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Running Google Android On iPhone Clones

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the market-penetration dept.

Google 191

wooby writes "With the release of Android's source code, we may see iPhone and Nokia clone phones of Chinese origin capable of running Google Android. These phones, often available for less than $200 without a contract, are available on DealExtreme and elsewhere. But the software running on them is universally awful. Is the clone phone market a vast, nascent install-base for Android, and part of Google's end game? According to Google's Dave Bort, 'One of our goals would be, just to get Android all over the place' [YouTube link]."

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welcome (5, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558027)

I for one welcome our new cheap, Google-powered, android overlords.

Re:welcome (5, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558167)

I for one welcome the return of the 80s standardisation of the PC market via Windows compatibility demands but in a different market. All of China's clone manufacturers can dump 90% of their software development costs and have something that isn't insanely buggy for free that they occasionally do a bit of custom GUI stuff for. Of course that will happen.

Re:welcome (4, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558575)

It's like the 80's except better since the software is open-source and you aren't locked into the whims of the supplier!

Everybody wins! Yay!!!

Re:welcome (3, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559605)

It's like the 80's except better since the software is open-source and you aren't locked into the whims of the supplier!

And also that Tiffany isn't at #1.

Re:welcome (0, Offtopic)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559637)

But AC/DC has a new album out, so you never know.

Re:welcome (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559737)

You can't win all the time :(

Re:welcome (1, Flamebait)

Phybertekie (975815) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558281)

Thank you sir, may I have another? Gee this Google whip feels the same as the Microsoft one.

Re:welcome (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558441)

Thank you sir, may I have another? Gee this Google whip feels the same as the Microsoft one.

But it's not evil! That means it should feel good.

Re:welcome (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558877)

Steve, is that you?

Re:welcome (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558335)

Instead of search & destroy those overlords will have more plausible mission: 1. search 2. ??? 3. profit.

Sure. Why not? (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558041)

It worked for MS-DOS. Just ask Microsoft. ;)

Re:Sure. Why not? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558651)

~1982

With Microsoft's freedom to licence MS-DOS, we may soon see IBM-PC clones of Texas origin [wikipedia.org] capable of running MS-DOS...

Yeah, that aside, this could definitely be relevant. In general, the whole genre of surprisingly cheap offbrand stuff from China offers decent hardware quality(in many cases the same as the expensive branded stuff, since it is the same); but abysmal software and support, buggy firmware, anonymous driver disks that support 50-odd products(not including the one you bought), untranslated or poorly translated interfaces, etc. For me, this has generally meant that such hardware is a good deal for things that have standardized drivers(USB HID, Mass Storage Class, etc.) or things like USB-serial adapters where there are only a few chipsets, all supported by linux. Such hardware has historically been a poor deal in situations where standard drivers aren't available. If Android can be made to be a solid OS for clonephones, that will make them markedly more attractive to me.

I doubt that joe user will ever get into buying clonephones and loading Android himself, given that joe user considers his phone to be an appliance, and would be nervous about reloading Windows; but it isn't hard to imagine the business opportunities for someone with the tech skill to import OEM clonephones by the crate, slap a pulled-together Android distro on them, and maybe supply some documentation, not unlike the small; but very much alive, niche of *nix based computer sellers.

Better virtual keyboards? (1)

RustinHWright (1304191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559731)

The biggest thing keeping me from buying an iPhone/iTouch is that dimwitted virtual keyboard that covers half the screen. Do you cover half your screen with an indicator bar or other utility on your desktop? No. You set things up so that you can see more than two lines of type at a time in your app. So why should I want such a thing on my mobile?

My broader point is that this leverages perhaps the most offensive thing about the iPhone, the Apple-controlled app store, which has shown that they will refuse to sell anything that they, in their imperial wisdom, decide overlaps with an Apple-provided or even Apple-blessed app.
Personally, I would prefer a tablet device about one inch bigger than the iPhone in both width and length but in truth, give me a device with good hardware and the ability to actually write stuff and I'm there.

Android is free for some (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558047)

The problem comes when you want to call certain countries, like Italy. Google is working with the nefarious Italians to make their fiefdom a virtual black hole for wireless service. This allows Italians to manufacture their nefarious ices in slave labor camps for cell phone users like you and me. The italians must be stopped and Google must allow us to visit the shoe-shaped Asian country! I have a modems.

Re:Android is free for some (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558511)

Miniature american flags and/or abortions for the rest?

Re:Android is free for some (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558901)

I'm replying to this remark so I can find it later. I have modems. I have modems, too.

And that's not all all over the place (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558055)

Google would like to get your personal information all over the place.

Yes, but can it drive my car? (1)

Janeshat (1388077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558075)

Can it drive my car like james bond's phone? Or better yet, Dr. Horrible's?

Ballad of Android (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558099)

In days of old, when cell phones made calls,
and contracts deprived all of gold,
there came a metal man who lived in a mobile,
he promised free ring tones, no contracts, and
a platform by, of, and for the people,
but alas the sticker said "Made in China",
and it filled their hearts with lead... I mean, dread. Yeah.

Re:Ballad of Android (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558211)

Errmmmm...and where, exactly, do you think Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, etc., all make their phones?

Re:Ballad of Android (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558289)

Mount doom.

Re:Ballad of Android (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558405)

Sorry, but your post just doesn't sound Tolkeinesque enough ...

Re:Ballad of Android (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559005)

You are right... Orodruin/Amon Amarth would have been better. I'm actually kinda disturbed how often sindarin has come up in everyday life since I found this book, I borrowed it on a lark...

Re:Ballad of Android (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558687)

I'd believe that about some of the older Nokias, which don't seem to be destroyed by dropping them into just about anything else...

Re:Ballad of Android (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558909)

In the fiery chasms of Mount doom.

There, fixed it for ya.

Re:Ballad of Android (1)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558623)

My Samsung Blackjack II was made in Korea. Not quite China . . . .

Re:Ballad of Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558823)

I think Bob Dylan wrote the Ballad of Andriod in 1983.

Union Sundown

Well, my shoes, they come from Singapore,
My flashlight's from Taiwan,
My tablecloth's from Malaysia,
My belt buckle's from the Amazon.
You know, this shirt I wear comes from the Philippines
And the car I drive is a Chevrolet,
It was put together down in Argentina
By a guy makin' thirty cents a day.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, this silk dress is from Hong Kong
And the pearls are from Japan.
Well, the dog collar's from India
And the flower pot's from Pakistan.
All the furniture, it says "Made in Brazil"
Where a woman, she slaved for sure
Bringin' home thirty cents a day to a family of twelve,
You know, that's a lot of money to her.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, you know, lots of people complainin' that there is no work.
I say, "Why you say that for
When nothin' you got is U.S.-made?"
They don't make nothin' here no more,
You know, capitalism is above the law.
It say, "It don't count 'less it sells."
When it costs too much to build it at home
You just build it cheaper someplace else.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Well, the job that you used to have,
They gave it to somebody down in El Salvador.
The unions are big business, friend,
And they're goin' out like a dinosaur.
They used to grow food in Kansas
Now they want to grow it on the moon and eat it raw.
I can see the day coming when even your home garden
Is gonna be against the law.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way.

Democracy don't rule the world,
You'd better get that in your head.
This world is ruled by violence
But I guess that's better left unsaid.
From Broadway to the Milky Way,
That's a lot of territory indeed
And a man's gonna do what he has to do
When he's got a hungry mouth to feed.

Re:Ballad of Android (1)

spacefrog (313816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559809)

My Blackberry was made in Mexico. My wife's Samsung was made in Korea. My prior Nokia was made in Finland, as was the one I lost that it replaced, the other Nokias in my drawer were all made in Hungary.

I have about six phones (does the 'parts nokia' count?) in front of me purchased at different times from different carriers. Not a single one was made in China.

I don't feel like digging out the box of old CDMA Motorolas, but I know those weren't made in China, either.

I've owned (and own) more phones than the average geek. Not a single one since I got my first Moto MicroTAC in 1994 have been made in China.

i wish i could run android on my real iphone (2, Insightful)

putch (469506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558113)

because i really hate the iphone os.

Re:i wish i could run android on my real iphone (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558277)

Seconded. it is essentially useless for doing anything interesting unless you jailbreak it.

Re:i wish i could run android on my real iphone (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559387)

Seconded. it is essentially useless for doing anything interesting unless you jailbreak it.

Oh, the horror!

uhh (5, Insightful)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558355)

...then why the hell did you buy one? iPhone isn't made for people who want to tinker, its made for my mom and dad. This is like buying a minivan and then bemoaning that you can't start supercharge it to 400hp.

Re:uhh (1, Offtopic)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558569)

My lack of mod points makes me unable to mod you up, but your comment is insightful.

Re:uhh (4, Interesting)

Synn (6288) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558617)

Well, I bought one because it was(arguably still is) the best smart phone on the market.

But that doesn't mean I like Apple and the iPhone OS. It's stupid silly how they have it locked down and I'm tired of the iTunes tie in.

I'll be trading my iPhone out for a G1 soon probably, but I don't at all regret having bought the iPhone back in January. It was the best device around at the time and it's served me well over the last year.

Actually I don't really like the G1 all that much either. I think the hardware isn't as nice as the iPhone hardware. I'm really hoping for an iPhone ripoff with the Android software on it.

But like the iPhone was over the last year, the G1 is probably the best device for me at the current time. So I'll buy one and when something better comes out, I'll move to that.

Re:uhh (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558775)

Wow, sounds just like me. Somewhere between the ringtone system, and the lovely way it deletes your CD music when you have two computers, I felt like a prisoner. Great hardware, very usable. 3g is nice, but won't fix the problems.

At some point I wanted to develop for the iPhone, but it's locked into the Mac. Everything about that phone seems locked.

Re:uhh (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558867)

Well, I bought one because it was(arguably still is) the best smart phone on the market.

really? i had thought blackberry was the best smart phone on the market, you know with their majority market share that they have had for the last few years. http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=575 [com.com]

Re:uhh (4, Interesting)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559061)

Considering Motorola has already stated they are going to make a series of devices with Android, and I'm certain that other equipment makers will probably jump on board at least with a handful of devices, I don't think you will have to wait too long for a more elegant android device.

That being said, I think the criticisms on the hardware of the G1 are necessarily fair. I mean, yeah, it doesn't shine, but I like function over form personally and the hardware buttons and the qwerty keyboard suit me more than just having the touch screen.

I respect that that's not good enough for some, but I don't think the G1 was developed as an iPhone killer like some believe and like the gadget media keeps trying to indicate. I think it's aimed more at the audience of people who want a smartphone but want a more open platform than what they are being served by most providers. For instance, I'm a programmer myself and the idea that I can sit down and easily develop applications for my own use for the G1 really drew me towards the Android platform in general. Yeah, you can do that on the iPhone, but not nearly as easily or conveniently as you can on the G1. Not to mention that the SDK was available even before the first device was out and google has already laid out a roadmap for improvements to the platform and SDK. A far cry from what you get from Apple. It's as if Steve Jobs begrudgingly allowed the SDK to be more widely available but really didn't want that to happen.

Re:uhh (0, Troll)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559227)

Touch screen aside, how is it any better than the Blackberry or Nokia N95?

As far as I can tell, the touch screen is the ONLY thing going for the iPhone. The app potential is wasted thanks to their draconian controls.

Re:uhh (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559359)

Additionally, I have heard praise over having both touchscreen and the blackberry mini-joystick thing on the G1...which is pretty much why I plan to get one. Oh, also that whole not starting at 500$ thing is a pretty good reason too.

Re:uhh (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558709)

You apparently know nothing about engines. You don't need to supercharge it to get to 400hp. Just add a nice big nitrous kit. That will give you all the power you need with the added bonus of making really cool explosion sounds as you scatter parts for a half mile.

In all seriousness though, you can get a minivan to 400hp. Some people need the space or like the way it looks or whatever, but want more power. With the iPhone, maybe you like the looks or how it feels in your hand or that it has the touch screen, but maybe you don't like the OS. I agree that it's not currently for people who like to tinker, and that's a shame. I think it would be great if you could actually do whatever you want with stuff you buy.

Re:uhh (4, Insightful)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559095)

Nothing in Apple's history should've given anyone any indication that any decent amount of tinkering would be allowed by Apple.

Re:uhh (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559199)

I'm rebuilding the engine in my station wagon with the intention of making just over 400 HP (without a supercharger, turbo, nitrous, etc). For whatever that's worth. :)

Re:uhh (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558865)

Not quite 400HP, and not supercharged, but just for fun, you might get a kick out of this based on your comment:

http://www.turbominivan.com/members/terry/ [turbominivan.com]

302HP at the wheels, which, assuming a 15% driveline loss (could be more or less, depending on a variety of factors) works out to somewhere in the range of 350HP at the flywheel. The page I found this link on says he's running 11's now, which would indicate that he's probably passed the 400HP mark given the weight and shape of the vehicle, but that's unverified.

I get your sentiment, but sometimes people view things like that as a challenge, not a deterrent.

Re:uhh (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559077)

iPhone isn't made for people who want to tinker

I love how the Apple zealot argument changes course 180 degrees depending on the situation. Since the v1 phone came out, we have been inundated with stories about developing applications for the phone. Now that we know the phone is extremely limited and Apple has the last say over whether you are even allowed to distribute your applications, the Apple zealots are claiming that it is not a developers phone.

MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!!!

Either it is a developer's phone and Apple needs to fix its horribly broken development and deployment process or it is NOT and you zealots need to stop hyping the thing on places like Slashdot.

Re:uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559183)

You sir, do not know anything about minivans
[link]http://www.turbovan.net/van.html[/link]

Re:uhh (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559215)

You should be able to do such a thing - not quite 400HP but still respectably high - http://www.turbovan.net/van.html [turbovan.net]

Since it's the same engine as Relentless it could have reached 400+ if the owner had wanted to.

Re:uhh (1)

k420 (1357907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559629)

Wow thats funny cause my '93 VW Eurovan has an audi Inline 5 cylinder engine and it can be supercharged to about 500 hp

Re:i wish i could run android on my real iphone (1)

Orlando (12257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559617)

Please expand on this, how on earth can you 'hate' an OS? And what do you object to so much about the iPhone's OS?

Are you talking to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558119)

No, my son is also named Bort.

How about just better software? (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558173)

the CECT P168C has a feature I cant fin in any other phone. Dual SIM cars support. I could have my work phone sim and my personal phone sim in one phone and reduce pocket clutter. I wold KILL for this feature but the morosn that make most american phones refuse to deliver this feature.

Hell the few Nokia's that did support it were Europe/asia only.

Re:How about just better software? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558479)

I wold KILL for this feature but the morosn that make...

That's an unfortunate place to make a typo....Dual-SIM phones would be nice, though.

Re:How about just better software? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558741)

Trouble is, it isn't that the phone makers are morons, it is that the American phone distributors, who are almost always the telcoms, have no interest in you having that feature. Dual SIM support starts down a dangerous slippery slope: First consumers want to consolidate their work and personal numbers on one phone. Allowable, though they really should be paying a monthly fee for some sort of forwarding service(remember, when you own the network, intelligence at the edges is the enemy). Before you know it, though, they've gotten uppity, and are using cheap prepaid SIMs from other companies in order to save money. Can't have that.

Re:How about just better software? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558821)

Exactly, Even phones like my Nokia e62 or my blackjack support multiple accounts on the same sim so that through that provider I could have 2 phone numbers, they REFUSE to set up such a feature. AT&T/Cingular say it's against their company policies.

Re:How about just better software? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558759)

I would like dual sims as well but for now here is what I do. I forwarded my personal phone to my business phone and get all calls on one phone. Haven't turned my personal phone on in over a year. Of course if you don't have a large bucket -o- minutes or your boss is a jerk about personal calls on the company phone then your screwed.

Re:How about just better software? (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559335)

that'll be a Samsung D880 for table number 4

Re:How about just better software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559457)

I wold KILL for this feature

Shouldn't be too hard. Hang out at a major airport, wait for someone who is clearly a wealthy Asian businessperson, kill that person, and search the body for a dual-sim cell phone. If you don't get one on the first go, try, try again!

Shameless plug? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558177)

1) Submit "story" to Slashdot with affiliate sales link cleverly embedded inside.
2) Profit!

Re:Shameless plug? (3, Informative)

wooby (786765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559403)

Actually I put in my reseller code as an afterthought: why not? DealExtreme really is the best online clone phone retailer, with pictures and comments on most of the common clone models. And, I happen to have a referral code with them. So what, I'm a starving IT student! 3) Ramen

Sounds good, especially for prepaid plans (2, Interesting)

proxima (165692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558253)

When my contract expires (early next year), I'll be in the market for a new phone and plan. This time around, the prepaid plans I've been seeing might actually be a better deal than what I've been paying.

The trouble is, prepaid phones seem pretty crappy on average. I have a Motorola Razr which I'd likely keep, but sadly it's CDMA (Verizon) so I can't stick a prepaid SIM into it. At the same time, I wouldn't mind ditching my separate mp3 player and having a phone capable of using the wifi I have available in many places. That all points to "smartphones", which can be really expensive without a 2 year plan.

Buying an unlocked phone with a decent OS for $200 and buying some cheap flash might be a good solution. Or, if the hardware sucks and the OS is poorly adapted to it, it might be a frustrating experience. Time will tell, but I'm not anxious to become an early adopter here.

Re:Sounds good, especially for prepaid plans (1)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558453)

I use a prepaid account with a $250 iphone from apple. Too bad they don't offer that option anymore. It's great for people that don't talk much.

Also available under Windows Mobile (3, Informative)

derek_farn (689539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558257)

Where is the news? Android is also available on the commercially available phones running Windows Mobile, eg HTC Kaiser [xda-developers.com] .

Re:Also available under Windows Mobile (1)

prayag (1252246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558403)

Err. Because Android is free and ... open source. No licensing fee, good community support. All you need a developer competent enough to write drivers and you are set to go.

Consumer Electronics (4, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558263)

I think Google is unfortunately in a precarious position with Android if it's primary niche becomes crapware-filled knockoff phones or installed on very uninspired and underpowered hardware. They are in the same boat as MS, where a large majority of criticism of the platform from the average consumer is due to OEM modification, pre-loading, and crappy hardware support (via 3rd party drivers).

Linux thrived in a hobbist environment eventually to the point of corprate adoption, which takes both time, a community, and a willingness to run at a loss for a long time. The real key to success is developers whose goal was a OS that was secure, stable and efficent on legacy hardware, and somewhat "peer reviewed". For Android, the average developer is going to produce $3-$5 applets on their own for consumers who have no sense of style or consistency (UI standard). I cringe; personally when I see applications for my iPhone that have no forethought and look like bastard stepchildren compared to my other apps who follow the UI standards. For a consumer good, it needs to be "excellent" (or "better" than the competition) and not only that, downright "sexy" before it hits the masses or it is going be DOA or lackluster at best.

I fear the same methodology that made Linux "proper" great, will make Andriod a cheap OS for cheap phones developed on by bad developers for companies trying to squeeze every last cent of profit out of a "consumer good" like a toaster or DVR. That being said, I hope I am wrong.

Re:Consumer Electronics (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558681)

I think Google is unfortunately in a precarious position with Android if it's primary niche becomes crapware-filled knockoff phones or installed on very uninspired and underpowered hardware. They are in the same boat as MS, where a large majority of criticism of the platform from the average consumer is due to OEM modification, pre-loading, and crappy hardware support (via 3rd party drivers).

Hey, it worked for Windows, I don't see why it won't for Google...

OEM modification is the problem; you need to be able to run any android app on any android phone. The el cheapo vendors might actually be better - they won't bother.

Re:Consumer Electronics (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559163)

As if the cheap knockoff Chinese Android phones will make a real impact with how Android does. That would be like saying that the cheap Chinese knockoff iPhones are affecting how the iPhone does. Seriously, this is a dumb argument.

Re:Consumer Electronics (2, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559159)

I cringe; personally when I see applications...

SYNTAX ERROR

I love pointing out the errors of people who say things like this: "for consumers who have no sense of style or consistency".

Re:Consumer Electronics (2, Insightful)

Warbothong (905464) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559775)

I think Google is unfortunately in a precarious position with Android if it's primary niche becomes crapware-filled knockoff phones or installed on very uninspired and underpowered hardware. They are in the same boat as MS, where a large majority of criticism of the platform from the average consumer is due to OEM modification, pre-loading, and crappy hardware support (via 3rd party drivers).

Linux thrived in a hobbist environment eventually to the point of corprate adoption, which takes both time, a community, and a willingness to run at a loss for a long time. The real key to success is developers whose goal was a OS that was secure, stable and efficent on legacy hardware, and somewhat "peer reviewed". For Android, the average developer is going to produce $3-$5 applets on their own for consumers who have no sense of style or consistency (UI standard). I cringe; personally when I see applications for my iPhone that have no forethought and look like bastard stepchildren compared to my other apps who follow the UI standards. For a consumer good, it needs to be "excellent" (or "better" than the competition) and not only that, downright "sexy" before it hits the masses or it is going be DOA or lackluster at best.

I fear the same methodology that made Linux "proper" great, will make Andriod a cheap OS for cheap phones developed on by bad developers for companies trying to squeeze every last cent of profit out of a "consumer good" like a toaster or DVR. That being said, I hope I am wrong.

I really really really really really really REALLY hope that entire comment was meant to be sarcastic.

Firstly, Windows is good because of OEMs. Microsoft have to do very little hardware support, because they know that the hardware makers will do it for them (or risk losing money by having a product which doesn't work on 90%+ of machines). Get a machine with Windows and it will work (for a certain value of work, since we are talking about Windows).

Linux is generally bad because of lack of OEMs installing it. Get a generic PC and install Linux on it, there will most likely be graphics issues, Wifi issues and maybe sound issues. This gives the impression to the user that Linux is crap. Buy a system from a Linux supplier like System76, or even Dell, and all that stuff will work, letting the desktop and applications shine through.

This is the exact opposite of your first argument.

Your second argument is just offensive. You're taking your own irrational hatred of phone apps which don't fit in (OK they might be annoying, but that's as far as I'd go), and you're not only applying it as the most important criteria for your own things, but you're trying to apply it to everyone else's phones too.

What on Earth lets you deny other people fully working, functional software which they've written amongst themselves to use on their devices, because you think they're ugly and quirky?

history repeats itself cuz we weren't listening (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558299)

But the software running on them is universally awful. Is the clone phone market a vast, nascent install-base for Android, and part of Google's end game?

What, a parallel to the PC/PC-compatible watershed? God, I hope so. The next step is getting them to change the billing rates for wireless, they're killing us.

This could just cut out the big phone brands. (4, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558315)

Basically, you're saying that with Android, a manufacturer wouldn't really even need the support of a big brand of cellphones - since the big brands use China for fabrication, but then pocket some of the money.

So Chinese fabs could just hire a couple of engineers to quickly make clones of devices designed by experts, and there would be a ready-made, free software for those devices. I like it! But it must be a scary thought for companies like Nokia, Motorola, RIM and Apple. Maybe it will drive some hesitation about the use of Android, because everyone will know that knockoffs will work pretty much identically to an Android phone.

Potentially, the big winners here could be the carriers, who could just brand the cheaper hardware.

Re:This could just cut out the big phone brands. (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558515)

Cause there's nothing quite like jacking the work of others, right?

Re:This could just cut out the big phone brands. (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559207)

I don't think it's as big an issue as most here seem to fear. In the end, just having Android will not make a phone outsell another Android phone. Having the right hardware setup and having a good software inclusion will make the difference. Also, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. The reason the Chinese iPhone clones aren't hurting the sales of the iPhone is because they suck. The same will go for the Chinese made Android phones, because the implementation of the phone will still be garbage, even if the Android OS installed is the same.

Re:This could just cut out the big phone brands. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559623)

It is getting the carriers out of the picture who add no value what so ever beyond branding and subsidizing phones.

Why would the manufacturers let the carrier's brand them (adding cost) when they can push millions of handsets in Walmart across America? It is like buying a Sony computer vs an emachine. There's no real difference in similarly specs machines except the brand.

Nokia is scared enough to start the Symbian Foundation to stay competitive in the future.

Begun, the Clone War has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558333)

an army of clones running android, rather than an army of android clones!

Begun, the Clone War has.

What's with the embedded affiliate link? (4, Informative)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558341)

For what it's worth, the DealExtreme link in the summary includes an embedded affiliate code. I appreciate informative links as much as the next guy, but this looks like an attempt to cash in on a /. post.

Re:What's with the embedded affiliate link? (3, Interesting)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558551)

So what? The guy is pointing you towards something you're interested in. What does it matter if he makes a little scratch from it?

Now if it were a Slashdot editor's affiliate link, that would be a different story.

Re:What's with the embedded affiliate link? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559315)

Butbutbut...this is Slashdot! And here we believe that everything should be free! WHy should someone else make money or get other perks when I click a link? It smells of capitalism!

All together now!

Capitalism gave us Microsoft
and captialism gave us Sprint
and capitalism makes us buy our ink
from the maker in order to print

And capitalism gave us Apple!
And capitalism gave us Wal-Mart!
And capitalism gave us G. W. Bush
who tore the country apart!

And captilaism gave us Google!
And captilaism gave us malls!
And captilaism gave us Best Buy,
who is the worst buy of all!

Man, I could go on for days, but this is already a huge waste of your time. I apologize to anyone who read all that nonsense; I'm doing nothing but lowering the signal to noise ratio =(

Re:What's with the embedded affiliate link? (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558801)

Well, considering none of the knock-off phones listed actually HAVE Android installed, hopefully he won't see many purchases. Still, shame for using an affiliate link and not even pointing to the products you're talking about.

History repeating itself... (2, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558351)

I submit that this is 80's PC history repeating itself (ok, maybe it's just rhyming). Again, with Apple pushing a proprietary, tightly controlled hardware/software package and another pushing only the software side (this time it's Google, not MS).

If history is any indication, the open standard will win... these "clones" are an indication of that. Their initial quality will be awful, but if there's a market, quality will improve.

Of course, there are differences and nothing is guaranteed, but the similarities are too striking to ignore.

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

molotovjester (1273662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558621)

I agree whole-heartily with this statement, and I am getting irritated that fan-boys are consistently fearing the open-ness and unity that Android will bring to the marketplace (both corporate and consumer).

Sure there will be power struggles and Microsoftish like problems, but advancing the mobile smart phone is the next step in technology and proprietary technology won't get us there.

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

jackchance (947926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558787)

If the current success of apple has taught us anything, it is that people don't care about control, monopolies or being locked in. The reason for most of the M$ hating was because it was broke.

In the 80's mac os was not very good. there was no protected memory, it would crash frequently, and the whole resource fork thing was a pain in the ass. windows 95, for all its faults, and especially NT , with NTFS, made windows a better OS than mac at that time.

if android can provide a better experience than WinMo and the iPhone, it will take over. It is becomes the linux of the mobile world, with many different flavors it will find a niche, like linux has, but it won't kill the iPhone.

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559261)

The counter to your argument is that Apple still has a small piece of the pie (even though it is bigger than it was 5 years ago) and MS has pretty much most of the pie, because they did it right in the first place. Like MS, hate MS, want to murder everyone who works at MS, it doesn't matter. One thing where credit must be given is that they chose to work on an open platform and simply provide the software to run on that platform, and it worked. The same principles are being applied by Google, and they are less evil (or at least that's what everyone is supposed to believe) than MS and therefore life will be even better. Personally I believe it simply because of the fact that Google is willing to provide all of the code, no questions asked. They are just looking to profit off of the advertising and such. Not a bad trade off if you ask me. Yeah, there are questions about what they plan on doing with the data they have, but I don't see that on the same level as MS basically keeping a tight control over their software and constantly pushing out buggy code that was either bought, borrowed, or stitched together from a variety of sources.

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558839)

One difference is that Apple has spent a long time now learning how to keep pace with cheap, popular, and free/open alternatives.

I don't think Apple would even be surprised if you told them that the smart-phone competition will heat up with Android. They just think their own design and engineering is good enough to keep them ahead of the curve, just as they manage to STILL make a lot of money selling Macs despite the lower pricetags of Dell, Microsoft, Linux, etc.

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

jcmb (936098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558845)

I agree, Google is doing for the cellphone what Microsoft did for the PC: Allow manufactures of cheap computer hardware to run a common popular software platform. This is a huge plus for the consumer: cheaper phones!

Regarding your sig - (1)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559021)

Thank you! It's nice to be recognized!

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

jmhoule314 (921571) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559287)

in response to your sig... I do not bite the heads off of chickens

keyboard? (3, Informative)

Nate Fox (1271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558385)

the problem with an iphone clone is there's no keyboard. and theres no software keyboard in android yet. once thats added, I'm sure this will happen

Re:keyboard? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558635)

Maybe someday you can just use something like this:

apt-get install software-keyboard

Re:keyboard? (1)

schnogg (12192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559099)

I really just want to be able to sync a bluetooth keyboard to it. that's all. That, or one of those projected keyboards. http://www.engadget.com/2005/01/20/itechs-got-the-latest-bluetooth-virtual-keyboard/

Re:keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559177)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBOyGp25sSg

It has something better than a keyboard.

sounds cool, but (1)

steak (145650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558499)

are there actually tools available to put android on these phones or is this just a site pimp?

Re:sounds cool, but (2, Interesting)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559339)

The source is freely available. Requires a Mac or *nix to build the source, but it can be used even in non-phones (although I don't know how much sense that would make, other than maybe in an internet appliance perhaps). Can't be built currently on Windows, but that would not make much sense anyways. The bigger question is when are we going to see a non-big company release of an Android device, and who is it going to come from?

They're cheap for a reason (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558587)

Most of these phones have a 30 - 60Mhz ARM core with 4-8megs of RAM. No Nucleus based phone is going to run Android anytime soon. The ones that run Windows Mobile might, but they're far from what I'd call cheap.

Re:They're cheap for a reason (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559295)

Most of the phones will just have a look and feel that sort of kind of but only in a stupid crappy sort of way resembles the Android interface. Unless they use the same quality hardware as what the G1 runs under the hood.

The History Books Will Mark This Day (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558605)

...and on November 29th, 2008, Android became self-aware...

Android... more like Skynet (1)

crypticedge (1335931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558989)

Everyone knows once they get past 30 or 40% market penetration they will flip the "Take over and destroy the world" switch causing our phones to form skynet.

So... (2, Interesting)

Opr33Opr33 (1180091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559181)

Where is our ad supported g phone? Give me free 3G access, and I will be standing in line.

Submitted from my Mozilla browser with Ad Block set to kill...

Android shouldnt just be for phones (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559225)

I would like to see it on Netbooks, its probably more appropriate than a full desktop OS for such a specialised bit of hardware....

Regardless.... (2, Insightful)

netglen (253539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559427)

Regardless of which uber phone/OS device you chose, it'll still cost you an arm and a leg for the monthly data service rate.

Make it work on my HTC Diamond (1)

CoolCat (594452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559449)

Hope google make android work with htc diamond. Release me from my pain :)

Forcing the Airwaves Open (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559567)

I hope that Google's "end game" (really just a beginning, natch) is to force open access to wireless carrier networks. "Roaming" charges and other lockins that bundle the physical network with the data, its servers, and (in the US) even the client HW are entirely against the openness of networks that has made them extremely valuable for everyone. Until networks were opened and unbundled, they were not so much engines for growth as they were accessories. Telcos and other network operators long ago stopped innovating in any area other than lobbying, lawsuits and restrictive licensing. All the growth in value comes from people competing to offer services on open networks.

Google is one of those innovative competitors. I hope they can force Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and the few other wireless carriers to join the 21st Century's openness and growth.

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