, has the lowest quality of service (US carriers are right at the top of the most hated US corporations list), has the most reported disconnections, has the most unjust practices like forcing people to pay roaming charges costing by the thousands of dollars or charging both parties twice for SMS.

    And while they're doing it, the US also needs to get rid of its abusive and tyrannical software patent system that threatens to destroy the IT industry irrevocably.
     
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