How far have we come with android

Discussion in 'Android News' started by pc747, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Three years ago I wrote an article that expressed my (and others) distaste for the Android device experience at that time. Many of us were just coming off the hype of the (og) Motorola Droid and rooting and roms were on the rise. Then came the Droid X and Droid 2 which were the successor to the Droid. The Droid X sported a larger 4.3 inch screen with an updated 1GHz processor while the Droid 2 had a better keyboard, better 3.5 mm jack point (which solved the problem of music cutting out that some users experienced with the (og) Motorola Droid), and a faster processor. But, with the upgrades came blur along with one of the first locked bootloaders. Blur came loaded with software such as Blockbuster, Need for Speed, etc which were trial versions meant to get users to sign up for the subscription version. The problem with the software (later termed bloatware) was that they could not be uninstalled, yet they took up space. Adding to that, the services blur was running in the background were actually slowing down the phone as well as eating battery life. This led to a movement to voice our frustrations to both Verizon and Motorola, (http://www.droidforums.net/forum/an...re-loaded-apps-see-how-take-action-today.html). Of course, at that time, we really did not know if it would make a difference.

    Fast forward to now and my how far have we come. Yeah we still have bloatware and manufacturer skins but skins have come a long way. They are more useful (Touchwiz' features) as well as the hardware to support the skin where the phone has a smooth experience. I rarely see any lagging issues on my device (the only time I may get a hint of lag is when installing an app when the app's icon is just popping up in the app drawer), but that is rare and for a split second. I still have my Droid 2 and every now and then ill charge it up and play around with it just to remind me where technology was 3 years ago.

    The other change that has taken place is the option to buy developer devices, Nexus, and Google Play Edition devices. Those of us wanting a phone clean of custom skins now have a choice. Would we like it to have been offered as a carrier option? Of course; but with more and more people wanting to get away from subsidies and long term carrier contracts, the price we are going to pay for a carrier phone full price matches what we will pay for a Google Edition. Plus we also have Nexus devices that provide us the high end experiences for mid range prices. So that is a big win for those of us who wanted Nexus and Google experience devices back in the day.

    Another big win (for now we will have to see what happens with Lenovo before we can chalk it down as a true victory) is that Motorola has done a 180...or 360 if you had a Motorola Droid. We are seeing a return to innovation along with skins that are as close to vanilla Android as Google edition devices. Add to that the ability to truly customize the device with Moto Maker, the option to buy an unlockable device with the developer edition, and the lower price point, and we see that Motorola is slowly working their way back into the hearts of enthusiasts.

    So, have we won the battle against bloatware (and locked devices)?

    I would say yes, not that we have gotten to the point where users can remove bloat on all carrier phones but at least you have an option to buy a phone without it. Yeah it would have been better to allow me the user to remove apps off the phone I purchased from the carrier but I do not see us winning that battle. Whatever money the carriers are making selling that space is too good for them to give up, but giving users an alternative makes up for that.

    So to those that rallied signing petitions, emailing, calling, and web chatting verizon and motorola your voice has been heard. So to you and those who voted with their wallets I say thank you. As well as thank you to the carriers and manufactures who provided those devices for us to buy. Are those devices as vast as the carrier devices, no, but it really do not need to be because the reality is that the people who care about bloat, carrier skins, and unlockable bootloaders are few but to us few we can say we have a place in the market place where we can shop. I hope that manufacturers continue to provide us with the quality alternatives to choose from.

    [​IMG]

     
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  2. jspradling7

    jspradling7 Active Member

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    Things have indeed come a long way in a short time. I remember getting my first Tandy 1000 computer around 1981. Hardware and software creeped forward it seemed. Smartphone development is lightning fast compared to that. And with the wearables coming onto the scene we will see even a faster wave I think. Exciting times for people with an interest in tech.
     
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  3. swc2001

    swc2001 Active Member

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    I think the biggest reason we have been allowed to have a market place is not directly due to the fact they want our Dollars..... Oh they want our dollars but in an entirely different way. The want to see what we do with the phones that have true innovation and then they Kang that for their next phones.... And as most of our Developers don't have the resources to patent their intellectual ideas.... they get away with it clean. Thus now they have the newest best thing that they can advertise and WILL receive millions for our ideas.... all For Free to them. So you see as it is a win for us Its also a huge win for them. Kind of a symbiotic relationship. I personally think they get the better end of the bargain.
     
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  4. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    I remember those days and kind of miss them too. I remember my DroidX. It was a wondreful phone. It was new, fresh and in uncharted territory. I had to hijack the bootloader to root/rom it. The ROMs were all new and all features in ROMs we get today were new and in beta back then. I was flash happy because I wanted to see all the new things I could do with a certain ROM. Now, they are nearly all the same. You can get a lot of them in modules for xposed or roms have everything under the sun baked in. Is that bad, no, but the fun and unknown aspect of it all is gone. I am rooted but I don't ROM anymore. Android has given me most of the things I used to get from ROMs back in the day. My Note 3 is so powerful that I don't need to ROM to get that tiny bit more performance out of it. Its just a different world for Android these days.
     
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  5. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    That is part of where we improved (in a way). When I had my droid it was so cool to root so I could overclock my processor to 800 - 1ghz . It was so awesome to run roms that allowed me to theme and have live wall papers. why, because it was new and uncharted territory for me. But the other thing was it allowed me to improve my phone over what the manufacturer gave me (remember getting pinch to zoom in the stock launcher). Now out of the box we have bigger faster phones with carrier skins that add a little color to the (then) boring vanilla android experience. But even Google has come a long way with the kit kat and the google experience launcher.

    Johnomaz, you are right in that we really do not need to root and rom any more unless you have a phone that is over a year old and you want the latest software (ie I have a note 2 running 4.4.2 kk). Other than that you can get what you need from stock and xposed so the fun is gone but the device provided us a better overall user experience. As cool as running roms on my droid was I did not miss some of the shortcomings I had with my droid (in particularly the head phone jack, though ironically I prefer bt headphones over plug in).

    So is android customization dead? No I just think it has evolved to where you do not need to rom to get the features you need and that is a good thing (as you pointed out).
     
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