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Verizon + Android, Good? Bad? Ugly?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by raegx, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. raegx

    raegx New Member
    Thread Starter

    Apr 28, 2010
    I'm interested in getting an Incredible or dropping Verizon. From what I've read so far Verizon delays the Android OS releases.

    1. I am wondering what they are doing to the OS, if they are implementing any types of feature locks
    2. whether they send annoying advertisements or "install this" crap to Android phones?
    3. Anyone has heard about shortening OS delays?

    A little rant about Verizon:

    I've been with Verizon for a little bit and I am getting to the end of my rope with the way they handle themselves. I've had three phones with Verizon: a plain flip phone, a Motorola Krzr, and now a BB Storm.

    With my first phone and the Krzr Verizon was pretty adamant about not letting me use my own mp3's as ring tones. The phones were locked down in such a way that it was not initially and option to use my mp3 library as a ring tone. Using various tools and hacks however it became possible. I was no super happy about this but life went on and my phone could do what needed and I only had to hack my ring tones in every now and then.

    Then I decided to move into the realm of smart phones and I picked up a Storm. I hate it on a level I can not convey. Verizon periodically pushes suggested application links (like Bing, who the hell wants to use Bing) to it and they appear as shortcuts on my home screen and the RIM OS updates are delayed 1/4-1/2 of a year from their initial release while other carries offer it in the first few weeks. Couple that with an initial release of "GPS is locked down for VZ Navigator only" then to "GPS is locked down to VZ Navigator and RIM's Maps application" and finally to "GPS is now usable by Google Maps" a year or so after the fact.

    I just want a phone that doesn't suck on a performance and responsiveness level as well as Verizon not mucking up the system with quality assurance and Verizon Specific enhancements/locks. I very tempted to move to T-Mobile/AT&T and get a Nexus One/whatever 2nd generation Google releases.

    (accidentally posted in the HTC-Incredible sub forum, I cleared the OP sorry!)


  2. cattlebaron

    cattlebaron New Member

    Apr 25, 2010
    I think you will find that Verizon (more than most) likes to control the handsets of their customers. They are really focusing on deriving additional revenue from the use of them outside of providing phone and data services. By selling screen area (your screen area) to other companies, ie. Microsoft and Bing, they get extra income and I imagine if you use some of those apps they might get extra income since they can track that use inside their network if they so choose.

    Now, if you are little bit creative and willing to mess (crack) your phone you can bypass a great deal of their restrictions on most smartphones. This is easier on smartphones because they are designed to have software loaded and changed. So, on my BB8330 I ran several different OS versions and some hybrids months and years before Verizon released them. I also used Verizon BB on Alltel and Alltel on Verizon with some simple changes. My point is, that with a little reading and a little daring, you can make most of these small computers do what you want, if you want.

    Good luck!
  3. sc4fpse

    sc4fpse Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    Before my reply, let me just say that the level of control that Verizon placed upon their phones was something that irked me from my very first phone, the Motorola RAZR. I remember trying to put custom ring tones on that damn thing... what a pain. I didn't want to pay for that stuff. Worked so hard to hack that darn thing.

    Anyways, when the Droid came... it was like heaven for me. For once, Verizon didn't lock everything down. In fact, there really wasn't anything that they locked down on the Droid. I can't think of a single thing. It really paid off for Verizon, and as much as they love controlling things, I think they are beginning to better realize the value of the Android OS and what it has to offer.

    Now, obviously, there's another 20 minutes or so until the Incredible is officially released, but it doesn't sound like Verizon has locked anything down there either. So, assuming that everything is the same:

    1. No OS-feature locks. Obviously, they don't want you to gain root access, but that's more HTC/Motorola's doing, and they'll just say your warranty is void if you do it. But that's standard with any phone on any network, really.
    2. No annoying advertisements that I've seen. None on the phone, anyways. Can't say I've seen any in emails either. Verizon has their own category in the Android market place, but half of the stuff in there isn't even Verizon apps. Not sure what the point is, but it's definitely not something you ever have to visit. Ever. :)
    3. The OS delays will always be a problem, unfortunately. With the Incredible, you're going to have delays because of HTC's Sense UI. You're going to always have delays to make the carrier of the phone (Verizon) happy. The best option for no delays on operating system updates would be the Nexus One, but... well, yeah. Phone is already getting a little old. :p

    From what I've experienced, Verizon has not locked these phones down as they have other phones. Custom ringtones, Google Maps, Google Search, not Bing... and there are NEVER any sort of update notifications from Verizon on your home screen, unless it's the standard application update notification that you might get after downloading a Verizon app from the marketplace. But that's normal. :)

    Again, I think they're realizing the market potential of these phones. Hopefully they're smart enough to not go shooting themselves in the foot by locking them down. :)
  4. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Any Android device that isn't the Nexus One is going to have a delayed OS release. As stated above, any additional features/UI overlays such as Sense, MotoBlur, etc are only likely to add to the delays in getting OS updates released. If that's a top concern for you then you should really be looking at the N1 IMO.

    It's not only that the carrier has to test and approve the OS but that the handset maker has to spend time adapting the latest Android release for their devices once it's set free. That's not an instantaneous process.

    Every BB carrier does that in my experience. I'm not sure why you're singling out VZW unless you just haven't used BB's on other carriers.

    Based on my experience, I'd say you're misrepresenting the situation. Again, it may seem like that if you've only used a BB on Verizon (particularly the Storms, which were not widely released to carriers around the world). There's no single carrier that immediately releases every BB OS. I always liked checking out the latest BB OS releases and my BB's almost never had OS's from their carriers loaded on them. Sometimes they would have the latest OS first. Other times, they didn't. I also never found that my OS updates always came from the same carriers.

    You could pick any carrier offering BB's and complain about the perceived lack of OS updates. It always seems like all the other carriers have the latest OS's but that's only if you lump all the other carriers together as a group.

    They haven't on the Droid. Can't speak for any other Android devices offered by Verizon but I haven't heard of anything like what you're describing.

    VZW has definitely not had the best history but rants I've seen regarding locking down phone features all seem to be based on devices released years ago.
  5. 3devious

    3devious Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    Washington, DC area
    Good, Bad, Ugly? Yup!

    I'm very happy with my Droid and how Verizon has left it alone for the most part. Most of the SNAFUs are from Motorola... Seriously, we don't have bluetooth voice dialing yet you put that software on the Devour? Really? Now I have to punch them in the junk twice (the first one was for the crappy keyboard.)

    I always supported Verizon's gestapo like hold that they had on the phones because my phone had never been hacked or had any problems that weren't caused by design flaws. They had loosened up a bit on the EnV Touch because you could install a few things on it an not get kicked off the network. You could even tether it.

    Their apps were still terrible. The android phones on Verizon are pretty good. I like the stability the network offers. I certainly hope they loosen up on their tethering policies, but I am happy with my Droid and satisfied with the way that Verizon has handled things for me.

    As far as android is concerned, it doesn't much matter if your carrier drags its feet with updates once you root the phone. If you feel that you have to have the newest software that your phone can run, you can have that. If you have an android phone and don't have the best that it has to offer you can't blame your carrier. You can only blame yourself.

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