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> 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

http://www.cyanogenmod.com/

http://miuiandroid.com/

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".




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