Google Tightening Grip on Android - Less Open, "Open Source"

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    In a pattern of behavior that has several mobile partners upset, Google appears to be tightening it's control of the open nature of "open source" in regards to the Android OS. An article from Bloomberg/Businessweek indicated that several executives working for companies within the Android community of mobile partners have expressed frustration with Google recently over this pattern.

    The Bloomberg article described the last few months as a message from Google to its partners,
    We recently reported on one example of their behavior, that Google will be holding back the source code for Honeycomb indefinitely. Another example is that Facebook is apparently trying to come up with its own Android handset and that Google has made them jump through several hoops and must allow Google to review any custom tweaks to Android. Supposedly, there have even been complaints to the U.S. Department of Justice from Microsoft claiming that Google has held up certain Verizon handsets because they came with the MS Bing search engine onboard.

    Google's partner system that was once truly easy and truly "open source" has since grown harder to navigate. Apparently, Google is attempting to regain control of a "final say" over any customizations made to the Android OS. Now, Google is demanding that its partners abide by its "non-fragmentation clauses" to stem the tide of junky software ruining the Android experience. Google has publicly stated that it is simply seeking to stabilize the platform and ensure quality control as well. The Bloomberg article said Google had this to say,
    It's easy to see both sides of the equation. From Google's standpoint, they want to improve the Android experience as much as possible to remain competitive with iOS and others. On the other hand, too much control completely ruins the idea of "open source". It's a fine tight-rope they have to walk, and for now it seems, their balance has swung a bit more on the "less open" side of things.

    Source: Android.net via Bloomberg - Businessweek
  2. skippythegoat
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    skippythegoat New Member

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    This is perfect, this will begin to raise android's standards. Now there won't be so many ****ty android phones out there.
  3. Inverse
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    Inverse New Member

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    It's a good thing. It's also a bad thing. It really depends on how much faith you have in Google as a company to do the right thing.
  4. rmart88
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    rmart88 New Member

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    I definitely think this is for the better. I agree with the previous post. This will stop manufacturers from putting crappy UI's on top of the platform. See MotoBlur. I have personally never used it, but, at least in reference to the original, i have heard nothing but bad reviews. Apparently the newer version is 'better', but there needs to be common denominator as judge, and that should be Google (with input from users of course). I have also heard good things about the new HTC Sense, but again, a lot of complaints about the original, even though not as many as Blur. I personally LOVE vanilla Android, that, along with being rooted, is why im still rocking the Android phone ever made, the OG. dancedroid
  5. EgooEspada
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    EgooEspada New Member

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    Why not allow manufactures to add their own widgets and apps, but leave the core code as close to stock as possible. Then create some sort of "theme manager" built into Android where manufacturers and developers can submit their skins and allow them to pre-install their skins with a choice or download them. It'll be like now, but with more choice and a little less fragmentation.
  6. wingdo
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    wingdo New Member

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    One of the two reasons I bought my Thunderbolt was for SenseUI. I like it, and I don't see what any of the manufacturers should be banned from putting their own UI on top of Android. Other Linux distros do it all the time.

    This isn't going to kick manufacturers in the butt to get them to put out new updates to their older phones. Samsung will still be Samsung as far as updates are concerned. So will Motorola and HTC.

    Honestly if I wanted every phone to be exactly the same looking and feeling when I turned it on, I'd just get an iPhone. Touchwiz, Moto/ninja blur, SenseUI etc are what sets these phones apart. Get rid of that ability and I'm not certain so many companies will be making Android based smartphones.

    This will NOT solve the so called fragmentation issue. This "problem" stems from 1) older hardware not being capable of running the latest OS versions without issues and 2) Why would anyone think not having Touchwiz on a phone will make Samsung update the software on their already sold phones any faster?

    So much for "Open" huh?
  7. VannMann
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    VannMann New Member

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    I think it is a very good thing. After HAVING to root and ROM my sister's Droid Eris just so it would be usable, I stand behind this 100 percent. If you are locked into a two year agreement, your phone should run strong the whole time. I just hope it doesn't have a backlash on the ROMing community as a whole.
  8. wingdo
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    wingdo New Member

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    All you did was root? No overclocking to make sure it could run the latest OS? Just root? The Eris as it stands does not meet the minimum requirements for Gingerbread, but you are saying that with this change in policy you expect the Eris to magically get it now? That's a total pipe dream.
  9. SneakyTax
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    SneakyTax New Member

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    I agree, there is more GOOD here than BAD (as long as Google stays away from the EVIL side of the meter)

    [​IMG]

    Vendors should be able to "add" their crap (that we can remove if we choose) but the movement of vendors to JAM stuff in, derailling built in functions, and locking those "Open" functions out (aka Verizon's Bing and denying download of Google Search) are firmly in the the "EVIL" side for the Vendors.

    The other reason this is a good idea... is the post prior to this one: "Symantec Issues Warning About Another Android Malware". The CORE OS functionality should be FIRM/PROTECTED - to prevent malicious apps from compromising security. Sure, there will always be "malware" - but Android OS "viruses" we can all do without! :)
  10. wingdo
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    wingdo New Member

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    If it means my not getting 3rd party bloatware installed, YES i agree with this 100%. If this means that aside from a couple widgets and skin colors that every HTC phone will look and act like every Samsung phone which will look and act like every Motorola phone ........ what's the bloody point then? The appeal of HTC is not just the phone (lets fact it, battery life sucks on their phones) but in their implementation of their UI and changes to the default apps.
  11. MegaThrasher
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    MegaThrasher New Member

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    Of course older phones that don't have the hardware won't get new software, but newer perfectly capable phones released a few months ago (Samsung Galaxy S phones) should get the software. If you get a phone w/ a 2 yr contract it should be functional for 2 years without hacks.

    And Motoblur was so bad in the short time I had it that there's no way that should happen again.

    Sent from my Droid 2 Global running Fission 2.4.3
  12. VannMann
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    VannMann New Member

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    Of course I overclocked, DUH. That is why I rooted sir, I had to pick up speed from somewhere.
  13. VannMann
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    VannMann New Member

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    And you are putting words in my mouth, I never said anything about "Gingerbread". Simply said that I rooted and ROMed my sisters phone. Some of the roms , have it be 2.1, 2.2, or 2.3 are way faster and more stable than what HTC put out currently for the eris.
  14. cromag.rickman
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    cromag.rickman New Member

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    So many people assume this means OS overlays like Blur and Sense are going away. They're not, Google just has to sign off on them. That means that no super crappy slow UI overlays are a detriment to the OS as a whole (lag, killing features, etc...). This will mostly affect import 3rd party crap-tablets and handsets with their own custom UI that makes Android look bad. (things like the FlyTouch II)
    Overlays like Sense will still be around because although they do slow down the android OS update process a bit, they could be widely considered a benefit to android (HTC Sense is nice and smooth, improves performance in some cases, ADDS features that are wanted, etc.). I do hope that they crack down on Blur and make it more smooth and better looking.

    I do agree that the best way to do UI overlays would be a downloadable theme from the manufacturers, but then Motorola would have no way to shoehorn their Sh*t on their devices.

    UI overlays will still exist, they just have to kiss Google butt first.
  15. sonicfreak360
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    sonicfreak360 New Member

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    Cmon google... isn't it a little early for april fools jokes??? :(

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  16. joshdub223
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    joshdub223 New Member

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    i think this is just an over-reaction to the delay in the honeycomb source release. the source code WILL be released as far as i understand, just not quite yet...
  17. joshdub223
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    joshdub223 New Member

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    not that big of a deal....
  18. Hugh Jass
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    Hugh Jass Well-Known Member

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    I'm deeming this a good thing, but I fear in the future it might spill over into also controlling root access and individual developers as well once they have the market by the throat, and that is frightening to me.
  19. Eddog4DROID
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    Eddog4DROID New Member

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    I think now that Android is on top, Google is taking measures to keep it that way. I trust the philosophy of the company to handle it (mostly) ok. They will never be as controlling as Apple is on this. They need to keep the standards up. I am sure Blu and Sense and Touchwiz will be untouched, but as long as they do their best to rid Android of the lowest end overly's on these unknown tablets, and try to keep the OS up to date as possible for their carriers and keep Bing out of the picture (that might be hard one I can see MS fighting all the way), then the future looks bright for Android.

    I do NOT use it because it is open source.
  20. EgooEspada
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    EgooEspada New Member

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    In all honesty, I think it will go the other way around. More of the hardware will be unlocked. Google knows people like us like that and they don't care what you do with your phone either. So they most likely would keep that with all devices just to be a little more of a selling point.
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