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Ars Checks Out CyanogenMod's New Installer

timothy posted 1 year,5 days | from the nobody-cool-goes-there-any-more dept.

Android 143

Ars Technica runs through the pretty and simple (but Windows-only) installer that is one of the first big fruits of the newly commercialized CyanogenMod project, and finds it very worthwhile. However, and despite being far easier for ordinary mortals than the error-prone process of the old way to put on CyanogenMod, it's not perfect: reviewer Ron Amadeo ran into troubles using it on his Nexus 4, and cautions: "If CyanogenMod Inc. really wants to lower the barrier to entry, they next thing they need is a way for users to just as easily go back to the setup they had before installing CyanogenMod. Currently, the installer is a one-way street. If the user decides CyanogenMod isn't for them and wants to go back, they're stuck. Even worse, they could run into the situation I did, where CyanogenMod installs but everything is broken. I've done this enough that I know how to go back to stock, but for a novice, they would have been abandoned with a broken phone."

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FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451625)

I will pass !!

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (5, Insightful)

rjr3 (658693) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451727)

uh ... go ask your carrier for upgrade then .

  waiting ..
waiting.
waiting.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (5, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451835)

uh ... go ask your carrier for upgrade then .

This is a fair point. CyanogenMod's strength is that it offers an upgrade path to a great many devices that have been abandoned by their manufacturers.The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for instance hasn't seen an upgrade from my carrier in well over a year. CM also offers a clear way to de-googlify your phone, for those worried about Google's monitoring their activity. If you want the benefits of (say) Google maps and navigation, you have to consciously download and install the gapps.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452237)

Really your go-to phone that is not upgraded is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? I have system upgrades from Google every 3 months on that thing.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452315)

Unless you have a Verizon or Sprint Nexus...

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452849)

I though the whole point of Nexus phones was to not be controlled by providers?

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452881)

Unless you have a Verizon or Sprint Nexus...

If you have one of those, you've been ripped off. Nexus aren't tied to carriers.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453305)

Unless you have a Verizon or Sprint Nexus...

If you have one of those, you've been ripped off. Nexus aren't tied to carriers.

Or the AC in question has never touched a Nexus and is just trolling.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453591)

> If you have one of those, you've been ripped off. Nexus aren't tied to carriers.

Unfortunately, the Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Nexi WERE tied to carriers. They were built with a Qualcomm chipset whose drivers were all basically closed and unique to Sprint/Verizon. Qualcomm won't even sneeze without the carriers' permission, so Google was hamstrung and couldn't release newer firmware for them. That's why Google walked away from supporting CDMA phones in disgust, and refused (at first) to license LTE radio modem firmware for the Nexus 4 -- it was the same problem, but in GSM-space. Qualcomm would only license LTE firmware for Nexus 4 phones that were carrier-locked to T-Mobile (because Qualcomm will only license radio modem firmware to carriers), and Google was in no mood to let anybody tie its hands again.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452981)

Rule #1 of mobile phones: never buy one from a telco. It is always more expensive and they add crap.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (2)

Miamicanes (730264) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453657)

> Rule #1 of mobile phones: never buy one from a telco. It is always more expensive and they add crap.

Unfortunately, if you're American and stuck with Verizon or Sprint for reasons of coverage or some other factor, you really don't have any other choice. Sprint won't activate non-Sprint phones, and a non-Verizon phone without Verizon's radio modem firmware operating on Verizon can't authenticate to EVDO, so your data speeds will max out at ~150kbps 1xRTT.

In theory, AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM... but if you care about LTE, they're both almost as carrier-locked as CDMA now. I know of exactly ONE phone (HTC One) that's even theoretically capable of doing LTE on BOTH AT&T and T-Mobile, and that's because it was built with the Renesas LTE chipset (now owned by Broadcom, originally developed by Nokia as an alternative to Qualcomm's stranglehold and licensing clusterfuck). So, sure, you can go out and buy an unlocked GSM phone to use on AT&T or T-Mobile, but unless it's an unlocked HTC One, it's not going to do LTE on either network.

Google "LTE lock-in" for lots of sad examples of how American carriers, with the active cooperation of their best buddy Qualcomm, managed to infect and corrupt an officially open standard into one that's as carrier-locked and de-facto proprietary as Sprint/Verizon CDMA.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (2)

SScorpio (595836) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453717)

Or you could buy a unlocked Nexus 5 directly from Google which supports LTE on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452491)

CM also offers a clear way to de-googlify your phone, for those worried about Google's monitoring their activity.

this is why google will buy them.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452753)

Once upon a time CM bundled the common Google apps like Calendar, GMail, Market etc. Google came down hard on them, and CM were forced to put those apps into a separate package — they couldn't bundle them with the standard CM image anymore.

In short, CM is de-googlified by default because Google told them so.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (-1, Troll)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452887)

Android is open in the sense that some Microsoft stuff is open: you get a crippled version, and don't expect Google to make any exceptions for you.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453313)

Sorry, but that's just nonsense. Microsoft doesn't give you an entire functional open source OS while keeping back just a few proprietary apps.

Can you state exactly how AOSP is "crippled"? The version Google ships with their devices is exactly the same OS, only some of the apps are different proprietary versions. Like Linux or BSD or any open source OS it can run closed source apps.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0, Flamebait)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453645)

Google doesn't give you "an entire functional open source OS" either - it gives you patches to GNU/Linux to enable an already "functional open source OS" to work better on mobile devices. But it leaves out the apps which make it "entire". And denies access to the one of the most valuable features of any Linux distro - the official software repository. Oh, and there's usually a pesky binary driver problem, but perhaps we can blame device manufacturers for that.

MS meanwhile builds its own operating systems from scratch and allows you access to the source for the base OS on its own semi-useful terms, e.g. Windows Embedded Compact. Also crippled in the sense that you don't get the source for higher level stuff.

Line for line, MS is offering you access to more of its own code than Google, if you want to look at it like that. But Google is bound (luckily!) by a more open licence. On balance, they're equally crappy.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45454483)

I think the reason the Galaxy Nexus isn't getting KitKat is because it uses a Texas Instruments SoC - they left the business about a year ago.

iPhone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45454217)

uh ... go ask your carrier for upgrade then .

  waiting ..
waiting.
waiting.

Or buy an iPhone and get upgrades for 2-3 years.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451973)

That really IS silly. I get so tired of greedy bastards who think that their "intellectual property" is worth quintillions of dollars. But - people DO need to eat, they need homes, some of them hope to raise kids, some like to have their own private transportation.

A company isn't evil just because it's "for profit". They may BECOME evil, in the pursuit of profits, but profits aren't evil.

Real life has a way of destroying idealist's dreams. Unless, of course, you are posting from some alternate dimension in which no one needs or wants profits. How does everyone eat over there? You should share your secrets with us!

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (5, Funny)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452053)

Unless, of course, you are posting from some alternate dimension in which no one needs or wants profits. How does everyone eat over there? You should share your secrets with us!

Its easy. When Mom stomps twice on the floor above his basement lair, it means dinner is ready.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452553)

Real life has a way of destroying idealist's dreams. Unless, of course, you are posting from some alternate dimension in which no one needs or wants profits. How does everyone eat over there? You should share your secrets with us!

The secret is a different mindset. To keep going you need to avoid losses. You don't necessarily need to make a profit. As you can't walk that line reliable it is good to err on the profit side, but you don't need bigger profits every months.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452635)

Actually you do, because you have to combat inflation, and keep investors happy. If you are a publicly traded company you have to continue to grow. If you are not, you can't just "sit" on your laurels and do nothing as other competitors will crush you out of the market.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452855)

"publicly traded"

That is unnecessary for some people. If your sole motive is profit, then maybe being publicly traded is a good thing. Small businesses, however, manage to keep on going, year after year, sometimes decade after decade, eking out a modest living for themselves, and their employees, and showing a modest profit. Such businesses often have no desire to compete on national or international markets.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453473)

There is also the fact that if the stock is public, if you are not posting better profits -each quarter-, investors will sue, and they don't give a flying fsck about a company charging off profits for better R&D, they want their stock up right now, and they will file suit to get it.

This is why Dell threw in the towel and went private. Now they can do R&D, and not be shackled to only thinking about each quarter.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (2, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452905)

There is a difference between wages and profit.

Wages are necessary.
Breaking even is necessary.
Profit is a religious thing.

Oh, and you don't get to create artificial scarcity just to guarantee someone a viable business.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

kubajz (964091) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453373)

If profit is not necessary, could you give me one reason why anyone would fund a startup? Could you explain how to build a factory if the bank won't give you a loan? How to expand internationally once you've invested all your personal wealth into your business? Why would someone risk being a business owner and not an employee? See, all these are things that are typically solved by equity investment, or (partly) giving up your ownership, and these investors, for the large risk they are taking, expect a return - profit. Interestingly, as an example, in Islamic finance it is okay to turn profit but it's forbidden to give loans and ask for interest which is understood as making money without taking a risk. Or, in other words - the business generates value for customers (otherwise they would not buy its products), for employees (who get wages), for loan providers (because you pay interest on your loans) and finally for owners who are running the largest risk - a risk that there won't be anything left to pay for their investment in the company. You would suggest to let them take losses but not have the option of getting profits... and I think it would not work :)

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453587)

You're arguing that profit is one method of amassing the capital to start or expand a business under capitalism. This is not the same as arguing that profit is necessary.

To answer your question:
1) One might start up a business because they want a job and they want to be their own boss. That's why I did it;
2) To start up this business, I used savings from wages from working as a regular employee;
3) I've never needed a loan, 'cos I'm awesome, but if I did, I'd take it from my local credit union, which merely has to break even by setting interest rates to offset the cost of defaulters.

HTH!

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453765)

I understand where you're coming from but I suspect your point is philosophical (rather than financial) in nature; this distinguishing of income into wages (reasonable, morally acceptable) and profits (greed) strikes me as rather... pointless and pedantic.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453825)

A nonprofit startup can be funded by another nonprofit or a group of backers who form the nonprofit. Once established, they operate much like other companies except there is never any pretense that they will pay back their investors or share the cash they generate with them, as for-profit corporations pretend to do.

Amazon (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45454247)

If profit is not necessary, could you give me one reason why anyone would fund a startup?

Why don't you ask the investors of Amazon.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453787)

There is a difference between wages and profit.

Wages are necessary.
Breaking even is necessary.
Profit is a religious thing.

Oh, and you don't get to create artificial scarcity just to guarantee someone a viable business.

That's correct. Not for profits can continue to run indefinitely without ever making a profit as long as what they are doing remains valuable to people who support their existence and non-profit-making.

Most companies, however, must make a profit to justify their tying up working capital that could be profitably engaged elsewhere.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

kbolino (920292) | 1 year,5 days | (#45454301)

Not for profits can continue to run indefinitely without ever making a profit

Nonprofits that "run indefinitely" spend the majority of their revenues on fundraising and compensation, not on accomplishing their tasks. The ones that actually try to do something quickly discover that their revenues fluctuate wildly, making planning and retention virtually impossible. So they either morph into the fat and lazy kind of nonprofit or else they perish.

Most companies, however, must make a profit to justify their tying up working capital that could be profitably engaged elsewhere. [emphasis mine]

What is "profitably" if not "as evidenced by the ability to make a profit"? Through what mechanism do you propose that "working capital" be allocated more effectively? Also, are we taking about profit as the arbitrary but precise quantity of currency determined by the subjective process of accounting, or profit in an abstract sense as the surplus of capital between what was created and what was expended to create it?

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

kbolino (920292) | 1 year,5 days | (#45454057)

There is a difference between wages and profit.

Only on paper. What is the material difference between income paid as wages and income paid to investors?

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45454421)

One group earned the income by doing actual work.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453067)

however, a for-profit company, with their paws all over a device such as a wireless phone and all the surveillance, logging and tracking that CAN be done (and can be done with little or no user knowledge), and the value of such intrusive data collection..... the profits will inevitably get in the way of the company doing what's right for the device's owner. they MAY BE 'good' now... but they will turn evil. they always do.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452093)

Don't be a twit... Canonical Ltd. is for profit, along with a ton of other companies who develop or maintain open-source projects.

Re:FOR-PROFIT CORP !! NO THANX !! (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452919)

Could you give a less awful example than Canonical?

Red Hat and IBM are mentionable. IBM have been one of the evillest companies on earth, by hopefully unambiguous standards. Red Hat are awwww-right.

Slashdot is dead. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451629)

Just slashdot pointing to arstechnica's review, as usual. Slashdot is dying, slowly. I rarely come here anymore, and when I do, I only find the same group of ten year olds pretending to know something. Bah, that's how I started, I get them. Too bad they're trying to live an age that isn't their own. Too bad we're past writing more than 50 characters. We've moved on. We can't focus. Too many characters mean we have to stop focusing on all these things and focus on one, and we can't afford it. No, not today. There's crisis going on. Life's going to end. Must enjoy it. Must. Bye.

Re:Slashdot is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451655)

You've hit the spot. We've turned into automata that need to be fueled with fifty or so things at once. We can't focus. And even though slashdot's gone downhill recently, much of its demise is a mark of our paradigm shift. I don't expect good times, though. I expect pain, and I expect it fast.

Re:Slashdot is dead. (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451675)

Slashdot has always been Thus.
It has always been a crows sourced link repository. It was never intended as a publisher of first record.

As for you seldom coming here, I see you posting every day on every story.

Re:Slashdot is dead. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451781)

Look, it's that pseudo-intellectual kid icebike.

Re:Slashdot is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451833)

I think you missed the other AC's point. He seemed to argue, together with the other AC (which I suspect given the 3 minute interval is the same), that we've somehow entered a paradigm shift and turned into multitasking beings. Of such "multitasking" that we can no longer focus on lengthy articles, because that forces us to single-task for a while, something that we are just not capable of handling well now.

In a way, I do see this in the younger generation. It's the web-browser effect. The facebook effect. Whatever it is, it's changing the way we work. Much like we've offloaded some of our important memory cells to Google, we're offloading our major focusing tasks to a larger micro-management of many small concurrent tasks, some of which we can't avoid. Not to often I see people going to facebook when they hit a roadblock in the thought. And when they're back, they've solved it. We're changing, there is no doubt about it.

Is it for the better, or for worse? Maybe neither?

VDD.

Re:Slashdot is dead. (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452945)

Intelligence down, productivity down, ineffective+gameable metrics up.

Have you even seen how schools and businesses measure people nowadays?

Re:Slashdot is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453211)

I'm from Portugal.
VDD.

Re:Slashdot is dead. (2)

hey hey hey (659173) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452259)

It has always been a crows sourced link repository.

Crow sourced. That does actually explain a lot...

Re:Slashdot is dead. (2)

Dwedit (232252) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451715)

Has Netcraft confirmed it?

Hardware support (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451711)

Anticipating more models to be added to the list.

Verizon likes to lock their bootloaders, so there's no support for Verizon devices other than the Galaxy Nexus.

Bootstrap?

backup (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451713)

So what happened to back up before upgrade. Can' t the installer backup, and then revert.

Re:backup (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453019)

There's no technical reason why not; Backing up your currently installed ROM, warts an' all, is offered at the bootloader. I don't know if it's offerd by the stock Nexus 4 bootloader as I only booted stock to make sure it wasn't DoA, but it's again technically possible.

Booting to recovery is offered in the power menu on CM, so functionality to call boot options from the live OS is also possible. Baking in current ROM backup should be trivial.

Re:backup (2)

Miamicanes (730264) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453715)

> There's no technical reason why not;

Actually, there are a few. With an ARM Cortex, it's possible to build a phone that has encrypted ROM chips that can only be decrypted by "trusted" elements on the SoC. So, unless you can find a way to trick code running from trusted exec space into dumping the ROM chips for you, you might NOT be able to easily rip them for recovery. Whenever a new phone gets released, this is one of the first problem the early pioneers for it at XDA usually face... how to rip the carrier binaries (including parts that run in protected execution space) from the phone. Without them, you'd end up with a phone that might be able to do things that generic AOSP supports, but unable to use features specific to your own phone that go above and beyond it. Camera apps, in particular, represent one such application. Until VERY recently, the AOSP camera app was pretty crippled compared to the camera apps that shipped with the phones insofar as things like HDR, anti-shake, etc. were concerned.

Re:backup (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,5 days | (#45454369)

That's a good point, but not really a rebuttal to my response. Having the bootloader backup the current ROM doesn't affect whether the new ROM will be able to make use of the phone hardware; This thread was specifically regarding whether there could be ROM backup baked into the ROM installer, for instance in case Cyanogenmod couldn't make use of the full features of the camera. In this case, having a ROM backup to revert back to stock would be ideal, as otherwise the user would be left with, as you've pointed out, a less-than-functional device.

Re:backup (1)

JeffOwl (2858633) | 1 year,5 days | (#45454005)

I use Safestrap recovery. It allows you to create partitions that can be used to install more than one image. In fact, just this summer I installed CyanogenMod 10.1.3 in a separate partition. It was a little too buggy so I went back to the main image by just booting into recovery and selecting the stock image. I can switch back and forth at will. I don't even have to back up the image to a PC. By the way, when it reverted it still had all my old settings.

Iphone compatible? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451717)

When will I be able to install cyanogenmod on my Iphone 5s?

Re:Iphone compatible? (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452001)

You should talk to Steve Jobs about that. I'm sure the NSA can hook you up with a direct line - they know everyone else's business.

Re:Iphone compatible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452079)

The NSA can listen in to spirits beyond the grave? I guess it doesn't surprise me to hear that the NSA is wiretapping Hell.

Can they get phone stores to install it? (1, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451725)

Unlocked phones are becoming more available, and more carriers offer "bring-your-own-device" plans. So this should be offered as something you get installed by small phone retailers or, for more volume, bulk importers of phones and tablets. It's useful for people who don't want to be tied to Google or Apple online services.

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (5, Interesting)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451785)

Unlocked phones are becoming more available, and more carriers offer "bring-your-own-device" plans. So this should be offered as something you get installed by small phone retailers or, for more volume, bulk importers of phones and tablets. It's useful for people who don't want to be tied to Google or Apple online services.

Unlocked bootloader is not the same as network unlocked, unfortunately.

And considering the legislative environment, it may never be the same. Thankfully, unlocked phones (both network and bootloader) are becoming quite common - thanks, in part to google (and the nexus devices). Also, it's been "a thing" in europe for some time, I hear.

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452067)

Unlocked bootloader is not the same as network unlocked, unfortunately.

True, although Google is slowly repackaging Android such that you can update things without waiting for the
carriers, and as soon as they complete this process by kicking the radio and screen drivers outside the kernel
you will be able to do this easier.

(It was only desperation that got them into that mess of monolithic software loads in the first place. The damage
they had to do to linux while shoehorning it into Android was mostly in destroying Linux's hard won kernel packaging.)

Right now Cyanogenmod has to tiptoe around a bit to avoid pissing off the patent trolls that own the
radio drivers when they complete replace everything else, but attempt to leave your radios intact.

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (1)

Kongming (448396) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452331)

Curious, has Google said or implied anything about plans for separating the radio drivers form the kernel? If so, could someone point me to it?

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452355)

They didn't say that yet, but they have started moving many other key parts out of the monolithic kernel.

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452705)

Hmm. More of America's fascination with Europe...we loathe it, talk about how we are more free than it, a model for it, then end up copying it (badly). The mutual exclusion in my head between 'freedom' and freedom is getting larger than the propoganda can cover these days...

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (1)

Pricetx (1986510) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453535)

As far as I'm aware, Europe (or, at least, the EU) has never had carrier locked phones. It's still common to buy them on contracts with a carrier, but if you cancelled the contract, you could immediately switch carrier with the device and continue using it. This isn't to say that carriers don't like bundling bloatware with their devices though.

That being said, it also helps that we don't have an odd mix of GSM and CDMA to contend with.

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453965)

As far as I'm aware, Europe (or, at least, the EU) has never had carrier locked phones. It's still common to buy them on contracts with a carrier, but if you cancelled the contract, you could immediately switch carrier with the device and continue using it.

Sorry to disappoint you but we generally do (or used to anyway, I haven't tried with my current phone yet). Here in the UK if you buy a pay as you go phone on the cheap from O2 you will have to take it to some dodgy shop to get it unlocked for use on Orange or Vodafone with a different sim. Luckily those dodgy shops are everywhere so it is not that hard. The carriers still used to try though last time I checked.

Re:Can they get phone stores to install it? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453979)

Europe has always had carrier locking, but it's seldom used on PAYG and it can usually be removed by your carrier on pay-monthly for a token fee.

Hacker tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451829)

CyanogenMod to me is for people who want their smartphone to be a hacker tool. Definitely nothing wrong with that, but that's not most people.

I'm a programmer who paid $500 for a very expensive phone. For that price, I need it to be the perfect phone. In other words, to be able to make and receive calls and text messages without fail. Not a device that has periods where I'm doing "development" and the phone is offline for some reason or other.

When smartphones come way down in price and we can all afford to buy three of them, for sure I'll have one for hacking. But no way am I going to fiddle around with a $500 device, and potentially destroy it. I'm not that well paid of a programmer. I don't see why people are doing this. I don't see why people are obsessed with latest version of the phone operating system. Who cares? Will it do anything new you will actually need?

I'm not saying don't have fun with your phone. I have about 300 apps installed on mine. Have fun with it. But keep in mind that you're holding in your hand a very expensive *telephone*, not some hacker toy.

Re:Hacker tool (2)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451955)

I thought the target for Cyanogenmod was always those devices that have been abandoned by their manufacturers and giving them updates, be they security or functionality, in the case of the latter it usually means new APIs that newer programs take advantage of. Though with Google Play Services they are trying to eliminate this as being such a problem.

Nexus phones are supposed to be well-supported anyway - in fact aren't they the phone to get if you want updates? - so I'm not sure what the appeal of Cyanogenmod is for them unless you want to de-google it?

Re:Hacker tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451967)

Because after 18 months, google will stop providing new updates AND security fixes even for the nexus line...

Re:Hacker tool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453281)

Remember the old days where you had your Phone for years and it just worked?. Yay for forced upgrades and greed, and of course ignorance on behalf of the consumer.

Re:Hacker tool (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452661)

they're the one to get if you want the latest released version quickiest after it has been released in conjunction with the corresponding nexus phone.

after that the updates can take time and after certain time stop completely.

Re:Hacker tool (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453065)

hey're the one to get if you want the latest released version quickiest after it has been released in conjunction with the corresponding nexus phone.

after that the updates can take time and after certain time stop completely.

The difference is that the manufacturer abandons the phone as soon as it's released; They take your money, they forget about you. CM update, from my experience with the Desire HD, for approx 18 months from release (Oct 2010 - May 2012) for consumer phones, including to Android versions which aren't fully supported by the device (4.0 on the Desire HD, 2.2 only when purchased). Dev phones, by their nature, are updated for longer and worked on more frequently.

Re:Hacker tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452313)

A couple of points and clicks with a rooted smart phone and you can install a small debian system. Then ssh in and use apt-get to install anything your heart may need. Perhaps you would like to have a webserver running on your phone? For $100 you can get a lowgrade smart phone and make it do wonders.

Re:Hacker tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452921)

It doesn't matter how much you pay for the phone, cause like others have said, soon they'll just stop updating it, also they are all shit anyway.

Reflash it back to stock (1)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451849)

> "If CyanogenMod Inc. really wants to lower the barrier to entry, they next thing they need is a way for users to just as easily go back to the setup they had before installing CyanogenMod

Reflash your phone back to stock if needed. Sometimes you have to search but typically the manufacturer provides a service tool that can be used. Or you can just take it back to the store you bought it from and make their techs do it.

As far as backing up your data, there are apps to do that.

Re:Reflash it back to stock (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452015)

Some issues with this. Take Sony Xperia phones for an example: the PC Companion will not automatically update a phone or reflash it back to stock if the bootloader is unlocked. To top it off, there is no official way to relock the bootloader once unlocked. To relock you have to download a 3rd party program called Flashtool which allows you to do this plus more. I wouldn't expect a normal user to find this out easily.

Re:Reflash it back to stock (-1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452111)

You're right. We can't expect a normal user to understand how search engines work. For that matter, we can't expect normal users to spend a couple hours researching anything, even if they do understand search engines. Normal users expect to push a button or two, and get instant gratification.

Re:Reflash it back to stock (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452369)

For that matter, we can't expect normal users to spend a couple hours researching anything, even if they do understand search engines. Normal users expect to push a button or two, and get instant gratification.

which is the way it should be, justifying needlessly complex processes is stupid as is blaming the user for not wanting to spend hours researching shit like that.

Re:Reflash it back to stock (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453685)

You're right. We can't expect a normal user to understand how search engines work. For that matter, we can't expect normal users to spend a couple hours researching anything, even if they do understand search engines. Normal users expect to push a button or two, and get instant gratification.

Look douche, unless you can personally rebuild the transmission on your car (something any mouth drooler can look up on Google), you can jam this attitude up your ass, sideways.

I bet that you are a programmer. You seem to be everything wrong with programmers.

Re:Reflash it back to stock (2)

Joshua Shaffer (2895571) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452069)

Reflash your phone back to stock if needed.

Notably "back to stock" is not anywhere close to "back to the setup they had".

Losing all your data in the process is one hell of a change.

Re:Reflash it back to stock (1)

JeffOwl (2858633) | 1 year,5 days | (#45454051)

I use Safestrap recovery. It allows you to create partitions that can be used to install more than one image while leaving your stock image intact. I can switch back and forth at will. I don't even have to back up the image to a PC. By the way, when it reverted to stock it still had all my old settings and, as a bonus, apps that use SD card storage for data picked up where they left off on either image.

simple instructions (2)

Revek (133289) | 1 year,5 days | (#45451867)

I installed cm10.1 on a Samsung captivate today. Took it from its stock froyo build straight to ics in just 30 minutes. The instructions are more complicated than a one button upgrade but really the problem isn't that there is no way back. The problem is that people don't demand the same service for their purchase from the manufacturer.

User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45451969)

Whilst a big fan (and user at home and work) of open source projects, I've never quite seen the point of this project, other than to escape the not actually very walled garden of Google (seeing as you can side load any software you want onto your device).

And this article reads like an achetypal description of how user unfriendliness to the point of having a high chance of ruining your device for the average user means that a complete back to the drawing board approach is needed for this project in terms of getting it adopted by anything other than a minority of hobbyist enthusiasts.

My Nexus 7 is the least customized computer I've ever owned, as it does really impressive stuff easily, and Android development is still in the "too inneficient, not enough libraries and tools available" phase for me to invest much effort into it (kudos to those who are driving it forward though : some of the apps I use have had the barely indisguishable from magic effect on me!)

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (3, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452049)

Customs roms aren't really about escaping Google, they are about escaping the lockdown carriers tend to put on their phones.

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452119)

They are about not running Facebook. Battery life x5 on my Samsung Note (GT7000).

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (0)

daveime (1253762) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452467)

Why not just wipe the FLASH completely, then your battery will last 500x longer! You won't be able to do anything useful (which for most people does actually include Facebook) ... but at least you won't have the odious, mind-numbing, soul-destroying task of plugging it into the wall socket every night.

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45452911)

If that's your response to removing malware, I don't want to see your computer, ever.

Re: User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunatel (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453175)

You don't have to log in to Facebook if you really don't want to.

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452075)

Sometimes it's not about installing, but about uninstalling. I've an old Samsung device that doesn't have a lot of RAM. They still release updates for it, each more bloated than the previous. I jumped ship last year to CM 7.2. It gives me the same OS version as the latest update from Samsung, but without Samsung's bloat. The cherry on top is being able to delete the Google Apps I don't want (gtalk, to name the worst one). On stock you can't delete them, you can't even stop them from running in the background. Now I got plenty of free RAM, phone's snappy, and I don't feel pressed to upgrade the hardware.

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (1)

mlts (1038732) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453561)

For a lot of things, the threat of having the device bricked is overblown.

The only time that I've ever been worried about bricking was on the Motorola Atrix 2 when initially, there was no FXZ or other way to reflash back to a stock ROM. Eventually this was remedied, but for a whole, the modding community for that device was walking a tightrope without a safety net.

This doesn't say that one can't brick a device, as it is doable, especially if one misses some directions or skips steps, but it isn't as common as people think.

Re:User unfriendliness strikes again unfortunately (2)

Miamicanes (730264) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453737)

If all you've ever owned are Nexus devices, you probably won't see the point. Try using an AT&T Galaxy S3 sometime, and you'll quickly understand why CM is such a big deal.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

torsmo (1301691) | 1 year,5 days | (#45452383)

Arse check you out. wait...

Say what?!?!?! (0)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453005)

As I read it, the complaint is that you can't revert to the old OS if you install a new OS.

Show me any OS installer that does that!

Whinging from an idiot in my books.

Re:Say what?!?!?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453245)

wubi installs Ubuntu in a way that reverting to Windows is trivial.

Re:Say what?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453273)

wubi is depreciated and not recommended anymore. In any case, if you are going to try Linux then do it the right way via a full install.

Re: Say what?!?!?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453525)

Congratulations, that's the most cynical thing I've read this year.

You're totally what's wrong with Linux. Tool.

Re:Say what?!?!?! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,5 days | (#45454167)

As I read it, the complaint is that you can't revert to the old OS if you install a new OS.

Show me any OS installer that does that!

Well, as usual a bunch of people who have never flashed a rom to their phone and don't know fuck about shit are here to comment.

Let's talk about the Nexus 4 in particular. I own one and have been flashing it regularly (heh heh) for days now. This is not my first time around the block, but it is my first Nexus device. The Nexus 7 (also have) is basically the same, a little harder to get into the bootloader. If you flash cyanogenmod to the device via ROM Manager, which requires a compatible (TWRP or CWM) recovery to be flashed first (first you use adb to unlock the bootloader, then you use fastboot to flash a custom recovery) then it will offer to make a device backup before you install. The sdcard partition is maintained, so your backups persist. So do any application backups made with TitaniumBackup or similar. These backups can then be restored with the same recovery in which they were produced (last I looked, CWM and TWRP had slightly different backup formats) and they will restore the kernel, recovery, system, data, and even cache partitions.

In short, the normal, on-device installs of CyanogenMod do make a backup of the OS, and you can revert to the old OS. I can restore right back to 4.2.2 if I want; I also made a backup with the 4.3 factory image and with CM10.2, and have saved the backups aside (via adb) so that if I wanted, I could restore one of those backups and be off and running.

This fact makes the CyanogenMod installer's refusal to perform a backup during install not just inexplicable, but unacceptable. The functionality is already in the recovery that is flashed with CM! They don't even need to add a reboot! Just flash recovery, boot to recovery, make a backup, then install the CM ZIP! Done and done! That's what I do every time I install a ROM, unless I'm not that enamored of my current system. After all, I can always restore an older backup, restore any newer apps from TitaniumBackup, and then update any remaining packages from the Play Store — then back those packages up with TitaniumBackup.

Whinging from an idiot in my books.

And yet, your post is a tale told by an idiot.

Google Play (1)

sirber (891722) | 1 year,5 days | (#45453331)

Can I get the APK outside Google Play? I don't have a Google Account anymore. Funny note: cyanogenmod doesn't even come with Google Play. If you are looking for a store, I'd recommend 1mobile :http://www.1mobile.com/ Lots of crapware and fakes (search for minecraft), but there are official apps too and the store manage updates.

Perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453735)

..."novices" shouldn't be bothering trying to install a custom ROM on to their phone to begin with...

People who are unable to follow simple instruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45453783)

The only people who will have a problem with this are those who are unable to follow simple instructions, which are all over the Internet, in particular at xda.

People like this should just stick to iPhones, because they are too stupid to use technology without constant hand-holding.

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