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CyanogenMod 9 Working On the Nexus S

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the is-it-better-than-android-1.6 dept.

Android 218

MrSeb writes with an article in Extreme Tech about progress toward getting an AOSP build working on the Nexus S. From the article: "Over the past week, ROM Manager extraordinaire Koush has been frantically working on making a working build of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Samsung Nexus S. The custom ROM, which is built purely from the Android Open Source Project, has now reached 'alpha 11.' All major features are present and no significant bugs remain. It's too early to say that the build is ready for prime time or mission-critical work — the final release of CM9 is due in the new year — but it's certainly stable enough for daily use. The most significant feature, if you can call it that, is that Koush's build of ICS is really very smooth — it's as nimble as Gingerbread, if not more so. Unlike the previous, non-CM build that was released last week, this alpha build of CM9 has every feature enabled, including Google Wallet, and setting a mobile data limit. As usual, the custom ROM is pre-rooted, has ROM Manager installed, and absolutely no bloatware. "

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Lies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38196958)

I've read on Slashdot that Android isn't open source at all.

Re:Lies (4, Informative)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197012)

Although Android is not a true open source project, they normally release the source code with one major exception. A lot of the argument about that was because Google refused to release the 3.x Honeycomb source code. Google themselves said that the reason they never released it was that it was a 'hack' to get Android on tablets and was not up to their quality standards and they didn't want it spread any further than necessary. They promised that they would release 4.0, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, which would meld the phone and tablet code and they have done so, leading to the CyanogenMod 9 release.

Open source vs. community development (5, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197058)

Although Android is not a true open source project, they normally release the source code

A project that releases source code under an open source license is an open source project.

Android, unlike many open source projects, isn't an open community development project, but while those two things often go together, they have no necessary relationship.

Re:Open source vs. community development (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197074)

Although Android is not a true open source project, they normally release the source code

A project that releases source code under an open source license is an open source project.

Android, unlike many open source projects, isn't an open community development project, but while those two things often go together, they have no necessary relationship.

A black person who has no education and speaks gutter pidgin known as "Ebonics" and believes everything the TV and Jesse Jackson says and demands reparations for slavery even though he never experienced it is a nigger.

Niggers, unlike many underachieving minorities, think the world owes them something, but while affirmative action exists, they still hate Whitey.

Re:Open source vs. community development (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38198074)

You're being ridiculous! Blacks aren't people.

Re:Open source vs. community development (1, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198678)

A project that releases source code under an open source license is an open source project.

And any open source project that releases major new versions without source is called a "bait and switch" project. Some of the code some of the time has never been an accepted standard, even if it's Google doing it and they allegedly had good reasons for it. The standard for an open source project is if it's good enough to ship binaries, it's good enough to ship code. If say Oracle released MySQL6 and said "Hey, we're still cleaning up the code but it'll be released for MySQL7 mmmkay?" would you call that open source? No. I don't see why Google should get a free pass at something you'd never accept from another open source project.

Re:Open source vs. community development (4, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199350)

Here's a big difference: Android is pretty much entirely funded and developed by Google. It's not a community project.

Their project, their copyright, their licence, their rules. Demanding that they give you the source to everything they develop is simply childish. Be grateful for the source you get, since it cost the wider community nothing, not even time.

Re:Lies (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197062)

It's easier to just say which releases/versions of Android are open source rather than trying to say whether the entire project is or is not. Pretty much all of them are with the notable exception (up until recently) of Honeycomb.

Re:Lies (4, Informative)

markkezner (1209776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197286)

That's right. Just to clarify, even Honeycomb's code has been released at this point, although it's not "tagged" so it isn't as easy to get to. Google did this on purpose to encourage developers to build using the Ice Cream Sandwich code instead, which is probably better for everyone involved.

Re:Lies (1)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199132)

Well that's easy: no version of Android is really open source.

Call me when the rest of the Open Handset Alliance releases source for their bits. Oh. Right. They don't. Qualcomm, Broadcom I'm looking at you and all of your infernal binary blobs. Is Android 4.0 open source? Kinda. I won't hold my breath for Google to release code for "older" ARM chips (v6 chips like the Qualcomm MSM7k series). Christ. Is Davlik still deliberately broken on OSX? Or maybe Google will ACCEPT SOME OF THE LONG STANDING FIXES for various ancient bugs in the core Android framework (which can't be fixed by developers without reimplementing the whole class... thanks for making such extensive use of private classes in your tab widget bits, Google).

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197776)

They did release honeycomb as part of the release of ICS. they just didn't include the version branch tags, so you can't tell exactly where 3.x.y was, but the entire source code for honeycomb is in the public repo now

Re:Lies (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199230)

is google wallet open source too? did they use just open source drivers?

because call me skeptic but...

Yay (4, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38196976)

I want a real linux distro, not google's vision of how linux should be. Let me know when I can load Debian, SuSe, Fedora, etc, on my phone and then we'll talk.

Re:Yay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38196994)

Why would you want that shit on your phone? Are you calling the gay sex line?

Re:Yay (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197010)

Come on now, follow the rules and post that stuff in the apple section.

Think of the children.

Re:Yay (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197022)

Done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN4c61ETCWg [youtube.com] Totally useless of course, but knock yourself out. Just hope you dont need to make calls on your "phone".

Re:Yay (-1, Troll)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197038)

Then it hasn't met my standards, because it's no longer a phone. I want an open source program I can compile and install on my distro of choice that lets me use it as a phone.

Re:Yay (4, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197104)

You sure are demanding and lazy, aren't you?

Re:Yay (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197538)

Just another reason to never be involved with open source. Sure, there are tons who say they'll donate but I'm sure most never do and if you don't appease your audience with the answer to every want and need you'll get a storm of excuses like "I was going to donate until I found out that your software doesn't wipe my ass." Not unlike the "I'd buy music if it only cost 99cents a song, uh... wait, make that 49 cents... uh... hold on, I meant a nickle a song".
 
It's a losing battle unless you're building a tool for your own use and decide to open it up to others just for the fuck of it all.

Re:Yay (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198266)

Different people have different price points. I always said that I would buy my PC games if they were priced reasonably, and didn't have DRM. In the last year I have bought 140 PC games from GoG. That is at least 10 times the number of games that I had purchased over the last 10 years.

If I could buy PS1 games in a paper sleeve at the checkout of the drugstore for $1 a pop, I would buy just about anything I could get my hands on. I would pay 2 to 3 times that for PS2/XBox games.

99 cents per song is a ridiculously high cost for music. The cost of producing music has dropped dramatically in the last 2 decades, and 99 cents per song is what it used to cost for a physical disk. It is actually surprising how many people have bought into having the price RAISED for the privilege of not having a physical disk.

Re:Yay (2)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197110)

Then why don't you program it? It's not something that I want so I have no plans of doing it for you.

Re:Yay (5, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197138)

Then it hasn't met my standards, because it's no longer a phone. I want an open source program I can compile and install on my distro of choice that lets me use it as a phone.

Well, get coding. It's open source after all

Otherwise all this sounds like is Varuka Saltz stamping her feet and shouting "Daddy, I want it NAOOOOOOOOOOO".

As for me, I'm grateful to Cyanogen, Koush and the rest of the rather lengthy CM team for their hard work (yes I donate too). Most of us have to work with what we've got, thanks to Google we've got a great platform to work with (anyone complaining about Android never used WinMo) and thanks to people like Cyanogen, we've got an even better phone OS that is free and open.

Re:Yay (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198114)

Well, get coding. It's open source after all

Otherwise all this sounds like is Varuka Saltz stamping her feet and shouting "Daddy, I want it NAOOOOOOOOOOO".

Maybe he would be willing to pay for it.

I'm exactly like Varuka stamping her feet. And after parting with my cash I have an expectation that my slice of the development costs is reflected in feature development.

Re:Yay (2)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199258)

Varuka Saltz

It's Veruca Salt. Verruca are plantar walts.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197248)

"I want an open source program I can compile and install on my distro of choice that lets me use it as a phone."

Excellent! Let us know when you have something up and running.

Or is it that you are just entitled and are expecting other people to do it for you?

Re:Yay (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198564)

N900 fits your bill.

Runs Android too if you feel in the mood. :)

Re:Yay (5, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198658)

Not done. That is Ubuntu running in a chroot environment. And it makes phone calls fine, because Android is still present. Personally, I would love to see a real Linux distribution running on an Android device. Android has so many limitations: the bionic C library, Dalvik apps only (yeah, I know about NDK, but "real Linux" has Python, Perl, C++, OpenJDK Java etc.)

The limitations of Android stem from being targetted at 2005 phone hardware, so they created a cut-down Linux. With 2012 tablets, dual-core 1.2GHz+ CPU and 1GB+ memory, there is absolutely no reason for these artificial software limitations. I want to see Gnome on a tablet. And KDE. And other GUI environments. And I want Android to be relegated to an app-compatibility environment in the same way that Java and Mono exist today - not because that's a bad thing, but because Android is just one application environment of the many that exist on Linux. Why shouldn't tablet programmers use Python+PyQT to build their apps, deployed on Debian-style apt-get repositories? Why shouldn't we have Ubuntu for Tablets? The hardware is powerful enough now, and it is only going to get more powerful, we don't need to be hobbled by the design choices of what was (8 years ago) a small startup in California.

Re:Yay (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198854)

I bet a tablet running Ubuntu will be released as soon as you can find 1,000,000+ people to pre-order one for $500. No personal checks please.

Re:Yay (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199308)

I think Google looked at the vast Linux ecosystem and GPL community and decided very wisely they'd keep the kernel but write their own non GPL userland.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197032)

I want a real linux distro, not google's vision of how linux should be. Let me know when I can load Debian, SuSe, Fedora, etc, on my phone and then we'll talk.

You actually can get Linux running on an android phone. You have to side-load it and can't boot directly into it but i can and has been done. Search XDA.

Re:Yay (0, Flamebait)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197048)

I don't want to sideload it, I want it running as the host OS and able to make phone calls. Is this hard to understand?

Re:Yay (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197070)

So you want a Nokia N900. Not too many people did, which is why it was dropped.

Re:Yay (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197172)

No, it was "dropped" because Nokia's internal politics damaged the company enough that they stuck an ex-Microsoft executive in the CEO slot who promptly killed off the winner they managed to create in the N9 and forced Nokia on to WP7.

But please, blame the core OS for political and managerial failures.

Re:Yay (5, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197300)

No, it was "dropped" because Nokia's internal politics damaged the company enough that they stuck an ex-Microsoft executive in the CEO slot who promptly killed off the winner they managed to create in the N9 and forced Nokia on to WP7.

Uh, no. It was dropped because their marketing strategy of having three guys chime in on every Slashdot smartphone thread about how great the N900 is was insufficient to gain any traction in the US.

Re:Yay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197724)

mod parent troll

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197968)

mod parent troll

Re:Yay (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38198880)


mod parent troll

Re:Yay (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198188)

Yeah, Nokia messed up one key thing that should be part of any mobile device's marketing plan: having it available for people to touch in stores across the expected market.

Re:Yay (1)

fliptout (9217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198704)

You, sir, are a legend.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197156)

You are free to BUILD YOUR OWN phone.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197188)

You don't have very many friends, do you?

Re:Yay (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197194)

I want a pink unicorn. And it has to be able to speak English. And shit rainbows. I want it now.

Re:Yay (1)

AgNO3 (878843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197272)

Then Again. Get busy and code it and stop being an open source leach.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197274)

"I don't want to sideload it, I want it running as the host OS and able to make phone calls. Is this hard to understand?"

[waaaaaah] I want it NOOOOWWWW!!!!! [/waaaaaah]

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197312)

I don't want to sideload it, I want it running as the host OS and able to make phone calls. Is this hard to understand?

Quite the rabble rouser, aren't we?

Ubuntu (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197080)

Not sure if it's "real" enough for you, but Ubuntu is coming to tablets. [engadget.com]

Whether that means you'll be able to run any Linux application you like remains to be seen, but I imagine if it's Debian-based it should be quite hackable.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199304)

Not sure if it's "real" enough for you, but Ubuntu is coming to tablets. [engadget.com]

Whether that means you'll be able to run any Linux application you like remains to be seen, but I imagine if it's Debian-based it should be quite hackable.

Ubuntu is already running on the ASUS TF101 and an idiot proof install is in early stages of development.

Re:Yay (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197122)

I want a real linux distro, not google's vision of how linux should be. Let me know when I can load Debian, SuSe, Fedora, etc, on my phone and then we'll talk.

Do any of those have phone support? If not then I can't see why you would want them since loading them on to your phone seems pretty pointless...unless of course you don't actually want to use it as a phone.

Re:Yay (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197134)

The android manufacturers should provide an open source kit for getting any linux distro to act as a phone. It's their hardware.

Re:Yay (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197192)

Should, but they won't. Mostly because at least in the US they're subservient to the carriers who don't want you to do as you wish, but rather want you to do as they wish and use your device as little as possible, pay as much as possible, and throw it away in favor of a new device and a new contract after 2 years are up.

Until then, pick a handset and go look at http://wiki.merproject.org/wiki/Nemo [slashdot.org] ">Nemo, maybe grab an N900.

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197216)

Why?

Re:Yay (2)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197294)

Because that's what he wants, and that's all that matters.

Re:Yay (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197282)

The android manufacturers should provide an open source kit for getting any linux distro to act as a phone. It's their hardware.

You mean the handset manufacturers? Why would they do that?

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197370)

And its the phone providers' networks, I'm pretty sure they aren't going to sign off on something like that.

Re:Yay (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197162)

To be fair to Google, I don't think Android is their vision of what Linux should be but rather it's their vision of what a consumer phone OS should be (and just happens to be based on the Linux kernel).

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197306)

You must have a lot of free time on your hands.

Re:Yay (-1, Troll)

pyite (140350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197720)

You know, someone could write an allegory about the desire for the geeks to have the consumer appliance "du jour" run an unadulterated Linux distribution. Call the appliance a toaster for all I care. It doesn't matter, because the story is always the same.

10 years ago we wanted some fancy hard drive based MP3 player to run our favorite distro. Now, it's phones. The cycle repeats.

The reason that the geeks will perpetually never be satisfied? We meet women*, we fall in love, we get married, we buy a house, etc.

At some point, you say, "I just want a damned insert name of appliance that works." And hence, Apple.

Fight it all you want, but mark my words.

* - Hopefully.

Re:Yay (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198766)

Holy shit, you're right. You know what, fuck it, I'm going to go back to using a slide rule.

Re:Yay (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199004)

Fight it all you want, but mark my words.

Sure, but that point is not the same for everyone. Just because you or someone else has decided that they don't want to mess around with mobile technology, doesn't mean that it should be a path denied to everyone. Nor should it be actively inhibited and fought against by companies selling high dollar devices.

An entire new space is opening up and the desire to be able to hack in it and do things that aren't totally corporate-controlled is strangely meeting resistance from some odd dimension of the Slashdot readership, declaring it to be the realm of "consumer appliances," thus rationalizing the deriding of those who show interest. It's quite sad, really.

SGS4G support Please! (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197060)

I have had to use ICBINB builds of Gingerbread for my Samsung Galaxy S 4G because CM7 was not available for that phone.... please please please support it for CM9!

Re:SGS4G support Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197100)

Hear, hear!

Re:SGS4G support Please! (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197240)

I have had to use ICBINB builds of Gingerbread for my Samsung Galaxy S 4G because CM7 was not available for that phone.... please please please support it for CM9!

If you're into hacking, the difference between the SGS 4G and the SGS is the radio (IIRC), so you'll need to replace the radio drivers with ones that work (I.E. one's you've backed up from the device). I had to do this on a Motorola Milestone (and the locked bootloader didn't help).

This is a "Do at your own risk" thing, if someone more knowledgeable then I has better advice, by all means please post it, mine info is 2 years out of date.

Re:SGS4G support Please! (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198662)

I installed a couple different Modem ROMs.... the last one I installed gave me the best wifi signal. Never had problems with cell signal.

I am not too comfortable installing a ROM for another phone... no matter how moderate the difference in hardware....I have Odin and the proper files to recover, but I hate it when I soft brick my phone.

and in other news... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197094)

Cyanogen still doesn't have a functional camera for the Captivate

Re:and in other news... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198230)

works for me.

droid3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197132)

When's it going to work on the droid 3? :(

You mean Droid 1? Re:droid3 (2)

BillTheKatt (537517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197186)

You mean when is it going to work on the Droid 1 right? You kids and your Droid 3's. Back in my day we had 550 mhz and 256 MB RAM and had to use it on the way to school in a blizzard, uphill both ways. Still rocking the Droid 1 with CM7, although this little puppy is getting slooooowww...

does anyone here speak English? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197260)

ice cream sandwich, gingerbread, honeycomb? smooth? "there are no bugs, but its not ready for mission critical work. only for daily use".

i feel like i am watching some late-era British movie, the sounds are familiar, but they don't appear to form any sort of meaningful, coherent thought.

What happened to qwerty devices? (4, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197308)

I recently left the n900 world for an Android phone - my first - the Samsung Captivate Glide (SGH-I927).

I expected to root it easily; I hadn't realized how hostile manufacturers are becoming towards their customers. Indeed, as I write this, I still haven't succeeded. It actually feels like I may be the only person in the world who bought this device, which, to me, is utterly confounding.

What happened to qwerty phones? Why did they fall so far in popularity? I find it excruciating to surrender half my screen real estate to an on-screen keyboard.

This Nexus S looks great, and is easy to root and flash, which is nice. But, without a keyboard? To me.. useless. Come on Google! Put some weight behind a qwerty model of this!

And for the love of god, start playing hardball with manufacturers that lock their bootloaders and fail to provide a clean method of rooting! Simply deny them access to the Google utilities.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (5, Interesting)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197450)

Qwerty keyboards are useless. Swype or similar input methods are faster and more intuitive than mashing tiny hard keys that add bulk and extra mechanical components that can fail. Screens are huge these days so seeing the keyboard on screen while typing is no big issue. Instead of getting a thicker bulkier keyboard equipped phone a bigger screen phone is a better compromise. Physical Keyboards are simply inefficient on mobile devices - not that great for typing, add bulk etc.
The Galaxy Nexus kind of device with no buttons at all is the future, even the soft buttons disappear for video etc, maximizing screen real estate. Ultimately you want the smallest possible device with the biggest possible screen.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (4, Insightful)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198140)

What's the point of having a big 4" screen if you constantly lose half of it to an on-screen keyboard? Especially in landscape when vertical pixels are at a premium? If I wanted to constantly have a 1" high screen, I'd buy an older model QWERTY phone, the landscape screen size would be the same as a 4" keyboardless phone.

Not everyone buys a phone just to watch videos or play games. some buy it to use as a phone (giant screens aren't that great to talk on), or to type a lot (QWERTY phones have more usable screen space even if the actual screen is smaller), or have issues with on-screen keyboards.

There's no such thing as "the one perfect phone for everyone", just as there's no "perfect keyboard" for everyone. Hardware keyboards aren't going anywhere. Here's hoping more manufacturers add them to their offerings.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (4, Insightful)

assantisz (881107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198924)

Try using an ssh client like ConnectBot with a virtual keyboard. You are losing enormous amounts of screen real estate that you need to get work done. I am in nightfire's camp - a phone without slide-out keyboard is utterly useless. I do not want to schlep around another piece of equipment in form of a bluetooth keyboard or some such. There are some hardware solutions for the iPhone 4 (cases with built-in keyboards) but the accessory market in the Android world sucks donkey balls thanks to manufacturers pumping out a new phone every 7 days.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199248)

a) swype isn't faster, b) you can't see shit if your screen is used up by OSK, c) the keyboard can be a slider, to add the same usable screen area and a osk, you can't do sliding really.

it's no fun when your control buttons disappear anyhow.

there's one real reason why they're dropping button counts. COST. so are you just trolling for max profits.

(things might be different if you had flexible displays and actual tactile feedback for on-screen-keys.)

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197508)

Those little thumb keyboards are hard to type on and slow. Swype is much better and faster.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (4, Interesting)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197524)

I hear you.

It would be so nice if the major Android phone manufacturers would stop spitting out new phones every 6 weeks, and instead focused on 2-3 phone hardware platforms per year. I say platforms in that they use the exact same innards (SoC, storage, etc) but with 1-2 screen sizes, and with/without keyboards.

Sony Ericsson is the closest to doing this with the Xperia Mini/Mini Pro, Xperia Neo/Pro, and Xperia Arc/Play. They all basically have the same hardware, with just screen size and keyboard/gamepad variations.

Just imagine how much simpler life would be for their Android devs, support staff, and customers if they did this.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198298)

Heck, forget building it with a keyboard. Just keep the exterior form factor the same, and offer a Bluetooth keyboard that snaps on to the phone and can swivel out. If they would keep the outside form factor consistent, they could probably even get peripheral manufacturers to handle making the keyboards.

(Yes, I know that the iPhone has this. Peripherals are the one thing that iOS devices crush Android in.)

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197560)

I hadn't realized how hostile manufacturers are becoming towards their customers.

But you aren't the customer. The customer, at least in the US, is the mobile carrier who wants to restrict you as much as possible. The fallout from this is that even in places where you can buy the device unlocked, the devices are still crippled (see Motorola.) The end result is that ~2 years on I am still using my N900.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198284)

My keyboard and Swype usages are pretty much one-to-one on my soon to be two y/o Droid 2...making my next choice more difficult than usual. The dealbuster that has me leaning towards a keyboard for the next device is passwords. This post being a case study, with the keyboard coming out for a pretty basic, mostly alpha string.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198344)

They still exist, but they're not very prominent. I use an HTC Evo Shift 4G, basically a smaller version of the Evo with a slide-out keyboard, and I far prefer it to any of the touchscreen-only devices I've played around with.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (2)

Mortirer (885969) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198368)

I went from the Motorola cliq to a Nexus S. The cliq is a POS I also was apprehensive about the lack of keyboard, but I haven't missed it now that I don't have one. The screen is big enough that there is enough room to type without my fat fingers getting in the way. Besides, the smaller form factor is great in a pocket. Also, it doesn't have as many moving parts to break. I really recommend the nexus lines of phones.

Motorola Droid3 (2)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198392)

It exists. Motorola Droid3 -> http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/DROID-3-by-MOTOROLA-US-EN [motorola.com]

The keyboard is amazing. The phone is awesome (even the actual phone part, as in I can hear the other person and the other person can hear me). Dual core processor, very nice screen.

One click rooted, removed motorola/verizon crap, can't be happier.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198714)

Yeah, it turned out phones with keyboards are bulkier and people don't buy them. Use a bluetooth mini keyboard instead.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (4, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198838)

I recently left the n900 world for an Android phone - my first - the Samsung Captivate Glide (SGH-I927).

I expected to root it easily; I hadn't realized how hostile manufacturers are becoming towards their customers. Indeed, as I write this, I still haven't succeeded. It actually feels like I may be the only person in the world who bought this device, which, to me, is utterly confounding.

I still carry my n900, but I got an iPhone for work, and bought an Android tablet recently, and I have had the same rude awakening of just how user-friendly the n900 actually was. I have spent the last two years looking for something newer, faster, and *better* than my n900, and I just haven't found it. Given how awkwardly Maemo begat Meego which has stumbled into Tizen, I'm not even very optimistic that anything will come along in the forseeable future. I'd practically kill to have a whizzy new n900 with the latest CPU and screen, but nobody wants to sell it to me. Even the most open android thing kind of pales in comparison to the promise of a genuinely open platform.

I love the fact that I can write PyQt scripts while I am on the subway that work perfectly on my real computers when I get to the office/home. I can forward X11 apps to/from my phone just as I do with my normal computers. (Obviously, some aren't worth forwarding to a phone, but others work just fine on a touch screen.) The X11 forwarding over SSH with implausible complicated SSH tunnels between overly complicated networks is, AFAIK, impossible on Android, despite the fact that Android has VNC and ssh terminal emulator apps. In the context of working on a real big "Enterprisey" production network, having a "normal" ssh/X11 stack makes a huge difference.

I know the n900 never got Angry Birds, or whatever, but it has been an invaluable tool in a way that no other mobile device seems willing to be, not even the "very open, easy to do whatever you want" Android platform, which is disappointing.

Re:What happened to qwerty devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38199334)

If the N900's OS was open source, then it will have been ported to everywhere, so you can still run it on newer hardware. If it's not ported, then it very likely wasn't free. You were a hostage, in essentially the same situation as an iPhone user except with better (but still chained) software. So: which is it? Where is Maemo? Was it just another Amiga or OS/2, or is it Linux?

Yeah Baby (2)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197442)

Sweetness. Guess I haven't been over on Cyanogenmod for a little too long as I didn't realize Koush was this close. I just happen to have a Nexus S and am a Cyanogen Advocate. I've been running Cyan Roms since about ver3 on my G1 way back and have found that if bugs appear, it usually gets fixed or a workaround is posted fairly quickly. I can actually say I trust most of the Cyanogen stuff to not brick my devices but I do reserve that I have a little experience with this type of thing. Can't wait to go get me an Ice Cream Sandwich !

Re:Yeah Baby (2)

GenP (686381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198080)

I'd like to run Cyanogenmod on my Nexus S but for the life of me I can't seem to find a procedure that will let me backup my entire phone before I root/wipe :(

Re:Yeah Baby (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38198262)

It is referred to as taking a nandroid backup, and requires flashing custom recovery as far as I'm aware. As for the phone's content, TitaniumBackup would be the thing to use.

Re:Yeah Baby (1)

iamhugeinjapan (1042368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198412)

Yes, it's a catch 22. You can't take a nandroid backup without booting a custom recovery image. You can't boot a custom recovery without unlocking the bootloader. You can't unlock the bootloader without wiping the phone, so you can't take a backup. ICS should be out for the Nexus S officially in the next week or two, depending on how accurate Google was by saying "a couple of weeks" after the Galaxy Nexus launches. Then you wont have to wipe anything.

Re:Yeah Baby (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199122)

Umm.. no. Everything is right except the unlock the bootloader. You don't have to wipe anything. Just unlock it.

Re:Yeah Baby (1)

duranaki (776224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199192)

That wasn't true for my Nexus One, anyway. Unlocking the boot loader wiped the user disk, period. Should have been the first thing I did. :( Nexus S could be entirely different though.

Re:Yeah Baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38199210)

Have you ever unlocked a Nexus S?

The bootloader warns it will wipe if you unlock it. All the guides warn it will wipe everything. Other phones may vary but the Nexus S wipes.

Re:Yeah Baby (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199264)

Doesn't unlocking the Nexus S bootloader wipe the phone [cyanogenmod.com] though?

Re:Yeah Baby (2)

glitchvern (468940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199204)

Like the other poster said it's a bit of a catch 22. You can't do a nandroid backup without a custom recovery image. Can't do a custom recovery image without unlocking the bootloader. Can't unlock the bootloader without wiping the phone.

I had this same problem on the nexus one. The trick is to root the phone without unlocking the bootloader and then using a backup utility that requires root (Titanium Backup or whatever, I actually preferred MyBackup Root). This can be done by using a local root exploit. I think it took me two days to find one that worked on my phone at the time. I think you can even get a clockwork mod installed and install a new bootloader without wiping, backup the whole phone, and then install cyanogen mod that way. I say think because I didn't know at the time but sometimes clockwork mod just plain fails to install a new bootloader and you have to try multiple times. Having already backed everything up I just unlocked the bootloader at that point. The Titanium Backup/MyBackup Root don't create a backup image of the whole phone if I remember right, but instead backup all the data/individual applications. I think they failed to restore one or two of the things on my phone, but they were things synced with my google account anyway so it didn't matter.

Finding a premade local root exploit is surprisingly difficult. Most rooting guides use the unlock bootloader method and many of those give you no warning it will wipe the phone. All of this information is surprisingly hard to come by and the documentation leaves much to be desired. Everyone says rooting and installing cyanogen is easy on the nexus's, but it turns out that is only true if you don't care at all about the current content of your phone something you'll only discover when you actually try to do it. For that matter you would think backing up your phones contents would be something that would be easy to do. I mean that seams like the sort of thing normal people would want to do, ya know?

Good luck

Obligatory tin-foil fueled comment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197444)

Something about seeing the phrases "pre-rooted" and "Google Wallet" in the same sentence scares me.

Re:Obligatory tin-foil fueled comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197996)

Fear of the unknown. As in "you have no idea what you are talking about".

Re:Obligatory tin-foil fueled comment (1)

grantek (979387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198480)

Something about seeing the phrases "pre-rooted" and "Google Wallet" in the same sentence scares me.

You want your financial details to be secured by allegedly-trusted hardware? I'd rather a secure cryptographic protocol that requires the client only to have the correct credentials. Sure, having an unwalled garden (the 'pre-rooted' bit) will lead to data theft through malware, but it's no different to being conned out of cash from your physical wallet.

Re:Obligatory tin-foil fueled comment (1)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199140)

Something about seeing the phrases "pre-rooted" and "Google Wallet" in the same sentence scares me.

Really? I'm more worried about contradictions like this: "has ROM Manager installed, and absolutely no bloatware". Also, props to the CyanogenMod guys for including closed source adware.

Radio drivers (1)

thecross (1313393) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199282)

Are there any LTE-enabled phones which support Cyanogenmod?
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