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Android Gathers Steam Among Open Source Developers

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the gonna-be-huge-they-figure dept.

176

svonkie writes "Despite launching on the T-Mobile G1 with little mainstream fanfare, Google Inc.'s Android OS appears to have gained strong interest in the open source development community. According to a survey of Black Duck Software's Knowledge Base, Apple Inc.'s iPhone led the industry with 266 open source project releases during 2008, while Android followed in second place with 191 releases. Black Duck compiled the data after scouring through over 185,000 of open source projects across 4,000 Internet sites."

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Blackberry (1)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998629)

There still seems to be a serious lack of Blackberry love from Android. Why is that? Any suggestions/guides for going about getting Android on mine?

Re:Blackberry (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999141)

I'm guessing there are legal implications. I would love to see blackberry suite/equivalent on my G1, my work would too. However, I'm guessing that in general blackberry is not very open-source friendly among other things.

Re:Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999243)

I have android partially working on an older model blackberry. I can telnet in through the jtag connection, but I haven't reverse engineered the display yet, so that doesn't work. No phone calls, of course. I set up a page with some info, but I forgot the website number.

Re:Blackberry love (4, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999879)

There still seems to be a serious lack of Blackberry love from Android.

Android hasn't gotten its emotion chip yet.

Now, why it would need an old CPU from a Playstation 2 to understand love is beyond me, but I guess that's just how it works...

Re:Blackberry love (1)

daedae (1089329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001013)

I would've modded that funny...but my points expired yesterday.

Google Devs Best I've Ever Worked With (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998641)

Of all the open source projects I've worked on or had interaction with the Google Android and Chrome teams have been by far the best. Most friendly, most competent, etc.

Not perfect of course, but an absolute pleasure. I can certainly see why Android would be popular with the rise of smartphones and the netbook and smaller category of devices.

Friendly BSD Projects Vs. Hostile GPL Pricks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998749)

It is no surprise that Android and Chrome are BSD licensed projects that people enjoy working on.

There is a night and day difference between BSD and GPL projects:

BSD
Friendly environment
Focus on the code, not the license
Practical whatever works the best attitude.
No wacky ideology making life difficult for everyone

GPL
Lots of little Napoleon type project managers
Constant license issues
Constant paranoia that someone is using the code base in violation of not only the spirit of the license but the 'spirit'
Ideology first, technology and practicality second

Re:Friendly BSD Projects Vs. Hostile GPL Pricks (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998953)

Sorry to interrupt a good rant; but Android is Apache v2.

Dumbass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999123)

Here's a little quiz for you:

Which major license is Apache closer to:

1. BSD

2. GPL

Re:Dumbass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000475)

Apache is (more or less) BSD + patent license with termination clause. The nice thing about that was that it prevented the GPL (v2) from stealing apache-licensed code. GPL v3 can steal from apache-licensed code. Check their website number for more details.

Re:Dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000689)

How the fuck is it 'stealing' if it's explicitly allowed by the licenses involved? If you don't like GPL projects taking your code, then put a license provision explicitly forbidding relicensing the code to or deriving the code into a GPLv3 project.

Which is what BSD people love to complain about anyway. If you're a BSD project, stop complaining that you aren't GPL'd.

That said, RMS is a paranoid tosser that needs to stop whining when someone checks signatures on code or uses GCC to compile Java code, and start fighting copyright itself instead of trying to work around it.

Re:Friendly BSD Projects Vs. Hostile GPL Pricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999203)

...and Apache v2 is an open source license.

Linus=idealistic, Theo=friendly, WTF??? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999025)

At the danger of YHBT-YHL-HAND, here goes:

GPL: Ideology first, technology and practicality second. Constant paranoia that someone is using the code base in violation of not only the spirit of the license but the 'spirit'.

You realize you're talking about Linux (the kernel) here, right? Linus approves of Tivo (have a look at http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0706.1/2939.html [indiana.edu] )

BSD: Friendly environment

And here you're talking about Theo de Raadt. Whether you agree with him or not, whether you like him or not, you can't say he pulls his punches.

BSD: Focus on the code, not the license

That's why *BSD refuses to include the new bash licensed under GPLv3, right? Hint: it isn't ;-)

You may be right in the typical case. I just want to point to a few exceptions, hopefully preventing people from seeing the world as black-and-white as you do.

Re:Linus=idealistic, Theo=friendly, WTF??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999215)

"BSD: Focus on the code, not the license

That's why *BSD refuses to include the new bash licensed under GPLv3, right? Hint: it isn't ;-)"

LOL!

You obviously are oblivious to the irony of what you just wrote!

And LOLx2 at your inane Linux vs Theo bullshit that has absolute nothing to do with licenses...

Re:Linus=idealistic, Theo=friendly, WTF??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999373)

That's why *BSD refuses to include the new bash licensed under GPLv3, right?

No, it's because Bash sucks.

Re:Linus=idealistic, Theo=friendly, WTF??? (1)

1stvamp (662375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999381)

Theo is only head of OpenBSD, which if you use you're probably only really in for the security anywhere.
As the AC said, Theo and Linus have nothing to do with the argument about licenses..Linus even less so considering he's a kernel dev and has barely anything to with GNU/GPL/FSF etc.

Re:Linus=idealistic, Theo=friendly, WTF??? (0, Offtopic)

1stvamp (662375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999405)

Bloody hell my grammar was atrocious in this post...need moawr caffeine...

Re:Linus=idealistic, Theo=friendly, WTF??? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000401)

Theo de Raadt is hardldy representative of the over-all BSD community. That said, even though he may not be the most likable of characters, he is eminently capable.

Besides, the GP didn't mention either Linus or Theo by name. Everyone knows that Linus is a practical kind of guy who has made some decisions that have been unpopular with the wider gnu-esque community, such as his choice of repository software, his comments about gplv3, etc.

But, again, if you put Stallman vs de Raadt, then you basically have Hamas vs Israel -- two sets of grand-standing browbeaters that will never be happy as long as the other is there. I may not use Linux (although I have to work with linux servers) for my personal machines (FreeBSD here), but I must say, at least Linus is more-or-less unobtrusive.

Re:Friendly BSD Projects Vs. Hostile GPL Pricks (1)

SmokeyTheBalrog (996551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000019)

My armchair understanding of the GPL issue is that a certain company would like to break some of the GPLed apps.

If the code within an app breaks it's own license how can they enforce it on others.

Or protect if from external attack?

Though I should mention I don't deal with em, I just use em(their apps I mean.).

Gathering Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998713)

Meanwhile, the iPhone is gathering billions of dollars.

Re:Gathering Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999075)

WHOOOSH!

Gathers stream? What fucking era are you from? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998771)

Turn in your geek credentials, you phoney!

Re:Gathers stream? What fucking era are you from? (1)

BBadhedgehog (955308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998913)

Two words. Steam Punk.

Re:Gathers stream? What fucking era are you from? (0)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999443)

Two words. Steam Punk.

er... that's FOUR words. ;P

That's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26998791)

Little mainstream fanfare?!? You kidding, right? They poured as much, if not more, cash than Apple into pushing that Java architecture abortion that is Android.
Can you spell Parcelable?

Re:That's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000413)

I certainly hope that Google would pour more cash into pushing Android than Apple. It wouldn't make much sense for Apple to invest in a potential competitor...

OpenMoko (3, Insightful)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998825)

It's such a shame that Sean Moss-Pultz is so full of sh-t, Android is what OpenMoko could've been if they'd pulled their fingers out. What's going to happen to it now? Will OpenMoko continue to develop and will it ultimately still bring out hardware?

FOSS / GPL / GNU/Linux - What Did You Expect (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999647)

When the info page for the project contains crap like:

Who We Are
Freedom

and

Openmoko GNU/Linux-based
100% FOSS on CPU
GNU/Linux development tools

Was there any doubt it would be anything but a miserable failure?

Re:FOSS / GPL / GNU/Linux - What Did You Expect (3, Insightful)

horza (87255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000291)

I don't think there is anything wrong with those ideas above. The problem seems to me is a lack of focus. The only thing that stopped me from buying one is from reading the forums and seeing how unstable it was. I don't care about 99% of features, the only important thing is that it can make calls. Unfortunately this appears to be its main failing, with the handset falling over regularly and failing to lock onto carrier cells. I quote the following from the CEO:
"We tried to refocus the company around these ideas. This led to an application called Diversity. The basic idea is the following:
  Neos talk to other Neos using a self-creating, self-healing, global free (WiFi) network. The software system, code named Diversity, consists of many clients (Neos) talking to servers and, at a later time, self-connecting, using mesh-like interactions."
http://lists.openmoko.org/nabble.html#nabble-td2103754|a2103754

It seems to me their priorities aren't really in order.

Philip.

Re:FOSS / GPL / GNU/Linux - What Did You Expect (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001263)

They aren't. I'd go further and say that management have proven themselves to be less than competent.

Re:OpenMoko (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999721)

Screw it.

Two things to hate about the OpenMoko. The name itself is a blatant rip-off of Motorola's "Hello Moto" slogan. There is no real excuse for that, and it perpetuates the idea that Open Source Software lacks originality. (though indeed some of it does)

Second. Have you seen a demo of the phone? If you had to make an emergency 911 call and the phone was off, well... I hope you're wearing clean underwear like your mother told you.

Re:OpenMoko (1)

horza (87255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000357)

First that's a pretty poor and petty reason to hate the OpenMoko. Why do I need originality when I just want a mobile phone to make calls from? The less original a phone is, the more usable it is from a UI viewpoint.

Second, who cares? My phone is on 24/7 and is only off if I accidentally run out of battery (in which case there is no turning it on to make a 911 call).

Phillip.

Re:OpenMoko (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001353)

No, I've never seen a demo of the phone.

Why would I, when I own one?

Now, you're statements are based off a fairly old "lets get this hardware in the hands of developers with most of the hardware working" software stack, so indulge with me a little bit as I dispel some misconceptions, and explain what has brought me to love my freerunner. First and foremost: my intentions for this phone when I am done with it is to use it as a small, rather general purpose microcontroller (what are your plans for your iphone/gphone, the garbage?). Seriously, it has gps, wifi, two accelerometers, gsm modem, sd card, vga touchscreen, bluetooth, USB host mode (plug other USB devices into the the thing - heck yeah!), and open schematics [openmoko.com] . I even triple boot the phone with the old 2008.9 stack (cause it has a fairly stable userland), the latest SHR-testing [openmoko.org] (Stable Hybrid Release) for developing applications for the phone with the elementary [enlightenment.org] widget set -note, this is where the stack is going. It boots in about 45 seconds, and is oh so shiney. (seriously, do you actually know anyone who TURNS OFF their phone anyway?), and I rolled my own (log in over ssh only) embedded linux system just to mess around with. All of these are INTENDED uses of the phone, with FULL access to hardware & software (sadly, not firmware, but you know how these FCC types are about their cellular modems and wifi networks).

A fine example of how open and flexible this phone is: I broke my freerunners screen (tragic, user error, really), and in about 5 minutes I had my computer connected to my phone with vncconnect, with very little hassle. Even when my phone is broken, it works as a phone (albeit within 12 feet of any linux box). This is just a continuation of the flexibility I've come to expect from my phone since I started using it for daily use in September (didn't have a sim card before that, can't comment on how good/crappy it was before then, but it does sound like it used to be pretty crappy before then). And then there's the userspace: tangogps is a fantastic maps application, I have fbreader for my ebooks from gutenberg.org, a few things I've made myself, and enough games for me (seriously, the iphone has x bajillion applications... that all do the same thing. So much less wasted replication of work in opensource projects). Syncing with my computer isn't up to snuff at the moment, but that will come. You might be able to argue that at the moment it isn't consumer ready (but believe you me it will be in just a few more months - FSO is awesome!), but it is by far "slashdot geek" ready (excepting those who talk and don't do, of course).

Another point: I have gcc installed on my phone, along with perl, and a bluetooth keyboard with full 80 character lines of text in portrait mode on a vga screen, what's not to love?


As far as I'm concerned, Android is for people who talk openness, OpenMoKo is for people who doopenness.

Re:OpenMoko (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001209)

Minor point of interest - OpenMoko is the software company, AFAICT, and FIC are the hardware company. FIC span off OM about a year ago.

I have android running on my openmoko. Compared to the OM software it's a joy to use. The port is not yet complete but is in *very* active development by a number of different people, som part of OM, some part of Koolu and some independent. Already it's streets ahead of OM in terms of usability, UI responsiveness, UI completeness and ease of use (i.e. no command line for wifi/bluetooth) and reliability. Hopefully, hopefully, google will open source their gears library (and apparently they have made positive noises about that) so that FR users can use the app store.

It pains me to say that sort of stuff, because the OM team have a good FOSS ethos and have clearly put in a lot of work. It's just the management of the whole thing, the constant changes in direction and the insistence by some that the next hardware iteration will be the production model and so working too hard on better Freerunner hardware utilisation is a waste of time that have led to it being the shambles it is right now.

So, anyway, Android on Freerunner looks like a great thing. Not tied to a network and as wide open as you want it. Just a shame there's no 3G

Re:OpenMoko (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001433)

So, anyway, Android on Freerunner looks like a great thing. Not tied to a network and as wide open as you want it. Just a shame there's no 3G

Other than an app store of questionable value, what does Android bring to the table? A pretty UI? It seems to me that once you have open source software that makes the phone work you can use whatever sort of Linux distro you want. Personally, I'd like something similar to my desktop (Ubuntu) so I don't have to learn a new OS just to use my phone.

Re:OpenMoko (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001583)

Most of all what I'd like from my Freerunner is a phone that works. Bells and whistles can come later.

Android has a well put together set of phone apps and has a great UI that was made for a phone. It *just works* a lot better than any of the FR stacks I've tried.

And as for the App store... well I haven't used it, as it's not available. But if/when it works that gives you access to a whole load of apps, FOSS or commercial, developed by a wider set of folks than just OM.

Thinking about it, I'd be happiest if I could install android as a set of packages on top of a debian base system. X strictly optional.

steam? (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998827)

I would think an android that gathered methane from would have more of a job to do, especially in the open source community.

Google needs more US Providers (1, Flamebait)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998875)

T-Mobile is a joke and all of the new Android phones are heading for service providers outside the US. Is Google serious about it's platform or not? I'd love and Android phone but we don't even have T-Mobile in the US midwest region.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999021)

Get the developer phone, open and planless. or get a t-mobile one and root it

Re:Google needs more US Providers (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000255)

Except Google failed to properly implement their market. To say it is a cluster fuck is an understatement. They have an brain dead market application and market which fails to properly implement any form of copy protection for their paid/protected applications. Their solution? Prevent all *developers* from downloading "copy protected" applications; free or otherse. Authors can't even download their own application which is an important verification to any software release.

Their "copy protection" is really installation to a different directory - which is why they specifically prevent developers from downloading applications. It seems the "copy protection" directory is accessible by developers. Soto prevent developers from pirating applications, they simply don't allow developers to download any "copy protected" application. Sadly, the "copy protection" is really a bit set in the market and honored by the market application which simply changes where the application is installed. No real copy protection at all.

Both Google and T-Mobile should be flogged - repeatedly! It would be hard for them to screw this up worse. Google for royally screwing up the market and failure to provide real copy protection. T-Mobile for failure to release cupcake, which has an endless list of bug fixes, performance fixes, and critical features (video, stereo bluetooth, and many, many significant optimizations and usability enhancements, etc.) which allow Android to surpass the iPhone and leverage the G1's superior hardware.

Made worse, "copy protected" applications can not be upgraded if they store data on the phone. Or rather, after an upgrade, the upgraded application silently losses access to all of its stored data. This essentially prevents upgrades for non-trivial applications. And authors can't test because they are not allowed to download their own fucking application if "copy protection" is enabled!

The combination of fuck ups is causing the ignorant masses to vote applications through the floor despite the fact it is 100% Google's fuck up. This is turn is causing lost sales and Google seems content to say, "go fuck off." Google needs to pay significant restitution to make up for pissing all over us.

And then you have T-Mobile and how they are purposely dragging their feet on a codename Cupcake release because they don't want to release it until the G2 is available as they fear it may hurt G2 sales. In the mean time, its hurting developers and helping iPhone sales while obsoleting the G1. Thanks T-Mobile for pissing on and running off the Android G1 user base.

Android has lots of potential but between Google and T-Mobile purposely fucking over their developers and users, you can't help but demand a public lynching of idiots from both companies.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (5, Informative)

$1uck (710826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999045)

That is funny. I'm in the Midwest and I use T-Mobile. There service works for me wherever I go in the Midwest. There service is as good or better than AT&T or Verizon in my experience. Although cellular companies much like cable companies and telcoms all seem to suffer from group mediocrity.

What's wrong with T-Mobile? (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999323)

I've been with them for about 8 years and they are consistently a solid performer. I get a really strong signal at work, at home and really anywhere i visit frequently.

Their customer service leaves verizon sitting in the dust.

Sure there are places that don't have a strong signal, but that's true of any cellular network.

Re:What's wrong with T-Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000563)

As a long-time Verizon customer who recently switched to T-Mobile (to buy a G1), I completely agree. I'm in Michigan (working on-campus for a state university... Go Blue!), and I now get a full signal everywhere I ever had a Verizon signal, and also in many more places that had no Verizon signal at all (like in my office). I've been told by several people that T-Mobile is the only carrier that has a decent signal in the part of campus where I work. That matches my experience with my own Verizon phone and my work-provided Sprint Blackberry, neither of which had a usable signal anywhere in this building.

Also, my experiences with T-Mobile customer service have all been excellent - much better than my experiences with Verizon.

Overall, I'm very pleased with T-Mobile, and I'm happy I switched. The only thing that would make me happier is if they extended 3G coverage to cover this town soon (it's just a few miles away at this point).

Re:Google needs more US Providers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000805)

s/there/their/

Utterly Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999065)

How the hell can you possibly be that out of touch from reality.

Android is competing with Microsoft's mobile phone OS and Symbian. And from the massive number of Android based phones coming out in 2009 and beyond they are easily going to become the dominant mobile phone OS.

So wake the fuck up. Google doesn't give a shit if someone like you can't get a G1 in some flyover state in the US. Google is focused on winning the five to ten year war over what the dominant mobile phone OS will be.

Go buy a fucking iPhone.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (4, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999097)

Honestly, I thought T-mobile was a plus. They seem to be a little less prone to some of the anti-consumer schemes common among providers. They'll even unlock your phone after 90 days if your account remains in good standing. The G1 data plan cost was about what I otherwise saved switching over all my lines from Verizon. They also don't try to hit you with per-MB fees if you go over some cap and you don't need some expensive plan to do this.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

skyshock21 (764958) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001349)

They also don't have a 3G network that is worth a shit when compared to their peers. I'm on T-mobile and enjoy my plan purely because of the pricing/customer service - even though I'm in a major metropolitan area without 3G service. When you're talking about a device whose primary function is data communication, being exclusive to T-mobile is kind of a joke.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (4, Informative)

lenehey (920580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999115)

Sprint has Android phones on the way. http://phandroid.com/2009/02/20/sprint-android-coming-ceo-reassures/ [phandroid.com]

Re:Google needs more US Providers (2, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999925)

Thats great, but when? Im very hesistant to switch to t-mobile. Years ago I had the original sidekick and found their coverage to be lacking, at least here in Chicago. I also have a minute/data deal with Sprint that no other carrier can come close to. Its incredible what AT&T and TMobile want for data nowadays.

Im probably just going to wait it out and get the G2 on Sprint, but its a real shame the industry has moved so slowly on android. I understand that the product was released prematurely. Hopefully the G2 will be full featured and stable.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999221)

I switched from Verizon to T-mobile and couldn't be happier. Here in Boston the service and speed has been great and my bill is literally half the cost. If you live in an area that has T-mobile it is a good value.

The whole reason I joined T-mobile was to get the G1. So far I've been really happy with it. The Android API is really robust and enjoyable to work with. There is something to be said for cooking something up in Eclipse and running it on your phone a few minutes later.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999247)

It's a joke in your region, maybe... But here, it's awesome. When everyone else was complaining about 'dropped calls' 5-10 years ago, I had none.

On the other hand, AT&T had the worst customer service -ever-. It was so bad that my entire family swore to never use them again.

So I could say the same about the iPhone that you said about Android.

Also, I guess you aren't aware, but there are more Android phones coming soon from other hardware makers. Like 5 or 6 of them. Just have a little tiny bit of patience and the products will come to market. 1 year isn't really a long time in the grand scheme of things.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000737)

Like 5 or 6 of them. Just have a little tiny bit of patience and the products will come to market. 1 year isn't really a long time in the grand scheme of things.

There are as many as 20-android phones slated for release between now and Q1-2010. The phones are for many different carriers. In the near future you should have your choice of Android form factor.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999265)

Uh, what? You just made a broad and inaccurate generalization, near flamebait-y. There's some good and bad coverage in general and that's smack dab in the midwest. Did you even bother to look at their coverage map? [t-mobile.com] As with any coverage, rural areas have worse and cities have better. You know, logical buildouts, etc. Verizon, Sprint, I don't care who you have. If you live in farmland, you're just not going to be priority for cellphones nor for internet. This style of building is typical of all service providers. I never said this is ethical and its certainly not great, but business sense and all that.

Meanwhile, I've never heard of a phone being unavailable in the US if it's available in the US. That's pretty contradictory as a concept.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999353)

I was going to get a G1 until... "Damn, it's on T-Mobile, I won't be able to call or text anyone"

Then a new Android on Vodefone, yay until .... "damn, no keyboard"

Paying an extra $300 to get an unlocked one form ebay seems a bit expensive/risky

damn you all to hell

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000239)

...won't be able to call or text anyone? I use T-Mobile and travel for my job. Hell, I even got good data signal over a lot of Alaska when I went up there. I have yet to work in a city that T-Mobile doesn't work well at.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999487)

T-Mobile is a such joke here in Cleveland since you can't get reception on a T-Mobile phone inside of the T-Mobile store.

Something I should of checked before getting one, canned it and got the iPhone, I have a a AT&T signal 99% of the time 3G is a joke, and no signal in my apartment building. Face it Verizon their not.

While I may not like Verizon as a company, Having had to use my cell in 48 states, they have the closest to complete coverage.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000829)

I don't understand. Can't you change your service provider to whoever you want? Isn't that half the point of having an open platform?

Re:Google needs more US Providers (2, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001287)

The G1 isn't much of an open platform.

Android itself, sure, and I have it on my freerunner. But I really doubt that they'd get many of the networks on board if they couldn't SIM-lock it.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001267)

you can buy a unlocked G1 right now. I'm getting one in a couple of weeks. just go sign up for the dev program and buy your G1 at the same priced a locked one is.

The G1 kicks the arse of the iPhone hard for developing because you can get a uncrippled one easily. Butt hen not being hamstrung with the idiots that run AT&T wireless is always a benefit.

My Nokia E62 is considered junk by many because of the crappy at&t crippled firmware. re-flash it with the firmware they shipped with from Nokia and it's a fantastic phone.

Re:Google needs more US Providers (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001993)

The hell there isn't coverage in the midwest.

I'm currently in a large, concrete and steel tower office building in Kansas. Looking at my blackberry 7290 that is connected to T-Mobile, I have four bars of signal strength.

40 miles west of here at home in the middle of nowhere, its just as good. Oh, and the service is that good even though we're in Sprint HQ's freakin back yard.

Wow (0)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26998911)

Cheering about 70% as much OSS projects as on the "evil, non-open" iPhone - is that what they call "damning with faint praise"?

Re:Wow (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999821)

Except that Apple's iP* brands are about the most popular in the history of mankind. Tell me about some business executive crying into his mocha about his mp3 player only having 70% the market of the iPod.

Re:Wow (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000427)

So what exactly does "iP*" market share have to do with OSS development? Or are you telling me OOS writers are actually nothing but attention whores?

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

NexusJedi (137348) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000991)

The G1 was released in October of 2008, yet they still had 70% of the number of project releases that the iPhone had in 2008. 70% as many OSS projects in a quarter the number of months.

(Granted, the SDK was available for longer, but still very few people, developers included, actually had a phone; they were excited enough about it to develop apps solely on the emulator, without being able to actually use them until October.)

Re:Wow (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001929)

(Granted, the SDK was available for longer

More damning going on.

No Verizon, No Sale! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26999017)

I don't care about Android, because in no way does it work on Verizon.

I don't need another toy; I need a phone that works Wherever, Whenever.

Yeah, I find AT&T's 3G performance is spotty - but T-Mobile is about 30x worse.

Re:No Verizon, No Sale! (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000567)

Verizon has one more Android phones coming this year. Several more slated for 2010.

Very nice API! (1)

rmadhuram (525803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999087)

It should get a lot of traction since Android has a fantastic API, written by very smart developers for developers. I was playing with it briefly and was very impressed. The setup was breeze and tooling (Eclipse integration) is excellent! Do people who write Android apps for a living concur or there any issues in scaling?

Re:Very nice API! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000381)

Google failed to properly implement their market. To say it is a cluster fuck is an understatement. They have an brain dead market application and market which fails to properly implement any form of copy protection for their paid/protected applications. Their solution? Prevent all *developers* from downloading "copy protected" applications; free or otherse. Authors can't even download their own application which is an important verification to any software release.

Their "copy protection" is really installation to a different directory - which is why they specifically prevent developers from downloading applications. It seems the "copy protection" directory is accessible by developers. Soto prevent developers from pirating applications, they simply don't allow developers to download any "copy protected" application. Sadly, the "copy protection" is really a bit set in the market and honored by the market application which simply changes where the application is installed. No real copy protection at all.

Both Google and T-Mobile should be flogged - repeatedly! It would be hard for them to screw this up worse. Google for royally screwing up the market and failure to provide real copy protection. T-Mobile for failure to release cupcake, which has an endless list of bug fixes, performance fixes, and critical features (video, stereo bluetooth, and many, many significant optimizations and usability enhancements, etc.) which allow Android to surpass the iPhone and leverage the G1's superior hardware.

Made worse, "copy protected" applications can not be upgraded if they store data on the phone. Or rather, after an upgrade, the upgraded application silently losses access to all of its stored data. This essentially prevents upgrades for non-trivial applications. And authors can't test because they are not allowed to download their own fucking application if "copy protection" is enabled!

The combination of fuck ups is causing the ignorant masses to vote applications through the floor despite the fact it is 100% Google's fuck up. This is turn is causing lost sales and Google seems content to say, "go fuck off." Google needs to pay significant restitution to make up for pissing all over us.

And then you have T-Mobile and how they are purposely dragging their feet on a codename Cupcake release because they don't want to release it until the G2 is available as they fear it may hurt G2 sales. In the mean time, its hurting developers and helping iPhone sales while obsoleting the G1. Thanks T-Mobile for pissing on and running off the Android G1 user base.

Android has lots of potential but between Google and T-Mobile purposely fucking over their developers and users, you can't help but demand a public lynching of idiots from both companies.

What's not to love about Android? (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999095)

To answer my own question, the G1, and lack of non-htc handsets on the horizon.
There's plenty to love as well. Android's flavor of JAVA is easy to pick up if you've done JAVA before. Active developer groups. Lots of code samples on the web. The API allows access to many of the phone's functions that other platforms block (you know who you are, Apple and RIM). Even the toolkit documentation is above average, and so is the emulator.
It's fun developing for Android, and it shows on the Android Market. I guess some of that is due to the gazillion bucks in prizes that Google put out for developers. But many of the developers are in it for the love. Just please, please, give us some choice in handsets.

Re:What's not to love about Android? (1)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999581)

I guess the handsets will come... what's there at the moment is merely an introduction, a proof of concept in the marketplace if you will.

Channel 5's (UK) 'Gadget Show' roadtested the G1 and compared it like for like against the iPhone, and came to the conclusion that it's better in certain respects, worse in others, but overall too close to call and worth looking at if you're looking at a serious (maybe even the only REAL) alternative to an iPhone. The main presenter is a big Apple fan, so it's no faint praise.

Re:What's not to love about Android? (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000445)

To answer my own question, the G1, and lack of non-htc handsets on the horizon.

Or spend less than five bucks and get a dongle which allows for standard headset use. Checkout Amazon or other online stores - there are tons of options and form factors. You can even get a combo which allows for standard headset, charging, and USB connections all at the same time.

Re:What's not to love about Android? (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000773)

Lack of handsets (mobile devices, phones). Not headsets.

Android X Now Runnnig (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999105)

As reported this week on Slashdot [slashdot.org] , some hackers have got X desktops (Gnome, KDE, LXDE, IceWM), "All Working On Android".

If I can have an Android "phone" and seamlessly use "Android" apps alongside Linux apps (and use a Debian-style APT for installation/maintenance), I've got the first real 21st Century platform.

If someone hooks up Android with X features that let me "grab" my session from a desktop (or other PC with a big display), keep using it (but scaled/arranged for Android) as I leave with my "phone", then pop it over to a nearby PC (scaled back up) intact, I've finally got "mobile computing". If my VoIP phonecalls remain intact throughout the transfer, the "computer" will eventually disappear unnoticed, with only me and my "computing" session really mattering. We're going to have to come up with new words for these things, once they're just our constant virtualized telecoms companion.

Re:Android X Now Runnnig (1)

hannson (1369413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999491)

While your idea isn't so far fetched I think we'll first see some kind of hybrid netbooks with x86 and ARM processors that could run Android in a low-power state but also extend to a full power laptop on demand.
 
Interesting topic indeed.

Re:Android X Now Runnnig (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999913)

I agree that the HW will probably develop the way that you describe. In fact I've posted on Slashdot some brainstorms about a netbook running iPhone OS/SW.

But what I described is all SW. It's the kind of thing that could be developed right now, by a moderately capable X programmer. That's what's so exciting about true Android/Linux convergence by localhost interop. Such a system as I describe uses only the existing HW all around us (if you've got an Android, which many do). Rather than all the overhead and delay of a new HW platform. Though that would be worth waiting for. But why wait when we can get there in the meantime?

Re:Android X Now Runnnig (2, Interesting)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000421)

What he's saying isn't far fetched, it's just not well thought out. Why would I want a miniature version of my word processor or video editor open on my phone? I don't want a "session" that follows me around everywhere I go. I want my work computer to be my work computer, my phone to be my phone, and my laptop to be my laptop. I want a bike OR a motorcycle, not a bloody moped.

Granted, for people who do a small set of things (e-mail, web browsing, and IM) the "session" paradigm is fine. But those people are already well served by existing devices, especially for email and IM. There are already online bookmarking services, so you can bookmark a page from one browser and open it from another. No, the crazy talk about using "sessions" that they were typing into the post box of Slashdot won't follow them when they have to suddenly go to the store to get some more crazy pills, but is the solution to that really a portable session for *everything*? It would be easy enough for websites to implement a GMail-like procedure of autosaving drafts.

For everyone else.. "I want my terminal windows and browser to follow me, but not gimp or my VM. Unless I have a bank or intranet webpage open, then I don't want those pages to follow me, but I don't want to lose them when I bring my session "back" to the desktop either. I want documents and pictures to transfer automatically, unless they were pictures of my boyfriend plowing me or documents that are confidential." Do you blacklist apps and whitelist data? What apps should be processed locally, and which should just be displayed locally? By the time you get done sorting out all the exceptions, you're basically back to the existing model: software is local, and data is portable. The "session paradigm" is just doing it the hard way.

Re:Android X Now Runnnig (5, Funny)

Welah (1487721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999991)

I "agree". Your use of "words" helped me "understand" what you "meant". I, too, would like to "use" my "Android" "phone" as a "constand virtualized telecoms companion".

What about Nokia and PyS60 ? (3, Informative)

siDDis (961791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999113)

There has been so much focus on iPhone, Android and Windows application development in the media the last few years. And yet no one as far as I can remember has ever mentioned that Nokia has a great open source development platform for their phones which runs on newer Symbian 60 called PyS60(Python for Symbian 60) http://wiki.opensource.nokia.com/projects/Installing_PyS60 [nokia.com]

With PyS60you have access to about every feature in the phone. Everything from SMS, to the accelerometer. Not to mention that programming in Python is fun, and if speed is an issue, you still have access to several Python C++ Extensions http://wiki.forum.nokia.com/index.php/C%2B%2B_Python_Extensions [nokia.com] and there is support for developing your own c++ extensions. On the Nokia wiki there are several small easy to read examples of how to use all the technology in their phones http://wiki.forum.nokia.com/index.php/Category:Python [nokia.com]

Yet I don't understand why developers and media ignore this development platform. Isn't powerful applications that can be coded in less than hundred lines pure joy for a developer? There is a lot of people with Symbian 60 phones out there, more than Android and iPhone together(not sure about Windows though).

Re:What about Nokia and PyS60 ? (1)

dragonjujotu (1395759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999859)

Could it be because Nokia isn't a big name in the US and they always seem to have really lame phones? No comment on the N-Gage... So what phones use Symbian 60 that are comparable to the iPhone or G1? Which ones are compatible with PyS60? I'm seriously interested at any rate, as a Python developer.

Re:What about Nokia and PyS60 ? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000823)

Every other person I know seems to have an N95 or N96. They're not the prettiest phones in the world so they must something else going for them.

Re:What about Nokia and PyS60 ? (2, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999953)

I think it's a case of too little too late. They didn't open it up until they saw the headlight of the train that was the iPhone and Google coming out of the tunnel.

If you're an upstart with funding for 1, maybe 2 platforms which do you choose? You choose the hot ones.

Re:What about Nokia and PyS60 ? (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001613)

There is a lot of people with Symbian 60 phones out there, more than Android and iPhone together(not sure about Windows though).

The difference is mainly that of hype. Apple and Google both were new to the whole mobile phone market, while Nokia is the incumbent. It's not sexy to develop something for a phone everyone and his dog has.

PyS60 was out there long ago, and the S60 as a development platform isn't that bad. I've written a few scripts for my N95, but I use my phone for calling people and reading email, not for fooling around. I think that's a large difference between both groups of users.

Another large difference is that, when you develop a S60 application you'll have to distribute it yourself. Both Apple and Google provide a near effortless way to sell your application to a lot of users (and that's the only way to get new applications). Nokia has set up Symbian Signed to help make .sis an effortless install and is trying to catch up in this aspect, but there isn't a single S60 marketplace that's easy for developers to enter and has a lot of users.

Perhaps with opening Symbian and the Symbian Foundation Nokia can get back some of the hype and developer mindshare, who knows. I know I wouldn't mind overhauling the menu structure.

Re:What about Nokia and PyS60 ? (1)

animtxt (1371483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002097)

Make me want to lean PYS60

This is something I've known was going to happen. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999249)

There is a reason why the G1 felt incomplete.

Google was smart to skip development of certain applications and features.

Let the OSS community do it for free.

This is why there was no video player built-in and also why we have yet to see the infamous cupcake.

There is still no video recording and no bluetooth tethering support unless your phone is rooted.

Little mainstream fanfare? (2, Interesting)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999369)

"Despite launching on the T-Mobile G1 with little mainstream fanfare..."

Waddyamean little mainstream fanfare? Big coverage by the BBC on TV and Radio news (and news website) on it's launch as the 'iPhone killer'

Developer-friendly Verizon phone? (1, Interesting)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999465)

(USA-centric post)

I've been using my trusty StarTAC on Verizon for many a year now (motto: if it's still working, keep using it) but now I want to take the plunge into mobile development. Does Verizon support any platforms that have geek cred i.e. open source, large developer base, few restrictions, decent tools, goddamn-this-is-a-great-phone etc. etc. Verizon's network has been 5x5 in my experience so I'm reluctant to switch. ("Perhaps the other networks are just as good, we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know.") But it seems its reluctant to let any of the cool kids hang out there.

Re:Developer-friendly Verizon phone? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001443)

It's because Verizon does it's damnest to take an otherwise decent phone, put their crapware that is vcast on the phone, and cripple any and every feature that could be useful to a third party developer.

The only people they've not been able to play this game with is Blackberry as far as I can tell. They've got a great network, but cripple the phones. I left Cingular a couple years ago because connection down here sucked. Went to Verizon, put up with their crap for two year, then got an iPhone.
.

The iPhone platform is developer hostile (0)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000165)

Even ignoring the bit where Apple can veto your app with no recourse, the development platform costs a minimum of $1,500 or so, as you have to buy their hardware to use it.

Re:The iPhone platform is developer hostile (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000673)

Even ignoring the bit where Apple can veto your app with no recourse, the development platform costs a minimum of $1,500 or so, as you have to buy their hardware to use it.

You realize you need a computer with Windows to do Windows development too, and that isn't free either. You even need a computer with Linux to do Linux development... and while linux is at least free the PC still isn't. I don't hear you moaning about the hundreds of dollars you need to spend on your linux or G1 development platform.

Also, FYI, assuming you already have a monitor, etc, a mac mini is only $600, and is more than enough to do iphone development on.

Re:The iPhone platform is developer hostile (2, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000819)

You're right about Windows, but that's not what this article is about.

The Android devel kit will run on whatever hardware you already have. They don't force you to buy anything new.

Re:The iPhone platform is developer hostile (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001897)

The Android devel kit will run on whatever hardware you already have. They don't force you to buy anything new.

So if I don't own a computer but want to do G1 development... oh wait I have to buy a computer.

Look, I concede that the G1 dev kit runs on any computer vs the iPhone dev kit which only runs on OSX or the Windows Mobile dev kit which runs on Windows... and yes that makes the G1 dev kit a little more attractive.

But it is absurd to call the iPhone 'developer hostile' simply because you need a computer that runs OSX to run tools that run on OSX to ultimately develop software for a platform that runs OSX.

That is not hostile, no more than requiring a Windows PC to develop Xbox live apps is hostile. (And XBLA is considered one of the most developer -friendly- things going.)

The G1 may be unusually open, but it still requires you buy 'a computer', and it certainly doesn't make the alternatives 'hostile'.

No mainstream fanfare because the G1 is not good (1, Flamebait)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000263)

The G1 has received little fanfare because it's not a good product. It's about as good as other smartphones from 5 years ago.

It's not revolutionary as far as a typical user is concerned. The GUI isn't well polished, the touch interface is similar to last generation palms. The trackball is not great. The included sd card is not big enough to hold a music collection and if you want to use headphones you need to use an adapter.

The biggest deal breaker is the 7 hour standby battery life, which I'm betting is related to its OS.

Thankfully, since it's open source, all of the software issues can be fixed and the OS can be placed on better hardware.

Re:No mainstream fanfare because the G1 is not goo (1)

Kazin (3499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000387)

7 hour standby? No, that's bullshit. I've gone several days without charging mine. I generally charge it overnight, but when I forget, it still works the next day.

Re:No mainstream fanfare because the G1 is not goo (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000947)

The G1 has received little fanfare because it's not a good product.

Bullshit. The G1 actually has superior hardware to that of the iPhone. To say the G1 sucks is to say all smart phones suck.

It's about as good as other smartphones from 5 years ago.

Then it seems the iPhone 3G is "as good as other smartphones from 6 years ago." Bullshit.

It's not revolutionary as far as a typical user is concerned.

Please name any phone on the market which is "revolutionary.". There are none. Even the iPhone is evolutionary. So is the G1.

the touch interface is similar to last generation palms.

I assume you mean lack of multi-touch? If not, all phones, save for only the storm, fall into your description.

The included sd card is not big enough to hold a msic collection

It's expandable! 16G isn't enough? How about 32G when they come out? 1G is plenty for new users.

if you want to use headphones you need to use an adapter.

Or use a HTC headset.

The biggest deal breaker is the 7 hour standby battery life, which I'm betting is related to its OS.

Complete bullshit. Try turning off your WIFI and GPS. With those on, that is what you'll get, which is really pretty damn good.

I've gone several days, no problem, including phone calls and modest Internet use. If you have 7-hours "standby" you're not standing by. It really is that simple. And, you can get batteries which extend up to 2.5x what the stock battery provides. That means up to a week in standby.

In a nut shell, its rather obvious you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:No mainstream fanfare because the G1 is not goo (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001395)

Too bad you never touched one.

  I know many people with that phone that go days between charging it.

everything you speak of means you never even touched one. the ONLY thing I cant stand about the G1 is that it feels like a toy. It really needs to be built of metal instead of plastic. It's actually a remarkable phone, you should actually touch and use one.

Re:No mainstream fanfare because the G1 is not goo (4, Interesting)

Synn (6288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001501)

I owned the iPhone for a year and now the G1 for a couple of months, the G1 is comparable to the iPhone as far as being "good".

The battery life is worse, but the battery life doesn't drain in 7 hours of standby either.

The GUI is fine. Very intuitive, doesn't crash. I like the visual front phone LED that flashes on notifications as well as the notification top bar in the GUI interface. Works very well.

PF Voicemail is a great visual voicemail app.

The Marketplace lets you return apps within 24 hours for a full refund if you don't like them.

Google Apps integration is heads above what's available on the iPhone. I update my calendar and contacts on the web, it pushes to my phone. I never need to sync with a desktop.

The SD card is upgradeable. 16 gig ones cost, what, 50 bucks?

And the mini-USB slot looks like is going to be the standard on phones now for everything.

That doesn't mean the phone doesn't need some polish. I really think the new ones coming out will be more to be excited about. But the G1 is a solid product.

monopods (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000707)

Android based phones, just one of the many amazing things that exist in other lands, like that race of one legged people. Please post more stories about these rare and amazing beasts!

Java Based (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001165)

Though it is loosely based on java, it's still a nice base to have as many developers know java and it's a very friendly design, especially with the previous standard for mobile development being J2ME. iPhone development is done in Objective-C, which is a little ugly compared to androids, but it's also only(without hacks) allowed on the Mac Platform, which is why a lot of linux/windows developers couldn't develop for the iPhone.

Personally I like my G1 and my only complaint is the battery, but android is an awesome OS because I got the source and recompiled the built-in E-mail program to better suit my needs.

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