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Android Fork Brings Froyo To 12 Smartphones

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the sticking-it-to-the-phone-companies dept.

Cellphones 193

jj110888 writes "CyanogenMod has just been updated to version 6.0, bringing Android Open Source Project 2.2 (Froyo) to several devices. This fork includes enchantments to many of the built-in apps, Ad-hoc network connectivity, OpenVPN support, Bluetooth HID, Incognito browsing, extensive control over audio and UI elements, and more found in the extensive CHANGELOG. The CyanogenMod team uses an instance of Google's gerrit tool for code review and patch submission, helping make this former backport of Android 1.6 to T-Mobile's G1 into thriving development for the G1/MyTouch/MyTouch 1.2, Droid, Nexus One, HTC Aria, HTC Desire, HTC Evo 4G (minus 4G and HDMI output), Droid Incredible, and MyTouch Slide. HTC Hero (including Droid Eris) are coming soon for 6.0, with Samsung Galaxy S devices expected to be supported in 6.1."

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Frodo Phone? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432910)

Watch out, it's hobbit forming.

Re:Frodo Phone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432934)

Frodo didn't know any enchantments, this is some other magic midget.

Enchantments? (4, Funny)

Iftekhar25 (802052) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432938)

This fork includes enchantments to many of the built-in apps [...]

Enchantments? iOS doesn't have that. Android rules.

Re:Enchantments? (3, Funny)

matunos (1587263) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433008)

Are you kidding? Apple fans are constantly accused of being under some sort of spell.

Re:Enchantments? (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433012)

Enchantments? iOS doesn't have that. Android rules.

Doesn't matter if iOS isn't enchanting because the devices themselves are magical [wired.com] .

One day, kids will be in awe reading fantasy novels about our golden age of computer junk.

Re:Enchantments? (2, Funny)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433018)

Android Rules...and Droid Does...hmmm.

If past confusingly-worded advertisements [blogspot.com] are any indication, we should look forward to:

Android: Try our new interface for waterproof phones: Slip and Slide Rules!

Re:Enchantments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433044)

And Steve Jobs casts Tempest of Light [wizards.com] by tapping three IPod Classics.

Re:Enchantments? (0, Redundant)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433066)

Who need enchantments when iOS comes with Reality Distortion Field?



Oh wait, sorry, my bad. Only Jobs has RDF.

Re:Enchantments? (4, Funny)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433094)

Yeah, according to the release notes, they added a +1 bonus to the Music and Deskclock apps, amongst others, and added 1d6 [Fire] elemental damage to the Torch app.

Re:Enchantments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433338)

Windows Mobile 7 is even better. I heard they have blacksmithing.

how much peer review is going on? (3, Insightful)

M. Kristopeit (1890764) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432946)

i'm concerned about bugs, intentional or not, that would allow someone access to my voice calls or other personal data... how feasible are those situations when using one of these 3rd party mobile operating systems rather than the one supplied directly by the mobile vendor with the device?

Re:how much peer review is going on? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432960)

review.cyanogenmod.com

They end up patching most vulnerabilities faster than the handset makers, but there is always the chance of users not understanding root and not reading the permissions their apps require. One of the many good things about android though is that it shows you what the app wants wants before installing, if you don't read/know what you're installing, who's really to blame at that point?

Re:how much peer review is going on? (2, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433134)

One of the many good things about android though is that it shows you what the app wants wants before installing

Yes, but without the ability to deny some of those rights, it's not very useful. Case in point: couple days ago I wanted to install a simple music app. It wanted GPS access and internet access. Fuck that, I didn't install the app but I'd much rather block those two things.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433210)

Yes, but without the ability to deny some of those rights, it's not very useful. Case in point: couple days ago I wanted to install a simple music app. It wanted GPS access and internet access. Fuck that, I didn't install the app but I'd much rather block those two things.

I agree. It could be useful if you could install an app while denying it some of the rights it wants. Of course that could make the app unstable and useless, but at least you had the option to do so and it was your own free choice.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433312)

What could go wrong with an app sending your coordinates to **AA?

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

kasimbaba (1813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433438)

I don't know about GPS access, but internet is often required in order to serve adds for app-supported apps. I can't imagine Google allowing users to block the internet access right. It would break their business model.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433808)

"serve ads for ad-supported apps."

Don't be lazy. Re-read your shit at least once.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433606)

It's very useful: It informed your decision and you walked away. You wanted a different app without GPS or Internet requirements, that's your problem, not a flaw with the system.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (3, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434016)

Exactly - better that you're at least informed, if it had said nothing you'd be blissfully unaware that your music app was tracking your position and accessing the web. And if you don't want it to do those things, mail the developer and give them some useful feedback (I would have bought/used your app except...) and maybe they'll explain what the usage is, or even offer a version with those things removed. That's the beauty of the system, you have a lot of visibility of what's going on.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433112)

Have you seen how buggy vendor-firmware is these days? I'd wager that Cyanogenmod actually has less bugs than the original firmware on most of these devices. While I don't use CyanogenMod myself, I'm using a ROM which is nearly entirely based on it, just with some junk ripped out and tweaked for better performance, and I must say, the stuff they've baked into the kernel is fantastic (things like full Bluetooth HID keyboard support)... And while it does introduce some bugs, there are none known that could cause security issues.

The main problem right now is that with the CyanogenMod6 kernel on the Desire, the optical trackpad sometimes just stops working and then keeps the phone from sleeping properly, resulting in high power draw during standby - this can drain the entire battery in abut 10-15 hours, causing people to go to bed with 50% battery remaining and wake up with a dead phone. As soon as this fixed, well, there won't really be any real (as in, completely broken and not just annoying) bugs left on the Desire version...

I'm assuming the main (Dream & N1) versions are even more bug-free as they receive a bit more attention.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433766)

Have you seen how buggy vendor-firmware is these days?

I, fortunately, have the Nexus One and get firmware supplied from Google. Their versions are pretty tight; the only bug I noticed was with large SD transfers rebooting the phone, but that went away after I got a new device, so it may have possibly been a hardware issue as well.

While I appreciate all of the work Steve and his partners (Team Douche :p) have put into making a very viable alternative to vendor-supplied firmware (especially on more restricted devices), it hasn't been reliable enough to make me comfortable with it. They always seem to have battery issues, and little bugs come up here and there that make me trust it less. On top of that, unless someone can point out the contrary, I have to unlock my bootloader to flash it, which voids my warranty. (There is no known way to relock it, and HTC made their bootloader show very obviously whether it's locked or not.)

Then again, the N1 is the least-restricted Android phone that's sort-of available at the moment and gets the latest updates from Google herself, so we have it easier. :)

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433788)

IIRC there's now a way to root without the bootloader-unlock, just FYI. No warranty loss :)

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433976)

Does that just allow you to run apps with root privilege, or does it allow custom firmware?

Too late for meme either way though.

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434086)

Custom firmware IIRC. Why too late?

Re:how much peer review is going on? (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433458)

i'm concerned about bugs, intentional or not, that would allow someone access to my voice calls or other personal data... how feasible are those situations when using one of these 3rd party mobile operating systems rather than the one supplied directly by the mobile vendor with the device?

You don't know it but what you are indirectly implying is that open source community developed systems could harbor more undisclosed vulnerabilities due to less peer review, either accidentally or, a via more disturbing proposition: that someone may masquerade as a coder in a community project to hide something in plain sight (certainly possible: http://underhanded.xcott.com/ [xcott.com] ) obtaining sudden pwnership of thousands of phones (last I heard CyanogenMOD was on 30k Android phones now likely many more).

In all likelihood attacks against a vanilla carrier ROM on a Android handset may just not work against heavily modified aftermarket ROM. One would hope anyway. Hackers are also not going target individual ROM distributions, they'll go after mainstream devices. Any of these vulnerabilities in Android will be everyone's problem.

Still, I sold my iPhone 3G so some sucker can 'downgrade' that to iOS4 lag hell and I made a choice for an open source handset with a superior security model for a damn good reason.

It's a logistical impossibility for Apple to rigorously peer review every line of code that goes through their App store, which is why the false sense of security from a their strict walled garden is dangerous.

Android market has some protections, and Android's security model and code base is more robust anyway.

Oh and the Android open source community is fucking awesome.

Mom will love it! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432962)

When she hears Froyo has been forked, I know Mom is going to get all psyched and everything. This is exactly why Mom can't stand the iPhone, because we never hear such sweet news as we do about Android.

Re:Mom will love it! (1, Flamebait)

Shihar (153932) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433362)

No offense, but who gives a flying fuck what your technophobe mom thinks? If I wanted my life to revolve around what the dumb unwashed masses liked I would drink nothing but bud light, only read the sports, celebrity, and horoscope sections of the newspaper, and believe that evolution is an evil lie and that the world is 6000 years old. Most people are fucking stupid. Android forks are probably not for them.

Is Android right for people who are terrified by tech? Fight amongst yourselves because I really don't care what the answer is. I know that it is certainly right for people who like tech and don't wet themselves at the thought of customizing their phone a little for their needs. I mean holy shit, Apple didn't allow you to change your fucking background until iOS4. How stupid does your target audience need to be if you think letting them change their background is just too much responsibility for them to handle?

Re:Mom will love it! (0, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433554)

No offense but who gives a flying fuck whether you can change your background on a phone? I don't put stickers on the lid of my laptop, hang gonks from the mirror of my car, tattoo my shins or graffiti the nearest public wall. A sense of self worth shouldn't be reliant on decorating things. You don't speak for people who like tech. You speak for immature people who like tech.

Re:Mom will love it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433652)

keeping someone from being able to change their background is treating them like children. the tone of your post implies someone who is very uncomfortable with the thought of having maturity.

One huge reason to buy an android phone (2, Insightful)

msevior (145103) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432966)

The existence of this project makes my want to buy an android phone.

No lockin for me!

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (0, Flamebait)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433126)

Don't buy "An Android Phone".

You'll need to buy a phone that is supported by CyanogenMod (or the modding community in general), and unfortunately, this number is not only small, it's dwindling.

It seems like manufacturers are moving more in the direction of Motorola (encrypting bootloaders to make booting a kernel like CyanogenMod's impossible) and locking down their devices completely. Even my HTC Desire has some (so far uncrackable) form of protection that prevents users from writing to the system partition when the phone is running - even though the phone is rooted. I don't know about you, but I'm interpreting that as a pretty bad omen :(

I guess the next round of HTC devices should give us some idea of what to expect in the future. If the Desire Z/Desire HD/T-Mobile G2 are all locked in the same way or even worse, bootloader-encrypted, Cyanogen and the rest of the modding community might be in for a rough time - not to mention the poor users.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (3, Informative)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433198)

You shouldn't really talk when you obviously don't know anything about the subject of conversation. The number of phones that Cyanogen supports is not "dwindling" it is actually booming. Up through CM 5.0 he only supported 3 phones (G1, MyTouch, Nexus one) but with the development of 6.0 he recruited rom developers for all the other phones listed above. This just happened a few months ago and this article is discussing the fruits of their labor. Additionally, the encrypted bootloader you were mentioning on the Droid X/2 has been broken and full custom roms can be installed http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/30/custom-droid-x-roms-starting-to-break-loose-efuse-be-damned/ [engadget.com] . Really, try to lighted up with FUD and do some more reading before you decide the whole modding community is dwindling and doomed.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (4, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433328)

Wow. You should really inform yourself better before telling other people they're spreading FUD - and I'd recommend looking for information in places OTHER than blogs.

The Droid X and Droid 2 bootloaders have NOT been cracked, they're still encrypted, keeping you from booting a kernel such as the one included in Cyanogenmod. While read/write access to the system partition and a working recovery are a good step in the right direction, Droid X/2 development is stuck at exactly the same spot where Milestone modders have been stuck for the better part of a year now.

True custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod are NOT possible without bootloader access!

The FUD about the Droid X having been cracked wide open is pretty much what blogs like Droid Life have been spreading all over the internet, and it's just wrong. No custom kernel, no custom ROM. You can heavily modify the existing ROMs, but you MUST keep the kernel that Motorola signed for your device. Note that the developers who made Clockworkmod on the Droid X possible state explicitly that ROMs with custom kernels aren't possible with their recovery...

Remember the Milestone alarm-clock fiasco? The phone would just not wake up properly when it was time to sound an alarm, resulting in the phone being completely useless as an alarm clock. This was a kernel bug that was left unfixed for MONTHs, until the .36 bugfix release of Android 2.1 was pushed just weeks ago... the only way to fix it was by flashing a different kernel. Luckily it was discovered that the Telus version of 2.1 didn't have this bug, and that the kernel from that version could be flashed onto any Milestone due to them all using the same signature. With full bootloader access, custom kernels without this bug (like they've been available for the bootloader-unlocked Droid all along) would have been usable right away, and the problem would have been fixed by the community more or less right away.

And that's just one example of why it's important to have full bootloader access for flashing custom kernels. There are many more... like being able to create a ROM like CyanogenMod for the device. Many of the tweaks built into Cyanogenmod are kernel-level changes, and while you may be able to get somewhere by loading kernel modules at runtime (like the overclocking module for the Milestone), you'll have a tough time replicating all the functions of a full custom kernel that way.

Like I probably mentioned in my earlier post, even HTC is moving in this direction (albeit slowly), with some sort of runtime-protection of the system partition that's apparently uncrackable so far on the Desire and IIRC some other phones too (Legend?).

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (2, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433336)

More info here: http://www.koushikdutta.com/2010/08/droid-x-recovery.html [koushikdutta.com]

Note the following:

"So can we now install custom ROMs?
Yes, but you can't replace the kernel or boot image. But really, once you have access to /system, anything is possible. It will just take a little hackery. "

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (2, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433348)

Interesting use of 'FUD'. it's more like Hope uncertainty and unfounded optimism.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433358)

Correct, I was being stupid. Should have proofread :(

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (2, Informative)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433522)

You are utterly mistaken. If the Desire is as locked down as you say it is then explain the fully functional CM 6.0 that runs on it including the custom kernel. Check out the XDA Desire forum for some details and then hopefully you can come back better informed. Also, AOSP builds for the Droid X are coming with custom kernels. I find if funny that below you posted a quote to try and make your point that custom kernels wont be happening but you tried to completely ignored half of the quote by bolding just what you wanted people to see. Here's the quote YOU posted with your bolding left in place, but I've added a second bold+italics of the relevant portion you should be paying attention to.
"So can we now install custom ROMs?
Yes, but you can't replace the kernel or boot image. But really, once you have access to /system, anything is possible. It will just take a little hackery ."

Also, this quote was written when the Droid X was first released and they were just starting to get root access. Since then, a lot more progress has been made using a "little hackery."

Please stop posting FUD and misleading quotes. It was bad enough you couldn't even attempt to defend your initial post that cyanogen mod phone support was dwindling after I pointed out it had more that tripled in # of phones over the last few months.
You simply don't know enough. End of story.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (2, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433612)

Dear Milamber,

You seem to be misinterpreting some of my posts, as well as adding things that I myself never actually wrote.

1. About the Desire, please try to understand what I'm saying: Cyanogenmod runs perfectly well on the Desire. I'm using a ROM that's mostly based on CyanogenMod, custom kernel and all. The lockdown that has been implemented by HTC on the Desire ONLY limits writing to the system partition at runtime (i.e. with Android fully booted). It's still possible to write to the system partition via ADB through a custom recovery like Clockworkmod or AmonRA. I NEVER said that the Desire was locked in a way that would prevent custom ROMs or custom kernels.

And I quote, from my first post: "Even my HTC Desire has some (so far uncrackable) form of protection that prevents users from writing to the system partition when the phone is running...". I never said anything about being unable to flash custom ROMs or custom kernels...

2. As for the quote: In my opinion, your interpretation is overly optimistic. I am surely not a Linux expert (more of a n00b, really, as my Linux experience is largely limited to Android), but it's my understanding that without switching out the kernel, it won't be possible to change certain things. If you have information to the contrary, I'd love to learn something from you, if you were inclined to share your apparent knowledge.

3. I didn't attempt to defend the statement that Cyanogenmod-supported handsets are dwindling, because quite simply, you are right in that aspect. My wording is completely incorrect, and the dwindling support was actually supposed to be referring to the general availability of fully unlocked (i.e. bootloader unlocked, no weird system partition read-only access at runtime...) Android phones. Thank you for making me aware of my error.

I cannot, however, thank you for resorting to the (unfortunately, typical these days) "You have no idea what you're talking about" argument... it makes it impossible to have a conversation, so please refrain from telling everyone they don't know squat when you disagree with them.

I would, by the way, like to invite you to take apart my arguments about past experiences on the Milestone, which was bootloader-encrypted just like the Droid X/2 is now. What makes you think that the Droid X bootloader will be easier to crack/circumvent?

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433710)

I didn't use the "you have no idea what you're talking about" argument. I said "you simply don't know enough" and I stand by that based on the content of your posts. I have seen an AOSP rom running on the Droid X and was told it will have a modified kernel. Time will tell if that is the case or not. I'm sure if they have it working everyone will know soon enough. As for the Desire, if you have a custom kernel running on the device then it should be simple to have write permission to /system after booting the phone. My point in all of this is that custom roms with custom kernels and full nand access are not going to go away. I purchased an Epic 4G yesterday morning and promptly rooted it because the root was available before the phone was even released. Apparently, Samsung hasn't changed that much from their Moment device so full nand access is expected soon. I'm not going to assume that every manufacturer will decide locking down their bootloader is a priority just because Motorola did it.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (2, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433774)

Hi Milamber,

I implore you: Please inform yourself about the situation with the Desire before telling me I just don't know what I'm talking about. Try these links (just the first two Google results for "read write system desire"):

http://android.modaco.com/content/htc-desire-desire-modaco-com/315002/htc-desire-system-partition-write-access-in-progress/ [modaco.com]
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=690744 [xda-developers.com]

After reading just a few of the posts in each thread, you should get an idea of the situation. There is a solution that has been proposed, and does work, in theory, but IIRC it involves an overlay file system that caches writes until the device is rebooted... or something like that.

About this AOSP ROM on the Droid X: How was the kernel modified? Since you can't boot a completely different kernel, you would have to modify the existing one at runtime... do you have any more information about this? I would love to see a link for it...

As for your point about full NAND access and custom kernels not going away: I wish I could share your optimism. As a former Milestone owner I've seen what manufacturers can do on a whim, and contrary to the headlines circulating in blogs lately, we've seen that it's definitely possible to lock down devices to a level that makes them uninteresting for modders. I would advise you to take a closer look at the Milestone situation, as it should give you a very good idea about the challenges that will be faced by users of subsequent Motorola devices like the Droid X.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (4, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433238)

The proper response to that is of course to advertise widely and loudly which phones are locked down, and which aren't. People who want an open system will buy the unlocked phones, and those manufacturers will be rewarded with extra sales.

I really don't see the point for manufacturers to lock their phones like this. For networks, I can understand, but when I buy a phone without a contract, I should own it, without any limitations. If we want high-end, fully unlocked/unlockable phones, we need to make sure there's a market for them. Manufacturers would be stupid to deny that market.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433290)

I and many other people have been shouting about the Motorola situation for weeks, and nobody seems to care. They're still buying Motorola phones like there's no tomorrow (no doubt fueled by the memory of the fully open Droid 1 and the false hope that the bootloaders on the Droid X and Droid 2 will be cracked soon), without heeding the consequences. If Motorola doesn't realize that its update polices and lockdown are costing it sales, they'll keep going in this direction and other manufacturers will follow. :(

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433752)

i have been listening to the stories about the droid 2 and X re: being locked down too tight to load a custom ROM. it made me glad that i had a droid 1 that was more open. i wasn't sure if i would find a suitable phone to upgrade to when the time came.

i just did a warranty return on my droid 1 (headphone jack had a short) and was given a new in the box droid 2. i hate it. the custom camera, gallery, alarm clock, virtual keyboard, etc. all suck hard compared to vanilla android. and now i am screwed because i can't put my own ROM on it when they release a new version of android, i will be forced to wait for moto to update it.

short version: i didn't choose to 'upgrade' to a new phone that was just what they sent me. after one full day of using the droid 2 i am trying to figure out how i can get another droid 1 out of verizon.

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433802)

For your sake I hope that Milamber is right in that someone will find a way around the locked bootloader on the Droid X/2... but going on my experiences with the Milestone, that could be more difficult than anticipated. Basically Droid X development is now stuck at the same spot the Milestone devs have been stuck in for months now.

Switching out large parts of the system is great and all (you should be able to switch to stock versions of the apps that are bothering you - camera, gallery, alarm clock etc.), but without a full custom kernel ROMs as full-featured and tweaked as CyanogenMod are going to be difficult...

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433840)

what is really crazy to me is that in every way the droid 2 seems like a regression from the droid 1. it has flash and wifi AP, but other than that motorola has seemingly tried to "make it theirs" as far as software and they know less about usability than the android team. there are some appalling UI choices that were made on the phone, and i just don't have the patience to replace a shitty implementation bit-by-bit.

luckily i haven't mailed back my droid 1 yet so i have a bargaining chip with them. i might just end up sending back the new droid 2 and living with the short in the headphone jack

Re:One huge reason to buy an android phone (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433862)

Hmmm, you could, of course, just sell the Droid 2 and use the cash to buy a new bootloader-unlocked phone, such as the Epic 4G... or a used Droid and pocket the rest for a new set of headphones to use with that headphone jack ;)

Then again, that would send the wrong message to Verizon and Motorola, making them think you actually like the locked-down, Motoblurred Droid 2...

What will it take to end this fragmentation? (3, Insightful)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432982)

As a Droid Incredible owner, I'm pretty pissed off that Android 2.2 is so many months old and there's STILL no official build available for my device. Why can't I just go to a magic URL like google.com/android/2.2, then download a supported ROM for my device, and then install the new OS just like downloading a new version of Ubuntu for a PC?

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432988)

Because you're one of about 3 people on the planet that care.

Because Google didn't make the Droid Incredible (3, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433026)

So why should they build, test and support new roms for every different Android device out there? They've got enough on their plate developing the reference OS itself. You should be asking Verizon, or at least HTC.

With Ubuntu, a lot of people chipped in to write and make available many different device drivers so that a huge range of hardware could be supported. Phones too require different device drivers - but on phones, many of those drivers are still proprietary. Cyanogen (among others) is the best recourse we've got.

But for actual solutions - well, you could insist on buying only phones with minimal vendor changes from vanilla Android, thus reducing the amount of work needed for porting the latest OS. Vendors could devote more effort to supporting older hardware, since it's clear it's a big issue with customers [gizmodo.com] . From Google's pov, they've said [engadget.com] they're working on separating as much as possible from the base OS, so that the cooler stuff can be updated independently.

Only other "solution" I can think of is for Google to hold off releasing new versions until major vendors complete porting it to their older hardware. But all that would do is disadvantage Google's own customers to no purpose, just so that other vendors' customers don't know what they're missing, not to mention reducing the valuable feedback Google needs to work on the next version. Might as well go to an annual cycle and change their name to Apple 2.0.

Re:Because Google didn't make the Droid Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433342)

With Ubuntu, a lot of people chipped in to write and make available many different device drivers so that a huge range of hardware could be supported.

It is not just Ubuntu. Distros in general often exist due to the needs for different trade-offs between stability, ease of use, and features. Often the larger part of an user base settles on things that try to be quite to very stable and easy distros (Android OS, Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, Novell...) with a significant minority using the more playful/unstable/experimental/harder to use distros (Slackware, Linux from Scratch, Gentoo, Sabayon, Cyanogen...). This is a very useful approach, as software is imperfect, and needs different - so people who need/want the unstable things can be on the related distros while the rest of the users does not get the hassle of it.

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (2, Informative)

deltantor (912016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433036)

As a Droid Incredible owner, I'm pretty pissed off that Android 2.2 is so many months old and there's STILL no official build available for my device. Why can't I just go to a magic URL like google.com/android/2.2, then download a supported ROM for my device, and then install the new OS just like downloading a new version of Ubuntu for a PC?

But you can, with cyanogenmod. CM is one of the only things that is fighting to end fragmentation.

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433058)

As a Droid Incredible owner, I'm pretty pissed off that Android 2.2 is so many months old and there's STILL no official build available for my device. Why can't I just go to a magic URL like google.com/android/2.2, then download a supported ROM for my device, and then install the new OS just like downloading a new version of Ubuntu for a PC?

Heh. I'm equally angry that nobody has released final-draft ROMs for the acclaimed wireless N standard. It's supposed to be an easier one-time task than porting Android every 6 months to a plethora of incompatible carrier hardware here in the US. That's specially true because final-N is supposedly a "virtually no-change" update to the draft-N standards that we bought for years. If even that small a promise at face value (namely NOT saying "oh, there was really no change" then what is my hope that buying this month's $500 phone will mean continued support for the lengh of my almost-forced 2-year contract to make that price a reasonable $299?

Like with the Android case, all implementors promised quick updates via ROM downloads. I log into the otherwise great DLINK router and click on check for new firmware every few months ... and realize that the industry has a hard threshold of 9-12 months after which no BIOS or firmware updates are ever released.

Unlike with hammers and typewriters, we are in a world of perpetual hardware beta bugfix and functionality-wise. A world where companies brainwash us to not demand release-quality products --just buy next year's version with the standard built in! Look at Vista taking 2 years to be stable by way of Windows 7. It costs us more that way, though, but companies aren't taking our pockets into account so much as their need to jump out of that same recession.

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433222)

You can actually do just that. The Froyo source has been available from Day 1 on the AOSP website. You need to realize that Android is still in its infancy and similar to when linux was in its infancy if you wanted to run a different version on your hardware you need to be prepared to modify it, write new drivers, and work out some bugs. This is exactly what the devs do for most of the phones. I have been running 2.2 on my Hero for months even though HTC has said they will never release it for the Hero. At first it was buggy and some stuff didn't work but it has been fully functional and stable for a while now.

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433350)

This is partly why google is changing some things in the design of android. It will reduce how much devices can differentiate their interfaces - but it is meant to ensure that when a new version comes out ALL the android phones can get it immediately.

I fully understand why they are going there, though I can also see the downsides.... interesting times ahead.

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (1)

ferrocene (203243) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433694)

At least you'll have 2.2 eventually. For those of us with a Hero or Eris, this is the only way we get FroYo. A semi-working build was available within hours of the FroYo source code release, and now stable versions abound. But the Eris is already end-of-life. One day your incredible will be, too.

Re:What will it take to end this fragmentation? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434020)

You also could have done some reasearch instead of running to your phone net supplier typed in as us american the google webshop and bought a nexus one.
It speaks legends that now the nexus one is sold over the dev channel worldwide, google is selling so many of them that they have a supply problem, and before when it was only available in the US no one bought it except for a few.

stability (2, Interesting)

Blymie (231220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432984)

This is a great ROM, and the whole crowd that put it together does deserve applause.

The only detractor is stability with smaller issues. There is an 'experimental' branch, which is essentially alpha like code, and the stable branch is more like a constantly moving, fairly mature beta.

Part of this, of course, is the speed with which this whole environment is moving. Just when the Cyanogenmod team release a ROM, it seems that a whole whack of changes manifest upstream, with the goal of a whole new Google branded release. So, naturally, the compulsion is to move to that newer codebase..

I'm hoping that for a while at least, Google doesn't fork for another release branch. Hell, there are already issues with phone manufacturers and the fragmentation in the Android market as a result. So, maybe it should be.. oh, I don't know, a YEAR before there is another fork and release on the Google side?

Perhaps then, people will be able to fork 6.1 or 6.2 of Cyanogenmod, and spent about 20 sub-releases just on stability issues.

All and all though, that would just be icing on the cake. And what a sweet cake it is!

Thanks Cyanogenmod dudes!

Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (4, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432992)

I have been wishing for OpenVPN support on my iPhone for some time now. The idea that you'll 'control your whole life' through your phone is so hollow until you have 'secure' tunnels to your resources. The person who put the effort in to get OpenVPN working on android has my respect. Good work!

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (4, Insightful)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433024)

And this is so essential to mainland user like me!...or else how you think the facebook app is going to work?

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433574)

Right. Because if something isn't mainstream and middle of the road, it's simply not worth the effort.

Why the fuck is something like this even posted? why do so many slashdotters insist that only the demands of fullblown retards are relevant?

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433750)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but note that he said "mainland", not "mainstream". I assume he's talking about China banning facebook.

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (2, Insightful)

trawg (308495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433940)

Uh, I assume the GP was referring to the fact that the previous user described the VPN component as a 'killer app'.

I consider myself a pretty nerdy Android user - I'm probably in the 1% of Android users who a) actually know what OpenVPN is and b) would actually use it.

I sure would like to have OpenVPN but I certainly can't be bothered figuring out how to mod my phone to get it. So I think the GP was merely saying that for the vast, vast majority of people, it is pretty irrelevant when compared to something like having the Facebook application working.

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433562)

How about just getting an N900? It has OpenVPN, SSH, VNC and even an IR LED to control your TV etc. You're also free to code in bascially any language you prefer to write your own apps to 'control your whole life'. If you want to do specialised stuff like this you shouldn't be looking at *omg* iPhone.

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433832)

Why would you want to use a phone by a company that helps corrupt governments lock people up [rferl.org] ?

Re:Smartphone + VPN is the killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33434078)

A VPN client that works with Cisco VPN is one of the big requirements for the next phone I buy. Does that mean I need OpenVPN? And does this article mean I need to use this CyanogenMod firmware to get OpenVPN? Or does it work on any Android phone, like the normal Samsung Epic firmware?

Could someone summarize which smartphones will let me easily connect to Cisco VPN and run ssh & VNC?

Great project (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432994)

It made my HTC G1/Dream faster than the stock 1.6 that came with it. Once I goldcarded the thing, installed the DangerSPL, updated the radio and installed the ROM. Totally worth it.

Updated to a Samsung Galaxy S i9000 which comes with 2.1 plus a bunch of Samsung applications. Hopefully Cyanogenmod manages to retain Swype and some of the lockscreen enhancements like the jigsaw thing when an SMS arrives or an email notification comes through.

Re:Great project (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433146)

CM won't, but someone on XDA Devs probably will, by standing on the shoulders of the CM code.
P.S. Swype's available in the market! I prefer SlideIT though. Either way, you can put it on any Android phone.

Re:Great project (1)

Adm.Wiggin (759767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433218)

Swype isn't available on the Market yet, you lying bastard!

Re:Great project (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433378)

Oh, my mistake. It's freely available though, if you google. Mobilism.org has it, for example. My point is that you're not dependent on Samsung for it, and also that alternatives (that I think are better) such as SlideIT are also available.

Re:Great project (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433642)

Good to know, thanks.

What doesn't work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433114)

Anyone found a "things that don't work" list for each/all of these phones? Or have they covered everything that the phone is supposed to do? Ex.: do these include HTC's Sense UI? I've heard the stock android is nowhere near as much fun to use as with Sense UI - so it would be an issue for me to do this upgrade and I'd just end up waiting for HTC to catch the fuck up.

Re:What doesn't work? (3, Informative)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433152)

Well, yes, if you go check the release notes it'll tell you exactly what doesn't work. It'll be a small list. On current version I think there's a bug that occasionally prevents phone from sleeping, draining battery. It'll be fixed.
CM ROMs do NOT include Sense UI -they are "clean" Android. Personally I like Sense, which is why I'm using the AuraxTSense 7.1 ROM from XDA Devs on my HTC Desire. It's lovely. Now the CM code is out, they basically set a gold-standard baseline for others to tinker with.
Seriously, the community ROMs tend to be more stable than the OEM ones - and they fix bugs, rather than ignore them.

Re:What doesn't work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433168)

Same AC here. Thanks for that info. I found an issues list (sort of) here: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=Troubleshooting#Other_issues

Personally, I'm going to benchmark how long it takes any of the other groups to add Sense UI to it for HTC phones - now that is something HTC should be ashamed to be falling behind.

If there's an "additional" ROM installer for Sense UI (so that it's installed on the top of the OS ROM), then I get the option (read: opportunity) to run Sense UI once it's out and at least enjoy Froyo until it is.

And don't forget all the CyanogenMod-based ROMs! (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433118)

As a user of a Desire ROM that's based largely on CyanogenMod (and there are many of these), I'd like to thank the team for the work they've done. The enhancements they've added are truly enchanting (hrhr), and add a lot of value to an already pretty great product.

There are issues, of course, but largely it's just a vanilla Android version with all the enhancements Google should have built into Android from the beginning. And that's awesome :)

Enchantments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433138)

Enchantments!

GO #TEAMDOUCHE! (0, Offtopic)

Benjineer (1889480) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433254)

Teamdouche!!!

If only HTC didn't ship defective phones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433304)

HTC is shipping defective phones worldwide, hundreds in Europe, and in some cases are not repairing them.

http://ip208-100-42-21.static.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=676402&page=9
http://www.digitalspy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1293894
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1455830
http://www.htcforums.com/desire/5345-htc-desire-restart-unexpectedly.html
http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/discussions/index?page=forums&topic=80103805926d1e50127a9f83696006823
http://daniel.wertheim.se/2010/08/05/htc-desire-reboot-loop/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwYY3eghY6w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXCP6li8KdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeAgj9NOAY4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO_0kK6d2N8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Os1irq4qk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmQPgydqVM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLl9Q5ur9Oc

Re:If only HTC didn't ship defective phones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33434182)

Hundreds you say! We'll get right on that once we deal with the issue that every single iPhone 4 is defective by design [telegraph.co.uk] (and no, putting it in a case is no more a fix than telling me the way to prevent the paint flaking on my brand new Ferrari is to keep it locked up in a garage).

Stability (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433334)

Cyanogen is a great ROM, especially for older phones like G1/Dream which is already abandoned and doesn't have an official 2.x ROM. It had some really neat features like the WiFi tethering or additional launcher screens. However I found it to be bleeding-edge and somewhat unstable. For example, the 1.5 ROM had a battery monitor that actually drained the battery because of a bug in the code :)
Some features like AWB launcher are feature-rich but look incomplete and beta-quality. The 2.1 ROM for G1/Dream added so many features that the RAM is always full and applications frequently terminate to free memory for other apps.

in7ormaTive gnaagnaa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433396)

Lube is wiped oof Fact: *BSD is dying The curtains flew then disappeared Any doubt: FrreBSD

Is there any full-fat linux available? (3, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433402)

Has anyone managed to, or even bothered to try to put a full linux distro on any of these instead of android?

I know the debian chroot thing has been around for a while, but I'd really love to be able to put debian or maemo or something like that onto another handset.

I love my N900, but there are newer, shinier toys out there but I like my mainstream mobile linux...

Re:Is there any full-fat linux available? (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433550)

You can boot Ubuntu on a Nexus One. And Win95, should you be masochistic enough to try it. I also run PSX4DROID as a playstation emulator!

Re:Is there any full-fat linux available? (2, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433736)

You can boot Ubuntu on a Nexus One. And Win95, should you be masochistic enough to try it. I also run PSX4DROID as a playstation emulator!

The only Ubuntu/Nexus installations I can find are running in a chroot, like the Debian that grandparent mentions. Win95 wouldn't run natively anyway.

Android devices are fairly limited compared to most computers, so I would like to run a real distro, instead of layers of emulation. In fact, native binary applications should run faster than the bytecode apps in Android.

Re:Is there any full-fat linux available? (3, Interesting)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434088)

The only Ubuntu/Nexus installations I can find are running in a chroot, like the Debian that grandparent mentions. Win95 wouldn't run natively anyway.

There is a tutorial at http://www.irregular-expression.com/ [irregular-expression.com] for installing Debian on a Nexus One that runs directly on the hardware, no chroot. The only catch is that you need a PC hooked up to the device in order to initiate booting. So the only thing that is missing to be usable in the field is a bootloader that is able to boot an alternative OS. Or you could try to keep the device running without rebooting, but I guess that Debian without chroot is a bit too power hungry for that.

Re:Is there any full-fat linux available? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433680)

I wonder the same thing about Toshiba Dynabook AC100. It is an Nvidia Tegra 250 based netbook running Android, and to my great surprise it is available in at least one consumer electronics chain here in Finland (Tekniset).

The Tegra seems like a relatively open platform, in that there are plenty of Linux resources and a Gentoo installation guide available, at least for the devkit. But I wonder if any of the consumer versions are similarly updateable. Kernel upgrades seem like a hassle in any case, since there is no bootloader, but the kernel has to be flashed into the firmware (much like in the Nokia tablets).

Re:Is there any full-fat linux available? (2, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433988)

Don't forget that you had Froyo as alternate OS for the N900 before it was available officially for any Android phone (even before the Nexus One). Still no full functionality because the parts that Nokia didn't opened on it, but is actively being worked for fixing that. Nitdroid was a different android fork, and was targetted to one smartphone only (and the N8x0 tablets).

There are a few newer Android phones with better hardware specs, but still the N900 is an impressive piece of hardware, and Maemo is nothing to be ashamed of. And you should add to its Multi OS powers Garnet VM (palm), a bunch of console emulators (from zx spectrum to nintendo 64), and the upcoming Meego.

I'm going to say it. (4, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433462)

The Android open source community is fucking awesome.

Thank you.

Runs on the Eris already (1)

ferrocene (203243) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433670)

I'm running CM6 RC3 on the Eris, and the phone has never felt snappier. It has revived (by today's standards) a dated platform. The fine folks at XDA developers have put together a ROM with WiFi tether, over/underclocking for improved battery life with increased speed, etc. Great stuff.

On the myTouch 3g (HTC) Slide (1)

minderaser (28934) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433730)

That this is news is ... uh, news to me. Just over a week ago I got a myTouch 3g Slide (after having been - voluntarily - without a phone for over a year) and the first thing I did was to find a way to root it. I've installed Cyanogenmod and am loving it. I found the instructions for getting root access at http://androidspin.com/2010/08/14/new-root-method-for-mytouch-3g-slide/ [androidspin.com] and instructions for installing the Cyanogenmod ROM at http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=Full_Update_Guide_-_HTC_Slide [cyanogenmod.com] . The main reason I rooted it was to tether (which, to be honest, was the main reason I got a phone at all) and it works smoothly and easily - just toggle one switch in the system settings. T-Mobile, for their part, also seems to tolerate tethering from what I've gathered.

Getting rid of some crappy T-mo branding stuff and software is a bonus too.

So, if you have the myTouch 3g Slide (I'm pretty sure it's exactly the same as the HTC Slide) and are thinking of rooting it, I say - go for it!/p)

Re:On the myTouch 3g (HTC) Slide (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434026)

Cool... I just got my 3G Slide last week too! Just finally received a USB cable though, so haven't had time to jailbreak / update it yet.

A bit annoyed with T-Mobile, since they've been promising OTA updates to Android 2.x for their MyTouch phones "just next month" since I bought a MyTouch 3G for my wife in *March* 2010. If you follow the blogs, they're *still* saying that. Yeah it's a moving target and all, but it's really a lot like they're just saying whatever it takes to keep people buying their current stock :-P

But thankfully because of projects like CyanogenMOD, I don't really have to worry about the silly manufacturer and carrier sillyness. As long as the phone is supported by CM or the like, I won't be afraid to buy.

Now if only there were a decent set of Android PIM apps, so I wouldn't still have to carry around my Palm TX ... :-P

Being pedantic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433784)

This isn't a fork. It uses the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) base source that all other firmwares use as well. It's more like a modified firmware; XDA-folks call it a "modded" or "cooked" ROM.

Re:Being pedantic... (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434186)

Seconded... it is not a fork people! Unless you want to call all modifications done for different providers (O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Verizon) and by different hardware vendors (HTC, Motorola, who else?) "forks", it's not a fork!

It'd be calling an Ubuntu installation that has some extra programs installed and some files in /etc modified a fork...

backing up Google Apps on non-rooted G1? (1, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433810)

The Cyanogen mod ROM images do NOT contain some of the stock apps (after a C&D letter from Google). They say you can back up and use the versions you received with your phone. But to back up the apps, you appear to have to root the phone. To root the phone, you have to downgrade the ROM. Will I be able to get updates to the built-in apps, or am I stuck with the oldest 2009 versions of those built-in apps on the newest Cyanogen-installed Android ROM?

Re:backing up Google Apps on non-rooted G1? (4, Informative)

_generica (27453) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433908)

Correct, they don't include Google Apps as part of the ROM.
They are distributed separately [kanged.net]

Download, and flash in the same way as the ROM. No hassles at all.

Re:backing up Google Apps on non-rooted G1? (4, Interesting)

kyuubi (1355069) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434176)

None of that is neccesary. For a while I dispaired that Google was going the way of Apple, but they have since worked with Cyanogen and released all the apps as a seperate installable .zip file. The only difference is that you need to flash two zips instead of 1. A company working WITH a mod guy to solve his problems and let him do his thing!? What is the world coming to. I've tried a million different ROMs, and Cyanogen is teh BOM in my opinion. I've still got an old Magic (Sapphire, G2, or whatever they keep naming the same device), and every time a new version of Cyanogen comes out it's like getting a new handset. It's awesome. ;-)

Hurray for Linux (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433822)

Cyanogen still doesn't support my Galaxy Spica *sniffle*

I do love that after the manufacturer has stopped supporting phones there is still the custom firmware out there.

CM6 already here for Hero (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434000)

HTC Hero (including Droid Eris) are coming soon for 6.0

Actually it's already available in the form of FroydVillain. It's what I'm currently using and it seems to be working well enough - have had a few spurious FCs, but other than that nothing that I have noticed. And it's certainly fast.
Get it here: http://www.villainrom.co.uk/ [villainrom.co.uk]

Enchantment? Enchantment! (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434076)

So they have Sandal on the team now. Good for them.

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