Open source! Why this is an advantage?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by knighthonor, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. knighthonor
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    knighthonor New Member

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    Hello Open source is a benefit that we Android user say is our main advantage over Ios. But what is the benefits of open source on androids?

    Sent from my DROIDX using DroidForums App
  2. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    open source is an "advantage" to the less than 1% of users who root, rom, overclock etc. most android users have no idea what it means, in fact i'm sure most android users don't even know that it's considered open source, as it's not advertised that way. I think people yelling about it being open source as a reason it's better than ios is a silly point.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  3. 13th angel
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    13th angel Developer Developer

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    Its a benefit because devs can make aosp roms using the code that google releases when each version of android goes public. They normally run better than the manufacturers blur/sense etc infused versions of android because it normally is a "google-experience" type of thing that uses the ui google put into the code.

    Sent from my Fissioned D2G
  4. turdbogls
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    turdbogls New Member

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    agreed.

    and even tho it is open source, this does not mean we can do whatever we want with our phones. if we root, our warranty is void. open source is great in that if you want to mess with something, you have the code at your fingertips so you can change something the way you like it if you know anything about coding.

    but like the guy above, 99% of android buyers out there buy phones based on their specs, not on thier customizablility.
  5. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    i honestly dont think they care about specs either. as in, they dont know what the specs actually mean. what'll draw them in is the cool commercials, and the fact that "Dual core processor" just sounds cool even though they have no idea what the means. And of course, the comparisons to iPhone which every smartphone on the planet will be compared too. The actual specs itself, not so much.
  6. SixStringTheory
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    SixStringTheory New Member

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    It's not a benefit to us directly as much as it is to manufacturers. The goal of Android was to give manufacturers a near free platform to develop on, creating an ecosystem that could compete with iOS. They wanted to make it easy for Motorola, HTC, and any other company that wanted to make cell phones basically.

    And because of that we have a plethora of choices. These companies basically build the hardware and have a free OS to use. They don't have to develop anything themselves (for the most part...)

    So without Android being open and under the Apache license we wouldn't be here discussing this and we'd all be using iPhones.

    Also, the fact that Android is open source has 0 to do with locking down phones. The hardware isn't open source. If you want to you can go download, build, and distribute your own OS (like a lot of modders do!). That doesn't mean that a company designing and building a handset has to allow you to install it on their device.

    Not arguing what's right or wrong, just saying that Motorola, HTC, whoever else doesn't "close" Android. They close their phones.
  7. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    Well yes it helps the manufacturers customize their software, but i thought the op was talking about advantages to the user. too often we hear people say "well we're open source!!", as if they're directly benefiting from android's open source-"ness". i would think there are people who hate sense and motoblur who have no idea they could change it to another launcher, and that those who do know about it, do change it as soon as they get their phones haha.

    but yes, the apache license allows them to customize the os as they see fit, and create proprietary revisions to the os that don't need to be shared. again though, the advantage to the individual user is nothing to write home about...
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  8. tonydelite
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    tonydelite New Member

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    Android being Open Source really only directly benefits manufacturers of devices.

    The advantage to the user is that you'll see Android on more devices like car stereos, refrigerators, toilets, toaster ovens, shovels, clumps of string, etc.
  9. AngryHatter
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    AngryHatter Member

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    'Open Source' means, in the case of this phone, literally millions of eyes are on the apps & code that is released.

    Which in turn means the chances of malicious code are greatly lessened - one set of these eyes spots a "bug" and the alarm goes out.

    It also means the basic underlying code is not the property of any hardware manufacturer.
    iPhone is made one way, in one flavor with one brand/label.
    How many varieties of droid are there?
    Also, many apps we take for granted would necessitate an iPhone owner to jb his phone.

    Safety & choice.
  10. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    There are those that view having multiple manufacturers a plus. Say, versus iOS.
  11. yiannis
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    yiannis New Member

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  12. patfactorx
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    patfactorx Member

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    ROM developers put pressure on the OEMS to not failsauce. But opensource also allows stuff like overclocking that you dont really see with other phone OSes
  13. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    This was my point. Touting it as open really makes no sense for the user. For manufacturers yes, but for an individual user with an individual device, you're not going to say "OMG, the openness is awesome!!" (I'm not talking about the people who root, ROM...i'm talking about the 99%+ of android users who don't do this).
  14. mcapozzi
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    mcapozzi New Member

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    Android's open-source benefits are meaningless to users, because of two reasons:

    1) Most users will never write any Android code (myself included).
    2) Almost all manufacturers and carriers do something to ruin the openness of every Android phone, then they will promptly void your warranty on a modified handset if you try to get it repaired. Almost all phones (minus the Nexus series) either try to prevent you from installing your own apps (AT&T), load the phone with tens of megabytes of BS (Verizon), lock the bootloader (Motorola), or tweak the handset firmware in such a way as to make AOSP ROMs darn near impossible (Samsung).

    Heck, the only reason why Android openness is a good thing, is so that you, the intelligent customer, can root and hack the phone to fix some of the shortcomings that are present in almost every Android handset. For example, I've hacked my /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf because my phone wouldn't stop trying to play music through my BT speakerphone instead of the 3.5mm out. I've also removed the bloatware so I won't be tricked into subscribing to CityID (which pops up like the Spanish Inquisition), and so my app drawer isn't chock full of Verizon branded crapware that I will never, ever use.

    Just my two cents,
    Mike
  15. czerdrill
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    czerdrill New Member

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    It's really more of a way for people (people on forums like this to be exact) to gloat about why they're better then apple. i lump the "open source FTWWWW!!!" people in the same boat as those who gloat about flash. these things are honestly just not that amazing or important to the average user. Sure there are people who use flash, but I just dont believe that people are visiting flash websites en masse and are amazed that android offers it and apple doesn't. Open source is the same thing. No one cares that android is open source, and android isn't even as "open" as everyone here wants to think.

    It's funny that some people can say that not having flash or being closed source is a detriment to apple, but fragmentation is not a detriment to android. i guess you gotta pick what works for you or makes you look better, huh?
  16. cchhiipp
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    cchhiipp New Member

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    Also, if the manufacturers get the OS for free, then they're not spending money developing one, which ultimately reduces the cost of the device to the consumer.
  17. tonydelite
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    tonydelite New Member

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    But that is EXACTLY what Open Source is! It allows the manufacturer to do whatever they want with the code.

    Open Source does not mean you can hack the phone in any which way. Open Source only means you are free to use the Android codebase any way you want. So you are free to take the code, and modify it to work with a device that you build.

    It is completely up to the smartphone manufacturers to allow or disallow any modification to their devices.

    People (not you, but people in general) seem to think that Open Source is some hippie free for all. It's not. It's just a different type of software ecosystem.

    Open Source is a big advantage for Android.
    Closed Source is a big advantage for iOS.

    See what I did there?

    Both have strengths and weaknesses. A closed system offers tighter integration, a more controlled environment, and a more consistent experience overall. The software is designed for the hardware, and the hardware is designed for the software. It is a perfect marriage. However you don't have the same sort of choice that Open Source gives you. You either like the closed system, or you don't. Take it or leave it.

    An open system allows more choices, has the potential to react quicker to new technologies (android first to dual core, NFC, etc.), but you pay for it with a less optimized experience, and the potential for really poor quality hardware to hit the market (since everyone has access to it). You can't just pick up any Android phone and expect the experience to be the same as the next one. You have to know what you are getting into.

    It is up to the user to decide which option is better for himself or herself.
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