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Is Android really open?

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 2 years ago

Android 1

An anonymous reader writes "Dear Slashdot,

A few months ago, I bought myself an Asus Transformer Android tablet. One of the reasons was the freedom iOS doesn't offer, but after using it a few months, I have yet to experience that freedom.

When I first got the device, I couldn't help but notice how nothing was open-source. The firmware was closed-source, the pre-installed applications were closed-source, the operating system was closed-source. I couldn't tweak the user-interface like how I am used to in Linux with config files. I couldn't view system files in the file browser. The market prohibited me to download applications that were not fully compatible with my device or region. It was also impossible to download Market applications on my desktop. I couldn't get root access on my device because it wasn't rootable (according to XDA developers), so I couldn't for instance create a full backup or use the Market enabler.

And one of the biggest frustrations was not being able to just plug in a USB stick loaded with a (ARM-based) Linux live image. The first obstacle being the proprietary dock-connector on the Transformer, the second obstacle being the unrootable Android, the third obstacle being the closed firmware.

So I am asking you, is Android really open?"

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1 comment

Wrong Question (1)

WilCompute (1155437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38485448)

The real question here is not if Android is open, but rather is the Asus Transformer open source. The answer to that is no. Android itself is open source, including allowing other manufacturers to do with it what they will.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

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