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HTC Unlocks Its Own Phones

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the perfectly-normal-and-healthy dept.

Android 145

itwbennett writes "Having just announced that it would continue to run Android on its best phones, HTC is now 'needling' Google by making good on 'promises it made earlier in the year to deliver bootloader unlock tools for many of its most popular Android phones,' writes blogger Kevin Fogarty. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, HTC CEO Peter Chou said that HTC views unlocked OSes as a way to encourage both ISVs and owners to get more involved developing apps and mods for the phones. Google, which has been trying to lock Android down more, probably doesn't see it that way."

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What (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147582)

Can we get a citation on "Google, which has been trying to lock Android down more,". Google has released two phones ever, both of which are easily rootable. Or does Google somehow take the heat for Motorola's actions prior to the buyout? Or is this just more FUD?

Re:What (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147692)

New here? This is the view of a freetard, and worth less than piss froth. Intellectual dishonesty goes hand on hand with these guys views.

Re:What (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147938)

Agreed. More of the endless flood of trollish, completely dishonest reporting which is constantly being pushed on /. these days.

Google is pushing for an ever more open Android. They are, of course, balanced by carriers who want a more closed ecosystem - the status quo.

Bluntly, HTC's desire for openness is only SURPASSED by Google's.

This perhaps hint at an article for hire by Microsoft or Apple - both of whom have been caught doing this type of unethical FUDing before. Both Microsoft and Apple have a strong desire to unseat Android, seemingly no matter how low they need to go.

Perhaps the courts and patent battles are not going nearly as well as Microsoft and Apple had originally hoped?

Re:What (-1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148140)

Odd, while I view much of what google has been pushing for as being a good thing, it definately isn't "more open". They are trying to lock down more of the UI and force a more standardized UI on users. Now they are doing this in the name of being able to ensure that the phones will be upgradable, or at least more upgradable with faster rollouts, this isn't "more open", it's locking more stuff down from the carriers.

Re:What (3, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148156)

Obviously you don't know what the words, "locked down" and/or "open" mean in this context.

Re:What (4, Insightful)

Reapman (740286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148516)

Force a standardized UI? I didn't realize they were removing ADW Launcher or GO Launcher or Launcher Pro from the Market. Or do you mean after listening to the ENDLESS Complaints about MotoBlur and other 3rd party crap handset makers throwing on their phone and actually wanting to do something about it then yes, yes they are.

If you want an "open" phone (Aka do whatever you want) you buy a Nexus Phone made by Google. And that is probably the most accurate definition of Open in this conversation.

Re:What (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148410)

Agreed. More of the endless flood of trollish, completely dishonest reporting which is constantly being pushed on /. these days.

Maybe itwbennet saw Florian Mueller [slushdot.com] doing it, figured he had to somehow be making a lot of money or else he would have stopped it, and decided to jump on the money train.

(Or blogger Kevin Foggarty, or the president of HTC. Not really sure who came up with it, to find out, I'd have to RTFA, and if it has that FUD in there, I don't want to bother.)

Re:What (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148808)

Exactly what I was thinking - another FUD attack on Google. The first thing I think now when I hear an attack on Google and Android is that there's a very good chance that it was written by a shill.

IMO, Apple doesn't have much of a reputation for hiring shills to do the dirty work for them - they have big enough mouths to spew FUD themselves. [cultofmac.com]

Microsoft on the other hand has a deep-running history of hiring shills - and it wouldn't be the first time [roughlydrafted.com] CNET's been on the receiving end either.

Re: What (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148840)

Yep, not releasing the source code for Honeycomb is a sign of an "ever more open Android."

You sir, are a Google schill.

Same regarding security (5, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149634)

Agreed. More of the endless flood of trollish, completely dishonest reporting which is constantly being pushed on /. these days.

And same goes, in my opinion, for their comment about security:

Unlocked phones and user-installed software pose much higher risk of infection by malware or corruption of system software.

Uh... no... sorry. An unlocked phone isn't suddenly more susceptible to malware, just because it's unlocked. That might have been true in some case with iPhones due to 2 separate reasons (A. a blunder which left all phones with the same default password for SSH, making it easy to remotely log into iphone of user not savvy enough to change the password after installing SSH. B. due to the closed nature of iPhones, some hole might have to be left open so after each reboot the iPhone can still be forced to run homebrew apps). But in practice, unlocked phones tend to be more secure, simply for the fact that they can still get updates (like the cyanogenmods) which are likely to contain the latest security patch, even long after the manufacturer and/or the carrier have dropped support. Not to mention that some 3rd party ROMs might contain additional security features.

Re:What (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148018)

Hey it is much better than the "HIV Cures Cancer" headline they posted. I swear that Slashdot is just about at the Midnight Sun level of integrity. Man I used to really love Slashdot, that is until they decided that we need their insite.

Re:What (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148474)

/. had integrity? Must have been before my time.

Re:What (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148624)

Sure, here you go:

Google indefinitely withholds Android source from non-privileged partners [arstechnica.com]

Google tries to suppress "highly confidential" Android source code in court case [yahoo.com]

Google memo admits they "use compatibility to make [Android vendors] do what we want" [electronista.com]

Shall I go on, or are you and other fans going to robotically repeat the term "FUD" as if that somehow dismisses all facts?

Re:What (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148778)

Yes, please go on so far you have:

1) obsolete
2) refers to android apps not android
3) allegations unproven.

So how about some relevant facts?

needle-needle (2)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147590)

HTC is now 'needling' Google by making good on 'promises it made earlier in the year to deliver bootloader unlock tools for many of its most popular Android phones,'

I have a strong suspicion that Google will not care one single bit.

Wait...what? Huh?? (5, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147598)

"Google, which has been trying to lock Android down more, probably doesn't see it that way."

The only phones that Google "produces" are the Nexus line. These have unlockable bootloaders already. Don't get me wrong, I am happy HTC is doing this, but that statement about Google is just silly and wrong.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147616)

+1. Google has NOTHING to do with locked down phones. The carriers are the ones trying to force it.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147638)

What asshole has written the summary and what asshole approved it? This needs fixing!

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147750)

really, the summary/approval assholes need not be kicked for this one. the articles are truly as clueless as the summary claims.

first poster suggested the articles are FUD, but that implies sinister intent (imo). i see this more as ignorance towards the company's policies.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148488)

If you're ignorant of the subject, why would you write an article about it? Wouldn't that be sinister intent in itself, to claim that random made-up stuff is fact, without any research?

Confusion is the currency of a Sith.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147760)

soulskill approved it.. shocking.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147712)

They do with the Motorola purchase. Isn't Motorola the one with all the efuse junk?

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147742)

Yes, the company they just bought a few days ago still makes phones with locked down bootloaders.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (2, Insightful)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147746)

The purchase hasn't gone through yet, so referring to Motorola Mobility as 'Google' is not (yet) accurate. Who knows what Google will do with Moto once they have control? They might decide efuse was a bad idea and release an unlock app.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147810)

What's more important is what the policy will be after the sale goes through. Realistically Google can't be held responsible for policies of some company they don't own.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147930)

What's more important is what the policy will be after the sale goes through. Realistically Google can't be held responsible for policies of some company they don't own.

Yes, you very well can. If you have a vendetta and desperately want to get people to agree with you, there's no limit to what you can hold someone or some group responsible for!

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148738)

What's with all the Google ultra-fanboys responding with the phrase "+1" now? You look retarded.

Google gave carriers all the power to lock down phones. Google has EVERYTHING to do with locked-down phones. You can't claim Android is an open platform and then dismiss the fact that Android phones are locked down. You also can't ignore the fact that Google withholds Android source code. So much for "open."

Slashbots have gotten so used to Microsoft and Apple getting bashed in article summaries that they totally FLIP OUT when their beloved Google is on the receiving end. By the way, notice the flood of anonymous Google supporters in this discussion? Every single Google article has a suspicious cabal of anonymous supporters who always show up, often replying to each other. This community is bought and paid for.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147714)

Um yeah they are.... look at the reasoning why Google is buying up motorola.... the attention span on slashdot has gone down a lot..

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (3, Informative)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147770)

Most people believe that Google purchased Motorola Mobility for their patent portfolio to protect against the likes of Oracle and Apple since they are currently so sue happy. That has nothing to do with locked or unlocked bootloaders.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148764)

"Most people." You mean Google fans.

The real reason, as has been covered elsewhere (Slashdot submissions about it have been rejected, for some reason), is that Motorola's CEO was proclaiming just this month that his company would be waging a patent war against other Android vendors, during the time they would have been in negotiations with Google. In other words, Motorola strong-armed Google into buying them out rather than simply licensing their patents. The $12 billion is almost two years worth of Google's annual profits. Google was also motivated by the fact that Microsoft was looking into buying Motorola.

Apple isn't "sue-happy." People have been suing them, so they countersue in retaliation. I don't blame them seeing as how most of the Android phones are total rip-offs of the iPhone's hardware and software design. Android phones looked like this [daringfireball.net] before the iPhone came out.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149010)

I keep seeing people post this, or something close to this. You're not even close to correct.

I'd like to know how you consider 12 billion to be 2 years profits for a company that posted 9.08 billion in net income last year, and 12.78 billion @ EBITDA. It is at absolute worst 18 months. Given that they have over 30 billion dollars in cash on hand that is just earning them 6, maybe 8% at most, and Motorola's worst profit margins are higher than that by the way, they don't even have to talk to a bank to make it happen.

They get patent portfolios that they can use defensively and aggressively if necessary, and they get to put their money to work for them in a sector that they're breaking into in a big way already.

Stop being a retard.

I'm beginning to smell Apple/MSFT shills galore in here.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (2)

canyoufindben (2441940) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147852)

Right, Google's only lockdown being applied is to make sure you can exploit the OS or kernel for root access. Now with unlocked bootloaders, and a kernel source, one can compile their own Android with root access that doesn't compromise the OS or the kernel. To think that Google is the one locking the bootloaders is just plain madness. OEMs are responsible for that.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (3, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147854)

I'm with everyone else: what the hell is the submitter talking about??

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (4, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148014)

Since Google decided to delay releasing Honeycomb's source because they didnt want more half-cooked tablets on the market, suddenly the loud-mouth brigade is trying to paint them in a bad light. Google exerting a little control on the wild-west world of tablets and its own phoneOS is a good thing. Heaven forbid AOpen or some other shit shop wait a few weeks for google to iron out the bugs, have them verify their hardware can run Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich and make them sign a contract that they will updates the OS to the newest versions for a period of 18 months. The de facto world of release garbage and buggy phones, never supplying updates and hurting Android's reputation is no longer welcome, and I'm glad.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148086)

Heaven forbid AOpen or some other shit shop wait a few weeks for google to iron out the bugs, have them verify their hardware can run Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich and make them sign a contract that they will updates the OS to the newest versions for a period of 18 months. The de facto world of release garbage and buggy phones, never supplying updates and hurting Android's reputation is no longer welcome, and I'm glad.

They can and will always be able to do that - AOSP allows them. Unless Google kills AOSP, there will always be a ton of crap Android phones.

All Google can do is give conditoins if you're also licensing the "with Google" stuff. Hell, Samsung's Galaxy Tab came with 2.2 and Google was very much against it (and it had "with Google"), so the amount of control Google has, is unknown.

You and I in the developed world may never see the crap phones without the Google stuff, but China and many other places they're plentiful. It's also why alternative marketplaces are so popular (because they can't get the official market, at least without doing some hacking work).

There will be crap phones and crap tablets running Android. This won't change at all - unless Google stops supporting AOSP for some reason.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149686)

Ice Cream Sandwich.

That should be the name of the next version of android, hands down.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147894)

"Google, which has been trying to lock Android down more, probably doesn't see it that way."

I don't think this is a true statement either!

I see this as the first step for all users to be able to remove the "pre-installed crap-ware" that the carriers are forcing on users to make additional money. This doesn't have anything to do with Google, and might even make their lives a little easier too. Imagine that a user could simply wipe all the crap off their new phone, and install a clean Google and/or HTC Sense build in it's place. For instance, my wife's Samsung Galaxy came with a crippled version of Avatar installed! What type of insanity is that? She didn't want it on there, and there's no way to get it off! Customers (like myself) would be really, really happy to have the option to remove this. This would END fragmentation based on custom "crap-ware" rather than add to it! I hate to bite the hand that feeds, but I'm employed building exactly that same "crap-ware" right now at the behest of carriers. I hate the idea that I'm putting more pre-installed (and non-removable) crap on the user's device, taunting them with pop-ups and offers to buy some additional service. I wouldn't buy a phone with my own software on it, because I want a cleaner experience. If I want an app, I'll download it from the market!

This is a good thing! Please don't try to build a battle between Google and HTC over this, I don't think there is one...

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148646)

Um, hello? Google has infamously withheld Android source and tried to make more restrictive compatibility requirements for vendors. All of these things have been covered on Slashdot.

Google absolutely, most definitely has been trying to lock Android down more. No offense, but you have an Android app link in your signature, so you have a vested financial interest in Android.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (3, Insightful)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148724)

Um, hello? Google has infamously withheld Android source and tried to make more restrictive compatibility requirements for vendors. All of these things have been covered on Slashdot.

Google absolutely, most definitely has been trying to lock Android down more. No offense, but you have an Android app link in your signature, so you have a vested financial interest in Android.

Bonch, stop trolling. You confuse quality control with preventing users do whatever they want with their phones. Your tirade is about the former, and I think you're alone in seeing that as a bad thing. HTC's announcement is about the latter - something Google has been pushing with their Nexus line since the Nexus One. Get yourself some brains please.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37149710)

Um, hello? Google has infamously withheld Android source and tried to make more restrictive compatibility requirements for vendors.

Vendors are not users.

Re:Wait...what? Huh?? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148996)

Exactly. Google get pressed to force manufacturers to be nicer to devs/hackers but say their hands are tied cos it's all open and they can do what they like. Why would they possibly be against unlockable bootloaders? It's hardly Google that has to deal with muppets bricking their HTC (etc) phones then phoning tech support.

Lock Android down? (2)

secondsun (195377) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147608)

Other than Honeycomb and GoogleTV being not open sourced (which Google admits is a one off which will be fixed in Ice Cream Sandwich), what other evidence of them locking Android down is there? It really felt like a throw away line.

Meanwhile, HTC makes rather awesome phones and this makes it much easier to suggest phones to other developers.

Re:Lock Android down? (1, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147748)

They just bought Motorolla Mobile, by FAR the worst offender when it comes to locking devices.

Re:Lock Android down? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147868)

I thought that was Apple.

Re:Lock Android down? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147988)

Nope, Apple does not disable your hardware because you had the audacity to try to unlock the boot loader.

Re:Lock Android down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148186)

Seriously, have none of you heard about Texas Instruments?

Re:Lock Android down? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147880)

My OG Droid says different.

Re:Lock Android down? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147884)

Riiiiiight. Just bought it. So they have no control over Motorola ATM. Maybe they actually want to stop the worst offender?

Re:Lock Android down? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149708)

That's a very interesting point. I hadn't looked at it that way until now.

Re:Lock Android down? (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147918)

They haven't purchased them yet - just announced the deal. Give Google a few months once they are in charge before judgement.

Re:Lock Android down? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148050)

Wrong! They are buying Motorola Mobile. It has not gone through yet. Wow more spin. How about waiting until the deal is done for a bit and see what happens.

Re:Lock Android down? (0, Offtopic)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148792)

The hivemind is modding you "Troll" for stating a simple historical fact. Amazing.

Re:Lock Android down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37149504)

The "hivemind" doesn't exist. And you know it.

Re:Lock Android down? (0)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147870)

Google announced that if you want to be an Android licensee you have to follow their rules about what you can and can't do with/to Android. To avoid fragmentation, or some such.

Re:Lock Android down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147982)

What? That's trademarks and "Google Experience" stuff, and it's about what companies sell, not what end-users are allowed to do once they've bought it.

You're off in the woods. Stop following the voices in your head and try reading a fucking map.

Re:Lock Android down? (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148810)

Try again:

"We are using compatibility as a club to make [Android vendors] do things we want." - Android manager Dan Morrill, email from August 6, 2010 [electronista.com]

Re:Lock Android down? (1)

ftobin (48814) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147900)

They recently removed the ability for apps to read Gmail in Android, which is very useful for notification/trigger systems.

Google could be happy. (0)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147644)

Google has to be seen as providing Android as a walled garden OS in order to attract phone makers and telecoms. They would love for hackers to add to the capabilities of Android, but ultimately they need vendors to be happy first.

HTC unlocking lets Google continue to provide a single, common platform that vendors can do with as they please, i.e. locking it down. Meanwhile, hackers can unofficially push the limits of the same platform. Popular and useful improvements can be brought back into the trunk. Google gets free R&D.

Win - Win

Re:Google could be happy. (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147724)

Google does not present Android that way. Their Nexus line of phones do the complete opposite. By default android allows out of market installations and all kinds of other non-walled garden things.

Huh??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147646)

I mean, really??? I know this crap is coming from Kevin Fogarty, but where does it come from?

In what way has Google been trying to lock Android down more? Up to this point, the only Google phone has been the one that allows you to install any software.

Of course they're sticking with Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147650)

Only an idiot would question their commitment to Android. What did you expect them to do? Double down on WP7, develop their own O/S or try to acquire WebOS? Yes, that would have been the end of HTC had they dropped Android. HTC is where it's at because of Android.

Re:Of course they're sticking with Android (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148116)

HTC is where it's at because of Android.

lol.

HTC is where its at because of Windows Mobile.

Before you head asplodes at what I just said, read up on the history of HTC.

Re:Of course they're sticking with Android (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148508)

HTC was stagnating with Windows Mobile. They've grown leaps and bounds when they embraced Android.

Re:Of course they're sticking with Android (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149154)

I agree that the adoption of Android has facilitated huge growth for HTC, but you're missing my point a bit.

HTC's bread and butter has always been making good hardware and slapping a third party OS with customizations on it, and for the first decade of their existence that third party OS was almost exclusively Windows Mobile.

Without that decade of experience making smart phones, they would not have been in the position to be Google's choice as the maker of the first three Android smart phones.

Does it work? (1)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147658)

I wonder what other people are experiancing with using it. The one person I know who has used this still has a mostly locked down phone. So far the most he has gotten out of it is a message on the phone saying "unlocked"

Good on HTC (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147682)

I will definitely keep this in mind when shopping for my next phone. I wonder if this HTC news, the Google/Moto deal and Samsung's dealings with Cyanogen will lead to a more open phone environment in the near future. I'm crossing my fingers :)

WTF? (2)

Daneurysm (732825) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147700)

I'm not sure what the hell is going on over at HTC but not only has Google made every one of their phones easily unlockable, nor do I think they care to, but, HTC also made the very first Nexus (NexusOne). "Fastboot oem unlock" is a mantra among the Android hacking/modding community for that very reason.

Color me confused.

Google is not resposible for bootloaders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147736)

Really, Google's only lockdown being applied is making sure you can't used security exploits of the OS or kernel to root the phone. That has absolutely nothing to do with an unlockable bootloader. With an unlocked bootloader and the devices kernel source, you can still compile Android with root access that doesn't exploit security flaws in the OS or kernel.

HTC is my new favorite company (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147776)

...and will be my next phone...

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147916)

They are awesome! I hope you also like extended battery companies ;)

* Sent from a current HTC Thunderbolt owner.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148072)

Turn off your 4G.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148110)

I am running CyanogenMod 7 (latest RC from Slayher) in a non-LTE area and have my LTE radio disabled. The battery life on the thing is still sad.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148242)

My experience of CyanogenMod is that although it's more functional than my stock HTC Hero, the battery life on it as absolutely appalling. I mean that I can actively use the phone for less than 2 hours before the battery is completely dead.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147986)

...and will be my next phone...

Why? Samsung is ahead of HTC in providing unlocked phones.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148376)

Because I'm pissed off at Samsung for, among other things, the way they handle updates to non-rooted phones. They take forever to come out with official updates, seemingly wanting you to buy a new phone to get an incrementally later (not even current) version of Android. This is very specifically why I do not pick Samsung as my work phone, as I am not allowed to install unofficial updates and am unlikely to see official updates in a timely manner, despite the press releases.

And just incidentally, my daughter is a Galaxy S owner, and she's currently on her fifth (!) phone in two years. The first two the GPS didn't work at all, the third had a bad compass, touchscreen failed on the fourth, and her current phone hangs randomly requiring reboot. And the three phones for which GPS did work, were consistently off position by several blocks despite the GPS patch from Samsung and a firmware upgrade. If you ask me, the Galaxy S is a sexy phone on the outside with crap guts and crap support. Based on these experiences, it would be irresponsible of me as a consumer to buy another Samsung. (AT&T acknowledges problems with the phone, but can only replace it, which admittedly they have done without issue.)

So don't talk to me about Samsung. They need to provide unequivocal evidence that they have made lasting changes to tech support and hardware reliability before I'll ever touch them again.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148114)

...and will be my next phone...

This is a nice move from HTC. But Samsung provided free phones to cyanogenmod developers. Only thing they asked in return is that those phones be well supported in cyanogenmod.

So, yes, HTC is a good choice for your next phone. So is Samsung. You may compare between the two and pick which company has the phone you want the best. Also, recommend both companies to your friends, since this is the real impact us geeks have. There aren't many of us, so companies tend to not cater to our desires. On the other hand, they forget everybody else comes to us when asking for recommendations :)

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148220)

Unfortunately neither one is that great compared to the competition. One being Korean and the other Chinese.

Nokia made the best hardware and Motorola is/wasn't far behind but both of them use draconian DRM-like controls over the hardware (eFuse, etc).

So yeah, I have an HTC G2 and it's decent as an Android platform but as a phone it sucks way more than any Nokia I have owned. Samsung, LG (another Korean brand), etc. all suck too.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148526)

My daughter is on her fifth Galaxy S in a little over one calendar year. (Four in-store replacements for various hardware failures.) And any Galaxy S owner should be acquainted with the upgrade fiasco and the GPS fiasco and factor this into their choice for their next phone. I'm sorry, I can't recommend Samsung regardless of their developer policies until they clean up their tech support and address the reliability of their hardware. And get the damned GPS to work right. And it'd help if they would acknowledge the pain early adopters of the Galaxy S line had to go through. Parenthetically, I don't care if the S2 turned straw into gold -- we shouldn't have to buy another phone to get the features we were promised in our current phone.

So no, not Samsung.

Re:HTC is my new favorite company (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148294)

HTC makes great Android phones -- I own one myself (the original T-Mobile G1) but they do happen to be one of the manufacturers that now pays a Microsoft Tax on every device sold. Dunno if that has any effect on your purchasing decisions but it's worth thinking about.

Buy HTC (2)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147824)

This story means that I'm going to recommend HTC phones over others to everyone I know, and buy them myself when I upgrade. Even if my friends/family don't unlock theirs, this news just gives me that much more trust in HTC hardware.

Re:Buy HTC (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148204)

Don't forget to let them know that when they're unlocked, they might lose their warranty options.

Re:Buy HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148606)

Don't forget to let them know that when they're unlocked, they might lose their warranty options.

Remember that when they're unlocked, they might get hit by a meteorite.
Also, when they're unlocked they might get on the terrorist watch list.
Is this how you play the game?
I might possibly have misinterpreted you and you were merely asking if there was any risk to the warranty but the way it's written, it sure comes across as FUD

Re:Buy HTC (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149062)

I might possibly have misinterpreted you and you were merely asking if there was any risk to the warranty but the way it's written, it sure comes across as FUD

If you check the terms of HTC's warranty currently, it doesn't seem forgiving towards unlocked phones.

Re:Buy HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37149278)

Don't forget to let them know that when they're unlocked, they might lose their warranty options.

Ha! You're so silly!

PitaBread isn't letting the needs of his friends/family to cloud his judgement, here. He's recommending a phone based on the arcane needs of a minority of phone owners, dammit, and you can't stop him.

Re:Buy HTC (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148878)

This story means that I'm going to recommend HTC phones over others to everyone I know, and buy them myself when I upgrade. Even if my friends/family don't unlock theirs, this news just gives me that much more trust in HTC hardware.

Fanboydom is bad, even if you're on the side of the righetous.

Unlocked HTC phones are (2)

figleaf (672550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147840)

no longer under warranty?!!!

Re:Unlocked HTC phones are (2)

padraic2 (2432584) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147924)

It's an important detail that some are worried about - you provide your phone's information (not sure how much personal info is required) to their unlock web tool in order to get a "key" (probably a flashable .zip file) that will unlock the bootloader. But, say in the near future you have a hardware malfunction - are you now told "we see you're on the unlock list - sorry, no warranty for you"?

Re:Unlocked HTC phones are (1)

riflemann (190895) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149434)

Unlocking does NOT void a phone's warranty, as much as the manufacturers would like you to believe.

Under the relevant jurisdictions of much of /. readership, it is illegal for a manufacturer to deny a warranty claim, *unless* they can show that the modification was a factor in the fault (in this case, the third party firmware such as cyanogen).

This is what prevents car manufacturers denying warranty claims on, say a gearbox, just because you replaced the radio. Same goes for your phone, if the camera CCD starts playing up, they cannot blame the firmware and deny coverage.

My Nexus S is rather well behaved in this regard. "fastboot oem unlock" says that it *may* affect the warranty, but does not state that it is outright void.

For the US, read up on the Magnnuson Moss Warranty Act.

With Google now locking Android down... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147936)

... I'm sure glad I can set up my own AppStore for iOS devices ...

... err, well ... I'm glad I can root my iOS device without a company releasing a patch to break it ...

... err, well ... I'm glad that ... that ...

:cry:

New phones only? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148032)

Does this only affect new phones, or will this work on older phones? I made the mistake of upgrading my HTC Evo to a firmware that isn't supported by any unlocking tools I've found. It would be nice to have a tool from a manufacturer that accomplishes this. Mainly I want to dump all the extra crap Sprint shoves on the phone.

Re:New phones only? (1)

Daneurysm (732825) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148308)

Check out the newest version of the Revolutionary tool at Revolutionary.io ...I believe the latest version (v0.4 pre I think?) has unlocked E4Gs that took the GB update a month or two ago.

Good attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148082)

but I have to give you only 7/10 for being so obvious.

Samsung was always unlocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148198)

Samsung phones were never locked. That HTC has to do this doesn't make them my 'favorite' company, especially as the unlock method is supposed to be complicated, with a per-device unlock key. A bit like Sony-Ericsson does it, to register voiding the warranty etc.

A Samsung Galaxy S for example will just (try to) boot anything you put on it. And Google never asked them to stop doing this. That said HTC makes decent phones too.

Sick of it being so hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37148432)

I really don't understand this mentality, there's not even suitable smartphone options for enterprise any more. I had a project to deploy 500 smartphones with special internal software but trying to find a platform was near impossible because the application required low level access to operating system internals in most use-cases. Windows Phone 7 doesn't even allow enterprise app deployment, you can't get legitimate root on an Android hardware platform with QWERTY-hardware keyboards without hacking the thing and Symbian is not a long term option. I think it's ridiculous that it's easier to actually get your own platform made from scratch (which is what we did) then it is to have a wide variety of unlocked manufacturer supported phones with root.

Kevin Fogarty (source article author) (2)

Loopy (41728) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148668)

What does this dude have against Google? Does he know something nobody else does? From the bottom of his article:

"I think there's a lot we can do...it's not the operating system, it's the ecosystem...so we think we can find a way to differentiate to add value, but at the same time leverage our partners, Google and Microsoft, since we have such a great relationship with them," Chou told Dow Jones Newsires during an interview.

Where's this "needling Google" Kevin alludes to?

A future repeat customer here (1)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 3 years ago | (#37148930)

This is great! I'm using a MyTouch 4g (HTC Glacier) flashed with Cyanogenmod 7, but it was a bit of a fuss to root it in order to flash. If they'll make the job easier, I'll look first to HTC for the next phone 'cause this current one w/CM7 is super!

SoulSkill fucks M$ fags up the armpit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37149338)

n/t

Re:SoulSkill fucks M$ fags up the armpit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37149456)

Sorry, I have these outbursts from time to time.

Re:SoulSkill fucks M$ fags up the armpit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37149616)

I agree.

Android != Bootloader (1)

ripdajacker (1167101) | more than 3 years ago | (#37149594)

Let's assume Google was trying to lock down Android (I assume the FUD comes partly from the delayed 3.0 source code releases), it still doesn't change the fact that bootloaders differ from device to device. Google virtually has no power over what kind of protection if any HTC should choose to use.

TFA is misleading at best.

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