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Google Revs Android, FCC Approves First Phone

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the dream-machine dept.

Google 259

Cycon writes "Google has announced, 'We're releasing a beta SDK. You can read about the new Android 0.9 SDK beta at the Android Developers' Site, or if you want to get straight to the bits, you can visit the download page.' A new Development Roadmap has also been released to help developers understand the direction the software is taking (as this is still only a Beta release). In addition, the FCC has approved the HTC Dream, and it is believed Google and T-Mobile will launch the phone in the US on November 10, since a confidentiality request attached to the application asks the FCC to keep details secret until that date."

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259 comments

iPhone appstore killer. (5, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655275)

Compare the iPhone's walled garden approach to this:

All applications are equal

Android does not differentiate between the phone's basic and third-party applications -- even the dialer or home screen can be replaced.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655329)

I'm going to get troll-rated into oblivion for this, but how is it different from few dozen window mangers for Linux - arguably one of the main reasons why the community is so fragmented and the interface standard still lagging behind proprietary systems?

Choice is often overrated. A team of professional interface designers should make the choice for me instead of giving me tons of options to figure out.

Android is a cute gimmick that's going to make an initial splash and then fade away into obscurity. And knowing Google's mantra of perpetual beta products, I'm going to guess that the project will be kept on life support forever, eventually ending up on cellphones in developing nations.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655401)

Choice is often overrated. A team of professional interface designers should make the choice for me instead of giving me tons of options to figure out.

I couldn't agree with you more!

The choice between MS, Apple & Linux is superfluous. Let's go with the most popular choice - that way developers can concentrate on one platform.

The choice between Firefox & Safari on OSX is superfluous. Apple's team of professional interface designers should make the choice for us; all those OS X users using Firefox are just delusional.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (2, Insightful)

madsenj37 (612413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655567)

You are on to something with your comment. Others have taken your point to the extreme. Studies have been done. People prefer some choice over not having any. People are happier when they do not have to make too may choices, however.

Some choice>No Choice
Too few choices>Too many choices.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (4, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655905)

There's one more factor, monocultures are very susceptible to diseases, for virus writers/bot herders to have to choose limits the impact of their deeds.

As a rule they'll go for the lowest hanging fruit first, the more diversity there is the harder it will get for them to make a living.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (2, Interesting)

haltenfrauden27 (1338125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655829)

Yeah I mean one point one could make here is that webapps are really the killer app for cellphones. As real browsers ( read: Opera/Konqueror/Firefox ) take hold on phones, I think this will become more and more the norm.

That's particularly the case when you consider a phone is nearly always at least minimally online.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655447)

I suppose you just want everyone to use the same brand of everything, that way technology will surely advance because of the lack of competition

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655449)

What's the problem here. You've got the professionals designing the interface, but hey, if you want to change it, you can!

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655783)

Exactly... You have you "professionally" designed interface there by default, and which most people will use...

But there is still choice for those people with different requirements, some people may choose to use the phone for things the original interface developers never thought of, others may be handicapped and need a special interface, leaving the choice available is a good thing even if most users will just stick to the default.

As for so called "professional" interface designers, how many phones have you used with utterly horrendous interfaces? All of the windows mobile phones i've used had terrible interfaces that were more suited to a PDA than a phone...
And then there's interfaces which are just great for some people and some tasks, but useless for others, like the iphone which is the best phone interface i've ever used for web browsing, but is pretty useless when you want to type a text message one handed.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655901)

All of the windows mobile phones i've used had terrible interfaces that were more suited to a PDA than a phone...

All the Windows Mobile PDAs I've used had terrible interfaces that were more suited to a desktop than a PDA.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (0, Offtopic)

piojo (995934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655459)

I'm going to get troll-rated into oblivion for this, but how is it different from few dozen window mangers for Linux - arguably one of the main reasons why the community is so fragmented and the interface standard still lagging behind proprietary systems?

(I'm going to get modded 'feeding the trolls' for this, but) So? Yes, the community is fragmented. Who does that hurt? This is a tired old argument, but you are starting off with some value assumptions that I just don't think make sense.

you got it backwards (0, Troll)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655545)

Choice is often overrated. A team of professional interface designers should make the choice for me instead of giving me tons of options to figure out.

Quite right. And with Linux, all you have to do is pick one of the major Linux desktop distributions and you get a consistent and fully integrated desktop with a complete set of desktop applications.

In contrast, most people buying a Mac end up having to fiddle around for hours choosing and installing the applications they need. And many people end up buying and installing one little Macintosh hack after another to work around the limitations and annoyances of the Mac interface.

So, if you want a no-hassles, consistent user interface that just works, go with a major Linux distribution, don't waste your time on the Mac.

Re:you got it backwards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655555)

Hahaha. Oh, that was good for a laugh. Thank you!

Re:you got it backwards (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655849)

This about linux is truth, indeed. I was shocked myself some month ago.
Point of most common choice being best is definitely wrong taken. You BEST developers, not quantity of them from all sides.

I bought new laptop without OS preinstalled. Because of some timeline issues I booted up Ubuntu linux and in 15 minutes I had fully operational PC, including function keys, wireless (802.11n!) and LAN, OpenOffice and Firefox out of the box. I did not touch any settings when it booted up. 15 MINS!

Then after few days I decided it's time to go to.. Vista, it took me 7-8 hours effectively to install, find all drivers and make everything working normally.

Re:you got it backwards (2, Interesting)

el_chupanegre (1052384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655919)

In contrast, most people buying a Mac end up having to fiddle around for hours choosing and installing the applications they need. And many people end up buying and installing one little Macintosh hack after another to work around the limitations and annoyances of the Mac interface.

Do you actually have anything to back that up?

If we're talking 'installing hacks' you honestly think that Macs need that more than Linux? You've never had to mess with xorg.conf or samba configs then? I have to do it every single time I install Ubuntu in a virtual machine.

The only thing I've ever done on a Mac that could be considered a 'hack' of the OS is create my own keyboard mapping because I'm too used to the UK layout where " is shift+2 and @ is over near enter

So, if you want a no-hassles, consistent user interface that just works, go with a major Linux distribution, don't waste your time on the Mac.

Once again, I'm sorry but I disagree. One anecdote I have about Ubuntu and it's lack of consistency is with the system tray. All the little widgets can be right clicked and 'locked' to the bar so that you can't move them. All except the network widget that is... When I changed screen resolution (because it auto-detected the wrong one, no hassle at all right?) the network widget didn't move over with the clock, it stayed in the middle of the bar!

Since there's no way to 'unlock' it from the bar, I can't move it, so it's still stuck there now, very very annoyingly. I also can't work out a way of getting rid of it.

MBP user (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656097)

I'm using AppTrap (which is free) and Steermouse (which was $20 or so.)

Especially the mouse thing is just wrong. Acceleration settings are perfect for the touchpad, but for an external mouse (which is not Apple's, in my case) it's just annoyingly bad. I could not get used to it. Steermouse made the mouse usable again, nice and snappy but not overly sensitive.

Re:you got it backwards (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656055)

In contrast, most people buying a Mac end up having to fiddle around for hours choosing and installing the applications they need. And many people end up buying and installing one little Macintosh hack after another to work around the limitations and annoyances of the Mac interface.

Not in my experience, or in the experience of any other Mac user I know.

Hey! We're duelling with anecdotes! I bet neither of us has anything to back up our point, except some personal experience. Hell, I get a strong feeling you're trolling and haven't even got the personal experience behind your point.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655921)

Well, it seems like you would be a perfect candidate for an iPhone? Everything will be done for you, including charges to your credit card for the apps you are forced to buy, I am sure.

But I think there is more to it than just choice and perpetual beta products.

Apple decided on AT&T, and although TMobile is the first to adopt android, they aren't exclusive as I understand it. So it could be AT&T versus every other carrier unified behind Android, which would be a huge boost to the user base and developer base of Android.

Android will also win the geek-friendly vote I presume, so there is another big plus there.

I doubt iPhone sales will stagger one bit, but there is a huge vacuum in non-AT&T phone technology that the iPhone has created, and Android is positioned perfectly to fill that void. And any fraction of the cell phone market is HUGE.

you aren't making sense (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656195)

The Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies, is developing Android: the first complete, open, and free mobile platform. Member list [openhandsetalliance.com]

Given the list of players (US major carriers, everyone except AT&T, in handset vendors, LG, Motorola, and Samsung, your choices may well come down to Apple/AT&T or something running an Android UI from everyone else for anything above the most basic mobile phones.

The difference between Linux WMs and the Android UI is that it's very possible that your choice about Android may be buy an Android phone or pay several times as much for an iPhone with an AT&T plan. Or Nokia may continue to supprt Symbian. We'll see. All I can say is I hope Android phones don't suck.

IOW, the difference is that Android has much more backing within the specific context of the mobile phone vendor world than Linux does.

All in all, another brick outside The Wall (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655395)

Compare the iPhone's walled garden approach to this...:

Anyone can grow a garden at home. Yet still may people seek to attend the carefully cultivated gardens of botanical centers around the globe, and gladly pay to do so...

It's excellent that we all of have a choice of both ways, as neither way is singularly the best for most nor would suit all users. But do not forget the choice you would not make, is a fine and valid choice for someone else.

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (3, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655475)

Anyone can grow a garden at home. Yet still may people seek to attend the carefully cultivated gardens of botanical centers around the globe, and gladly pay to do so...

You totally missed the point. I wasn't saying that Android's an appstore killer because of homebrew development.

The difference is that the ecosystem of paid, professional developers for Android will be able to do things like:

* Add copy/paste functionality (if missing)
* Develop an unrestricted skype / SIP phone application.
* Develop apps that run in the background.
* Allow applications to be installed without the vendor's approval.
* etc, etc etc.

And you sir missed mine (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655551)

You totally missed the point. I wasn't saying that Android's an appstore killer because of homebrew development.

I didn't miss your point. I pointed out, there are many points.

The difference is that the ecosystem of paid, professional developers for Android will be able to do things like:

* Add copy/paste functionality (if missing)
* Develop an unrestricted skype / SIP phone application.
* Develop apps that run in the background.
* Allow applications to be installed without the vendor's approval.
* etc, etc etc.

And all those are great - for some people. But are not needed - for some people.

After all you're already splitting hairs with end users on many points in your bullet list - does an end user care new IM notifications come from an external server? No. Do they really care if they can't get incredibly sucky VOIP over 3G and find WiFi instead to use Skype, those 1% of users that actually will seek out other ways to talk using voice on a PHONE? No. Do end users care what a developer must do to get an application? No, they see the applications before them. And developers can run anything they like on a phone without any restriction whatsoever for just $99.

There are some people that demand all those things, and many people who would consider they have them with an iPhone already, or at least the ones they care about.

The whole copy paste thing is so tired. It was debunked the first day someone used an iPhone. Would it be handy sometimes? Sure. But the device is perfectly usable without it because many data channels where you would normally use cut&paste are wired to funnel data as you desire (like emailing a web page link).

I think you missed your own point (2, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655819)

The whole copy paste thing is so tired. It was debunked the first day someone used an iPhone... the device is perfectly usable without it

Your own usage may not require copy & paste, but many other tasks are tedious and impractical, if not impossible without it.

I have an iPod Touch and it's great for many things, but the lack of copy & paste is the #1 reason the iPhone is (still) not on my radar this time round.

Re:I think you missed your own point (2, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655845)

I have an iPod Touch and it's great for many things, but the lack of copy & paste is the #1 reason the iPhone is (still) not on my radar this time round.

Well, you could always post on 4chan from a laptop...

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (1)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655565)

Android apps are written in Java. The features you describe would require changes to the system software. The system software is mostly open source, but changing it would require users to reinstall the OS, and that's not likely to happen, especially if the OS is forked for different vendors.

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656029)

>* Develop an unrestricted skype / SIP phone application.

Do you really believe T-Mobile or whoever is really up for this? Do any of the major providers of cell-phone data networks in the US NOT have a clause forbidding VOIP on their network? Sure anybody can develop it, but there's no reason to believe that using it won't be blocked if they notice you using it much. Or they dump you for a TOS violation. They make too much money on long-distance charges and even plain calling-minutes to just switch over to a flat-rate, just shipping bits around business model.

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656259)

First show me a data connection that has latency consistently under 250ms. Until then VoIP over cellular networks is a non-issue, and T-Mobile/AT&T/etc. couldn't care less what you do over WiFi, so long as you've bought a sufficiently expensive basic plan.

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (0, Flamebait)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656425)

Can't they already do all those things with Windows Mobile? That OS is complete shit though.

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655531)

Except the iPhone is not like the carefully cultivated gardens of botanical centers. It is like Monsanto(TM) corn that has been genetically modified to be sterile, and comes with a license agreement.

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655601)

Except the iPhone is not like the carefully cultivated gardens of botanical centers.

Says you - beauty is in the eye of the holder (to paraphrase a bit). The corollary is that what you don't have, you cannot appreciate...

Re:All in all, another brick outside The Wall (1)

iapetus (24050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656201)

Beauty may be the in the eye of the (be)holder, but licensing constraints aren't.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (2, Interesting)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655427)

That strikes me as what we in the industry call 'a recipe for disaster'. So how long until we see the first security hole that lets the payload replace the dialler and home screen (and maybe the contacts app) with apps that steal all your shit?

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655503)

So how long until we see the first security hole that lets the payload replace the dialler and home screen (and maybe the contacts app)

You realize that there's been several security holes in the iPhone that give the attacker root access? I'm not sure why you believe Apple's closedness with regards to the appstore has improved security.

A gate vs. nothing (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655625)

You realize that there's been several security holes in the iPhone that give the attacker root access?

There will always be ways around security defenses. You can climb over a gate, yet people still install them. Why?

It's because it's foolish to do nothing and invite the worst.

Thankfully of course Android does do something in terms of app sandboxing. So the real question is have they struck the right balance by being more open to start with?

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (2, Informative)

HxBro (98275) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655785)

There are plenty of phones out there that you can already replace everything on it, from cooked roms, to new dialers, new interfaces, you can even install android on some of them!

For once I like my windows mobile powered phone ;)

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1, Insightful)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655483)

This is a statement about the Android software, not about the phones that run it. In other words, the real question is: replaced by whom?

Nothing in the Android license requires phone manufacturers or network operators to allow users to replace software. Google didn't get all those mobile operators on board by promising them a lack of control.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655521)

Going to be pretty hard to lock down an open source product.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (3, Informative)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655535)

It's trivial to lock down. The carriers and handset makers are free to modify Android however they please, with no requirement that they release their changes, and no requirement that the open source version of Android even work on their phones.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655577)

Excuse me, but who are you? Have you done any breaking of DRM? Ever? I have, and I'm telling you that products based on open source stuff are a LOT easier to crack than proprietary stuff. I'm baffled that you'd even argue with me about this.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655603)

If replacing the home screen or dialer requires you to install an application to crack the digital protection on the OS, how is that better than the iPhone?

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655623)

You mean other than not having to pay for access to an SDK and such?

Your Money Mistake (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655641)

You mean other than not having to pay for access to an SDK and such?

The iPhone SDk is free to download. The Jailbreak headers are even freer in a way as you don't need to register for the (again free) ADC account used to access the official SDK.

So as the other poster questioned - what's the difference between an iPhone and an Android device if you have to hack both to do what you want? The iPhone wins for most development at that point since you have a nice compact UNIX system and can use C to develop which hackers generally are more used to than Java.

Re:Your Money Mistake (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655663)

Ahh, ok. Thanks for the update.

Re:Your Money Mistake (2, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655837)

The iPhone's SDK is free to download - but you have to pay $99 if you want to actually distribute your application.

I'm not aware of any fees for Android distribution.

Re:Your Money Mistake (1)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656269)

That's because there's no information - in Google's own words, "We haven't yet announced the plans for application distribution."

(I'm not entirely convinced they've formulated them either. It took Apple a while to get there.)

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655541)

Android does not differentiate between the phone's basic and third-party applications -- even the dialer or home screen can be replaced.

I am not sure this is different from the iPhone. I will expect most Android phones to have the home screen standardized by the seller, just like Apple does with their device. Yes, geeks may be able to replace the home screen, but for the typical user, that difference will be moot.

Re:iPhone appstore killer. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656001)

ill believe it when i see it. right now i worry about how much bending google i doing for the operators...

In denial? (2, Funny)

zdude255 (1013257) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655293)

I wonder if Google will still deny they are working on a phone.

Re:In denial? (2, Interesting)

strider44 (650833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655353)

Since Google Android has a web site [google.com] and has had for at least a year ... I'd say no.

Of course they're not actually working on a phone, just software for phones.

I think this stuff should all be spun off (4, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655299)

Google is becoming more and more like a christmas tree, the main trunk of which seems to be interconnecting information about all the users they've got in their various services.

Pretty soon they'll know your current location, what you've been searching for all your life, who you've been talking to and what you had for breakfast, as well as the contents of your email and your various documents.

That much information in the hands of one party is asking for trouble, either because they'll have a breach sooner or later (hopefully later) or because they find new 'creative' uses for all that data about you.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655437)

Or you could choose not to use Google.

The rest of us shouldn't have to suffer for your paranoia.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655461)

You speak for yourself, not for the 'rest of us', just like I do.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655485)

No, you're a paranoid freak and the rest of us get on with our lives and enjoy the free services that Google provides.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655717)

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (2, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655883)

hello again,

I'm not stopping you from getting on with your life or using/enjoying googles free services, far from it, I wish you great enjoyment :)

To label me a 'paranoid freak' for not being 100% gullible about what google is going to do with all that data, and noting that you do not speak for more people than yourself (even though plenty might agree with your, but then again, they might agree with me too) is not exactly friendly.

I've worked for some a big corporation that was datamining the hell out of whatever information they had in order to improve their sales, privacy be damned. I was young and ignorant then, and didn't even realize how wrong it was, but I've gotten a bit more skeptical since then.

I doubt google is much different, the bottom line is what matters to them. The product of google is not search or applications like email or maps, the product is their knowledge about you, the user and to capitalize on that knowledge.

I remember this episode:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/06/08/google-research-prototypes-ambient-audio-contextual-content/ [techcrunch.com]

And the double click acquisition as well as the amount of pressure that had to be put on google to get them to (finally!) place a privacy policy on their site.

So, how about we do a little wager, say 1,000 euros that before 2015 there will be some major (say > 1000 accounts) breach of privacy that will have googles accumulated user data at its core ?

This would include inadvertent leaks, disclosure of such records to authorities, outright data theft, identity theft and such.

Since I'm just a 'paranoid freak' and you're speaking for 'the rest of us' and you're pretty sure that google is collecting that data in a responsible manner with no chance of mishap whatsoever that should not be a hard decision.

take it ?

    greetings,

      Jacques Mattheij

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656027)

I think the OP's problem with you is your headline and what seems to be your conclusion: That these services should be "spun off" because too much information in one company's hands is asking for trouble. The only logical way that makes a difference is if these new, spun-off companies/divisions can't talk to one another or share that data. If that weren't the case, it would be the same situation we have now that you're objecting to.

With that in mind, there's an argument to be made that Google couldn't offer the same level of service without the same level of information, due either to the fact that the information is the price they ask you to pay for their otherwise free services or because they actually need the information to make the service itself better. Thus while you claim you only speak for yourself, you're actually proposing a solution that would impact everybody. The OP's suggestion was, in my mind, the correct one: Rather than forcing your views on everybody in that manner, if you're uncomfortable with Google having so much information about you, you should just not give it to them by not using their services.

Your concerns about privacy are valid, the decisions should just be made by each individual for himself.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656161)

I agree with you that in the case of a breakup you'd be doing that for nothing if you did not include a 'chinese walls' provision in there.

In what way the actual services would be impacted by having them as individual corporations instead of one mega corp is something to be researched, off the top of my head I think the biggest impact would be 'single signon' (which is something google has only recently moved towards with their 'google account'), what other real impact there would be on the quality of the services is not immediately apparent but I can not imagine that it would be very large (but then again, I could very well be wrong in that).

Avoiding the use of googles various services is getting harder and harder, especially with the way they've been buying up competitors to their own offerings. (Youtube is the biggest example of this, but doubleclick definitely figures in there).

The reason why I think that this needs oversight rather than individual or 'market driven' decisions is because people usually don't care about their privacy until there is a big enough breach and by then it is (much) too late, and because a corporation would never take such steps voluntarily.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun ofSUCCESS (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655491)

Pretty soon they'll know your current location, what you've been searching for all your life,

If they know all that, and know where to find it (what I've been searching for all my life) for me, they will then become the biggest success ever.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655683)

That much information in the hands of one party is asking for trouble, either because they'll have a breach sooner or later (hopefully later) or because they find new 'creative' uses for all that data about you.

Why later? I rather have them breached as soon as possible, before they indeed aggregrate all that other information besides my email-convos: That way people would be more aware of the problem that might arise when one company has all that info on a person.

I don't have that problem.... (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655767)

I just use a low profile fake user persona on Google:

John Bush Obama-McCain.

Re:I think this stuff should all be spun off (5, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655861)

Pretty soon they'll know your current location, what you've been searching for all your life, who you've been talking to and what you had for breakfast, as well as the contents of your email and your various documents.

Good, maybe Google can help me find a girlfriend who isn't a crazy whore.

The new PC vs MAC (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655325)

Remember when MSFT was the one promoting openness, as compared to the evil Apple and IBM empires?

I wouldn't be surprised to see a repeat, but with Google in the role of the open system, ala Android. It'll be interesting to watch the clean, sleak and confined iPhone go against the more likely open and flexible Android.

If history is any indication, I think Google wins.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655369)

when did MSFT promote openness?

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655455)

They promoted openness of hardware (and interoperability of firmware). Of course, that's what allowed their business model, the licensing deal for DOS being the mammoth business blunder of the '80s. But at one time Microsoft wanted to open what IBM wanted kept closed.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

ya really (1257084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655493)

when did MSFT promote openness?

Even their attempts to mimic bash or opensource in general with windows (with win powershell) are half hearted. Grep is free and they still dont include it. Not to mention their default choice for text editing is notepad. Seriously, if I want to use a windows based text editor, notepad would be my last choice and doesnt even come close to vim, since it's not within the shell. I guess you could use "edit," but that's not even close to vi/vim. Thankfully there's always cygwin in the windows enviroment

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655647)

I think you missed the point

Re:The new PC vs MAC (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655373)

It'll be interesting to watch the clean, sleak and confined iPhone go against the more likely open and flexible Android.

Depends. It will be a short race if we're watching the clean, sleek and confined iPhone go against the clean, sleek, open and flexible Android....

Frankly tho', I'm surprised at the number of posters on this site who seem to believe we're going to be looking at a contest between Apple & Google for the smartphone king crown.

Is it American chauvinism that makes so many here discount RIM & Nokia?

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

bakedpatato (1254274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655887)

I agree. Android will be a bit player in the war. When I go outside (no not to buy more bawls),I can easily say that 30% or so of the phones I see are iPhones(most of them being 1.0's;I've only seen 1 3G out in the wild ever since its release). Google will have a hard time dislodging Apple from its current position(as I assume that Google's target audience is also Apple's target audience),and since people are locked into a 2 year contract(a contract that costs upwards of $250 to break), unless Google can offer moar cool(ie:bragging rights) than Apple, people won't spring. And Google can't offer "moar cool", let's be honest.No,a picture of a ruby won't cut it. Android's openness will be lost upon Joe Blow. He'll think "Gee, the iPhone has the App Store, so what's special about Android?". Nor will he care that it runs Linux,in fact, Linux will be a foreign concept to him. RIM, Nokia,and Windows Mobile has been around for a while,and unless Android offers the average Joe something that the aforementioned do not,Google may find themselves in a bit of a hole. All I have to say to Google is GLHF.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655943)

Is it American chauvinism that makes so many here discount RIM & Nokia?

No... I imagine it has something to do with the fact that I haven't heard either of those company names since I-don't-know-when.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655995)

Not American chauvinism

It is your tech chauvinism that makes you think anyone* "cares" about phones from those companies.

Apple makes iPhone, and that is the only phone they make. The models(interface anyway) are all identical except in storage space and the network they use. They all behave in the same way.

Google will make Android(well...maybe).

Nokia makes...oh shit, no one in the general public can tell you a single model number of a Nokia. No one "cares" about their Nokia, people "love" their iPhones. And, hell, Android? Man, no one has even heard of it.

It has nothing to do with nationality.

* - besides techies

Re:The new PC vs MAC (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656247)

Is it American chauvinism that makes so many here discount RIM & Nokia?

I suspect it's more a question of what hype you're buying into. Personally I don't find either platform particularly compelling (nor am I particularly impressed by RIM & Nokia). Call it a decades worth of weariness at more or less semi-proprietary offerings that never seem work quite right.

I find the Openmoko far more interesting; I'm sure it'll be... difficult... in the beginning, but the potential for actually evolving into something entirely new (rather than what some particular 'Vision' dictates) makes it something I'll throw some money at.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655381)

If history is any indication, I think Google wins.

What history? Google hasn't produced a single compelling service since search. And the lion share of their profits comes from ads. I've yet to see a single Google offering other than their core business that has reached critical mass and displaced similar services or created new markets.

I love Google, but they haven't proven themselves as a company that can monetize innovation and bring them to the masses. I think if history is any indication, Android will become another Orkut and will be wildly successful in Brazil alone.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655529)

Google Earth.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655559)

Acquired, not produced.. and since we're talking about openness, what was open about it exactly?

I like all of Google's offerings. I use Gmail, Google News, Google Maps (including street view) and all the rest, but let's not get too carried away here.. all of those offerings are decidedly closed. Android is expected to be open, but it remains to be seen.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (2, Interesting)

mbaciarello (800433) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655629)

Google Earth.

Glad you mentioned it.

I can't comment on how open that app is, as I don't know enough about its inner workings. However, though I'm no IT professional, if I wanted to take a look at its code, I wouldn't know where to find it. I just know that if I want to measure anything that's not a series of segments I'm gonna have to buy the Pro version.

Anyway, get this: GMaps for the iPhone is practically unusable in my first language, which is not English. It keeps reporting results that are tens of km away. At the same time, the web version (yes, the one that shows you ads) is working fine for me.

Why are results different? Could it be that they're not working as hard on GMaps for a competing platform as they are on their own?

And where's the Google Mobile app for non-American users? We've known the iPhone would be sold in other countries for months now. Surely they are working as hard on GMobile for the iPhone as they are on Android, right?

All apps and platforms and users are equal, right?

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1)

ya really (1257084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655583)

What history? Google hasn't produced a single compelling service since search.

Awfully trollish and anti-google, aren't we? I suppose gmail doesnt count? And please name a mass email service that's better.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655589)

What about gmail? It seems to have a decent amount of popularity around here.

Re:The new PC vs MAC (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655807)

I very rarely here anyone talk about mapquest anymore...

Re:The new PC vs MAC (5, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656089)

Remember when MSFT was the one promoting openness, as compared to the evil Apple and IBM empires?

No, I don't.

I do remember how they screwed over their suppliers (QDOS), partners (IBM with OS 2, Sun with Java, PlaysForSure etc), and customers though(WinME, PlaysForSure). Also how they steamrollered the industry into the near monopoly monoculture we have today (Contracts forbidding BeOS or Linux on OEM machines, binary formats etc). Nice job rewriting history though.

Worked out well for them till people got tired of being screwed over and paying for mediocre knock-offs of other people's ideas.

November doesn't mean November... remember iPhone? (2, Interesting)

jsharkey (975973) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655337)

Remember that Apple requested requested a lengthened period from the FCC for the iPhone, but they launched about 3 weeks before that date. A November date for Android doesn't preclude an earlier launch.

All Android Needs to Succeed (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655457)

All Android needs to succeed is to not be the a**holes Apple is about SDK's and 3rd party apps. Do that and the world will be full of Android users saying to iPhone users: "Can your much more expensive phone to this yet?"

The made a big deal about the big buck$$$ iPhone displaying the I Am Rich jewel. I guess Apple didn't want competition for their own Apple I Buy Things When They're New And Expensive And Still Have Bugs logo on the phone.

Re:All Android Needs to Succeed (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655591)

All Android needs to succeed is to not be the a**holes Apple is about SDK's and 3rd party apps. Do that and the world will be full of Android users saying to iPhone users: "Can your much more expensive phone to this yet?"

I'd be careful with those taunts considering the iPhone is actually shipping, as are many applications on the phone itself. In response to any such question as you pose above, the answer will pretty much always be yes - either through jailbreak, or because a legal app exists, or because legal developers can write and run whatever the hell they want on their own phones with no input from Apple whatsoever. You do not think code will spring up to do things that Apple will not allow in the store? If it already has via Jailbreak, what's to stop people from publishing code that any developer can use with the SDK?

Your answer of course would most likely be the NDA - but that would be foolish on your part, for it's the thinnest veil that has stopped almost nothing. There are already a number of iPhone code repositories on, of all places, Google Code...

I like Android and wish it well, as I think choice is an excellent thing. But I have no illusions that ALL Android must do to succeed is be as open as most other mobile platforms before the iPhone, given that it didn't seem to help them any when the time came.

Why do people assume it will be open? (4, Insightful)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655527)

What makes people think that the mobile network operators, who have resisted this sort of openness in their handsets before, will embrace it now? Nothing in the Android license requires them to do so.

Apple had to struggle to find a single carrier willing to allow the iPhone. Google showed up with six. You don't get six times as many carriers by promising them less control.

many carries are open, Apple is not (3, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655571)

What makes people think that the mobile network operators, who have resisted this sort of openness in their handsets before, will embrace it now?

T-Mobile, Cingular, AT&T, and others have allowed unrestricted, fully programmable handsets on their networks for many years.

Apple's iPhone is a huge step backwards in terms of openness. Apple's misrepresentation of the facts is adding insult to injury.

Apple had to struggle to find a single carrier willing to allow the iPhone.

That's because the iPhone is locked down and controlled by Apple. If the iPhone were as open as Palm, Symbian, or Windows Mobile, every major carrier would be shipping it.

I mean, people have been unlocking the iPhone and using it on other carriers. The carriers didn't complain, Apple did.

Re:many carries are open, Apple is not (4, Insightful)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655673)

If the iPhone were as open as Palm, Symbian, or Windows Mobile, every major carrier would be shipping it.

I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying that the carriers rejected the iPhone because they thought its closed nature would make it unsuccessful in the market? Or maybe they were making a moral stand for consumer openness?

A more likely explanation is that the iPhone took control from the carriers and gave it to Apple. Consumers, empirically, ended up somewhat better off.

I mean, people have been unlocking the iPhone and using it on other carriers. The carriers didn't complain, Apple did.

Carriers complained bitterly about unlocking. It took a class action lawsuit and a visit to the Supreme Court to end AT&T's policies against unlocking. If they've been quiet about iPhone unlocking, it's only because they've lost that battle.

Apple has to make a good faith effort to prevent unlocking as part of their contract with AT&T. To Apple, an unlocked phone is another sale, and they have no reason to care if you do so.

Re:many carries are open, Apple is not (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655793)

Are you saying that the carriers rejected the iPhone because they thought its closed nature would make it unsuccessful in the market? Or maybe they were making a moral stand for consumer openness?

Carriers rejected the iPhone because Apple wanted a monthly revenue sharing agreement.

Re:Why do people assume it will be open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655635)

You don't get six times as many carriers by promising them less control.

Actually, Apple doesn't have an alliance with _one_ carrier, they have an alliance with one carrier for each country. Take a look at the list again.

But anyways, both situation aren't even comparable, Android is a platform on which 4 major cellphone manufacturers have agreed to cooperate, this has a little more bargaining power than one manufacturer entering the mobile phone business with a $500+ phone that no one has even seen before.

Re:Why do people assume it will be open? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24655703)

Basically, because since the earlier Android release there have been a shift to openess in the hand-set industry: Nokia bought Trolltech in January, Nokia took control of Symbian (default OS for many hand-set manufactures: Samsung, LG, Nokia, etc) and it will be releases as open source soon, the LiMo foundation have strenghten with new members, and more. All these platforms, Android included, have one thing in common: they are open and based on Linux.

So, it seems that the future of mobile will be a fight of open platforms (Android, Symbian, etc) against iPhone and maybe Windows.

Reasons why Android will not succeed (1, Troll)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655691)

Although the emotional slashdot crowd will mod me down i have karma to burn so here goes rational arguments:
1. Comparing Android and Linux as successful open source models is not correct. Linux runs on CURRENT hardware. It is NOT an emulator on Windows or Mac OS X. Android does NOT run on current hardware. I have two phones: LG Viewty KU990: Flash driven OS, and a Motorola V3 Razr (not the itunes crap). Can i use the PC-connect cables to flash the current OS on both phones to run Android? NO...Can i dual-boot? NO...
2. Apple's iPhone is current and has millions of customers. Android is virtual==zero customers. Developers want to see their code run on phones, not on emulators. iPhone is present, and to sound the proverb: A bird in hand is worth two in the bush...
3. Does not have support of carriers who fear open source more than Google. Remember that Apple has a kill switch for every iPhone App, so that if the carrier complains Apple can pull the switch. Android is open source and no single kill switch. No carrier would allow random apps to take down their network (even if its not practicable). This is similar to why Linux is not yet mainstream in large organisations.
Yes, you guys can say it is an emulator and mimics calls to the "real" OS of the phone. The last thing a carrier wants is the phone receiver being overridden by some crude game written by a 13-year old who thinks it is "Hot". Corporates just don't think that way.
Android will always remain the esoteric maverick OS for phones which if actually installed on the phone would make your provider disconnect your phone from network.

Great and all (1)

Joseph1337 (1146047) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655705)

but when in Europe?

Android will only run low res Java apps (2, Interesting)

ad454 (325846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655879)

Consider the iPhone, which despite being so crippled, a developer can still create and compile some native application for it, and install it via iTunes store or jailbreak.

Google has decided TO BAN ALL NATIVE APPLICATIONS for its Android phones, and only allow Java.

http://code.google.com/android/kb/general.html [google.com]
Q: Can I write code for Android using C/C++?
A: Android only supports applications written using the Java programming language at this time.

As a crypto developer, this means that my applications, which deal with complex CPU intensive cryptography that are not fully supported by any Java libraries, will never run on Android, even though I can port them to the iPhone, Windows Mobile, PalmOS, etc.

In addition, Android devices are only allowed to have low-resolution QVGA (240x320) resolution displays, which is half the screen resolution of the iPhone HVGA (320x480). Some Microsoft Windows Mobile phone even have full VGA (480x640) or WVGA (480x800) displays. This will also limit the usefulness and functionality of applications running on Android compared those other smart phones.

Re:Android will only run low res Java apps (5, Interesting)

Cycon (11899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656019)

Consider the iPhone, which despite being so crippled, a developer can still create and compile some native application for it, and install it via iTunes store or jailbreak. Google has decided TO BAN ALL NATIVE APPLICATIONS for its Android phones, and only allow Java.

Surely we will end up seeing "jailbroken" Android phones. If you are willing to consider a jailbroken iPhone as a legitimate target platform, you should know that people are already working on (and have met some success with) building and executing C [benno.id.au] and C++ [google.com] applications on the Android emulator.

Re:Android will only run low res Java apps (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24656091)

In addition, Android devices are only allowed to have low-resolution QVGA (240x320) resolution displays

This is completely incorrect. The emulator has always supported QVGA and HVGA displays. The current UI is designed for a touchable HVGA display. There is nothing in the system that prevents scaling up to even higher resolution displays (which is a lot easier than scaling down to lower resolution displays).

Re:Android will only run low res Java apps (3, Interesting)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656369)

There are several things in the system that will make it difficult to scale up to higher resolution displays. One example is Android's use of integer pixel coordinates, instead of abstract floating point coordinates. By tying Android to pixels, Google ensures that application elements will appear smaller (and so less usable) on higher res displays.

Re:Android will only run low res Java apps (2, Interesting)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656107)

Cryptography? Like.. Maths? Yeah.. unless you're writing optimised assembly it's going to make very little difference what language you write it in, particularly on a device like a phone.

And that's not even going into the fact that most of these phones are likely to run Java bytecode natively anyway...

Also, the Java based framework not supporting native applications is not the same thing as native applications being banned.

Re:Android will only run low res Java apps (2, Informative)

pammon (831694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656393)

It is rather doubtful that an Android phone will execute Java bytecode natively, given that Android doesn't use Java bytecode.

Re:Android will only run low res Java apps (2, Interesting)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24656357)

> Android devices are only allowed to have low-resolution QVGA (240x320) resolution displays

What the hell are you talking about resolutions?
Surely android is not designed for only a few resolutions.
In fact it is designed in such an awesome way, that you only need one binary package for every phone and resolution.
Get your facts straight, before posting bullshit, thanks.

Also, cpu intensive tasks dont belong on a phone.
Maybe you are wondering why Alias Maya wasnt ported to a phone yet. But i won't tell you why, heh...

No Bluetooth? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underhill (119443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24655891)

Did I read that right? Android 1.0 and Android 1.0 devices won't have bluetooth? That seems like kind of a big miss.

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