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Did you even read the article before criticizing? Seriously, I hate to ask things of that sort on HN, but Siegler specifically points out that his problem with Google in this matter is they use the faux idea of "open" to rile pro-Droid folks like yourself at the expense of true progress vis-a-vis the carriers. Call people fanboys all you want, but it's just a copout on your part. 

You hate totalitarian control on your devices? Explain how you're okay with Verizon telling you that you can't have Google Wallet on the Nexus, carrier-dictated releases of upgrades, locked bootloaders, mandated two-year contracts and various other anti-open dictates that Google just goes along with because they're the carrier's bitch. 

Say what you will about Apple, but at least they've always been consistent about the experience they're going for with the walled garden ecosystem and they have wrestled control away from the carriers. Meanwhile, Google sold us all out of net neutrality for marketshare. 

I'm not sure I understand what's so "faux" about the openness of Android.

It's not just an idea: http://source.android.com/source/downloading.html

Being that it's an open source project, why wouldn't the carriers have the freedom to add or remove what they want? I don't necessarily like the carrier builds, but they're free to do with Android what they please. That's the general idea behind open source.

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusion that Apple is consistent. And there are certainly closed source Google Apps for Android. But your implication that Android isn't open source is a bit silly.

> But your implication that Android isn't open source is a bit silly.

I'm don't think anyone is arguing this fact. Android, generally, isn't 'open' in the sense that it is totally controlled by the carriers.

I would like to introduce you to



two efforts among many that demonstrate that it isn't "totally" controlled by the carriers.

I agree with you, but the fact that you have to root your phone and only a few of the handsets seem work well with the open source builds limits how open it can be.

Not saying this is google's fault.

True, but I think there are things google could do to alleviate many of the problems here. My understanding is that drivers appear to be a significant contributor to the portability problems of Android across devices. This is the same problem that Microsoft had for years and thankfully seems to be largely resolved with 7.

The fix is relatively simple, all "certified" devices must register their driver software with Google so it can be centralized, pooled, shared and reused without restriction.

Another problem is the bizarre proclivity of manufacturers to encrypt their boot loaders, then release a "fix" for it a month later. Just require manufacturers to not lock the bootloaders, that easy. Locked boot loader? No license. Done.

Note: Insterestingly, I believe it was HTC that accused Google of requiring the encrypted boot loaders to comply with the DRM'd distribution of media through Google's market.

Don't forget the fact that they use Google's closed source software like GMaps, GMail, Market... and strictly they don't allow you to run that on custom firmware.

"and strictly they don't allow you to run that on custom firmware"

That is strictly incorrect. I have all of Google's proprietary software on my rooted devices with custom roms, and didn't have to do anything special except get them from the Market after installing the roms. Just like I did when I got the phone from the carrier in the first place.

That's also not true. They don't allow custom ROM developers to illegal distribute copyright protected proprietary apps, no.

But they haven't C-D'd anyone rehosting the GAPPS zip files, nor do they care about the backup and restore script in CM to back them up from an existing Google-packaged ROM and restored into a custom one.

Thanks for this. Been using Cyanogen since I had my G1. Hadn't heard of MIUI before.

And you do realize the reason that the two custom ROM projects still exist today is because not many people are using them, right? Do you think the carrier would do nothing if custom ROM grows beyond being a niche and grandmas start talking about rooting their phones, which is purposefully locked by carriers? You think carriers lock their phone for fun and would not fight back when 50% of the customers would circumvent the lock?

This is like listing two dissident blog posts on the Chinese internet to argue that the Chinese government does not have total control of the people's life on the internet. You would not see these blog posts gain any real traction inside China because by that time a dozen people will be in jail and the intelligence of the great firewall will be upgraded to block more.

And you do realize the reason that the two custom ROM projects still exist today is because not many people are using them, right?

This sentence makes no sense at all. Care to explain?

""And you do realize the reason that the two custom ROM projects still exist today is because not many people are using them, right?""

What? That sentence doesn't make any sense. Oh wait, are you implying Google would come along and DMCA them or something? Do you even get what is going on? CM is built on top of AOSP. Google has tipped their hat at them, the lead dev now works for Samsung.

There are (edit, at least a) MILLION of installs of CyanogenMod alone. http://stats.cyanogenmod.com/ Those are opt-in only, it's not enabled on any of the CM9 kangs, and that's not counting the dozens of other AOSP ROMs that don't have stat tracking.

According to this article[1] written in last July, CyanogenMod had 4k installs per day. At the same time, Andriod saw 550k activations per day. That's clearly less than 1%.

[1] http://www.phonearena.com/news/CyanogenMod-sprints-past-the-...

Again, your point is? You're trying to use that statistic when the original argument was "Android isn't open".

Gorbzel, I read this and many articles by MG, who turn out to be full of tricky rhetoric to prove the same point again and again; "I love Apple, and I hate everything else."

Android source code is open, Carriers, Amazon (Kindle Fire), B&N(Nook), zillions of hardware manufactures are freely copying android source code to do whatever they want. Although I like the Nexus, and non-Carrier based versions and independent ROMS I admire the possibility that someone other than Google may come one day with some more innovative stuff based/forked on Android. Although I do not like most of them, I like diversity and the potential that better stuff will come up. I myself plan to use Android source code to create small robots with central intelligence. An opposite to "faux open", If you and MG defend "vrai Open", please give me the iOS5 source code and I promise I ll try to use it instead of Android in my project.

Your fallacy is this; you hate Carrier control; I hate it too, in addition I hate control from the Software producer (Apple/Google) & I hate manufacturer control (Apple, HTC, Samsung).

Your concerns about Verizon etc are right, but It would be ridiculous if you believe few years of AT&T/iPhone deal was more open and good for everyone. AT&T and Apple "consistency" you admire is simply due to a single product/single manufacturer/single carrier(was). I am for diversity for anything in my life. I know that the single biscuit they sold in some Soviet countries provides consistent, non-fragmented, smooth experience every day. But I am for diversity; I am for the guys who jumped from the Berlin wall (ed garden) to experience diversity and openness and freedom.

One last word, if you are not yourself a proponent of "Open", and you defend "Walled gardens and total control", why you or MG/others spend your words to convince me that Google is not open with Android. Leave the word to people like me who know the value of freedom and openness; believe me we shall criticize Google and Android harshly and better; by not forgetting that Google has come with Android open-source and not closed. At least they have a good starting point compared to Apple.

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