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Google Dev Phone 1 Banned From Paid Apps

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the please-contradict-this-claim dept.

Cellphones 134

ScrewMaster points out an short article according to which purchasers of the G1 Android phone's developer-oriented variant will be out of luck if they want to buy apps from Google's application store. "Google is not going to allow programmers who have purchased the Dev Phone 1 to purchase paid apps from the Android Market. I just signed up as a G1 developer, and was about to plunk down the $399 for a Dev Phone 1, but now I'm going to have to think about it. I know that Google is interested in preventing (cough) 'piracy,' but does this seem like the right way to go? I know the Dev Phone 1 is primarily a developer's tool, but I would like to actually use the thing, and not have to spend another $180 from T-Mobile for a regular G1 just for the privilege of buying software." I hope this isn't true; the unlocked G1 looked like a pretty cool phone, especially (being unlocked) for travel to countries where pre-paid SIM cards are the norm.

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134 comments

Experience teaches... it does what?! (2, Insightful)

rqg (1413223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010503)

How many times does it take to realize that crackers will get around any kind of protection? Especially on an open source platform.

Re:Experience teaches... it does what?! (3, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010637)

Way to perpetuate the myth that source is such a huge bonus when trying to crack a framework.

Thanks.

Re:Experience teaches... it does what?! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011103)

It's true, though. Disassembly and protocol analysis is more frustrating, holds less inherent information and takes much more time. Access to the source is a boon for any cracker.

Re:Experience teaches... it does what?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011425)

Something being open-source means that more eyes will see the code and potential bugs will be caught quicker. Meanwhile, the kind of people who would maliciously exploit bugs are the kind of people who thrive on challenges like disassembly and reverse-engineering.

Re:Experience teaches... it does what?! (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015171)

Of course, it's harder so it's more attractive.

Closed source may be easier to find a hole once disassembled / reverse-engineered, but released Open Source should have fewer bugs to begin with. Closed source is more attractive because it's more likely to be crackable. Disassembly / etc is trivial enough that the result is on par with source viewable projects. It's the amount of attention paid to the product. I'd expect to find more bugs is some large, open, unpopular project than I would in a large, closed, heavily developed project.

It's the inspection that aids the security, not the availability of the code base.

Re:Experience teaches... it does what?! (4, Funny)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010647)

Yes, if only Windows was open source.... the 'black-hat' community would have found ways to subvert it years ago!

Evil google (3, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010505)

As a company like google grows, practices like these are only going to become more common. They have to start "protecting" their interests. Not that it will work, but it's the natural reaction, much like a "fire hot, fire bad" reaction.

Let's not confuse Android with the iPhone (3, Insightful)

essinger (781940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010859)

While Android may have an app store, you are not required to buy your apps from it. Despite what the TFA says, you can still actually use it.

Re:Evil google (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010875)

It's a developer phone. Not an end user phone. Apparently you can install the end user firmware and it will work fine? I'm guessing people just don't like not being able to copy paid games out of their phone??

Re:Evil google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011321)

This is just silly, I guess there are more rooted g1 than adp1 telephones in use, how is Google going to stop those?

unlocked Android works in Canada? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014021)

The summary says the unlocked phone is popular in countries where pre-paid sims are the norm. Anybody know if it will work in Canada with the pre-paid sims for the Fido/Rogers network? If it does are the features crippled by the network provider?

Re:unlocked Android works in Canada? (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014741)

It'll work in any country with a GSM network, however the 3g radio only works at T-mobile US's frequencies. Not sure about the UK version of the G1 tho.

device not banned (5, Interesting)

colonslash (544210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010517)

It's not the device that is banned...

I have a Dev Phone 1, I created an app for it, and I couldn't see my own paid-app on the Market. Installing the Google bonus phone firmware let me access paid apps on the Android Market.

Re:device not banned (5, Interesting)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010625)

I was going to mod you informative, but as I've just dropped 400 bucks on a Dev Phone 1, I'd rather be selfish and ask for more info on this "Google bonus phone firmware" of which you speak. So much for altruism ;-)

Re:device not banned (5, Informative)

alphamerik (948212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012901)

I confirm this story is bunk, and anyone who is carrying this story should be ashamed (I am looking at you Engadget and Slashdot).

Go and download "holiday_devphone-userdebug 1.1" image, paid apps will show up fine because it has the features of the Tmobile g33 firmware required to see paid apps. I shouldn't need to google that for you...

The thing is, the ADP1 does not come with support, the original ADP1 firmware does not update automatically. As a developer and ADP1 owner one should be able to keep up with the news and figure this stuff out for oneself.

Re:device not banned (2, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010983)

What's your app? I'll give it a look.

What? Of course I'll pay for it.

Re:device not banned (1)

colonslash (544210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012617)

Apuzil - please take a look.

Re:device not banned (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014207)

Hey, not bad -- got the free version to try it out. Nice spin on regular tetris -- good to see something different!

If it catches on with me I'll even make it my first app store purchase. ;)

Re:device not banned (5, Informative)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011387)

I could be mistaken, I haven't tried this, but perhaps this is the firmware [andblogs.net] colonslash is referring to.

Re:device not banned (2, Funny)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011569)

"colonslash"

Thats really quite a gruesome name you have there.

Re:device not banned (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27012795)

"colonslash"

Thats really quite a gruesome name you have there.

It's better than #:

Re:device not banned (4, Informative)

colonslash (544210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011703)

I could be mistaken, I haven't tried this, but perhaps this is the firmware [andblogs.net] colonslash is referring to.

Yes - that's the link. I installed the no device checks version. For those not reading the entire thread, this lets me see paid apps on the Android Market with a developer g1.

Re:device not banned (2, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012385)

I'm pretty sure if you have the original firmware on the g1 as well, it cannot access paid apps? Only the newest g1 firmware allowed paid app access.

The device isn't banned. It is simply at 1.0 (1)

tpz (1137081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013627)

The thing that all of these reports are ignoring is that 1.1 (which is required for paid apps to even show up) isn't even available for the ADP1 yet. (And no, the holiday version doesn't count.)

People need to wait until 1.1 is actually available for the ADP1 and _then_ see if there is a problem accessing paid apps. There probably will be a problem, but until we are looking at 1.1 running on an ADP1 this is all just conjecture.

Re:device not banned (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014389)

This, along with alphamerik's post below, really needs to be put in an update to the story. Misinformation is bad.

Also, offtopic, but if your nick was tildeslash, your user page would be "H T T P colon slash slash slashdot dot org slash tilde tildeslash slash".

Re:device not banned (2, Interesting)

LordoftheWoods (831099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014639)

There has been no firmware update for the ADP1, but one is supposedly in the works. In all likelihood, all that's needed to access paid apps is an updated Android Market application. The holiday bonus firmware quite probably has an updated market app, and thus works.

If that's true, this article is completely alarmist. I won't believe the ADP1 can't access paid apps until I hear it from Google itself.

Important points (4, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010531)

- Google allows you to return apps up to 24 hours after purchase for a refund.
- The Dev phone allows total access to the restricted location where purchased programs are stored. It is restricted to prevent copying.
- It is entirely possible to copy the contents of the restricted folder on the Dev phone once a program has been purcahsed, then return the app.
- It can then be distributed and modified at the Dev's wish, against the licensing terms of the app.

It is the wrong way to go about it, but let's be honest; The only thing which they can test with purchasing is the install mechanism, and they can do that anyway. They already have their app.

Re:Important points (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010561)

It is the wrong way to go about it, but let's be honest; The only thing which they can test with purchasing is the install mechanism, and they can do that anyway. They already have their app.

Maybe not the only thing. perhaps they want to write an app that works in conjunction with another. Maybe they got a fault report that "after I installed XXX your app stopped working". I don't know how good inter-application isolation is on the Android but it is a possibility.

Single-point Rebuttal (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010705)

This mechanism is guaranteed to be entirely ineffective. Sooner or later someone will sit down with the two phones and figure out a) how to get full access to the dev area on a normal phone and b) how to convince the app store that you have a retail G1 when you have a dev phone.

The simple truth is that it is impossible to prevent piracy, and shitting on developers is the best way to guarantee that your platform will fail. Remember when Apple "accidentally" expired the development OS for the iPhone? Remember the wave of resentment? Well, Apple fanboys would stand by Apple if Steve Jobs came to their house while they were asleep in the basement and raped their mom. Google's position in our minds is much more precarious because they only have technical proficiency, not sexiness.

Do you really believe that testing your app on your dev phone is sufficient? Because if you do, I sure hope you're not making G1 apps, or that yours will come with a warning "NOT PROPERLY TESTED". You need to test your app on a phone just like what the user will have, and with a bunch of other apps on it too. Otherwise you're making the kind of pathetic test that has enabled Microsoft to roll out release after release of Windows that doesn't work on totally standard configurations.

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010785)

1) Root the phone
2) There is no 2

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010957)

Do you really believe that not being able to buy paid apps on non t-mobile firmware constitutes as shitting on your developers?

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011149)

Absolutely. Anyone that thinks otherwise is ignorant.

Developers must be able to download protected applications if they develop protected applications. Period. Keep in mind any application can be "protected"; even free apps. Anything else is shitting on developers. Period. Otherwise is it impossible to test your own release. Otherwise it is impossible to test application upgrades. Otherwise it is impossible to test cross-application communication. How can you properly support your application and your customers if you can't test how they install, upgrade, and use your application. The short answer is, you can't.

Google is crapping all over developers. Until Google implements a real copy protection mechanism which binds an application to a specific phone, they are giving all developers the middle finger. No if, ands, or buts. Google direly needs to fix their half-ass, poorly conceived, completely broken "copy protection" mechanism for something that really works. Period.

Developers are already losing money because of Google's screwup and complete indifference to their own incompetent implementation. Google needs to be shamed into fixing their incompetent solution because they appear to care less they are screwing over the entire developer base.

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011281)

If it's contraindicated for oligomenorrhea, your doctor needs to prescribe it.

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (1)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011323)

I anticipate developing apps for the phone and have purchased the dev G1. What if a) Twidroid (or a better competitor) goes paid,
and b) I need to test live integration between Twidroid and my app? Google just told me I can't be trusted to do that lest
I steal twidroid. Ironic, considering as a paid app developer I'm probably very sensitive to piracy and the *least likely person
to pirate another developer's paid app.*

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011941)

From what I'm told, you can install the tmobile g1 firmware on your phone and it can download paid apps just fine. that way you have the same exact functioning as an enduser and can test the way an enduser would test. does that alleviate your concerns?

It's only the nontmobileg1 builds that do not have access to paid apps

if this is wrong, someone please let me know.

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011333)

Do you really believe that not being able to buy paid apps on non t-mobile firmware constitutes as shitting on your developers?

Yes, for exactly the same reason that putting SafeDisc or SecuRom into a game is shitting on your customers. It is an ineffective means of achieving the stated goal (prevent piracy) and makes life harder for the customer. You are paying Google for the right to develop applications for their platform, and then you're paying them again for the right to test them, because you're going to have to have a separate phone. Paying to be abused? I don't fucking think so. Lots of people pirate games just so they don't have to pay. Some people pirate games simply to get a version they can play without a CD. For instance, if I had a second battery in my laptop so that I could get good runtime and couldn't mount the CD, I would have to use Daemontools to emulate the CD so that I could just play the game. Or I could just download it. At that point, giving them money is an extra step.

In summary, not only has Google forced [responsible] developers [who will properly test their software] to spend more money than the average customer when they should be making things at least no more expensive for them, Google has just created for themselves a situation where giving them money for applications from the app store is just an extra step, at least if you are tech-savvy and want the developer phone even if you only intended to noodle on it occasionally. Let's see, encouraging piracy AND discouraging proper testing at the same time? How could I possibly criticize this decision from the almighty google?

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (3, Informative)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012371)

Like it's been said before in the comments, it is only the default dev phone firmware that cannot download paid apps. the phone itself is not locked out from downloading.

this firmware for example will allow paid app downloads. http://andblogs.net/2009/02/new-adp1-update-official-with-google-voice-and-more/ [andblogs.net]

google developers DO NOT need to spend more money than the average consumer

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011573)

Google's position in our minds is much more precarious because they only have technical proficiency, not sexiness.

I find Google damn sexy, thank you very much. Google is like that girl that wears jeans and t-shirts, but isn't actually that bad looking, who also happens to be ten times the programmer that I am.

Apple is like the cheerleader who's really hot, but under all that make up, you really have to wonder why anyone would want to take a look under the hood.

Re:Single-point Rebuttal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014719)

Well, Apple fanboys would stand by Apple if Steve Jobs came to their house while they were asleep in the basement and raped their mom.

Hey, cut that out, you're getting my mom all hot and bothered.

Re:Important points (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010903)

The interesting thing here is the total lack of trust Google is showing for their developer community. By definition, these folks are more tech savvy than average - if they really want to pirate they'll eventually find a way no matter what Google does. They raised the entry barrier by charging $400 for the phone - but exactly how many of this already small pool of people are going to be pirating? It seems to me that Google just pissed off their entire (and comparatively small vs Apple) developer community to close an awfully small hole. There was a recent article stating that these guys aren't making any money off apps anyway - how much abuse before they simply walk away from the platform?

Re:Important points (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011557)

They raised the entry barrier by charging $400 for the phone

You have to remember that while this is marketed as a developer's phone, it's basically an unlocked, unbranded G1 with the ability to flash any firmware, unlike T-Mobile's G1 which you have to root in order to install non-official firmwares. So really the price difference is due to the lack of subsidy, it's a general 'retail' price.

On the other side of the coin, I think the point of all this is that the Developer G1 isn't really supposed to be a common-use phone, despite being unbranded and unlocked. It's point is to aid developers, who if using the phone for it's intended purpose, wouldn't be buying paid apps anyway.

I'm not saying this is the right solution, especially because it's easy to root the T-Mobile G1 and get the same dev access the dev phone has, but from the 'doing what you're supposed to' point of view it wasn't out of reason for Google to take this path.

Re:Important points (1)

KindMind (897865) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013107)

The interesting thing here is the total lack of trust Google is showing for their developer community .... but exactly how many of this already small pool of people are going to be pirating? It seems to me that Google just pissed off their entire (and comparatively small vs Apple) developer community to close an awfully small hole ....

Yeah, exactly. I reset the fact that Google automatically assumes devs will try to rip them off. Maybe I'm sheltered, but I know a lot of devs, and all the ones I know wouldn't steal anything. If they are that worried, take off the 24 refund policy, but don't abuse the very devs you're trying to get to support your phone.

Or maybe (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011233)

It is the wrong way to go about it, but let's be honest; The only thing which they can test with purchasing is the install mechanism, and they can do that anyway. They already have their app.

Maybe I have already spent $399 for the platform and don't want to spend another $199 to buy a second one just so I can use the phone as my daily communications device.

Re:Important points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27012025)

Not to mention - why would you _want_ to buy an app?

I generally find that the best applications are the ones that are F/OSS (which are generally also free as in beer). Stuff I have to pay for, usually sucks.

Re:Important points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27012799)

If you have seen the stuff that has come out since they opened the gates for paid apps the case isn't "usually suck", it outright sucks and sucks bad.

You have two classes of apps:
1. Apps that do something the phone already does for free for an outrageous cost, usually someone adapting something that already exists for free
or
2. Shitty apps that no one wants, there is nothing good.

Re:Important points (3, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012591)

This is a silly reason to ban the dev phone.

Any application can be pirated on any platform. PERIOD! You can make it easier or harder, but you can't prevent it as long as users have physical access to the hardware that the program runs on. All DRM shares this fundamental flaw. Now, with a phone you could assume connectivity at all times and run the bulk of the software on your own servers, and that would prevent copying of the software (consider MMORPGs as an example).

In the case of the G1 you can just buy the app using a non-dev phone with a root exploit installed, then copy the files off and install them on your dev phone. Viola - DRM bypassed. Sure, they could make it harder, but you could always patch the app. You could make the phone require signed apps, but then you could patch the firmware. There is always an expoit - even if it involves an electron microscope. The device is implemented in actual physical hardware, and if you have the means to take it apart you can do so. The only thing you can do is make it so hard that it isn't worth it for some $5 application.

However, half the attraction of android is its openness. If you lock the whole thing down like Fort Knox, what is the point? And if devs can't buy apps from other devs, then that just makes open source that much more competitive on the platform. :)

Re:Important points (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013415)

In the case of the G1 you can just buy the app using a non-dev phone with a root exploit installed, then copy the files off and install them on your dev phone. Viola - DRM bypassed. Sure, they could make it harder, but you could always patch the app. You could make the phone require signed apps, but then you could patch the firmware. There is always an expoit - even if it involves an electron microscope. The device is implemented in actual physical hardware, and if you have the means to take it apart you can do so. The only thing you can do is make it so hard that it isn't worth it for some $5 application.

Actually, it's more a case of "Let's buy this app for $5, copy it off my phone, then return it." Voila, no breaking of DRM, and one free app!

The issue is really the intersection of "24 hour return period" (pretty much unique to the Android Store) and users being able to basically get apps for free by buying them, copying them off, then returning them. DRM that protects copying the app from one phone to another won't work, since it runs on the same phone. Heck, if you properly diff the OS, even if the "return" removed the key, you can probably restore the key back. Or just grab the entire image off the device prior to returning, return, then restore the OS.

It should be noted that this exact thing happened to iTunes as well - people deauthorized their computers, then restored their iTunes keys from a backup, and could listen to their DRM-protected music just fine.

Same a rooted G1 (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014951)

There is no difference (as far as I can tell) between the Dev1 and a rooted G1. The firmwares are interchangeable. There's also no evidence Google is even deliberately keeping Dev1 users out. They just haven't released an updated Market App for the Dev1 yet. Even if they did, it would be stupid since it's pretty trivial to put on the rooted retail firmware.

Whether it's aps or apricots, some people will steal. That's life. Some security measures are reasonable "to keep honest people honest" so long as they don't piss off the customers who actually wanted to pay them.

no thanks (0)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010565)

So the value of the device is now significantly less than $399. I can't test my final app's "out of box experience" on it. Since apps can publish interfaces to their individual capabilities, I can't test mashup compatibility with third-party apps. I can't give it to my coworkers to use it as a regular daily phone with other apps for general walkaround usability testing. There's no way I'm going to pay full retail price for a hobbled device.

Oh for fuck's sake (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010619)

Grow up and get a job so you can fucking pay for software that's for sale. If FOSS was so great, you could stick to using only FOSS without having to steal or (heaven forbid!) pay for non-FOSS. What? You can't because the proprietary shit is too good? BOO FUCKING HOO. Loser.

Well, be glad you have that option (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010661)

Those of us who would like to do iPhone development have to buy an iPod Touch if we want to use a "developer device" that isn't our main phone. That so-called "developer device" doesn't even have the full hardware capabilities. Considering the fact that the iPhone is still a fairly buggy platform, you develop on your main phone at your own risk. I've owned my iPhone for 3 months now, and even after reboots and firmware reinstallation, I still cannot get the speakerphone to work anymore.

So please, stop complaining. $399 is not a hefty price tag if you are serious about developing on it. Sure, it would be nice if you had no restrictions, but you do have more freedom than your biggest rival platform.

Re:Well, be glad you have that option (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011379)

Right, but is it really attributable to the buggy platform, or is it actually that you jailbroke it?

Re:Well, be glad you have that option (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011863)

Developing for your phone broke the speaker?

That's a big problem with the API and I would contact Apple... unless you subverted their restrictions and broke it yourself.

Re:Well, be glad you have that option (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012191)

If you have had your phone for 3 months and the speaker is broken send it in to Apple. You are still under warranty.

Re:Well, be glad you have that option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014117)

Doesn't really matter. The fact that you could cause a non-revertible hardware failure (other than totally bricking it) is retarded.

Re:Well, be glad you have that option (3, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014601)

Hardware fails all the time, I highly doubt this is a software issue.

Simple Solution (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010695)

So don't buy them - get them from your favorite torrent tracker instead. What else would Google expect? I mean they are supposed to be tech savvy, right? Not like the suits at Microsoft and the creative types at Apple who might make this mistake accidentally because they thought it would be good for business, or make their brand seem more hip.

Re:Simple Solution (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010881)

I've been waiting for Google to become the typical corporation doing anti customer work, but to kick your developers squarely in the balls, that's a bold move.

Paid apps only (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010719)

I hope this isn't true; the unlocked G1 looked like a pretty cool phone, especially (being unlocked) for travel to countries where pre-paid SIM cards are the norm.

It's still a cool phone. You're banned only from using apps where the apps are only available from the Google store, and which cost money. It's not as if you're banned from developing apps, or using free apps, or using apps you've installed via alternative means, or anything like that.

Essentially, any developer who insists on payment and who insists on using only the Google avenue for distribution will find they're not making a lot of sales to users of free (as in freedom) phones. That's a choice they make, just as those who develop paid apps for Windows that insist upon using copy prevention techniques also lock themselves out of other markets. You've not going to run that software under GNU/Linux.

This is a website where a significant number of people have chosen to use Free operating systems, and where even the non-free software that most of us use under those Free operating systems has been made in an environment in which the authors have made a conscious decision to allow the software to install on an environment they have no control over. You and I know it works. You and I know that those of us using distributions like Ubuntu are having a much more relaxed, friendly, and productive time than we do using the non-free platforms, despite some developers boycotting - consciously or otherwise - our platform and not making their software available for it.

If you want a G1, there's no good reason to let this news stand in the way of you doing so. Do it. Add yourself to the numbers of those with unlocked phones. Make developers choose between locked down and free, rather than making them choose locked down by default.

Re:Paid apps only (3, Informative)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011203)

You're banned only from using apps where the apps are only available from the Google store, and which cost money.

Wrong! Any application can be marked, "protected", including free applications. Some free applications are marked protected.

The rest of your post is non-sense as it is based on incorrect assumptions.

Re:Paid apps only (2, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011355)

The rest of your post is non-sense as it is based on incorrect assumptions.

What part is "non-sense"? The "en-tire" post is about the fact that only software from software "au-thors" who "re-fuse" to allow their software to run in an "unlock-ed" "en-vi-ron-ment" is affected. Are you seriously saying that it matters how the consent of those authors is determined?

Screw this dishonest Ebay seller (google) (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010831)

This action reminds me of tactics used by Ebay sellers. "I said the screen was in good shape; I never said it was attached to the laptop." - sethpackard. "We said you could buy a G1 development phone; we never said you'd be able to use it." - google

If google did this to me, I'd file a credit card chargeback and return an empty box to Google with tracking. I will not be ripped off by ANY dishonest seller, whether it be an ebayer or a corporation. Reverse-scam the scammer and teach them a lesson.

Re:Screw this dishonest Ebay seller (google) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011519)

So, you'd commit mail and wire fraud, and admitted to this in a public forum, from an account that can be traced back to you?

Hack it? (1)

edcheevy (1160545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010927)

If it's an unlocked dev phone, and you're a dev, can't you come up with a workaround? Though I admit it's a PITA, as a non-dev that seems like the obvious solution.

For tests only (1, Insightful)

pmontra (738736) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011033)

Something strange is going on. These limitations turn the G1 Dev into just a unit and functional test platform for your application. You need another G1 to perform integration tests, but if you could debug the integration system easily why would you need the G1 Dev? I wonder if Google does develop applications in that way.

Nameco Pac Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011095)

I know that when I tried to get Nameco Pac Man it would tell me I could not. All other marketplace apps I could download - even if they sucked and I later deleted 'em.

Paid tethering apps for ...dev phone? (2, Interesting)

Iluvatar (89773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011235)

Also, I've noticed a bunch (at least two) tethering apps, which are (a) paid, and (b) require root access (e.g., developer phone). I wonder if there is any connection here...

This isn't true! (3, Informative)

albrnick (562907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011239)

From what I can tell, this article isn't true! I have a developer phone and have purchased apps within the last week, and right after I read this, I went and purchased another app. So don't know why the guy thinks developer phones can't. Peace, -Nick

Trick (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012039)

right after I read this, I went and purchased another app

This is a trick. Lot of people like you are going to & purchase an app after reading the article.
Hence the article.

Ruin my schadenfreude, why don't you. (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011253)

When Google announced the Android phone and cellphone carriers started to talk about how much better this was than OpenMoko I figured this was where things were going. They didn't care for OpenMoko because it was too open. The Android phone is thoroughly Tivoized... which is fine for a single-use device like a Tivo, or a plain old dumb phone, but it makes a mockery of the whole idea of a smartphone.

I bet Palm's new phone is locked up tighter than a drum, too.

Oh, the irony. Microsoft's smartphones are the open ones. Way to kill my schadenfreude, you bastards.

Re:Ruin my schadenfreude, why don't you. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014475)

For all the shit they pull, and all the flack that Balmer gets for "Developers...", it isn't as if Microsoft has been entirely developer hostile in the past (given that they support a binary ecosystem, the backwards compatibility of windows over time has been pretty good; A source based ecosystem does it better, but that isn't what they support...).

Google Phone strikes me as half-assed (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011273)

What's the appeal of an android phone over an openMoko device?

The latter is designed to be completely open to you, top to bottom, for the purposes of being completely open.

Android is "more open" perhaps than some previous phone offerings, but its clear that your free-as-in-speech rights are not part of the equation.

When I have some reason to ditch my $75 ebay unlocked GSM phone, I'll probably grab an openmoko. I was impressed enough with all of the knobs you get with the P2ktools on a motorola phone, but it's always clear that these are hacker tools designed to work around corporate issues.

I'd rather just spend my money on a phone (and with an organization) that thinks "you get uid 0" is a selling point.

Re:Google Phone strikes me as half-assed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27011375)

What's the appeal of an android phone over an openMoko device?

The advantage is that it just works. Some people want to just buy a phone and then have a nice phone that does it's job well. They don't want to deal with inconsistent, half-assed software that you have to manually hack around with in order to get it to function at all.

(and this is coming from somebody who had been interested in the OpenMoko project for years before giving up on it)

Re:Google Phone strikes me as half-assed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27012011)

I thought Apple devices just worked.

Re:Google Phone strikes me as half-assed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27012195)

Some people want to just buy a phone and then have a nice phone that does its job well.

Then they should get a regular cellphone, not a smartphone loaded with fancy features they don't need. But we're not talking about those people, are we? We're talking about people who drop hundreds of dollars on a pocket computer that happens to have phone capabilities.

Everyone known the experience of wanting to do a certain task but being unable because some company thought the task could disrupt profits. If you're lucky, you can find an alternative. If not, you're stuck.

I am constantly getting the "stuck" feeling from phones. A great many of them don't even let you set your own ringtone (unless you buy it from an approved source) and severely restrict file transfer. My cheap phone can play games, but you must buy them from an online store. You have to pay a few bucks to play Tetris, for crying out loud.

I'm done with phones like that. Give me open hardware, and I'll decide which OS I want to use. If I want Android for its stability and usability then I'll install it. If Debian gets reasonable phone support then I might switch to it for the convenience of apt-get. If OM develops to a point where it's not frustrating, I might even install that. The point is that it's my choice.

Re:Google Phone strikes me as half-assed (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012461)

Because the ADP/G1 is an open phone that also works to make phone calls?

I waited a long time to buy an OpenMoko. Waiting for them to say: development has reached a stage you can buy this phone, expect to use it as a phone: software is *very* stable, and have enough (implemented software) features for a modern phone, AND hack it.
All I would hear about it, is that there was yet another "not-fully working" framework that could be installed on it.

You should also notice that the Moko is (like the G1) also quite expensive, and I read many times people commenting on hardware problems.

At some point you just get tired of following something that seems to go nowhere.

I wonder if they thought much about 'testing'... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011527)

...because what am I supposed to do if I'm an Android dev (which I am intermittently) and a customer wants to know why there's a problem with my application and another application when my application used to work fine...? We must be in a perfect world now.

I bought one. It matters because of "intents" (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27011701)

I have paid, including the developer fee and taxes, $450 for an ADP1 from Google. One of the key selling points for developers is that they can publish hooks that are available to other apps, called "intents." Most major actions, like "call so and so," or "go to the home screen" are done with intents. New ones can be added and then called by other apps.

In light of this, I think it is pretty shitty of them to restrict access to software that will be publishing intents that applications I develop could interact with. I suppose I'll have to independently contact developers and see if they'll play nicely.

How retarded are the /. editors? (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012235)

This story started yesterday at Engadget. Where the usual idiots could be heard bashing Google.

In that thread, many people tried to point out to the idiotic Engadget editors that the whole point of a Dev phone is that you can change it. It should be bloody obvious that an over-the-air update to the OS would not happen in these phones. As it would wipe the changes made.

It is amazing how many people seem to take the ADP to be a "sim-lock" free G1. Is is not. It is an unsupported (as far costumer service goes) developer phone, which does not meet the same expectations that consumer G1 do. One of these is the over the air update.

Guess Google's employees are hosed too (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012273)

I bet Google's workers are pretty peeved that the "bonus" they got last year can't download protected apps from the Android store. Granted there aren't many of them yet, but that is nearly certain to change soon.

Unlock one. (2, Interesting)

Lord Jester (88423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012335)

I live in an area that has piss-poor coverage from T-Mobile.

I wanted the G1 and considered the dev phone.

However, I did it cheaper. I bought a G1 on eBay for $329.99 (w/shipping) and paid $24.99 for an unlock code. Setup the APN info for AT&T and I have a (almost 100%) functioning G1.

I do not have 3G as AT&T uses different frequencies and the G1 cannot use them. So, I am on the Edge/GPRS network.

I have yet to get MMS working.

Other than that, I am happy. And I did it for $350.

You don't need a DevPhone for app development (2, Informative)

powelly (70306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012679)

Something worth mentioning is that you don't need a DevPhone to develop applications. You only need a DevPhone to be able to install non-Google OS images.

So if you're "just" an application developer and not an OS hacker, then just get the normal phone.

Well now i HAVE to pirate them (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012781)

I'd be happy to pay for some apps but, it looks like I'm stuck pirating now. Thanks google!

Unlocking the phone (4, Informative)

goaliemn (19761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27012899)

T-mobile will unlock the G1 for you. If you've been a customer for more than 90 days, they will provide the SIM unlock code for you. T-mobile is the best at doing this.

Re:Unlocking the phone (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013297)

T-mobile will unlock the G1 for you. If you've been a customer for more than 90 days, they will provide the SIM unlock code for you. T-mobile is the best at doing this.

Really? I did not know that, and since it looks like I'm going to be a T-mobile customer soon I'm glad you mentioned it.

The Real Reason (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013605)

Someone at T-Mobile has pressured someone at Google into doing this so nobody, not even developers, can have a "real" G1 without it being locked to T-Mobile.

Trust me (1)

joshtheitguy (1205998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014979)

I have a G1 and a non ADP image. If you cannot see the paid apps trust me when I say "You are really, really not missing anything."
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