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Google Tightens Android Policies, Time to Start Controlling Fragmentation

A report out of BusinessWeek has caused quite the stir in the mobile world today, and has to do with a subject that Android enthusiasts talk quite a bit about, and that’s fragmentation.  According a variety of “sources” from within the industry, Google has really started to enforce “non-fragmentation clauses”, giving the Android team the final say on how much can be tweaked on their stock code.  They may even be playing favorites with certain manufacturers that are willing to quickly abide by the rules they’ve set, which essentially means that a “common denominator”  must be reached, before the green light on customization will be given.  So what does all that really mean?

A couple of things.  The first is about fragmentation, which we all know is a problem with this “open” platform.  It sounds to me like Google is telling manufacturers that they need to be up-to-date or they won’t get preferential treatment any longer.  Companies like Samsung and LG seem to be at the front of this story (are actually named), and we all know their track record with updating handsets.  While we all love an open approach, we also understand that it’s not necessarily proper of these companies to release a new handset every 6 months, while ignoring any they’ve launched prior.  If Google wants to start forcing these companies to update their handsets and potentially put an end to fragmentation, you won’t see me complaining.

The second thing has to do with the “common denominator” which we’re guessing comes back to fragmentation again.  That common denominator is likely just Google saying, “You need to start with the newest Android build because you won’t be ready to update in 6 months with a skin on top of it.”  It could also mean that they don’t want garbage like Bing replacing their suite of apps, but that’s an entirely different argument.

And how should we feel about all of this?  Well, the arguments for Android continuing to be truly “open” are hard to find these days, so you really just need to ask yourself if you care.  It’ll likely always be considered fairly open, or at least more open than the competition, but for this to succeed in the long run, we can’t have Android running amok which BW states.  Forcing device manufacturers to finally stay current on their handsets is something we’ve wanted since the beginning, so are you happy that we might finally have it?

Via:  BusinessWeek

Cheers PJ and Robert!

  • Chaos Triple Six

    I don’t see how this necessarily means the OEMs will more reliably update their devices…I mean the could be quicker about it in this way, but I see it as more of a move by Google to consolidate their control over Android using a clause they put in from the begining and which they can now use. They probably planned on it all along, realizing that the fragmentation would occur if the platform was successful.

    Well, it’s been successful–now the most successful (widespread and used) mobile platform at the moment. So no it’s time for Google to step it up a notch. To be honest, I’ve seen this coming, as I’m sure others have as well. The next phase will see the OSes coming more inline with each other and, once the fragmentary issue is at bay, the OS will be a mature platform for full-fledged applications and video games. I figure a couple years–just in time for the Nvidia Stark Platform to be rolling out.

    These guys are usually a couple years out on planning…

  • What Google is trying to do is already what the manufacturers should have done already. You do the work, you get rewarded. Seriously, just update your phones and you’ll make more money. And it only makes sense to start with the latest build of Android. God forbid any manufacturer loading Android 2.1 on any upcoming device, regardless of it being high or low end.

  • ShopDroid

    So Google is agreeing with Steve Job? All tech giants are equally evil, I guess, not just the fruit co or M$FT any more…

  • I hate blur

  • Anonymous

    Blur is an absolute mess.
    Sense has a lot of features I really like, but I can’t wait to get an AOSP, bone stock Gingerbread ROM on my Thunderbolt.
    Google’s software just looks so flashy. It always takes me back to that special feeling I got when I first had my OG Droid. Really can’t put it into words.

  • Djstar2k2

    im all for this i hope more vanilla androids to come

  • Just what i’ve been waiting for! Finally Android on Samsung, HTC, etc. devices will look like Android! (I mean just look at the HTC Scribe!)

  • duquet

    It’s truly time to begin to have some sort of solid implementation to make devices as current as possible as fast as possible.

  • Translation

    Dear Manufacturers/Carriers

    Android was supposed to be open for everyone. Read: consumers. Not for you greedy Biff Tannen’s to lock down the device, never update it, and then put crappy skin software over the top. If you want to put new software, we’re not saying we aren’t going to let you, but given your track record, from now on all future alterations to the software must be approved by daddy (Google) before sonny (retards like moto, verizon, samsung, att, etc) can put it on.

    Keep it real!

  • Arthur

    Google wants there devices to be open to consumers, hardware manufactures keep locking their devices down and spreading the bloat, they’ve abused the openness of Android. Google’s basically telling them Android isn’t for you it’s for your customers. Ultimately Google has made the platform more open because the people who will actually be using it will have more control over it interface and whatever’s on it.

  • Christopher M Brannan

    Furthermore if they’re going to tighten their belt in the market, we the user, can still install apps from the web or other markets.

  • MK17

    Its seems to me that these operating systems closely follow goverment. One one side you have the oligarchy that is Apple (I say oligarchy because a few are in charge, not just Steve) on the other side you have Anarchy which is Android (No government = open).

    Anarchy is not permanent but is a temporary state. So eventually Android will have to make a change. In an effort to keep things as open as possible they will move into a Republic system (Rule by the law). Manufacturers and carriers are trying to step up and be the law, but Android looks to be laying down their own law instead of being pushed around. This system will protect people from harm (and more importantly protects the minority) but still allow progress to be made (also called what America used to be).

    What we have to hope for is that Android doesn’t become a democracy (Rule by People) as most people are dumb and will slowly give up their freedom until we become Apple.

  • Movement towards standardization should make customization easier. Particularly home screens and launchers. I get the distinct impression that motoblur causes things like ADW and Launcher pro to run slowly on my phone. So anything that will improve my ability to customize my experience with the phone is appreciated.

  • Movement towards standardization should make customization easier. Particularly home screens and launchers. I get the distinct impression that motoblur causes things like ADW and Launcher pro to run slowly on my phone. So anything that will improve my ability to customize my experience with the phone is appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    As long as Google provides the plain source code without any of their apps or support they’re meeting their open source responsibilities. I have no problem with Google taking more control to ensure quality.

  • Hopefully google does this it will help android for the long run

  • Hopefully google does this it will help android for the long run

  • Anonymous

    This is a simple “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” problem. On one side, Google gets criticized for not reigning in manufacturers, having phones like the Motorola i1 which come out way late still running Android 1.5, phones NOW still coming out with 2.1, etc. etc. But then they try to remedy this situation, and are knocked for not remaining open enough.

    It truely is a situation where it seems impossible to come up with the “right” answer.

  • Anonymous

    This is a simple “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” problem. On one side, Google gets criticized for not reigning in manufacturers, having phones like the Motorola i1 which come out way late still running Android 1.5, phones NOW still coming out with 2.1, etc. etc. But then they try to remedy this situation, and are knocked for not remaining open enough.

    It truely is a situation where it seems impossible to come up with the “right” answer.

  • Arthur

    Android will finally have it’s own identity instead of the gazillion alter ego’s it’s forced to go by. This doesn’t hurt openness as you can still release a bloaty tweeked out Android device w/o Google’s consent, but good luck trying to put Google’s name on it, or advertise it as a “Google Android” device. Using Google’s Android as “Google Android” will mean following Google’s rules, open source or not they are well within their rights to do this.

  • Anonymous

    Google needs to be careful though. Forcing manufacturers to set Google as the default search and the like is not so different to IE being included in Windows as the default browser, and the EU cracked down on that. What Google needs to do to guard their backs is that on every new Android phone, when the search button is pressed for the first time, the user is presented with four options: Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Web Browser. Google would be the default but the user would be instantly prompted to choose their search provider or just choose to launch the browser when the search button is pressed. Doing so will keep the antitrust regulators off their backs (or at least less so). This also prevents things like Bing on the Fascinate without an option to change it.

  • I think this is great. Being a Fascinate user, I am stuck between my love for the device itself, which is great, and my hatred for Samsung due to their inability to get their shit together and update their phones. I completely agree that it is unfair for them to have multiple phones approaching launch dates while they still have a phone that has been outdated for month with no update as to when they plan to release the latest software.

  • Switched to an iPhone 4 three days ago after finally admitting to myself that the Android experience just isn’t solid or trustworthy anymore. I dropped AT&T and an iPhone 3G for Verizon, and was one of the first to buy a Droid 1 at my local Verizon store, and it was a good little phone for the first 9 or 10 months. When newer devices began rolling out it became apparent to me that my carrier, device mfg., nor developers were concerned with my early adopter device. After apologizing for Android for the last few months, and being tempted by both a T-Bold and Bionic, I made the decision to go back to a solid platform that could integrate with all my Mac gear: iOS. That this news is hitting the same week I made the switch just reinforces that I made the right call. I hope Android gets their house in order because there’s a TON of potential. Just not polished quite yet.

    • Apple troll

      • Not a troll. At all. I got 6 of my friends to buy Android devices. My own brother bought a T-Bolt last week after he and I discussed if he should get a T-Bolt, Atrix, or iPhone. I’ve been visiting this site since it began, too. My D1 is rooted running Elite Pro after a frustrating experience with MIUI.

        I simply see the Android brand as presently coming apart at the seams right now, and iOS offers a more stable platform for the time being. I’m loyal to Apple for their laptops, I’m a branding professional/business owner, but for mobile devices anyone could win my business if they have their act together. Android presently cannot figure out what it is. Til then, back to an iPhone.

        • Djstar2k2

          cant hate your choice but what kills me is what makes icrap so polished? why is icrap everyones standard bearer? i sarted with G1 and i have an og droid and i love my android. nothing is perferct becuz humanity not perfect. my point being that icrap has its pros n cons but choice and what believes makes a product good or bad. and icrap doesnt move me

          • The polish is the product of app developers and designers knowing what they’re creating for, and from the iOS ecosystem of consistently-branded UI elements. Had my Droid come with a simple way to store, sort, and manage my music, videos, photos, etc., I’d probably have waited for a Bionic instead of getting the iPhone 4. It’s the downside of open source: Too many choices. Go listen to the TED talk on “The paradox of choice,” and you’ll hear a more intelligent man than I explain. Anyway, I see Android as a platform that’s about to go through some rough changes in the very near future as they try to reign in fragmentation, and I don’t want to be part of that. iOS is fragmented, but not even close to the degree that Android is; that makes my work/life simpler on my mobile.

      • Not a troll. At all. I got 6 of my friends to buy Android devices. My own brother bought a T-Bolt last week after he and I discussed if he should get a T-Bolt, Atrix, or iPhone. I’ve been visiting this site since it began, too. My D1 is rooted running Elite Pro after a frustrating experience with MIUI.

        I simply see the Android brand as presently coming apart at the seams right now, and iOS offers a more stable platform for the time being. I’m loyal to Apple for their laptops, I’m a branding professional/business owner, but for mobile devices anyone could win my business if they have their act together. Android presently cannot figure out what it is. Til then, back to an iPhone.

    • Cool story bro

      • Arthur Uscg

        It’s not really old, if you are still locked into your contract.

  • Stephen D

    They need to tell VZ to quit bloating phones.

  • Anonymous

    All we need now is for Google to say “STOP LOCKING BOOTLOADERS!!!”

  • Anonymous

    All we need now is for Google to say “STOP LOCKING BOOTLOADERS!!!”

    • Anonymous

      This could be something they could end up doing. It would certainly help compensate from some of the openness they are taking away by cracking down, but in the end I believe it will yield a better user experience.

      • Anonymous

        Complete openness is stupid. Don’t believe the hype! Everyone cries when a company locks a bootloader down then cries for openness when Google says companies cant do something. lol A completely open system has just as many problems as a completely closed one.

  • Anonymous

    About time. This is a great thing for Android. Its the only way to keep the ecosystem growing and evolving.

  • Absolutely hilarious. First there is no fragmentation now “about fragmentation, which we all know is a problem”. Then Android is open and that is why it is so great now “arguments for Android continuing to be truly “open” are hard to find these days, so you really just need to ask yourself if you care”

    Today is one of those days that just puts a smile on my face 🙂

    If Google is so concerned about what others may do with their OS then it is only a matter of time before they stop releasing the source all together.

  • I will take a little less openness if forces certainly OEMs to act responsibly when they release a device which should be at the current version and update quickly when a new OS is released. An not some BS that LG is releasing with their new phones that is is ‘POSSILBE’ upgrade to 2.3 not ‘WILL’ be updated to 2.3. I have a Nexus One which I love because well, it will get updated in a ‘timely’ manner and while I use mainly stock I do admit to using Launcher Pro.

    Secondly, I agree that vanilla Android might not be the most user friendly but Android is all about customization so if they want to create launchers like Launcher Pro, ADW, or GO where people can install if they like it.

    I believe in the end it will create a unified OS on which you can customize though apps and such.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on this completely…i mean why should the evo 3d be released in 2 months by htc when my thunderbolt was just released.d..i also agree google is open so they should enforce being able to root and stop manufactures from making 5000 crap phones and 1000 amazing phones and releasing 2 every month…

  • Arthur Uscg

    I think this is referring to the ability to push out security updates quickly instead of every few months or when ever handset manufactures feel like it.

  • I think it is a very good thing. After HAVING to root and ROM my sister’s Droid Eris just so it would be usable, I stand behind this 100 percent. If you are locked into a two year agreement, your phone should run strong the whole time. I just hope it doesn’t have a backlash on the ROMing community as a whole.

  • I totally think this isn’t closing android or restricting it. I hate blur, I hate the HTC UI, and the samsung UI. My OG Droid was the best phone I ever had. Rooted with custom roms. It was a beast. Stock Android should be included on ALL android devices. The skins and UIs should be available for the user to choose not forced. I love my Droid X but blur is gotta go. And the locked bootloaders gotta go as well. I think Google wont become Apple their being smart with there OS.

  • Wachutalkinbout

    I am rooted and love it, but one of the problems with easy rooting of devices is that services like netflix will never agree to allowing their app on a easily hacked device, they’re afraid of the pirating of their services. Catch 22.

  • Sup

    <3<3<3 GOOGLE! TELL THEM TO STOP SCREWING WITH PEOPLE! =d

  • Anonymous

    If I can still root and rom safely enough with custom kernels and such, it won’t matter. We will get the latest builds from the devs. if they deploy corporate lockdown on carriers and force them to conform, and lock us out through encryption, then bad bad bad…

  • d-roids

    I also think what googles saying to vzw is get that bing BS off android. Most people don’t even like bing. At least I don’t.

  • i didnt know google was spelled A P P L E

    • Wachutalkinbout

      That’s just a bad take. Try using your brain before you type a comment next time.

  • d-roids

    I’m with google on this. Although they’re only somewhat taking a hit on the “openness” it’ll force manufacturers to step up their game. This could even help companies like samsung. Although their phones are high end but they’ve lost customers because they never UPDATE. If google enforces this and samsung decides to stick with android, it may bring back samsung customers cuz let’s be real…. Samsung phone are nice, it’s the update issues that have detered fans of android. Good call by android!!!

    • Benbeamer

      You mean step up the game like Apple – collecting 30 percent of the price of downloads. Or do you mean being forced to pay to tether when the phone is already capable and you are already paying for “unlimited data.” Be real. This is really about carriers wanting to sell stuff that was once free.

  • IDEA: ALL Android phones should receive Gingerbread via OTA. Even the horribly outdated ones.

    EDIT: As an added safety net, the latest Android OS should be available for download from the official website. {{-_-}}

  • Mymotodriod

    thank GOD!!!!!

  • If every device was GED and had similar components so drivers weren’t an issue there wouldn’t be fragmentation? Android would also be iOS.

    • Not really. If Moto and others really think they’re providing a better user experience, then they could create custom contact and launcher apps. That’s how android was meant to be done. “Don’t like the default launcher? Ditch it? Don’t like the email app? Write your own.”

      Fragmentation would drop because the core would be stock android, and the custom experience would be as easy to turn off as installing the default launcher (or any other) from the market.

  • This could be a big reason Moto wants their own OS

    • Larry Mao

      Let them go ahead and make it, it will just hasten their demise. Motorola does not know how to do a simple, functional launcher for Android, what makes them think they can make an OS from scratch? At the very least, it would mean one less locked, encrypted Android device on the market.

  • I’ll make the “Android is Truly Open” argument.

    Or maybe I won’t, because I do have to present my one exception, which is Honeycomb. Other than that I’ll argue android is still open.

    Google’s ever tightening grip on how manufactures piece together their own phones is not at all in opposition to the idea of android being an open operating system. Google isn’t saying “play our way or don’t play”, they’re saying “play our way or we’ll treat you like everyone else” — basically we’ll cut you off from early access and from the Google Market.

    Yes. From an economic standpoint this is limiting, but it is not hurting the openness factor of Google in the least. Motorola is still free to go and grab the GB source and do whatever the hell they want with it…as are you and I actually. The only difference is that right now Moto gets to peek at new source early, and they get to include the Google market, independent devs do not.

    Android *is* open. The requirements to partner with Google are not.

    And for the record I’ve been hopping for a while that Google would use the popularity of Android to strong-arm Moto, HTC, etc into making better software. I just wish they’d also force said makers to open (unlock) their hardware.

  • John

    I don’t really care what happens with the manufacturers. What I care is that the code itself remains open source via the AOSP and that independent developers are able to modify the code as they see fit (i.e. give us custom ROMs 10x better than anything google or any manufacturer has ever created)

    • Agreed.
      It sucks that google pulled away from that with honeycomb.

      I understand why they did it, but I don’t like it one bit.

      • Larry Mao

        Google didn’t, they just want to make sure honeycomb works on phones before they release it.

        • Like I said, I understand why they are doing it this way. It makes business sense to keep manufacturers from building “The first Smartphone with Google Honeycomb” before honeycomb is ready for smartphones, because that would hurt Android’s image. I understand the why.

          But let’s be honest, honeycomb is released and the source code isn’t. Until the honeycomb source code appears for everyone to download, honeycomb is not an Open Source operating system.

  • Cohenrj Clarkson

    I love this. I had the Droid Eris from the day it came out up until a week ago. Even though I did get the upgrade to 2.1 I was very tired of 2.2 and 2.2.1 and 2.3 coming out and seeing no support for those versions especially after all the new Google apps were only supported by 2.2+. When I came to realize I was able to get a new handset I considered waiting for the DInc 2 and looked at the Thunderbolt but I didn’t want HTC Sense anymore as I had been using Launcher Pro for close to 9 months, I wanted stock Android only. In the end I ended up with the iPhone, but only until Google can straighten this mess up and get things synced so a handset isn’t outdated (by software by manufacturer’s choice) within 5 to 6 months from release. I want to see them leave the Google Experience and if they want to enabe their skins make Sense or Motocrap or TouchUI as seperate apps like Launcher Pro and ADW and the host of others. When this happens I will rejoin the Android Army

  • cowdog

    Google is all about open, and that’s why I use android over Apple and their closed … oh wait.

    We’ll see how this works out. I want the best product and don’t align myself with any specific company or os. If this helps Google get phones out that get timely os updates, I’m all for it. They clearly need to do something, although lots of people grabbing android phones around here, and they have no idea what version of the android os they are running. They don’t care either. Their phone works for them, or not, period.

  • Sdg1

    Just release the phones with stock of the newest version and give us the option of downloading the skin when the manufacturer has completed it. Oh and be like Acer, who gives the option of their skin or stock android in the settings menu.

  • Proprietary_Android

    From what I’ve gathered much of this has to do with Google protecting their search engine and ad network on devices.

    It seems impossible for them not to allow OEM’s to modify Android because they need to integrate proprietary software into Android, especially for business. I don’t see how they can make OEM’s stop that since Android can’t incorporate the proprietary software from firms like Cisco for business. The best they could do there is require updates to be done within a certain period of time.

    The only other thing they can really do, if they care about the end users, is require that all OHA OEM’s optimize stock Android for each device they make and give that to Google to support, and then allow users to convert to that “stock Android” via the market if they would prefer that over the OEM’s proprietary Android.

    Nonetheless, I do feel that something needs to be done about updates, upgrades, and overall device support before it’s too far out of hand.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t all manufacturers give us stock Android and then the ability for the user to add or turn on/off the skin on top of that?

    • because the “skins” are much more than simply skins. they are alot deeper and it is not possible to simply turn them on or off.

      • Sean

        With the Acer skin, Liquid or whatever its called, you can change in-between stock android and it by just selecting it in the menu and restarting the phone. So it can’t possibly be that hard.

  • Xkartiel

    About time they do this….Samsung Facinate still running 2.1 hahahaa

  • Anonymous

    Preferred Translation:

    Dear Android Manufacturers,

    We are constantly updating Android. Your attempts to make it your own with the likes of MotoBlur, Sense, Touchwiz, etc. have created an unacceptable bottleneck between our work and consumer implementation. Your efforts add no value to Android or its users. If you don’t get your shit together, we’ll stop giving you licenses.

    Sincerely,
    Andy Rubin

    • i disagree with their efforts add no value to android
      motoblur and sense adds alot of social networking integration on top of customizable profiles that allow users to customize their home pages according to their environment but other than those 2 ui skins the others dont do anything and believe it or not but a lot of people like motoblur and htc sense

      • eddieonofre

        well then they should make it an home replacement kind of deal

      • kretz

        blur sucks ass..get back to work mike

      • Anonymous

        How does social networking integration = value? That’s like, the polar opposite of value for anyone over the age of 12. 😐

        • Dan

          not if you have friends.

          • MK17

            ZING!

        • Dan

          not if you have friends.

        • Dan

          not if you have friends.

      • Anonymous

        How does social networking integration = value? That’s like, the polar opposite of value for anyone over the age of 12. 😐

      • I like the new gingerbread blur but before that motoblur was bad. I think there should be some way to default back to stock without rooting for “advanced” users.

    • Anonymous

      Spot on 😀

      Cheers,

    • Anonymous

      ooh yea!!! i like this!!! updates everyone at sametime!! then more devs. come on board everyone get the same games!!! google is your product you set the Rules.. like i said htc, moto, samsung. can have there own stype but it got to be like. launcher pro, adw, that comes with there own device hit a button and boom it does it!!!

    • Anonymous

      Ahhh, theres’s my letter LMAO!!!

    • Anonymous

      Amazon is clearly in on the fragmenatation side. Companies are asking for the locked source code to Android but Google is not going to give that up. Companies like Amazon are developing their own Android platform and it’s starting with thier own Android Market. and pretty soon a tablet of thier own as rumors persist. Maybe thier own devices which I would think is a little too much for Amazon but you never know.

      The open source community really needs to understand that Google is not going to lose out of Billions of dollars to share everything of what makes up Android.as well as companies like Amazon.who want to capitolize of off Googles platform which is why the strict policies are coming due to fragmentation.

      I say good for Google to tighten the reigns and protect whats theirs.

    • Anonymous

      Amazon is clearly in on the fragmenatation side. Companies are asking for the locked source code to Android but Google is not going to give that up. Companies like Amazon are developing their own Android platform and it’s starting with thier own Android Market. and pretty soon a tablet of thier own as rumors persist. Maybe thier own devices which I would think is a little too much for Amazon but you never know.

      The open source community really needs to understand that Google is not going to lose out of Billions of dollars to share everything of what makes up Android.as well as companies like Amazon.who want to capitolize of off Googles platform which is why the strict policies are coming due to fragmentation.

      I say good for Google to tighten the reigns and protect whats theirs.

    • Nybeeks

      Love this!

  • I actually don’t mind this, as long as the bootloaders remain unlocked for third party developers like XDA. That is where I think “open” really matters. As for locked phones through companies like LG, Samsung, or HTC, I do think Google needs to stipulate a certain level of QC on their products. This will keep the end users (who don’t mod their phones) happy with the end product. People want the newest and the best, and it makes Android look bad when phones keep coming out with older Android software, and they shouldn’t HAVE to rely on modding to provide them with newer software.

  • Booboolala2000

    Hell yes. I think that google should give these updates out to devs and be heavy handed with the manufacturer. The manufacturer’s are lazy.

  • android being open was the giant that could break down apple’s walled garden this is a terribly sad day for openness. Yet for android users this is the best thing to happen since the moto OG Droid. I honestly don’t know how to take this..

  • Mth2134

    Time for your new poll?

  • Afasdgsera

    as a Fascinate owner I see this as a good thing. However, there needs to be some type of customization on the user end or this might bite them in the ass…

  • I’m extremely happy about this, I’ve been arguing with BGR commenter’s about this all morning.

  • Anonymous

    People are already saying this and that about what is going to happen when no one actually knows! Even if it is, this in no way is a bad thing. No Google isn’t taking your soul if they make Android a little less open. The benefits greatly outweigh any possible loses. Imagine getting a phone on a two year contract and still having the latest version of the operating system at the end of those two years. Imagine no stupid bootware on your phone that takes space and battery that can only be removed by rooting the phone. Imagine not having to worry about security issues or fragmentation, that will lead to more developers like Netflix (that we all cry about not having) to make apps for Android. Yeah this sounds like Apple but Google would take out all those bad things in Android that trolls love to talk about and combine the best of both worlds. This will greatly benefit the end user which in turn benefits Google, not the other way around.

  • My questions is, IF this has a real effect, WHEN will we actually see the results of this “crack-down”? I doubt it will affect any devices that we already know of because I’m sure all the manufacturers have spent lots of time and money skinning and bastardizing the stock Android OS…

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully Android 2.4. We will find out more at Google I/O. To my understanding a majority of the conference is going to be about Android.

  • Anonymous

    This has win all over it. The openness of Android will not be gone, the skinness of Android might be in trouble. Which is no way a bad thing(Blur). Manufacturers will just have stay on the ball. You’ll still root & put whatever you want to on your phone. This will just give updates to everyone faster.

  • Anonymous

    Look in all honesty, I don’t care if Verizon prefers me to use Bing as my default search and navigation options, but don’t force the manufacturer to force that option on me to the point that I can’t change it. I understand Verizon has a contractual agreement with Bing, but if I want to remove Bing and VZNavigator and all of the other BS on the phone I should be allowed to do that without having to root! Without having to bring a bricked phone back to the store and be accused of rooting! Without having to explain that I rooted because your bloatware was killing the performance of the phone hence the brick!

  • Anonymous

    this is good news

    • palomosan

      Agree, I don’t want Blur or Touchwiz on my Android phones, period.

  • More updates and one less MAJOR reason for the i*hone gang to put down the android platform – #winning.

  • Boooooooo, although I don’t like fragmentation, I dislike this model even more. Android might as well not be open source anymore. It’s heading in the same direction of Microsoft’s Windows Phone model…

    • i dont think thats a good way of looking at it. Like my example above, Ubuntu is open source more so than Android because it doesnt have to worry about PC manufactures putting crapware on it. If Android bypassed carriers we wouldnt have this problem. Its forcing the carriers/manufacturers to smarten up and let Android reach its full potential…on every device as long as hardware supports it.

  • Anonymous

    Thank God. I am serious. THANK GOD. I am now looking forward to more timely updates.

  • Rain_king46

    Im not a fan of the “tweaks” made by the manufacturers. I would just assume have the option of getting the device with stock Android and let me customize it. While you are at it Google, tell them to stop locking the damn boot loaders.

    • I feel skins should be left in the android market of whatever manufacturer phone you get and you should get it from there

  • Anonymous

    I would love to see this have a substantial affect on skins like Motoblur and Touchwiz. Yes it’s wishful thinking but maybe, just maybe Moto and Samsung might have to scale back on the layered skins. I would love Samsung to see the Nexus S light at the end of the tunnel and scrap that i*hone look alike all together.

  • The end of the Android crap-let era, hooray!

  • If that means I get more Google experience devices that update faster, I’ll take the hit on open-ness.

    • agreed. if this means that the G2x phone im trying to get to replace my incredible will be updated and continued to be updated in tune with devices like the N1. I’m fine with the hit on “open source”. I mean lets be honest. Ubuntu is open source. Android, not so much in terms of commercial use.

      • Tim242

        Having the latest update is not always what it is cracked up to be. Gingerbread on the X is meh.

        • Anonymous

          But you do know you’re not working with the finished product right?

          • Tim242

            Yes it is the finished product. They just have to remove the att wording
            from the hotspot app. The OTA is due out any day…possibly today. It’s
            nice, but not a major update at all.

            • Droid X •

          • Anonymous

            I disagree. Over stock Blur 2.3.34 it’s a massive update.

          • Tim242

            Who uses blur? It might be better, but still not great. The dock bar is
            barely customizable. LPP FTW

            • Droid X •

          • try everyone else who doesnt root their phones. they use blur

          • Tim242

            Since when do you have to be rooted to use LPP and ADW?

            • Droid X •

          • since when do people outside of this community know about lpp and adw?

          • Anonymous

            Same, everyone else that I know who has a DX uses stock blur.

          • DroidzFX

            Same here. They dont even know what LPP is.

          • Anonymous

            Same, everyone else that I know who has a DX uses stock blur.

          • Tim242

            Are you serious???

            • Droid X •

          • Anonymous

            yep.

          • Tim242

            You’d be wrong. Ordinary people search the market as well.

            • Droid X •

          • yes they do but they dont look for launcher pro or adw
            they look for angry birds and fruit ninja or even mp3 downloading apps
            i guarantee you if you put 100 random people with droid x’s as their phone and looked at their home screen, about 80 of them will have stock software(maybe even more), and maybe you will see 10-20 people have lpp or some other home replacement(maybe even less)

          • Tim242

            I have found that ordinary people are a bit more te h savvy than us geeks
            give them credit for. I came to Android from WebOS. I knew nothing about
            alternative launchers. I stumbled across LP in the market, then tried it.
            People browse and try all types of apps.

            • Droid X •

          • Anonymous

            Go find some people in public/person that have a Droid X or Droid 2 even. See how many of them are using stock blur. It’s 100% for me so far. The only one I know in person who used LP was a guy I work with because I told him about it and it’s the only thing that made his Cliq bearable. He upgraded phones and uses the stock ui now.

            Most people use Stock UI. You can’t use the “downloaded x times” figure in the market either. Those of us that root and ROM download the applications sometimes several times a day.

          • but thats just you, i mean look your on droid-life and i can guarantee 80% of the world population with android phones in general use stock software plus i bet they havent even been to XDA or droidforums or phandroid let alone droid-life plus people in the root community use stock software, my friend and myself both use stock software(i use lpp but on stock roms my friend uses the whole thing stock) and we are both rooted and are very techsavy people
            sometimes stock software just works and mainly thats what people want

          • Tim242

            We all get our start somewhere. I used to never vist tech blogs.

            • Droid X •

          • now this i finally agree with
            i got my start from some guy in radio shack when he told me i can root my android phone and get all these cool features and ever since i have been a huge computer nerd and my nerdyness is still growing

          • yep im serious and statically speaking about 80% of all users will continue to use the stock ui and not change it, 10% will change it because they root and want faster phones, the other 10% change it to theme it to look like the iphone or other device

          • Tim242

            LPP and ADW beg to differ.

            • Droid X •

          • really now your trolling?
            whatever your not worth anymore of my time

          • yep im serious and statically speaking about 80% of all users will continue to use the stock ui and not change it, 10% will change it because they root and want faster phones, the other 10% change it to theme it to look like the iphone or other device

          • Anonymous

            Why is this such a surprise? The root community is in the minority. The majority of users just want to use their smartphones for regular day to day stuff and don’t have time to think about the geeky stuff we look into with our phones.

          • Tim242

            Ordinary people search the market as well.

            • Droid X •

          • Anonymous

            You’re reaching. As a matter of fact you’re over reaching. Ordinary people searching the market has nothing to do with rooting your phone. If 80% don’t root then 90% of that sector don’t even know what rooting is. A majority of those have never been to droid-life.com, engadget.com, bgr.com, phandroid.com or androidcentral.com. There’s being reasonable, but what you’re saying is not. Most people only care about having a WORKING smartphone. If ordinary people were as intune as you claim then we wouldn’t being having these problems with skins because the carriers and makers would be up to their neck with complaints and lost demand.

          • Tim242

            I never mentioned root. I mentioned LPP and ADW, neither of which require
            root. I knew nothing about alternative launchers when I came to Android from
            WebOS in 2009. I stumbled across LP in the market.

            • Droid X •

          • Anonymous

            The first thing you mentioned is root. Even with LPP and ADW most people don’t search the market as intensely as us and most of them just look for what they know which are games, calendar clients, email clients and other simple tools to help make life easier. However, I know when to quit when I’m ahead and I quit. What you need to understand but won’t is that most people don’t have the time to invest in the phone like the rest of us. They need a few things, phone, text, email, calendar and web. That’s it.

          • Tim242

            I never mentioned root. I asked who uses blur. It was assumed I was talking
            about root. I was not. As I said, I found LP without knowing what it was or
            looking for it.

            • Droid X •

          • Kierra

            You’re completely right. Even though I may do a little more phone research than the average consumer I downloaded LPP and ADW and stopped there. I’ve heard alot of good things about rooting ,but I see no real need of me getting into the innards of my phone. The only people who I know root are the computer science majors at my school , the rest of my friends are fine with whatever arrives on their phones.

          • Tim242

            Are you serious???

            • Droid X •

          • since when do people outside of this community know about lpp and adw?

            i know like 10 people with droid x’s and they all use stock software

          • Anonymous

            since when did a person who didnt know what root was, know what lp and adw were

            and grammar failure

          • Anonymous

            I’d have basically the same response so I just “liked” it.

          • Zimme342

            I am this mythical creature that we’re looking for. I’ve had my Droid X since last September and a Xoom since launch and I’m unrooted (and never have been) and don’t use anything Blur related. However I’m also very well versed in the Android (and tech) world.

            I’m very much considering upgrading to rooted GB though, especially since my memory card recently died on me and I lost some settings.

          • I think it would be a more major update if it was stock GB. It would run faster and have better battery life than the blurred crap Moto thinks is nice…

          • ok so compared to stock 2.3.34 this is not a big update right?
            so compared to the blur software on 2.3.34 gingerbread isnt a huge update?
            your retarded if you answer no to one of these questions

          • Anonymous

            The battery life on the leaked GB is pretty awesome IMO.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, I like the new Blur. It looks great and doesn’t seem to bog things down at all.

        • GB, through the cyanogen team, is awesome on my Incredible. And its not just about getting the latest and greatest, but more so about not being forgotten about. Samsung leaving devices like the Galaxy line out in the cold when it came to Froyo. Devices dont last as long as they used to because you need to pick which phone you think will make it 2 years through Android upgrades. I mean, the Incredible is reaching EOL and its still up in the air whether itll actually recieve GB. And it came out last year!

          • Tim242

            Gingerbread only brings slight ui changes and NFC support. The latter does
            you no good.

            • Droid X •

          • stop trolling noob

          • Anonymous

            All Android updates come with some code refreshers intended to improve performance. Sometimes it’s not all about what the vehicle looks like. Sometimes the major changes are under the hood. Fixing that text messaging bug which everyone has failed to do thus far is a major start.

          • I’m on the new GB for DX and I have still been experiencing the text bug… maybe our GB leak isn’t as final as some thought.

          • Anonymous

            It was fixed in the source code. If you are having problems, it is not with android, but with Motorolas messaging.

          • I’m on the new GB for DX and I have still been experiencing the text bug… maybe our GB leak isn’t as final as some thought.

        • kretz

          it’s a leaked update idiot

          • Tim242

            A final build, retard. Release is imminent. Have you been under a rock? It
            functions perfectly….it just isn’t much of an update. Just UI tweaks. The
            NFC support is useless.

            • Droid X •

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        Why does everyone assume that being stock equals instant updates? The Nexus phones aren’t even updated on the same day… or even the same MONTH for that matter. The OG Droid is still 2.2, it is stock. The HTC G2 is stock as well, 2.2. Stock is not the equivalent to being a developer phone. Developers need time with each new build to update their apps to support them. You know how many native Honeycomb apps there are to this day? 17. There’s 17 whole apps built for Honeycomb, perhaps 100 more that “support” it, as in, they’ve at least made sure it works. Do you want Honeycomb, simply because it exists? I mean, seriously? You want the choice of 17 whole apps? Do you read your Recent Changes for app updates? There’s still some coming down the pipe that add support for Gingerbread. Developer phones are needed, and they aren’t for mass consumption. App developers need them to build out their updated apps prior to mass release of the most recent Android build… the common user, however, does not.

        Chances are you’d be better off waiting for the 2.4 version of Gingerbread… because 2.3 Gingerbread is like 2.0 Eclair that launched on the Droid… 2.1 was right around the corner with the real Eclair updates. Everyone getting 2.3 the same day the Nexus S was released? Colossal nightmare. Everyone would be launching apps that instantly force close… because nobody had a chance to update their app.

        • JT

          The assumption is *not* entirely off-base. Android>Manufacturer>Carrier>end user. Sure, it’s not that simple so rant appreciated. (-;

        • Anonymous

          Truest thing I have seen in a while. The only reason the Droid does not have and will not get updates to 2.3+ is because Verizon/Motorola do not feel like it is worth the resources. Google needs to set the rule that the skins can be turned off by the user and let the drivers and hardware specific software be accessible to Google. This would allow Google to push updates to these phones after 6 months or so if the manufactures wont. For example, the US Galaxy S phones could let the users shut off touchwiz, go to Googles android site, and pull down 2.2 and just run it stock.

          • JT

            Not to mention, “Gingerbread was never intended to run on devices with less then 256MB of RAM, such as the Droid” -Peter Alfonso

          • Wachutalkinbout

            Have you tried PE, gingerbread runs smooth as hell on OG Droid.

          • Vire

            That’s because it’s a Gingerbread/Froyo mixture, as are most of the OG Droid GB ROMs

          • Anonymous

            No. Its Gingerbread. The memory kill variables have been set to the ones used on 2.2

          • Vire

            Oh, is that what it is? Last time I looked into it and was considering flashing to PE5, I had heard that it was a mixture. Good to know.

          • JT

            Well, that’s just the wizardry of Peter Alfonso, Dr Bugless Beast.

          • One guy outsmarted the entire Android team at Google?

          • jakob

            yes

          • JT

            C’mon, man. No one said that. Which is the point of Google’s actions. Plenty of good reasons out there. “jxcgunrunna” mentioned the lack of interest in Moto supporting continued updates to a legacy device not running their beloved motoblur. I mean, think about it — If moto was rolling out 2.3 on the OG Droid, they would desperately try to take a Blur-crap on it first.

          • I think you should take a look at the new blur, its much better from a software stand point and i think makes the whole OS have a more polished look.

          • JT

            C’mon, man. No one said that. Which is the point of Google’s actions. Plenty of good reasons out there. “jxcgunrunna” mentioned the lack of interest in Moto supporting continued updates to a legacy device not running their beloved motoblur. I mean, think about it — If moto was rolling out 2.3 on the OG Droid, they would desperately try to take a Blur-crap on it first.

        • Dbzster

          You sir, must not own a Samsung Android device.

          • Bullet Tooth Tony

            OG Droid originally, now a Thunderbolt for day-to-day use… and I do have a Nexus One as well with the AT&T quad-bands that I fire up time to time for when I’m in Canada… extremely nice to have that phone off contract.

            But I understand where you’re going…. I truly do. And the more I think about it, the more I think Google is taking shots at the Fascinate, as a big example… with the line “No more partnerships formed outside of Google’s purview.”

        • Jroc869

          well then the process needs to be fixed by google. I hate to say it, but if crapple can push there updates to all there users at once google should be able to as well.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, I think this gone way out of hand with manufacturers and carriers. Even Carriers agreements with manufacturers to snub updates with other carriers…*cough AT&T and Moto*

      In some ways Moto already saw this coming, and wanted to make their own OS!

    • i concur if im going to get a nexus like device than im fine with google doing what they are doing

    • The Droid Incredible was/is sold as a Google Experience device and it ran Sense and was not updated faster than other devices.

  • Kevoskee

    I knew this would happen soon….

    • Carlito Pr787

      No u didnt

    • i knew for sure…even had it written down in my diary

    • It had to for them to stay competitive otherwise, and I forget who said it but someone recently said that Android was shooting itself in the foot. But this would eventually happen because of fragmentation.