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> This leaves me in an unpleasant spot as I, where I can, avoid using google services and now need to find an alternative dialling application. Isn’t this sweet? I am searching for a dialling application for my smartphone. A DIALLING application

You bought a Google phone and don't want to use Google services, but complain that the dialler can be provided by a third party? Isn't that a good thing?

> You bought a Google phone

Wileyfox make their own phones and Android rom. It's not really a Google phone (it may have Google Play Services, but that's different).

The third party dialler app in this case was not provided by the ROM maker, but by a third party who gathers tracking data from usage of the dialler app. The ROM maker disabled/removed the stock dialler app from their ROM.

If it was an opt in feature, then I believe OP would be happy with that.

I understand. At the end of the article, he tries to make the point that having everything pluggable is a problem with Android devices. In reality, it's that flexibility that enables a manufacturer like Wileyfox to even release a unique product.

He seemed to be making a slightly different point: allowing core functionality to be completely removed makes the user experience less reliable.

Why is dialing a phone a "Google Service"?

The AOSP dialer is not a Google Service, it comes with android.

Google phones have use a different launcher (Which might be a modified version of the AOSP launcher, haven't used AOSP in a while) that provides unknown number names, access to the voicemail-to-text feature of Project Fi (and probably Google Voice), and probably a couple more things.

BTW, from the little I know, seeing google contacts in the dialer doesn't mean that it's talking to google. Google services adds the contacts to the phone's centralized contact management and the dialer gets them from there.

..but the point is the manufacture didn't provide the AOSP dialer. They added a 3rd party dialer that you have to root the phone to disable and you need to install a non-privacy invasive dialer either by finding an apk for the AOSP version, using F-droid or using Google Play/AmazonApp services.

Why shouldn't it be? Having google search directly in the dialer app is incredibly convenient - instead of searching for a phone number and then typing the number into your phone, you search for a business and call them directly.

Because you're dialing a phone. Nowhere does that require Google's involvement.

The search feature should not be any more than an optional point of integration. Is nothing sacred anymore?

Unfortunatly, that is not the case.

Running cyanogenmod here, stock dialer.

Open up the dialer. Go to settings. Oh, look: "phone number lookup". I wonder what that could be. Hmmm.

Click. What is that? "Forward lookup - Show nearby places when searching in the dialer". Ticked on by default.

"People lookup"? On by default.

Reverse lookup? On by default.

Default lookup provider? Google.

By default, it looms like the standard dialer app in android sends every call made or received to Google.

I hate how when you add a Google account, it auotmagically autosyncs. I have to disable sync for Calendar/Contacts/Everything, install Contact Delete, remove all my contacts, then install DavDroid off F-Droid and connect to my Radicale server.

This keeps some of my information away from Google. No normal person will go through this process.

All of the above is Google value-add. None of that is necessary.

Also, none of those options appear on my phone in the dialer settings (Android 6, Motorola phone), so either they've been moved or we're looking at different software. (Per another comment, likely I'm using the AOSP dialer, which thankfully lacks those "features")

It doesn't require it, but Google makes it better. If you're just looking to make your life easier and not paranoid, there's no downside to having google in your dialer.

and no, i'm pretty sure there's nothing "sacred" about your phone.

This is exactly the problem with technology. Asshole companies have to productify everything. It's not about being paranoid, it's about operational simplicity. Dialing a phone is dialing a phone; not everyone wants Google to think for them

The act of punching in a number should not require any outside services or assistance or requirements. If there are value-added components to add then they can manifest as modular extras or in another part of the device. This is a violation of user expectations and runs contrary to 75+ years of muscle memory. (And to add... dialing a phone should be a core, fundamental, and inviable aspect of smartPHONE and its OS, not something OEMs can swap out)

Watching technology companies supplant (erm, "disrupt") established and proven tech with their crap is extremely depressing. We had nice things, and then we threw them away because we are stupid and lazy. Why do "technologists" ruin everything?

"Smart" my ass.

"Dialing" a phone is niche functionality that most people don't use anymore - generally, people don't know phone numbers anymore, they don't really see them, and they definitely don't use them, they just tap on a name or face in their contact list.

A phone number is an identifier that you use once when obtaining a contact (or it gets shared by someone, so you don't enter it even that one time). If a phone actually required you to dial a number, for many people it wouldn't be usable as a phone to call their friends.

This means that integration with wherever users have stored their contracts (and right not it's generally one of the cloud services) is a key component of the dialer app, possibly the main one - a contact app without phone features can be used to communicate with everyone (using the multitude of VOIP services available, skype calls or whatever) but a dialer without contacts isn't sufficient for communication.

Not so sure about this... just yesterday I got stuck behind a freight forwarding truck that was labelled with only the company name, a list of destination ports, and a phone number.

Lawyers, doctors, and bail-bondsmen still advertise via their phone number. Entire generations still go to phone numbers as their primary means of reaching someone remotely.

Yes, this is the (rare) use case for the first call you make to a stranger. If you have a pre-existing relationship with a particular lawyer or doctor, you tap on their name or face in the contacts app.

Like, thinking about this I understood that don't know the phone number of my wife. I (probably?) have it written down somewhere outside my phone, I had known it by heart many years ago, but life was different back then, and as far as I recall it may be that I have not used it in any meaningful way for more than full ten years.

I recall that I have given her phone number to others on some occasions, but it involved sending a contact - possibly the number was displayed at the screen during that process, but neither I nor the receiver really read it, and it that way even before smartphones were a thing and sharing a contact happened over SMS.

> This is exactly the problem with technology.

This is YOUR problem with the technology. Normal muggles care for none of this conversation. They want something that works, which is what modern smartphones do. They like that the dialer provides fancy stuff like visual voicemail, automatic transcription, phone-number-to-business-name mapping, etc.

Most people don't care about trying to avoid Google Services, in fact most people don't use smart phones as phones. In a way, luddites that hate techologists have it nice. You can use an old flip phone that is just a phone and that thing will last forever! It's use assholes who need to keep charging them every day.

> Normal muggles care for none of this conversation.

If only because the same companies are training users to require all these extras, by effectively (and mostly inadvertently) erasing past knowledge. I'm sure Google would love it if their engineers could remove dialing entirely, what number could you possibly want to call that's not listed in Google somewhere?

A lot of those same muggles were/are fine before these services came along and many likely want it to stay the same.

> They want something that works, which is what modern smartphones do.

Ha! You're funny.

Look at one process I'm sure most of us are familiar with: getting a cute girl's (or guy's) phone number. With flip phones this was simple- pull up the dialer, punch in the number, hit save instead of dial, done (or just dial and save later). No waiting, no fuss. Now with my smartphone that same process is:

* key in my passcode / fingerprint / whatever

* wait for UI to animate, notifications to process, and for the OS to catch up (cause powersave is now off). 3-10 seconds on average of awkwardly staring at the screen and apologizing for the phone's slowness

* hit phone icon, wait another second for my touch to register than another 5-20 seconds for phone app to start

* enter number, hit Add To Contacts, meanwhile all inputs are lagging about a half second behind my actions. Wait for contact screen to appear (another 3-10 seconds)

* enter her name, maybe snap a photo (about the only real value-add in this process), hit Save, again waiting half a second or so for UI lag after each touch

If going out with a flip phone didn't make one such a large target socially you can be sure more would be rockin' it.

It sounds like you have a really slow smartphone.

This has been my experience with EVERY smartphone after six months or so. Unless a 2015 Moto Pure X is considered slow now? (It wouldn't be, IMO, if Android didn't somehow eat 60% of RAM with nothing running)

I have run all kinds of app loads, with stock and hacked operating systems, and things ALWAYS end up this way. The only way to avoid it seems to be to install barely anything.

> Look at one process I'm sure most of us are familiar with: getting a cute girl's (or guy's) phone number

People still get phone numbers? I just get LINE user names (which you exchange by scanning a QR code). I'm sure in other countries it's WhatsApp or Facebook accounts...

A lot of these people were fine before smartphones themselves came along. A lot of people were fine before phones. A lot of people were fine before agriculture or stone tools. Does that mean much?

It does when the replacements make life appreciably worse or more complicated, and it matters even more when the old ways are deprecated, made unfashionable, or just flat-out unavailable.

Look at John Deere.... we went from "software on tractors" to what is shaping up to look like a massive battle over intellectual property rights. Those new Deere tractors are superior in almost every appreciable way and yet we have another case of the OEM inserting themselves way too far into something that they do not belong in. Are farmers luddites for rejecting Deere's bullshit?

> the replacements make life ... more complicated

It's a long-held belief of mine that (what society considers) neurotypical people, enjoy making their lives more complicated. They pursue things that do so. (It's half the point of the societal encouragement to have kids the moment you get married: it keeps life challenging by adding complexity faster than the added stability of life-partnership can take complexity away.)

> Are farmers luddites for rejecting Deere's bullshit?

I'm not totally sure; don't know that much about this story. (Do you have a link? Maybe submit it as an article!)

My entirely-uninformed intuition is that agro-tech generally is such a different thing now than it was in the past, that legal precedents from the past won't serve us very well.

We don't just have fancier tractors now; we effectively have "a crop-growing+harvesting system in a box—just add ops staff." The modern large-scale farmer is now doing a job that bears less resemblance to the act of classical subsistence farming, than it does to the act of being a feudal lord with serfs. The serfs are robots made by John Deere. Does that give John Deere some different rights than they had when they just made tools for humans to operate? I'm not sure. I can be certain that it's not an "easy, obvious" question, though.

But the farmer is purchasing physical property with a software component. John Deere is abusing the software industry's history of license agreements to further its business objectives of controlling repair revenue. While many here seem to take the notion of ownership for granted we forget that it is one of the few things that elevate us above modern feudalism. An attack on ownership is an attack on many of the freedoms that underpin modern life today.






This looks a lot like the relationship between Apple or Google and their customers.

Like I said, totally uninformed—but I can see the analogy to, say, driverless cars. I don't expect that, in the long term, people will really "own" driverless cars—they require too much dealer-side maintenance, and Bad Things can happen if the "owner" of a driverless car prevents a software update from happening (things that can take the car from road-legal to not, where the law would place the blame for that status on the manufacturer.)

More likely, I think driverless cars will just be rented to people. And most of them won't even be that; the manufacturers will just build pools of them and hire them out, in the mode of taxis. The owner and "driver" will be the manufacturer; the people benefitting will be purely passengers.

I don't see what invalidates that logic when translated over to agro-tech: there's no reason John Deere will end up selling tractors, when they could instead contract them out, just as a temp agency contracts out their employees. They'd be the owner and the operator, insofar as they programmed the things and they're mostly running on automatic. The control buttons on such robots would just be for making "requests", and the owner would be free to ignore them. ("Don't like it? Hire someone else!")

Of course, for now, they're trying to get the benefits of being in that hypothetical world, while still existing in our own, which seems a bit silly. :)

It is my hope that there will be a contingent of people that can effectively resist, or maybe even destroy, this coming wave of rentals. If not, people will more often find themselves at the mercy of far more, and far larger, organizations that are not likely to care about them. You can see this already with Apple's App Store and the like

You guys have digressed a bit from the original topic, but I wanted to jump in and say that I agree with you, and so do a lot of other people.

I go to great lengths to keep Google and the like out of my life, and I find it really strange how accepting, and even defensive, people are with these intrusive services. It's a Brave New World, and Stallman was right.

I am not so sure do _normals_ care or dont't know. Do all alcholics think they have a problem? Can mass of people beat any single person on chess? I think that trusting for feelings of masses as facts is quite dangerous thinking.

We're not just talking about dialing a phone; we're talking about a Phone app. Which is—besides being a dialer—also a call history list, and a notification UI that appears when you receive a call to let you decide whether to accept it or not. Both of those use-cases benefit far more from looking up numbers than dialing does.

As it is, if I'm sitting at my desk with my iPhone and get a call from a number I don't recognize, I literally take a second to Google the numbers on my laptop before accepting the call on my phone. I wish iOS (or any VoIP app for iOS; I use Bria) had this integration, optional or not.

iOS do have this integration in the form of Caller Identification. An app can provide a caller information to the Phone app (I believe in a form of a database, rather than sending each call to remote server) and it will show up in the caller screen. Any VoIP app that integrate with CallKit will automatically get this functionality as well.

Whoscall is one example and is pretty popular in Asia.

Huh, neat. I guess I never really thought about how large phone storage has gotten. (A thought—if they're doing this all-locally, then they don't technically even need a separate API: phone number databases could just act as Contacts sources, with each virtual contact containing a field denoting "not actually someone I know, just someone who is calling me" so they won't show up in the Contacts app.)

No. Google does not "make it better".

And no. It's not "paranoid" to want to dial your phone without onerous terms of service.

And yes. There is something sacred about our phones and their privacy. It's 2017. Without privacy on your mobile device, you effectively have no privacy at all.

I'm not sure your comment could have a higher degree of wrongness. Every single part of it is wrong.

If you live in a world of "should be"s, it would be safest for you to assume that nothing was ever sacred, no. There were just opportunities being passed up or that weren't feasible until now.

It needs to access your contact book at contacts.google.com.

Who exactly do you think is going to provide the dialer? Are you also surprised to hear that the dialer on an iphone is an "Apple Service"?

That sounds like little more than semantics to me.

I take the complaint as different: he _can't_ replace the dialer. WileyFox replaced the dialer with one that snoops, presumably WF was paid compensation for the switch, the poster can't uninstall or change.

While WF's choice is perhaps sad, the plug gable architecture should allow the poster to switch --- but the dialer can't be switched!

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