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Motorola Moving to Android, Windows Mobile for Smartphones

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the changing-horses dept.

Operating Systems 136

nerdyH writes "Motorola will ditch its MotoMAGX Linux stack and UIQ Symbian stack in favor of Google's Android Linux/Java stack and Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7, it announced today. The news comes after five years selling millions of Linux phones in Asia, and after a year during which many of Motorola's top US phones used the homegrown Linux stack. Motorola's current Linux phones in the US include the RAZR2 v8, E8, EM30, U9, ZN4, and ZN5." This also comes alongside news that Motorola's financial hardships are causing them to cut 3,000 jobs. It also puts into perspective their recent plans to hire hundreds of Android developers.

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Let's hope they come with better software (5, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about 6 years ago | (#25591723)

Maybe this means they'll finally deliver a non-buggy app suite. I think Motorola has been suffering because of the quality of their software. I have had very few problems with the hardware I've owned that weren't software based. (I don't blame Motorola for the broken hinge on my son's RAZR.) I like that they have adopted many standards, such as mini-USB connectors on every device that are used for both data and charging, they've been a big supporter of the Bluetooth SIG, and their attempt to go with Linux (even though they kind of went off on their own with MotoMAGX.) I even bought a Z6 from them earlier this year for geeky reasons: the Linux OS and the fact that they sell them unlocked directly to consumers.

I hope that they do survive their current turmoil, and an Android stack is pretty exciting (even though it's a year late) because that promises a large suite of apps.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (2, Informative)

glebd (586769) | about 6 years ago | (#25591955)

Unfortunately, Motorola phones seem to suck in quite a platform-independent, or shall we say, portable way.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (2, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593951)

That was mean. They deserve it.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (5, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25592083)

mini-USB connectors are definitely a huge plus. the last time i went to Best Buy was while accompanying a friend to get a data link cable for his phone (i forget which model it was), and after looking at 10-12 different link cables, we still couldn't find one that fit the proprietary data port on his phone. the closest thing we saw was an "All-in-One Cell Phone Data Transfer Suite" which came with 10 different cables for various brands of phones, but it cost something like $90.

there's absolutely no reason to use a proprietary connector for what is basically just a USB port. it would be so much easier, and more convenient, for consumers if all handset makers just used mini-USB connectors like everyone else. you don't see digital cameras or external hard drives coming with their own proprietary USB/FireWire ports. it's such a blatant attempt by handset makers to rip off their customers with overpriced data cables--which they usually have to buy separately in addition to requiring a different one for each handset.

i mean, if you wouldn't put up with this kind of scumbag business move with your external hard drive, digital cameras, or MP3 players, then why would you put up with it with your cell phone? heck, my PSP uses Sony's overpriced Memory Stick Pro Duo format instead of the more universal Micro SD format, but it still uses a standard mini-USB connector like pretty much all other portable devices.

mini usb connectors on phones (3, Informative)

nido (102070) | about 6 years ago | (#25592425)

The chinese government has decided that, in the future, all phones will be required to use the humble USB port for charging [techdirt.com] .

I have a Motorola phone with the USB port, and was quite distraught to find that it wouldn't charge when I plugged it into my computer. WTF? There's a russian site online that shows how to short a USB cable so it can charge. I eventually found that if I installed Motorola's drivers it'd charge just fine.

Re:mini usb connectors on phones (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about 6 years ago | (#25593717)

yeah its good that one isn't it, I believe its because it thinks it may be a headset.

It is actually a windows issue, plug it in to a pc running ubuntu and it will charge.

Re:mini usb connectors on phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594023)

just plugging a cable into the phone and a windows PC will not charge it. I had to download the 'driver' from the motorola site (although the sycn suite cd that comes with my ROKR - or whatver the thing is called - also had this on it).

They are not simple storage devices and will not charge (at least on a PC) without additional drivers.

Re:mini usb connectors on phones (2, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594113)

I believe the USB port in Windows will only supply power when the device is identified, to save power.

Of course, if the phone has no power, this is a monstrous inconvenience. I've taken to carrying a wind-up LED torch with a charger socket ; that way, I can prolong talk time when the battery is low and I have no outlet, and when it's flat, I can give it enough juice for the computer to charge it.

I'm not sure whether Ubuntu will charge it with a flat battery either, I must try that. But it certainly seems to have a driver out of the box that will let it charge.

Re:mini usb connectors on phones (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25596059)

It has been my observation that when charging the phones with the USB data cable and a PC that if the phone's power is completely drained that if you just plug it in and don't touch it and wait then after about 10-15 minutes it will turn itself on and charge.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (4, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | about 6 years ago | (#25592805)

"you wouldn't put up with this kind of scumbag business move with ... MP3 players"

you mean like the ipod?

(I say this as the owner of an ipod nano)

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | about 6 years ago | (#25593045)

good point, but remember that even though their connector is proprietary, they give you a cable for it when you buy the unit - it doesn't require you to go buy another one. But you're right when it comes to buying 3rd party peripherals. The car charger for your phone won't work for your ipod (which would be nice)

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 6 years ago | (#25593549)

So you have to carry the cable around with you all the time incase you need to recharge or such...
Using standard cables means there will always be a cable or two at work you can use, and any friend's house or car you find yourself in is likely to have one too.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25593835)

The iPod's ubiquity means that it _is_ a standard cable now. Who doesn't have one?

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (2, Funny)

samkass (174571) | about 6 years ago | (#25593903)

Actually, almost all the cars in the world these days have factory options for iPod/iPhone rechargers. Almost none have options for USB chargers.

Considering the ubiquity of iPod connectors in planes, computers, clock radios, cars, etc., I wish the Chinese had chosen it instead of mini USB. If you have a mini USB phone, about the only thing you can use to charge it is a computer, and that's not very convenient.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (2, Funny)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594147)

Great, so you have to buy a new car to get the charger... or an accessory to plug into the 12V cigar lighter socket.

You can also get 12V lighter socket chargers for USB, and wall outlet chargers with USB sockets on too these days.

I wish Apple had chosen a standard instead of their proprietary connector, but it obviously has more functions than just power and data. An mini-usb with a small extension for the extra lones that was physically compatible with a standard connector (for just data and power) might have been nice though.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594373)

In a way, like the G1 connector.

It can mic/headset, but a standard mini USB fits too.

The data-cable it came with it G1 only, but the charger works with other phones that need USB (In fact I purchased a Sidekick car charger since they were out of G1 chargers).

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (1)

kdart (574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594187)

That's not true. You can buy wall chargers with mini USB ports and car chargers with mini usb ports. They can be used to charge any phone with a mini usb port. You can mix and match any vendor's product. That's the beauty of standard interfaces.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594137)

Recall that the dock connector was not developed as a USB connector. It was developed as a firewire connector, which could also use USB. While this capability is not useful for most people, and therefore not worth the extra hassle, it at least somewhat justifies the existence of the $30 cable.

I recall when I bought my mini, and how nice it was to have firewire and not to have to wait forever for the music to load over the slow USB port. I also recall leaving the cable plugged into the back of my hard disk, and charging the mini even if the computer was off. Of course now USB ports are as fast as the old firewire, and the iPod/iPhone has not used firewire for data for years, which meant I had to waste money on a USB Hub, and I believe the newer iPod cannot even charge over firewire, so the dock connector is definitely an anachronism. But it is not like MS/IBM/Nokia arbitrary decision to bork the standard.

OTOH, the iPod/iPhone line is based on the dock connector, so it is not going to be given up without a fight, not from Apple, but from consumers. The USB micro standard may work, except for the fact that most of us have tons of the depreciated mini USB cables, so it still look like an excuse to make us buy new cables.

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25593795)

Um, millions of people put up this is with there mp3 player. Ever heard of the ipod/iphone? The only reason people do not complain about that is because its so damn popular that tons of hardware makers develop for it. And that is exactly why apple made a proprietary port, so they could charge third party hardware makers royalties for the accessories that are developed for it. Why I agree with you that there should be a standard port for phones, there are reasons that companies do this.

MiniUSB? (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about 6 years ago | (#25593827)

I thought I read somewhere that the "trade group" or whatever group does the standards for wireless phones, voted to make "miniusb" the standard for charging/data? I know I won't buy a phone anymore that does not have a mini usb. My HTC/AT&T tilt has one, and it is so nice not having to carry a cable around everywhere I go, just to connect it to download something.

I disagree about the hardware (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 years ago | (#25592607)

I think the quality of hardware is fine (as in I feel like the RAZR was a pretty solid phone that would not break easily).

Where I diverge is that I don't think Motorola is good at making usable hardware. After a year or two, I hated the buttons on the RAZR. I didn't like the keypad, and I thought they way they used the side buttons was demonic and caused me to miss many a call hitting them as I reached into my pocket, or randomly changing things I did not want changed.

However I absolutely agree with your main point, in that as much as the hardware over time wore ill with me, I hated the software far more yet.

But it's the meshing of hardware and software from Motorola I'll be casting a critical eye upon...

Re:I disagree about the hardware (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 6 years ago | (#25593033)

I concur. I have a RAZR2 V9, which on the whole is quite a good phone. Strongly built (compared to other clamshell devices I have had), and just a bit overly heavy as a result, mine has stood up to quite a few knocks with few marks. The buttons are less than optimal, since they are a bit hard to identify by touch, but the display isn't bad. The battery is a bit small, which limits time between charges, but on the plus side, I can charge it via the USB port, so I can travel with just one charger for all of my devices.

But their Windows-centric software sucks to the extent that it really limits the phone's usefulness, since the only meaningful thing that can be done easily is maintenance of contacts lists. Hopefully, adopting the Android OS might eventually get some cross-platform operability happening. Though I'm not holding my breath...

Re:Let's hope they come with better software (1)

reidconti (219106) | more than 5 years ago | (#25596129)

Maybe this means they'll finally deliver a non-buggy app suite. I think Motorola has been suffering because of the quality of their software.

Wrong. Motorola makes unholy crappy hardware AND software.
The WinMo based Motorola Q is a perfect example of what not to do. It's basically an unusable device. I don't know how much to blame on Moto (probably the parts about the battery always dying, it not recognizing when it was plugged into a charger half the time, constant crashing, etc) and how much of it was Microsoft's fault (some of the crashing, failing to ring when a call comes in, etc etc).

It was not my first Moto; I had a few Nextels as well (i1000, i50). I will never again use a Motorola phone or a Microsoft-powered phone. Sorry, guys, I don't want a task manager on my phone. I want a phone that works the way they say it will. iPhone fits the bill for now.

Motorola's financial hardships... (1, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25591725)

Moto's financial hardships are mostly the result of their crappy phones no one wants because they break too easily, are too sllllooooowwwww, and just all around suck. Maybe Android will help them out.

Re:Motorola's financial hardships... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592357)

Yes. My boss owns a cell phone store as a side business. He claims the Motorola phones have easily FIVE TIMES the warranty claim rate of other manufacturers. (Second worse is LG.) Samsung have the lowest percentage of warranty repairs, but few people seem interested in their phones...

My personal experience with Motorola phones is they stop working if you look at them incorrectly.

Re:Motorola's financial hardships... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592703)

Mainly because Samsung phones look cheap and have poor software for the most part. Not 100% true but true of many of their phones. HTC, RIM, and Nokia are the companies I would say make generally rock solid phones, for the most part. Of course, you could say that of the three, only Nokia makes actual phones, and RIM and HTC make PDAs that you can make phone calls from.

I'd love to see what devices these will be (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | about 6 years ago | (#25591751)

I too hope Andriod will strengthen them on the market. I didn't really like G1 phone. Just looks weird. Slider (looks like it) is about to fall off and bottom part looks like it is glued to the phone :).

So hope there will be more Android devices and soon, I am eager to give it a try.

Re:I'd love to see what devices these will be (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592717)

This comes from your apparent vast experience with the G1, right? /endsarcasm.

I got a G1, and the thing is an absolute dream. About my only complaint if that there isn't a great selection of good carrying cases so far and I find myself relying on the sleeve that came with it. The slider is solid feeling, the phone as a whole has a very durable feeling to it and the bottom is not "glued on." I actually find that the angle of the bottom makes it easier to use the hardware keys and only slightly interferes with using the keyboard.

Re:I'd love to see what devices these will be (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | about 6 years ago | (#25592759)

Thanks for the insight. Yeah my G1 experience isn't great, so I definitely could be mistaken. I am a t-mobile customer actually and was actually quite close to ordering G1. But after having used iphone for a long time and looking at G1 upcose I realised I'd rather wait for for other device that doesn't have slider. Even some HTC devices are pretty interesting (Diamond P3700). I just wish this G1 thing was without slider.

Re:I'd love to see what devices these will be (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592797)

I really like the slider but am looking forward to the upcoming apps that are being developed for change in screen rotation without having to use the slider and also the upcoming additions to Android early next year that will allow for a softkeyboard. But having made some posts on here and other sites directly from my G1 really makes it worthwhile. Did I mention I pay 15 bucks less per month for unlimited data than anyone who owns an iPhone will?

Linux to Android? Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25591755)

In other words, they're switching from Linux (custom stack) to Linux (standardized stack). Normally such a move is lauded; Motorola needs to do less to upkeep their stack, offloading the work onto Google and the community. It helps standardize their software more, meaning that software can move from Motorola Phone #1 to Samsung Phone #8, which even with Java it's damned hard to do today.

It's news, but it's not earthshattering news.

Re:Linux to Android? Hmm... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592723)

Not earth shattering, but certainly a step in the right direction.

Re:Linux to Android? Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | about 6 years ago | (#25592843)

In other words, they're switching from Linux (custom stack) to Linux (standardized stack).

Or the opposite, if you remember that Android supports neither native Linux applications nor J2ME applications.

Re:Linux to Android? Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | about 6 years ago | (#25593399)

-- The act of censorship is always worse than whatever is being censored. Always.

Six million Jews would doubt you, but don't worry, they've been censored REAL well.

Re:Linux to Android? Hmm... (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | about 6 years ago | (#25593419)

-- The act of censorship is always worse than whatever is being censored. Always.

Six million Jews would doubt you, but don't worry, they've been censored REAL well.

OMFG, stupidest post ever, I'm drunk... be merciful...

Re:Linux to Android? Hmm... (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | about 6 years ago | (#25593443)

Holy shit. I can't believe how masterfully I just sent the exact polar opposite message I intended. What I was thinking was how Jews were "censored" for trying to censor Nazis. I KINDA SKIPPED THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.

I have no excuse. I apologize profusely.

Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25591783)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25591913)

you lucky bastard :) I think about Barack Obama during my nightly masturbation sessions. I don't know if I would eat his turds, but I would certainly rim him!

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (-1, Offtopic)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 6 years ago | (#25591921)

Welcome to slashdot, Senator Craig.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592031)

Craig is a Republican not a Democrat.

You failed it.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25592257)

Craig is a Republican not a Democrat.

You failed it.

he's a little bipartisan.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (1)

belgar (254293) | about 6 years ago | (#25592697)

What blows me away is not that someone has a hardon for/against Obama, but that someone took the time to write this weird-ass shit, and then post it. I've got lots of political vitriol inside me, but nothing that would merit the time it took to write this amazing piece. Well done, AC. You have freaked me out/blown my mind more than anyone else on /.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592799)

FYI: This same story gets posted all the time, sometimes (I believe) with different people as the target/subject. So, really, just a copy/paste with some editing, not much time involved.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592871)

This is just a copypasta, I occasionally see it on a brand new story with few comments before the mods have a chance to get to it. It recently got modified with the Obama storyline but the story itself is older.

Re:Obama voted AGAINST mobile phone research! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25593147)

-1, Unoriginal plagarized shit

See me after class to select an original project

Shameless plug (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25591801)

Motorola's ZN5 Reviewed, and compaired to the T-Mobile G1 and iPhone:

http://linuxslate.com/Review-Motorola_ZN5.html

It's a plug, but it is relevant to the article.

Re:Shameless plug (2, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25591963)

That looks like a newer version of the L6 [motorola.com] .

My L6 has been durable, fantastic, and simple with no problems except for one: the buttons are way too damn small.

It's great for the ladies or for very small hands in general but I have to use my finer motor skills else I get the keypad-mashing effect.

Re:Shameless plug (2, Insightful)

coastwalker (307620) | about 6 years ago | (#25592277)

As a European who uses text more than calling this is an endemic problem with cell phones - they are universally crap for texting because of small buttons. Maybe now that the super hype of money for nothing style over substance shallow consumerism has landed each and every one of us with a tax bill of a couple of hundred thousand dollars of future taxation to pay off fucking barking mad asset inflation - we can get back to consumer goods that do what we need them to do rather than some marketing droids dream of what might look cool in a Disney movie.

So lets get back to a user interface that works and a phone with a decent battery life instead of useless bits of fantastic technology dedicated to looking great and being totally useless in practice. I am sure that Motorola engineers, like engineers in every company that has been sucked into the vacuous dream world we have been living in will come up with the goods. Android is an excellent platform to move forward with IMHO.

Re:Shameless plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25593321)

I am sure that Motorola engineers, like engineers in every company that has been sucked into the vacuous dream world we have been living in will come up with the goods.

(Disclaimer: I work with the industry, but have not worked with Motorola. However, I have friends who have worked for them. And these issues are endemic.)

Unfortunately, engineers are not the ones driving the show. The show is being driven by non-technical people of varying levels of cluelessness. These are people who want to see feature X because it looks good on the brand, never mind that no-one at development has resources to do such a thing nor will such a feature actually benefit anyone. Then, ultimately you end up with low quality crap done in a half-assed way.

The best these non-technical people can do is to issue vague statements claiming "we must increase quality". What does it mean? Well, nothing, really. They should give the technical, political and organisational means to increase quality and also understand that there's a trade-off. Things can be done with higher quality, but it requires more effort - this means more development time, and actually letting developers focus on doing that thing, and not getting into their way, and not letting the non-technical people dictate what happens.

Directions must be set, of course. But once it's set, let the people who do the work, to actually do the work.

The only mobile manufacturer who gets it at the moment (and has for some time already) is Nokia. This is evident from their market position. This is why they are number 1.

If an analyst wants to know how a company will do with their mobile phones, they would do good to talk to the developers to find out if the corporate environment helps them develop the new stuff and maintain the old one, or is it just a big cluster-fuck of a hindrance.

This applies to other industries as well. Ask the people at the floor in a factory. Don't ask the VP of something who often stands to benefit from lying to the analyst (stock benefits).

Re:Shameless plug (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594405)

I've had an L6 for about 18 months, but I find the buttons are prone to falling off -- they're just glued on (don't pull at them to check, they'll come off). I've superglued them back on several times now.

Re:Shameless plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595541)

Man, I carried an L6 hither and yon for over two years and had zero issues. I've worn off some of the metallic paint from the edges of the buttons, but otherwise it is just like the day I bought it. I just switched to an L72 (Asian L9), and despite them being nearly the same size, I slightly regret the added weight.

Despite my big hands, I hope they don't listen to you folks. I don't want a phone the size of an electronic drum set just so I can press buttons without using "fine motor control". I want the phone as small and unobtrusive as possible. If anything, I wish they'd figure a way to put some of the touchscreen or stylus functions in as an alternate data entry, but with the otherwise slim and trim firmware. I don't want a smart phone, but there are probably more efficient ways to enter text messages, calendar entries, etc.

Just to insert some oddball Apple fanboyism... I just added a brand new ipod nano to my collection. Its battery life, weight, and size while playing back good quality music are astounding. I wish they'd make a phone format like that, rather than these clunky "touch" phones which are bulkier than the wallet I don't like to carry.

A1200 (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25591839)

So does this mean users of the A1200 will be able to run android? One can only hope, I know OpenEZX has put a lot of effort into being able to install your own Linux variant on the phone but I would not be able to do that, there's no guide on their site for one, plus I bricking my phone isn't an option.

Re:A1200 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592085)

No, but who needs Android when you have AmigaOS?

Re:A1200 (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 6 years ago | (#25592591)

Potentially. But considering Android is designed to take advantage of 3G networks, I don't think the experience would be too snappy. I don't see Google Maps, much less Street View, working all that great on the A1200.

Sadly, getting custom kernels running on newer hardware is going to be more difficult. Pushing the software stack to Google lets them focus on making phones more and more end-user hostile (go go top-to-bottom checksums and code signing.)

Motorola, the new Palm (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 years ago | (#25591891)

Motorola going to Android, ditching old crufty phone OS'es - a fantastic idea.

But they follow the ill-fated palm of Palm in dividing resources, by going both with Android and Windows Mobile! When Palm pulled that move they lost focus, and products suffered as a result. I can't help but forsee the same fate engulfing Motorola as they go further down the path of becoming a has-been...

I don't know what company will take Android to the heights it could achieve, but now I don't think it will be Motorola.

Re:Motorola, the new Palm (3, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25591941)

They're probably balancing on the fence keeping their options open. I doubt they'd keep two code bases maintained.

Re:Motorola, the new Palm (3, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25592177)

i wonder if HTC has adopted a similar strategy. they used to use Windows Mobile exclusively for all of their handsets, but now that they're in the Open Handset Alliance and have produced the Dream/G1, does that mean they're going to be an all-android handset manufacturer, or are they still going to keep making Windows Mobile handsets?

i guess since Android is still a nascent and largely an untested platform, most OHA members probably aren't going to put all of their eggs in one basket just yet. but perhaps in a year or two, once Android has proven itself commercially, companies like Motorola will be more willing to commit themselves to the platform and drop Windows Mobile.

Re:Motorola, the new Palm (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 years ago | (#25592491)

IMO, none of this matters if the Cell Carrier is allowed to fark up the handset manufacturer's hard work with a custom firmware that strips out features.

Re:Motorola, the new Palm (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | about 6 years ago | (#25592893)

I'm pretty sure HTC has stated that they're going to keep producing WinMo phones for the foreseeable future. Since they're the biggest/best manufacturer of WinMo phones, I don't see why not. And while Android is cool, at this point it's still a 1.0 product without as much software available as WinMo. I doubt HTC would ever drop WinMo since it seems to be heading towards improvement with the increased competition.

Re:Motorola, the new Palm (1)

jargon82 (996613) | about 6 years ago | (#25593797)

Interesting. I agree here, as I feel WM 6.1 was a MUCH greater improvement over WM 6 than 6 was over 5. I'm using a blackjack II (which I chose for it's decent keyboard, lets me ssh from it without too much pain) and the 6.1 upgrade fixed and improved a handful of things relevant to me. My move from a WM 5 to a WM 6 device brought me almost no benefit, initially, other than improved hardware but the WM 6.1 upgrade has been great. Maybe at least one arm of MS is getting the picture? The time to compete is here.

Re:Motorola, the new Palm (1)

wicka (985217) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594905)

HTC will almost definitely stick with WinMo considering how much work they've put into TouchFlo.

Exactly (4, Insightful)

Britz (170620) | about 6 years ago | (#25593629)

No focus was one of the reasons they went down in the first place. Can someone tell me how many operating systems they had in use for their phones?

Off the top of my head:

1. Some JavaME thing (don't know the name)
2. MotoMAGX
3. Symbian
4. Don't they already have Windows Mobile?
5. P2K (for the low end)

Are there more?

Anyways, they now want to "focus" on "just" three. P2K, Windows, Android. IMHO they should either go for Android or for Windows. If they really want Android (Windows Mobile is a little 90s) they could just buy Windows phones from China and rebrand them for their business customers that need Windows Mobile.

Re:Exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595099)

Motorola cutting the number of OS's from 15 to 3.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/29/motorola_layoffs/

WinMo upgrades (4, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#25591957)

Last WinMo device i had, the manufacturer simply didn't feel like updating the software for my specific device when a new version came out, even though it could in fact support the newer version. A hardware manufacturer shouldn't have that level of control over the software.

That was the last WinMo device i bought and it's going to stay that way. Of course most of these upgrades to WinMo amount to "Now with 15% less suck!" so I'm sure i wasn't missing much, but it annoyed me into never buying one again.

Re:WinMo upgrades (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 6 years ago | (#25592109)

On the other side with anything else aren't you stuck with the same amount of suck the whole time?

Re:WinMo upgrades (2, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 years ago | (#25592147)

I have had a WinMo device which people cleverly made a custom ROM for WM6 (it was a WM5 device). This allowed encryption of the MiniSD memory card, as well as the ability to have the phone erase itself on command from an Exchange server.

Its worked well for me for daily use, but I don't see many new apps coming out for WM, nor much interest in new stuff, other than minor software updates.

It seems like everyone and their dog has seemed to have dumped Symbian, Blackberry, and WM for iPhone SDKs and placement on Apple's store. Because of this (since I was working on a cellphone RPG), I probably will end up moving to an iPhone sooner or later to not get left behind in the market, should I actually write something that is publishable.

Wanted (5, Funny)

Gastrobot (998966) | about 6 years ago | (#25591959)

Android Developer Must have BS in computer science or related field or equivalent experience. Minimum 5 years developing applications to run on Google's Android. Java certification a plus!

Re:Wanted (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592113)

Android Developer

Must have BS in computer science or related field or equivalent experience.
Minimum 5 years developing applications to run on Google's Android.

Java certification a plus!

You missed the memo. The BS has been superseded by the MS with a PhD preferred. Minimum 5 years developing multi-network-aware client-server applications to run on Google's Android. J2ME certification mandatory.

Re:Wanted (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594743)

No, no, no. BS is childish. MS is mandatory, PhD is overqualified, and unhirable.

Re:Wanted (1)

shermozle (126249) | about 6 years ago | (#25592181)

You know when Java first came out, I saw some job ads asking for five years' Java experience. I don't think Bill Joy applied though.

Re:Wanted (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593933)

Bill Joy would not qualify, only the "Green" team (including Gosling, the main Java advocate) would have had long enough "carreers" with Oak/Java.

http://java.sun.com/features/1998/05/birthday.html [sun.com]

Stop the Italians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25591969)

Did you know that Morotola is controlled by a secret nefarious cabal of Italians? They are useing their pohnes to implant ice-knowledges in your brian. Stop themn by using leaves and not phones on your face and side of head area, that you can still talk is good but stop stop stop stop stop stop stop!!!! ITALIANS

All they need to do... (2, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | about 6 years ago | (#25592001)

Is bring a good competitor to the G1 to Verizon. I don't know what most states are like, but almost everyone I know who doesn't own an iPhone uses Verizon in Virginia. If they could get a quality Android-based product available for $200-$300 on the Verizon network, they'd see a huge surge in sales in this state.

Re:All they need to do... (4, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 6 years ago | (#25592121)

Verizon doesn't want something open. They want to own your ass from the cradle to the grave. Android does not fit in their business model. If you want more functionality, they want you to PAY for it (and pay...and pay again).

Re:All they need to do... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592765)

Yeah, one of many reasons why I just left Verizon for T-Mobile. They lock down any feature of a phone they cannot figure out a way to charge for or feel that would rival one of their sold services, and they cannot even get a reasonable selection of quality phones. And don't you dare call phones such as the Voyager quality phones or I'll smack you in the face. Was getting near the end of my contract with Verizon and needed to replace my old phone (started crapping out from being dropped too many times) and quickly realized that Verizon carries probably the biggest selection of shitty phones I've ever seen. It's as if they commissioned Fisher Price to develop the shells for almost all of their phones. The only great phones they have are made by RIM.

Re:All they need to do... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | about 6 years ago | (#25592957)

Seriously, Verizon is such BS with their phones. They have less phones with Wifi than most people have fingers on one hand, last I checked, and they're way more expensive than the equivalent GSM models. All their Blackberries don't have Wifi I think, yet the nearest equivalent AT&T model usually does. If they didn't have a good network I wouldn't use them at all.

Re:All they need to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25595453)

First off, Virginia is not a state , but a commonwealth. Don't get it twisted! Second of all Verizon doesn't even have its own network , and AT&T is number 1 in Virginia. I would know I used to work for Verizon , and Nortel and have ran the stats numerous times. AT&t is the largest in virginia hands down....... that is why most of the government uses AT&T and gives discounts to its employees (if they dont receive a free phone) for say , a commonwealth employee.

Please comment only if you know something, or have facts to contribute to the matter. You just felt like "blogging" not helping or debating.

bad wanna be geek , no computer....
bad wanna be geek , no computer....

lmao.

Acid~

Upgrade available for all recent Moto models! (1)

msmiffy (1086951) | about 6 years ago | (#25592003)

I wish :-(

Except CDMA phones = not for Sprint (3, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | about 6 years ago | (#25592039)

Sprint will continue to do what it does slow, weird, late and expensive.

Re:Except CDMA phones = not for Sprint (2, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 years ago | (#25592281)

Sprint needs to turn themselves around. First, they need to get G4 service or WiMax out there nationwide, as perhaps an alternative for home Internet service other than DSL or cable. Second, they need to make people want to buy their stuff. There are a couple cool Sprint phones, but most people tend to either buy a free (with plan) handset, or an iPhone. The low end handset does what most people want... take/receive calls, some text messaging, basic addressbook. The iPhone has pretty much locked up the smartphone department, except for corporations, where Blackberries and Windows Mobile devices are used (because both offer very good security... Blackberries allow remote erasure, duress codes, remote locking, and the ability to use a CAC card reader. Windows Mobile devices allow for remote erasure. Both can encrypt their memory cards.)

What Sprint has is a lot of bandwidth. The iDEN network for example. They need to leverage this and try to get WiMax out. Then, they will have an alternative revenue stream and not have to worry as much about the whims of cellphone fashion.

Re:Except CDMA phones = not for Sprint (2, Insightful)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592781)

When you call the iPhone a smartphone, god kills a kitten. Apple determines what software is allowable on the iPhone, and most of the apps on it are for entertainment purposes or is garbage. The main use for the thing, as admitted by Apple, is to basically have an iPod phone that delivers your need for both a cell phone and a music/video device. The iPhone isn't even in the same sentence as phones such as some of those made by RIM, HTC, etc in the smartphone argument. It's a music/video/toy phone. As far as WiMax, I believe in the technology but not that it will save Sprint. They have far too many financial and other issues that will end up crippling the company. Actually, wouldn't be shocked if they spin off the WiMax portion completely and just keep it called Clearwire, and then sell off Nextel. You laugh, but laugh when this becomes a reality in less than 5 years.

Re:Except CDMA phones = not for Sprint (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about 6 years ago | (#25593295)

Apple determines what software is allowable on the iPhone, and most of the apps on it are for entertainment purposes or is garbage.

So what are the statistics for other platforms? My-Symbian.com's list of Series 60 apps [my-symbian.com] has the most apps in the, err, umm, "Games and Entertainment" category, followed by "Miscellaneous Utilties", followed by "Graphics & Multimedia".

Browsing Microsoft's Windows Mobile Catalog [microsoft.com] shows, by far, the most apps in, well, "Games and Entertainment", followed by "Business and Office Productivity".

The main use for the thing, as admitted by Apple, is to basically have an iPod phone that delivers your need for both a cell phone and a music/video device.

Citation for that admission, please?

Please lose the pointless jargon, "stack" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592295)

Why use the term "stack"? Do regular people really know what that means? Why not just "software" if you need a word there at all? Or, if you must, "platform"? You didn't use stack for "Windows Mobile". Jargon like "stack" is pointless unless you need to discuss the layers of the stack. Who writes this stuff?

Missing Phone Support? (1)

sunami88 (1074925) | about 6 years ago | (#25592297)

What? No Motofone / Motorola F3 support :P .

[/joke][/latetotheparty]

Bright Move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25592673)

So by buying the fancy new anchor that mickeysoft is selling, they buy all of the problems that come with crapware. But, since their boat is already sinking, doesn't the fancy new anchor add excess weight as well as punching a few unnecessary holes in an already wet boat? I guess desperate is desperate. Maybe mickeysoft bribed them with enough cash to keep them afloat for a few years even if they don't sell any phones. Still in the long run I can't help but think that this is a really bad move.

Re:Bright Move? (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | about 6 years ago | (#25592785)

As long as much of the world uses Windows, most of the mobile world will use Windows Mobile on smartphones. Such is the way of the world. Personally I'm rooting hard for Google with Android because I think it'll end up being a much more robust OS than the Windows Mobile platform, and being open automatically makes it better than anything Apple puts out.

Re:Bright Move? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | about 6 years ago | (#25592975)

I'm actually pretty sure WinMo isn't the most common smartphone platform - that distinction probably goes to RIM, and if not then S60. But Nokia has a much smaller presence in the US than in Europe and Asia. I'm pretty sure RIM has the most smartphones overall.

Re:Bright Move? (2, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | about 6 years ago | (#25593397)

I'm actually pretty sure WinMo isn't the most common smartphone platform - that distinction probably goes to RIM, and if not then S60. But Nokia has a much smaller presence in the US than in Europe and Asia. I'm pretty sure RIM has the most smartphones overall.

Gartner's Q2 2008 worldwide statistics [gartner.com] by OS put Symbian first, followed by RIM, followed by Windows Mobile, followed by Linux, followed by Mac OS X^W^W^WiPhone OS.

Synergy Research's first-half 2008 US smartphone figures [srgresearch.com] put RIM at the top (46%), Apple second (15%), Motorola third (presumably for all OSes).

Re:Bright Move? (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 6 years ago | (#25593537)

Its interesting however that as in the PC world, we're moving toward a fight between Windows, Mac and Linux, but with extra proprietary players too. I am curious to see how this will end.

Focus on the hardware (2, Insightful)

gtada (191158) | about 6 years ago | (#25592979)

Motorola's software is on par with Sony's (absolutely horrendous). They really need to just focus on making solid hardware with appealing industrial design.

I tried writing software for the A780, a very interesting hardware platform with a built-in GPS. But, they never allowed access to the GPS and the other interesting bits. Really short-sighted... why would anyone want to write software for a platform sandboxed to hell?

Java, Java, Java, Java, (2, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about 6 years ago | (#25593305)

Java, Java, Java, Java,
Java, Java, Java, Java,

mushroom(*), mushroom!

Java, Java, Java, Java,
Java, Java, Java, Java,
Java, Java, Java, Java,

mushroom, mushroom!

Java, Java, Java, Java,
Java, Java, Java, Java,
Java, Java, Java, Java,

Oh, snake(**), oh, snake! Oh, it's a snake!

--
(*) Obviously a hallucinogenic kind that they have at Google if they think, Java is appropriate for mobile devices

(**) Python that ironically is also developed by a person who works for Google -- and would be more appropriate for the purpose.

Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (1)

shish (588640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593961)

if they think, Java is appropriate for mobile devices

The java mobile stack is very different to the standard stack, like the only thing it has in common being the .class file format; Python (AFAIK) only has the PC-optimised version (as well as java and .net implementations, but they're also PC-optimised...)

Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594531)

The java mobile stack is very different to the standard stack, like the only thing it has in common being the .class file format;

And the whole language implementation. And the whole design based entirely on the ideas that poorly apply to embedded and semi-embedded environments. All for the sake of platform independence (runs on ARM and... faster ARM), sophisticated object-oriented language (mostly used to build overcomplicated GUI that would not be appropriate for a phone), and to support the use of massive librarird (that as you have noticed are suspiciously absent in mobile versions).

Python (AFAIK) only has the PC-optimised version (as well as java and .net implementations, but they're also PC-optimised...)

Please, once in a while try to stick your nose outside the Microsoft world. Python is portable, relatively lightweight, and is not based on ambition to build whole applications and all their libraries in "pure Python", so for everything performance-critical it uses libraries written in C. I have given it as just one example of a language that would make more sense.

Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594913)

Python is relatively lightweight

The hell it is. Python is the only language that where I've had to consistently rewrite code in another language because it ran so slow. I was spending more time optimizing the python code then I gained from it's high level syntax, whereas my first-try straight-forward implementation in C or Java was plenty fast enough. Scheme, OCaml, Haskell, and Lisp are all an order of magnitude faster than python. The stock JIT does use a bit more memory than python, but mobile systems don't use the stock JIT. Python is the last language I would want running on my mobile phone.

Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595985)

Modern mobile devices have fast CPUs yet very limited RAM. And no swap.

Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595027)

Obviously a hallucinogenic kind that they have at Google if they think, Java is appropriate for mobile devices

Why?

You can't be talking about performance, because Java runs significantly faster than Python in nearly every benchmark you can find -- particularly if you're comparing current implementations, because Java6 saw some huge improvements. Java was faster even before Java6, though.

You also can't be talking about memory, because while the desktop and server versions of the Java libs are huge, and memory requirements follow suit, Java for mobile devices is a different beast. Heck, I write Java for smart cards from time to time, and those JVMs run happily on devices with less than one KB of RAM.

So, why is it that Java is inappropriate for mobile devices?

Note that I like Python, and I think in most cases it's a better language than Java, not because it results in better performance or less memory usage, but because it's faster to develop. And that in spite of the fact that I prefer static typing plus genericity to dynamic typing.

Java is perfectly suited to today's mobile devices, and if it weren't, if the devices were too slow/small to support a virtual machine approach, Python would NOT be the answer. The answer would be an on-the-metal language like C, or C++. Or perhaps Objective-C, which as a non-interpreted language with dynamic typing, dynamic dispatch and garbage collection, falls somewhere in between. (OTOH, googling Java vs Objective-C performance shows no clear consensus on which is faster. A similar search on Python vs Objective-C finds a pretty clear consensus that Python is slower).

Note that I don't think Python is inherently much slower than Java. I think the bulk of Java's performance advantages arise from the amount of effort that has gone into current JVM implementations. The static typing probably helps Java performance a little, but really sophisticated Python implementations could probably work around that issue to a large degree.

Re:Java, Java, Java, Java, (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25596181)

You also can't be talking about memory, because while the desktop and server versions of the Java libs are huge, and memory requirements follow suit, Java for mobile devices is a different beast. Heck, I write Java for smart cards from time to time, and those JVMs run happily on devices with less than one KB of RAM.

Last time I checked, smartcards never do anything but perform calculations -- in theory they should be able to work with eight bytes of RAM and the rest of program in ROM.

In real applications memory limitations change things completely, but a more important question is, WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO STUFF MASSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE OF JAVA TO RUN APPLICATIONS ON A SMALL, SIMPLE DEVICE? Java's only excuse for existence is that it allows code to be shipped to user without knowing his hardware platform and without giving him the source. This is absolutely irrelevant in the case of phones -- not only hardware but the whole OS is known, compatibility will be broken between major versions and incompatible devices anyway, and hiding the source accomplishes nothing of importance.

Java is perfectly suited to today's mobile devices, and if it weren't, if the devices were too slow/small to support a virtual machine approach, Python would NOT be the answer. The answer would be an on-the-metal language like C, or C++.

When Python program runs, most of the code that takes any noticeable resources is actually libraries written in C. Java is chock-full of pieces of its authors' ideology, and one of those pieces is the idea that everything that can be implemented in Java must be implemented in Java, so Java ends up being more "consistent" but inefficient.

There is an interface to native methods/libraries, but they are supposed to be avoided to achieve "portability". On a mobile device within fixed OS/libraries infrastructure it accomplishes nothing. One can cut away the rest of library and stuff Java where Python or C++ would otherwise be, but then what is the advantage? Supposed purity of Java OO? But then Lisp is better, so we should praise Emacs phone! Large number of developers who think, they can write software in Java? Sounds just like .net that apparently didn't help Windows Mobile to become less of a dud. Most of those people are better to be kept as far from phones as possible. Then what? Being a fad that is being stuffed into everything? Let's run a web server with backend in Ruby on Rails, that's a more recent and therefore superior fad.

Bad news for the Goog (1)

heroine (1220) | about 6 years ago | (#25593341)

If that house of pain Motorola gets involved in Android sales, it'll start bleeding it's disasterous management into the Goog's advertising revenue utopia & take the Goog down with it. Anything but a Motorola/Goog partnership. Why not Nokia or GM, or Chrystler?

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