Philosophical objection to Apple products, perceived shortcomings of Android devices


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  1. nom

    nom New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Good afternoon. I'm currently an iPhone user who doesn't wish to continue doing business with Apple. I've had the opportunity to use a few of the top Android devices, and I have the SDK/emulator installed on my computer. Android, in its vanilla form, is exactly what I want and nothing I don't... and therein lies the problem. I'm not a huge fan of the superfluous "bloatware" - HTC Sense et al. - that most Android manufacturers employ. In addition to these software layers' real or perceived unnecessity and performance hindrances, they also work to delay the deployment of Android updates to users. Is it too much to ask for a nice, subsidized phone that runs vanilla Android and gets (close to) day one updates? Alternatively, is there a way to install vanilla Android on devices otherwise riddled with mfg and carrier bloat? Or am I just being too picky?
     

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  2. copestag

    copestag Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forums :)

    IMO one of the biggest advantages Android has over iPhone is the ability to customize the way you want....

    'nearly' every model has been rooted and has roms available..... youll find there is generally always a vanilla rom created for those users who want exactly that.... of course as new models come out you have to wait for the devs to first find root and then create the roms.... so its not like a new model releases today and tomorrow you can make it vanilla.... but for those who are patient the rewards of customization are huge

    as far as day one updates on stock roms..... theres no phone that gets day one updates... the closest currently is the N1 which is stock vanilla.... but it even has to wait for the update to be configured for that phone..... unlike iPhone where 1 version is created that works on every model (since theres 1 model), android has to be configured differently for every different model.... yes adding the custom UI (sense, blur, etc) does add to that time.... but even if every phone was vanilla it would still have to wait for updates
     
  3. nom

    nom New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the input. Since I'm an ATT customer, I have been researching the Captivate, and it appears as though this phone is one of the worst offenders in regards to superfluous software. Touchwiz is apparently a huge resource hog, and the phone comes with 16(!) or so unwanted carrier apps. Pertaining to ROMS, I found these threads:

    [ROM]Cognition v2.2 BETA7 (FROYO) | v2.1.7 (ECLAIR) - xda-developers
    http://androidforums.com/captivate-all-things-root/189070-cognition-awesome.html

    However, this process doesn't appear to be an exact science. The ROM is still in beta (N1 has had 2.2 for 4 months already) and users are reporting problems with lag, GPS, etc. If Android is all about user freedom and customization, why do I have to choose between a bloated stock ROM and a third party hack job? I have to say, if the phone came out of the box with vanilla 2.2.x, you'd be talking to an Android user right now. Perhaps Google should restrict the kind of junk that carriers and mfgs are pre-loading on these devices and let the end-user decide what he or she wants on their phone by way of the marketplace...

    If I'm preaching to the choir, I apologize, I'm new to this.
     
  4. LickTheEnvelope

    LickTheEnvelope Well-Known Member

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    ^^^

    Options would be nice for certain.

    I believe the HTC G2 on Tmobile is 2.2 Stock... (except for some Tmobile apps?)... perhaps someone in the US could enlighten.
     
  5. nom

    nom New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Aside from it being on T-mobile and sporting a physical keyboard, neither of which I'm interested in, Engadget had this to say:

    "However, T-Mobile (and Google, apparently) has loaded the device with some software you might not want -- and can't get rid of. For instance, Sky Map, Latitude, Shopper, Earth, Tracks, and Finance are among the apps that come pre-installed with no way to delete. Also on that list is bloatware like web2go, Photobucket software which annoyingly prompts you to sign up and / or use the service unless disabled from within the app, and the somewhat useful (though not always wanted) QuickOffice. Again, unlike regular Android apps, whatever shipped with the phone cannot be uninstalled."

    T-Mobile G2 review -- Engadget

    Give me a Nexus One (or equivalent) subsidized on a major US network (ATT, VZW) and I'll be happy.
     
  6. GeorgeinLA

    GeorgeinLA Well-Known Member

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    From what I can tell, a lot of people would like to have their phones running vanilla Android out of the box, but it's just not in the carriers interest to provide that. I'm not sure that it's such a huge deal though -- there seem to be a million different ways to customize your phone to get it running how you want no matter how it comes "out of the box". I'd just get something that has all of the hardware spec's that you want, Froyo, and a good price, and then just start tweaking it.
     
  7. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member

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    If we're going to be hacking and rooting, we might as well get an iPhone, which can be hacked and jailbroken and then configured and customized. So there goes that advantage.

    I see the bloatware and such as the cost of subsidizing the phone. I HATE paying that cost, but I accepted it the day I purchased my phone. I heard Microsoft will force the carriers to allow users to remove the bloatware from their WP7 phones. If that is the case, my next phone might be a WP7. If Google can't force the carriers to not ruin my experience with their crapware, I will take the first better alternative I find.

    I mean the browser on my Captivate has a bookmark that I can't delete! It's ridiculous.
     
  8. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Well-Known Member

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    I'm not following. This isn't about Android v iPhone, Android has already been chosen by the OP as the superior in his opinion. The rooting aspect was not being proposed as an advantage over iPhone, but rather, as a remedy to achieve a vanilla OS on Android.

    @OP, In that regard, if you are of the mind that you will want to root and clear the phone down to a purely vanilla OS, make sure you also consider the status of the Android phone that you eventually choose. Research the level of dedication and expansiveness of the phone's rooting/modding community. This often goes hand-in-hand with the status of the phone (ex. flagship phone? [ie. Evo, DX], old model? [ie. Hero, Droid], Secondary? [ie. just offered to provide variety or a price difference]).

    Granted, they should all have methods of rooting, and have vanilla ROMs to flash. But keep in mind that this will delay your reception of manufacturer updates (because you will not be able to get the updates from the manufacturer anymore... you will have to wait for the community to provide the hacked version of the update). As well as require you to keep updated with the community so that you can update when released. So consider both sides, because you seem like you might be impatient when waiting for updates.



    Please keep in mind that ATT is (at least, IMO) the worst of the big 3 carriers in treatment of Android devices (Verizon, Sprint, & ATT), and Samsung is the worst of the big 3 developers (IMO) in treatment of Android devices (Motorola, HTC, & Samsung)


    The other carriers are pushing Android to compete with the iphone demand (and of course b/c Android is the best OS in town, but getting back on topic...), and it seems that ATT is only providing Android to keep from losing customers to those carriers that are pushing Android. Plus, ATT is Apple's whipping boy, so their Android phone is not going to be a significant flagship device that demands high-end developer support. So your best bet is to just go iPhone if you are with ATT.

    If you want Android, go somewhere else. And avoid Samsung IMO they have an incredibly poor track record for not supporting their devices, compared to the other developers, after release.


    Your best bet, if you want the closest thing to vanilla out-of-the-box, get a Motorola. And although you call HTC Sense "bloatware," if you have a device, such as the Evo or the Incredible, that has more than enough hardware to run it seamlessly, it's actually a very nice thing to have. Proof? Take a look at the number of downloads for Homescreen replacements that basically try to mimic HTC Sense....
    I used to think Sense was just crappy pointless bloatware back when I had my vanilla Samsung Android. Not anymore.

    Also, although you point out that the OS overlays drag out the updating process, the EVO had 2.2 before the DX (though not long before). Even though it would theoretically take more effort to code the new OS with Sense UI.... It really just comes down to how dedicated a manufacturer is to keeping their device current. In this case, your flagship phones (EVO, DX) get the most attention. While your secondaries, and Samsung in general, will likely have a significant and noticeable wait (IMO).

    Last of all, at this point, you're going to get carrier bloatware that you will be unable to remove (if you do not root). As far as your "philosophical objection to Apple products" is concerned, remember that Google, contrastingly, is based on advertising. These carrier bloatware apps are 'permanently' embedded in their Android phones for the purpose of advertising. So I'm sorry to say that you may have to take the good with the bad on this matter if your taking a philosophical stance. They really aren't a big deal, other than that they take up a few icon spaces in the app tray (and the memory consumption is negligible if you are using a high-end device).
     
  9. Bitbang3r

    Bitbang3r Well-Known Member

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    On the other hand, they're also the only major manufacturer who's never actively screwed with our ability to root the phones. Unlike HTC, Samsung's kernel source is actually buildable, and the few drivers that aren't open-source are provided as proper loadable kernel modules.

    Compare that to the useless monolithic binary blob HTC $hits on the curb and releases with unbuildable source that basically just had the proprietary parts deleted. There are no guarantees that Samsung's .ko modules will work with a newer kernel build, but at least we can use them to make our own custom kernels of the same generation, and *might* be able to coax them into working with a newer kernel anyway. The Nexus One and G1 are the exceptions -- the likelihood of being able to build a kernel from scratch for an arbitrary HTC phone is almost directly determined by the similarity of its hardware to either phone.

    Put another way, the hardest part of building a kernel from scratch for a Samsung phone is tricking Android Market into accepting it as legit for DRM purposes. The hardest part of building a kernel from scratch for a HTC phone is getting the camera and bluetooth to work at all.

    Touchwiz is like Vista -- its badness is grossly exaggerated, and largely fictional. Spend $10 or so on thirdparty widgets from Android market, and the perceived advantages of SenseUI are largely moot. You don't need a HTC phone to have a flip-clock with animated weather on your homescreen.

    Samsung is *far* from perfect... but in some ways, they don't get nearly as much credit for doing things *right* as they deserve -- especially in light of HTC's recently-developed interest in locking down phones in ways that can't be trivially overcome.
     
  10. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Well-Known Member

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    I'll agree with you there. Rooting my old Samsung Moment was a much easier project compared to the Evo. However, I must ask what the motivation is for Samsung to not make modding more difficult?
    Is it because they want the modding community to be able to fill in where they are weak?
    Or is it because they put so few resources into their phones, that they don't bother with coding/implementing stricter security?

    I also agree that Sense can be mimicked through the implementation of a variety of 3rd party apps + root. But since you have to root your phone in order to duplicate Sense, the counter argument that you have to root an HTC phone in order to make it vanilla is moot (aside from the earlier stated difference in difficulty).

    I gotta say though, I think there are going to be some pretty significant improvements in the upcoming 'New Sense UI' that are going to set it apart from the reach of 3rd party mimicking, and further reduce the benefits of modding... but that's just my opinion.
     
  11. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

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    Nom, even if you get a vanilla android phone, it sadly still comes with bloatware. I have the Nexus One, and it comes preinstalled with Amazon MP3, facebook and a few more that you are unable to uninstall. Only issue is that the N1 is a bit older (almost 10 months) though spec wise it can still compete with 'the bad boys' on the market now. If you want new, they only have the TMo version available (for developers).
     
  12. djclark

    djclark Well-Known Member

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    Just jailbreak your iphone and be done with it. Grass is not any greener on this side. If anything, there's tons of turds on the grass.
     
  13. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Well-Known Member

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    I'm no botanist... but wouldn't the nitrogen emitted from those turds make the grass greener? :rolleyes:
    kidding/off topic.

    Would the turds be considered the advertising?
     
  14. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

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    Any android phone comes with a bit of beggage that the user needs to invest time in understanding how it works. The phone has a steeper learning curve than the iPhone. Even when you root your iPhone, your ability to customize the phone is not on par with what Android can do without rooting it.
     
  15. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

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    Would you please quit trolling?

    I have a couple of iPhones, iPhone 2G, 3GS. Even jailbroken they are buggy and not customizable like Android.

    I've used iPhone since the launch, and I've really lost the patience with Apple on making the iPhone anything beyond the first iteration.

    People blindly believe Apple makes the best products, when it's clear Android has surpassed Apple's ability to innovate and let the users have what they want / need.

    My springboard crashes often after jailbreak, and I still can't get widgets nor proper notification on the iPhone. That's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's wrong with the iPhones.
     
    IndivisibleP likes this.
  16. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    Name a device with more options. I wouldn't discount 3rd party ROM's as quite a few I have tried are as good as or better than than the OEM's official ROM (for the Droid anyway). Dismissing them as "hack jobs" is a good way to miss out on some very good ROM's.

    Android isn't just about user freedom and customization. It's also about OEM freedom and customization. That's where the conflict tends to arise.

    A lot of forum users (power users and enthusiasts) do -- let's be clear on that. Forum users do not represent the general market. This is a common misconception on all discussion forum sites.

    Every camp has its fanboys. But it is absurd to assume that one should always default to a jailbroken iPhone. Every option has its pros and cons and each person has to decide what matters, what doesn't matter and what that person is willing to put up with.
     
  17. IndivisibleP

    IndivisibleP Well-Known Member

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    I have a Nexus One and yes it comes with some unremovable shi† stains (Amazon mp3, etc), but I can easily make them invisible from the app drawer and forget they exist. If they never run and are never used, then the amount of space they take up on the phones memory is definitely negligible. Compare that with the amount performance hinderance that jailbreaking causes... (and I want to shoot my self).

    On top of that, as far as I am concerned iTunes is the biggest viral OEM bloatware in existence. And what to speak of just not being able to avoid its icon in your app line up, you cant even put a single file on or off the phone without using it. Apple is just plain out @%$#ing crazy...

    Anyway I know the OP wasnt looking to compare iOS and Android, but I guess my point is that under the circumstances sometimes you have to just count your losses and accept the lesser of two evils.
     
  18. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member

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    Having the original Droid, I can say that vanilla Android is nice but I'm looking forward to an upcoming upgrade and am looking at a new HTC Device for Verizon (HTC Droid Incredible HD). I am looking forward to Sense cause it is a different flair I haven't been exposed to. Sure you can use certain widgets to emulate the looks of it...but it's not the same I'm sure. A sense UI ROM is something us Droid owners have been unable to get. But most ROMs with custom skins eventually have the option to run a vanilla ROM. Launcher Pro and ADW are both home replacements that emulate the look and feel of vanilla android without the need for rooting. I do understand how custom skins can turn you off...That is one of the reasons I'm not pickup up a Droid X even though a 4.3" screen is the most important feature to me for my next phone.

    In terms of custom ROMs being a "hack job", I would have to disagree on some levels. Many ROMs are simply the base ROM for your phone, with crap removed and features from other devices added. The Samsung products having problems with GPS is not a fault of the ROMs...It's a fault of Samsung that is seen on unrooted devices as well.

    I have a couple of hundred apps on my OG Droid and I can tell you that having an app on the phone doesn't take up any resources if it's not running (unless it's an app that performs tasks in the background, starts on boot, etc...but you can usually disable this or kill the app). Amazon MP3 for example has never slowed my phone down and having it removed is something I could care less about.

    It does tick me off when Manufacturers lock down their devices but they are almost always exploited so root can be achieved. I wish they all came rooted but that will never happen (for the big name manufacturers anyway).

    So I think the problems lies with the fact that there are too many options and each manufacturer wants you to pick their device, so they try and dazzle you with the UI vs. just providing you with the hardware and vanilla android. You just need to figure out which phone have the best combo of features you want vs. things you don't want (apps, skins, etc.).

    XDA caters to HTC devices so if you go with an HTC phone, you'll have one of the best rooting/hacking community of to support your device. And...while I've never owned an iPhone, I'm sure I would be bored out of my mind with it. cause the vast majority of my enjoyment of my phone has been the "tinkering" with it to gain extra features, speed, and themes.
     

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