Sure Android is open, but it isn't open enough.

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by PaulMcCartney, Oct 5, 2010.


Do you agree?

  1. Yes.

    9 vote(s)
  2. No.

    15 vote(s)
  1. Hey, Google.

    Android should become more like Windows.

    Android should be able to detect and recognize the different hardware configurations and adjust itself accordingly. This way, you hit two birds with one stone.

    • No more fragmentation.
    • No more differences in the UI, Custom UI will be entirely optional.

    All the manufacturer has to do is make the hardware and provide the hardware drivers to Google. Simple as that. Everything will be so much easier.

    • Phone manufacturers will be able pump out devices like crazy without any worries.
    • Software developers won't have to worry about device compatibility.

    Come on Google, lets do it.

  2. Jedii

    Jedii Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2010
    That line makes me think of Josh Topolsky over at Engadget....those of you who listen to the podcast will totally laugh :p

    I voted no.:cool:
  3. Intervenient

    Intervenient Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2010
    Student at UCSB
    Yes, but the only reason hardware providers have differences in the UI is to establish themselves as unique to the average customer. Not only that, but they load all the extra trash on the phones for the off chance that you may actually pay for their services.

    I agree with everything you say, but it just won't happen
  4. So far, Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) is going in the right direction.
  5. OMJ

    OMJ Bazinga
    VIP Member

    Nov 27, 2009
    This is a tough topic. I voted no because google regulating everything about android kinda violates the idea of open source.

    Google cant stop fragmentation. As devices get older manufacturers aren't going to continue to support them and really you cant expect them to. Granted many devices should be supported a lot longer than they are.

    While I would prefer android all devices shipping vanilla not everyone would. I know plenty of people that prefer sense ui over vanilla.
    If google were to make all manufacturers ship vanilla android then whats the point of it being open source. Since the manufacturers cant make changes to the source.

    In a perfect world things there wouldnt be fragmentation and all android devices would have the same UI but in reality its not going to happen and it shouldnt.
  6. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    I am struck by the irony of your argument. Android should be more open. It should be more like Windows. Windows isn't open at all though. The problem with Android is the fragmentation.

    Google could put the kibosh on it right now by mandating that all new devices run 2.1 or higher. I don't see why that would be so hard. Currently I can walk down to the store and buy a brand new Android device running 1.5 or 1.6. I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous.
  7. It doesn't have to be that way. PC users can install Windows 7 anytime they want. Why can't all of us have access to Android 2.2? To me, that isn't open at all.

    Why are we all using PCs? Freedom, customization, choices. That's what openness is all about.

    They don't have to run the same UI. Custom ROMs, custom launchers.... all of that will still be there.
  8. You guys have it all backwards. Regulation is coming from the wrong side - the manufacturer side. That's why we have fragmentation.

    Get rid of that regulation and you have openness on both sides. You can change the UI in Windows, can you not? Everyone should start with the same canvas and do whatever they want with it. The manufacturer should not decide that for you.

    I'm just saying that it should be completely open on the consumer side.
  9. cheapish

    cheapish New Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    i agree with what your saying cuz then we could all have 2.2 at the same time but some of those ui tweaks are pretty cool, i think that they should be available for optional download after you buy your phone.
    jroc likes this.
  10. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    Simple. A lot of phones out there don't have the hardware to run 2.2. I've got an ancient laptop at my house. It's got 128 mb of RAM, a single core processor and a 4 gb hard drive. I can't install Windows 7 on that thing if I wanted to.

    There are a million reasons why people use PCs, but that's another thread. Openness is not one of the reasons. Windows is not an open platform no matter how you want to look at it. It is completely and entirely closed source.

    Here's the problem. Let's say VZW sells you a phone with vanilla Android on it. If the average consumer finds that interface to be clunky, they're not going to go load a custom ROM or a custom launcher. They're going to return the phone for something they like better. Let's say they do load a custom ROM. If the ROM has a bug in it, they're not going to look up the developer on line and gripe at them. They're going to call VZW. VZW can't support every single mod or ROM out there. That's not realistic at all. They either have to sell a phone that is modified in some way to make it more user friendly or not sell phones.
  11. Galaxy S phones still don't have an official 2.2 release. It's up to the manufacturer and it shoudn't be.

    No, it's not even close.


    Manufacturers can still install custom UI onto their phones, it will just be optional instead of mandatory. Android phones need to be completely open on the consumer end.

    Forcing Vanilla is just as bad as forcing custom UI.
  12. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    Why not? If HP ships a computer with Windows XP and you choose to upgrade it to Windows 7 HP can choose to not support Windows 7 on that computer. Manufacturers have always had the right to choose what they do and do not support. You are arguing that Google should mandate that all manufactures must upgrade every time Google puts out an update. Some hardware just isn't designed to run 2.2. Some is. Some hardware will barely run it. Some won't.

    Define open. Microsoft's code is completely closed. No one has access to it, but it'll run on a variety of hardware. Android's code is completely open and available and it will also run on a variety of hardware and is completely customizable. Anyone can develop for it. How is Android any different from Microsoft in this regard?

    Again, how is this any change from now? HTC does not have to put Sense on their phones. They choose to. If you give people the option to buy a phone with or without Sense, you're going to make things even more confusing to the consumer. It's not a matter of being "open" it's a matter of being confusing.
  13. That's not the point. There needs to be an option for the consumer. The manufacturer shouldn't decide this for you.

    Again, that's not the point. The OS should be completely open on the consumer end. The manufacturer shouldn't decide everything for you.

    There should be an option to disable it. The manufacturer shouldn't decide this for you. Custom UI shouldn't be mandatory.
  14. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    LOL you can't compare a phone to a desktop machine with standard parts.
  15. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    Very confused. So I should buy a phone with no OS on it at all and then decide what OS I want to put on it? You do realize that if I go down to Best Buy right now and buy a computer the choice of OS has already been made for me. It's gonna come with either Windows 7 or OS X depending on what kind of computer I buy. That decision has already been made for me by the manufacturer.

    And it is. Android is completely open. If you don't like whatever OS you're using, flash a custom ROM. You've got that option. The code is out there. You can code your own flavor of the OS if you're so inclined to do so.

    If you put that option in there no ordinary user would disable it. They'd stick with it. Only the power users would bother to change the UI and guess what, they can currently do that. I've got a phone that came with Sense, but if I want Vanilla, there are a number of ROMS out there that have it. I've still got choice.
  16. That would be taking it too far. You are making this far more complicated then it needs to be. All I'm asking for is a little more freedom in the operating system itself so I don't have to flash roms just to disable the Custom UI. Too much work and risk just to change something so simple.
  17. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    I guess I'm confused. Android is completely open. The source is freely available. Anyone can use it. Anyone can put it on any device they want to put it on. It's completely and totally open. Windows is closed source. You have complete and total freedom with the OS. Manufacturers choose to bake extra stuff into the OS. How is this different from HP or Dell or any other manufacturer baking stuff into Windows?
  18. HP and Dell don't make custom UIs for Windows. They just put a bunch of blaotware and crap that runs on top of Windows.
  19. jroc

    jroc Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2010
    I agree with this. Look at Launcher Pro Plus. It has all the Blur widget features...but its a 3rd party launcher app. Beautiful Widgets is the closest thing to the Sense UI clock.

    Make these custom UI's really untied from the OS. It wouldnt confuse ppl if all phones came with vanilla Android. Its the different custom UI's ppl have some questions about. Thats one more thing ppl gotta weigh in on before buying a phone.
  20. then you've got no idea what open source means
    i agree with the ideal you're pursuing here (as i'm sure most here do), but you're using all the wrong words to make your point - what you're asking for is the opposite of making android more open

    if google was to include all the drivers for different hardware and the code to detect that hardware in the kernel, it would bloat the os, and while that's ok on a powerful desktop machine, you really wouldn't want that on a phone os

    what they could do is totally separate the drivers from the os, so that you could update the google provided os on top of the manufacturer provided drivers
    this bit is speculation since i'm not that familiar with such low level software, but the way i figure it, that would essentially make the drivers less efficient, having to go through an extra interface between the os and the drivers

    which is the opposite of what manufacturers want - they want you to choose their phone and are trying to accomplish that by having a nicer ui than the competition
  21. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    The OP is confusing "open" with hardware abstraction. The latter would be required for what he's thinking of. The former has nothing to do with what the OP is talking about.

    Everything seems simple when you don't understand the details involved. When you add hardware abstraction you lose some efficiency and mobile hardware is really just getting started in terms of actually providing real power. I'm no expert on this matter but I doubt we're quite to the point where something like this can be tacked on. Perhaps a seasoned developer could chime in. I'm not saying that it isn't a bad idea in theory but there are always the real world drawbacks to consider.

    I don't disagree with this concept. However, Google doesn't agree with you. Read recent news from them regarding Android and UI's. We can debate in this thread all we want and poll all we want but it really doesn't matter. If you want change from Google then get people to submit requests directly to Google rather than post in a thread like this.
  22. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    I guess I'm still not understanding you at all. Windows isn't open. It just isn't. It never has been. Once upon a time, OEMs put their custom interfaces on Windows as well. MS cleaned up their GUI, pushed out Win95 and all of this stopped.

    I have no clue what you want. How can Google become more open than having their source code for their OS all over the Internet? How can you be more open than having the ability to put whatever GUI you want on your phone as you currently can? Their source code can be downloaded and compiled by anyone. How can you get more open than that?

    The average consumer doesn't want the ability to run Sense on a Droid X. If they want Sense, they'll buy a DInc. If they want Blur, they'll buy a Droid X. Consumers currently have the choice of any interface they want on the market. How is this bad?
  23. joshstine10

    joshstine10 Active Member

  24. At least Android 3.0 Gingerbread is going in the right direction.
  25. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Someone doesn't understand what he's talking about. I love Win7 and all, but calling Windows "open" is one of the biggest jokes ever, except people are laughing at you instead of with you.

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