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Andy Rubin Reassures Us that Android Remains Open, Delay of Honeycomb is Not a Change in Strategy

After a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks in the press about Android possibly not being “open” anymore, Mr. Android himself Andy Rubin, took to his team’s blog to clear the air.  We’d start pulling pieces out of it and paraphrasing, but that just doesn’t seem right.  This should be read by everyone that’s a fan of this mobile OS.  

Recently, there’s been a lot of misinformation in the press about Android and Google’s role in supporting the ecosystem. I’m writing in the spirit of transparency and in an attempt to set the record straight. The Android community has grown tremendously since the launch of the first Android device in October 2008, but throughout we’ve remained committed to fostering the development of an open platform for the mobile industry and beyond.

We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” solution. The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices – many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created. What amazes me is that the even though the quantity and breadth of Android products being built has grown tremendously, it’s clear that quality and consistency continue to be top priorities. Miraculously, we are seeing the platform take on new use cases, features and form factors as it’s being introduced in new categories and regions while still remaining consistent and compatible for third party applications.

As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices. This enables device makers to support the unique and differentiating functionality of their products. If someone wishes to market a device as Android-compatible or include Google applications on the device, we do require the device to conform with some basic compatibility requirements. (After all, it would not be realistic to expect Google applications – or any applications for that matter – to operate flawlessly across incompatible devices). Our “anti-fragmentation” program has been in place since Android 1.0 and remains a priority for us to provide a great user experience for consumers and a consistent platform for developers. In fact, all of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance agreed not to fragment Android when we first announced it in 2007. Our approach remains unchanged: there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs. There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture.

Finally, we continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready. As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones. As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy. We remain firmly committed to providing Android as an open source platform across many device types.

The volume and variety of Android devices in the market continues to exceed even our most optimistic expectations. We will continue to work toward an open and healthy ecosystem because we truly believe this is best for the industry and best for consumers.

Everyone good now?  Honeycomb features are on their way to phones, the source will be released after that, fragmentation has always been something they have been concerned with, and they are not against custom UIs.  Time for dinner.

Via:  Android Developers Blog

  • http://www.ecommerce-web-developers.com ecommerce web developers

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  • Beejay686

    you are so right about that brother.

  • Honeycomb_FTW

    Here’s a simple solution for this UI problem.

    Google. . . simply make each OHA member create an “optimized stock Android” version for each device they release.

    House that optimized stock Android version in the market and allow users to switch to it from the OEM’s “proprietary Android” without voiding the warranty–it would be a simple wipe and reinstall and bootloader would be set to the OEM’s default. We know Google has the power to do this as demoed recently via the infected apps in the market.

    This will ensure that every OEM that is part of the OHA starts with an optimized version of Android, thus ensuring that their device works with Android properly before they do any customizations.

    It will also give every user the freedom to choose whatever hardware they want and whether or not to stick with the OEM’s proprietary version of Android or go stock Android without voiding their warranty. Therefore, the end user really does have freedom of choice which is lacking now.

    Then everyone can have their cake and eat it.

    Is this really that difficult to do?

  • Honeycomb_FTW

    Here’s a simple solution for this UI problem.

    Google. . . simply make each OHA member create an “optimized stock Android” version for each device they release.

    House that optimized stock Android version in the market and allow users to switch to it from the OEM’s “proprietary Android” without voiding the warranty–it would be a simple wipe and reinstall and bootloader would be set to the OEM’s default. We know Google has the power to do this as demoed recently via the infected apps in the market.

    This will ensure that every OEM that is part of the OHA starts with an optimized version of Android, thus ensuring that their device works with Android properly before they do any customizations.

    It will also give every user the freedom to choose whatever hardware they want and whether or not to stick with the OEM’s proprietary version of Android or go stock Android without voiding their warranty. Therefore, the end user really does have freedom of choice which is lacking now.

    Then everyone can have their cake and eat it.

    Is this really that difficult to do?

    • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

      In a perfect world that would totally rock, but unfortunately it’s not a perfect world, it’s a business world. Google and the OEMs are being pressured into locking things down by the carriers that provide the devices and services.

      The only way you’re likely to see something like this would be if Google offered their own service that was as stable and fast as the current carriers, and could run both CDMA and GSM devices, and could offer every Android phone on their service as well as the other carriers’. If you wanted stock, you buy from Google, and if you want OEM Bloatware-infested but dumbed-down phones, you can get it from another carrier.

  • Beejay686

    Why don’t you guys tell Motorola that this is an Open Handset and that means unlocking the bootloaders to their Droid devices. I fell in love with the DX and rooted it and later realized that it was locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Luckily the brilliant Dev teams have tackled this and worked around the encrypted boot and was able to get root on the big screen. They were able to create Bootstrap to get a custom recovery but if you really ef this phone up you can rely on SBF to get you back to factory default. Now if the DX was unlocked then there would be no need to SBF if you get stuck in a bootloop. I love Android and have been with them from the start with the “Original Gangsta,” the G1. Then the Nexus One and love being able to flash Sense or MIUI or a customized stock Android UI and when I got the DX I was stumped why a company would do something stupid like locking down the bootloader. Hell, they didn’t do it with the Original Droid but if they continue to lock their hardware down I’ll be saying goodbye to Moto. Please guys, lets keep this OPEN. That’s the beauty of ANDROID.

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      I also am a droid x user who is extremely disgruntled about the bootloader. My greatest fear is that other manufacturers are going to follow suit. HTC is already showing signs of this with the thunderbolt which scares the hell out of me. I fear that by the time my current contract is up, my android choices will be no more hackable than the iphone…. Guess who is going to protest with his wallet if that happens: hint, it’s me and a lot of other android faithful.

  • thebigmann

    It’d be cool to see some sort of developer organization formed to push back against some of these changes. Seems the carriers pull all the weight with Android, much like lobbyists to the government, which makes sense from a business standpoint. An official organization with serious membership could make recommendations and take action to protect the interests of developers and users of their apps. I’m sure Google probably wants to give us what we want, but they find their hands tied by carriers. If we fight back, maybe we could effect more balanced policy decisions.

  • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

    This doesn’t matter much to me one way or another. Let the manufacturers customize the OS however they want. Maybe I’ll like it, maybe I won’t. If I like it, great, I’ll leave it as-is. Now pay attention cause this is the important part: IF I DON’T LIKE IT AND YOU HAVEN’T OPTIMIZED THE OS PROPERLY, I SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE A SHOT AT MODIFYING EVERYTHING TO SUIT MY DESIRES! IE, I SHOULD HAVE FULL ROOT AND BOOTLOADER ACCESS.

    If I don’t, there’s really no reason I should stay with android. The os is less mature than iOS and the developers will always have a harder time optimizing apps for android b/c of the OS version fragmentation across devices, the customization of the os by the carriers and manufacturers, and the variances in hardware across devices. If I don’t have my freedom to do much more than use widgets and skin stuff, that is certainly not enough to keep me…

    Bottom line is this: no bootloader freedom = no deal.

  • Ntbohl

    Every carrier should get a google experience device. Wouldn’t that solve a lot of the issues we’re seeing on this stuff?

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      Yes, assuming that google experience device was as unlocked as the og droid or the nexus 1.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Google can tighten the noose all they want, but the devs have a sharp knife

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      Not sharp enough to cut an encrypted bootloader open unfortunately.

  • Flombardo

    Manufacturers are always going to attempt to “add value” to their product with their own tweaks / add-ons (blur-sense-etc) just don’t force me to live with it by locking me out.

    If google keeps releasing source code, and the ROM dev’s keep hooking us up with their work, i’m as happy as i can reasonably expect to be. I’d rather pay an “up-charge” for a device that allowed EASY Root / Rom replacement than be locked out.

    Even better, I’d rather pay for an app from a guy who figured out how to give me said root / rom access (Z4 root or SuperOneClick thank you!!!), and also chip in to a developer (CM or Liberty) who took the source code and stripped it down for me.

    I’m not a programmer or hacker, no time to figure it out, but love the true android community that keeps me checking the blogs for the next best Root / Rom / Apps etc. That’s the real fun of android, that plus the other mobile os options are, simply not as exciting to follow or employ.

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      The only thing that will keep me from switching to an iphone is exactly what you just described. No bootloader freedom = no sale = hello iphone = hating myself for doing what I swore I never would = f#ck you android phone manufacturers, carriers and google for making me hate myself.

  • Anonymous

    For all the complainers that don’t like open source phones, just admit your too scared to root and try to use your brain and learn what these phone can really do…

  • cowdog

    Whatever. Honeycomb was only half-baked for the tablet rush and they need to fix it before offering all of us a phone upgrade path that manufacturers and carriers won’t support? I agree that’s not FUD; we all figured that out on our own.

  • Anonymous

    Goodby My beloved moto, Hello Nexus.

  • Anonymous

    I just want the stock Google experience, or at least leave me the option to load it onto my device myself. As for Motorola, if their device is unlocked or unlockable, I will probably buy it. If it has an encrypted bootloader, mark my words, I WILL NOT buy it. Period.

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      ^ this

    • Honeycomb_FTW

      I want to be able to do that without voiding the warranty on the device. After all their device is supposed to support Android so why should my warranty be voided because I’m putting a stock UI on the bloody thing?

      As is now only the Nexus S is the device I will even consider. Sad, it’s like having to purchase an Apple device–only one form factor to choose from.

  • RW-1

    This doesn’t give me any warm feeliings, talk is cheap, let’s see some actions in that reguard.

    The mobile industry has set upon a greedy course to destroy itself.

    Carriers are looking for new ways to cash in on our $$$, minutes used to be the thing of choice, now it is data.

    Bloatware will continue to be foisted upon you as dictated by whomever wants to give the carriers the most $$$.

    Phones will be locked down because carriers don’t want you to remove said bloat THEY PAID FOR, and circumventing ways around paying for data, that new thing they are now into.

    Manufacturers saying they are locking down for their own proprietary reasons is just total BS, the real reason is the carrier telling them if they don’t, then that carrier will not purchase siad device for their network. Any other reason given is just smoke. Plain and simple.

    Android was meant to be a base unto itself, that could be modified, but not to the tune of $$$

    • Anonymous

      Im pretty sure when pumping all that money into creating and updating Android, front line for google WAS money. They arent in the buisiness to solely make consumers happy. If there wasnt a large expected gain then Android never would have happened.

  • Arthur

    I don’t think Google’s completely wrapped their minds around licencing open source software while also enforcing it’s own identity. Fragmentation is common amongst the Linux community, but forks are aptly named something different, as often the name of the original distributions being forked is trademarked. That’s how open source usually works, change the source rename the product.

    “Google Android” is trademarked if you want to market your device with “Google Android” it should be vanilla Google Android. Enforcing that doesn’t make Android a closed platform. I’m tired of hearing people say otherwise, open source = open platform, and enforcing trademark restrictions doesn’t change that.

    Having said that Honeycomb is in a precarious situation, it’s built on the same open source code that Google’s already made available, however it’s new code hasn’t gone public yet. Also you are allowed to licence open source software, without publicly providing the source, as long as you provide the source-code free on request to whoever buys the product. According to Gnu.org “In the case where binaries are distributed without the corresponding complete source code, those who do this are required by the GNU GPL to provide source code on subsequent request.” After purchasing the product whatever they do with the source-code (including possibly releasing it to the public) is up to them.

    I imagine however, in order to use the “Google Android” branding, any company that has the Honeycomb source would be required not to release it to the public. I think Google’s found a loophole allowing them to keep their open-source code hidden, well, at least for now.

  • Jawshua

    Honeycomb, I want a official release of Gingerbread first before anything else comes out, how about that for my DROIDX Mr. Rubin?

    • Nxus1ne

      LOL, that would be up to Motorola and Verizon, not Google.

  • Anonymous

    I could have told you that

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is missing the point. The industry is not at a point where customers are shopping for the best phone outright, the thought process looks more like Price>Network Quality> “Susan has verizon we can talk all day!”> “Sign me up big red”> (heres where the path splits customer buys: Whatever the salesman pushes or the lesser of the evils (if android educated) or the one that had an add where it turned into a spaceship and solved world hunger all in one index swipe or the iphone all the celebs have. The point here is no one wants a Nexus tegra4 on an overpriced network that only works in the Ukraine, and even if they did there would be a locked down DX in the other pocket to make calls on. So yes we are gonna get our money for bloat-ware, yes we are gonna skin after all an all stock android hardware pissing contest is expensive and we are already at a level of incremental hardware increase (the numbers are a MILLION higher in quadrant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) the experience is the same. Until every carrier has 100% 5g coverage world wide phones will only be a perk after you sign a contract

  • Anonymous

    Translation:

    “Open” applies to device manufacturers, not consumers. We’ll continue to release our source code, but we don’t care if manufacturers prevent you from using it on your device.

    • DBK

      That’s kind of how I read it, too. According to that statement, seems like the “openess” was meant for manufacturers and not the consumers. Yet it’s the consumers that continue to make software that is far superior to the manufacturer’s. o.O

      *ques up Twilight Zone music*

      • Honeycomb_FTW

        ditto. . . I just read it as, we’ll let OEMs do whatever they want as long as they keep using Android. . . as for the end users. . . who cares.

    • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

      It applies to both. You and I can do whatever we want with the source code as well. Open.

      • DBK

        But since the companies are also free to do the same, that particular freedom becomes more and more distant as the companies increase their efforts to lock down their devices.

        Therefore, it is apparent that the “openess” is a priority based concept, and the manufacturers seem have that, and are allowed to have that, over us.

        • Tesseract 3

          Except independent devs still have the legal right to do whatever they want with the source code and put it on any device they want. Look at all the people who put honeycomb on a nook color. I am against the locked bootloaders as well. But the carriers pressuring the hardware manufacturers to be assholes does not make google assholes by extension. Google has to walk a fine line here, if they try to crack down too much legally on companies for altering the skins too much and taking away stock android experience and locking down their changes to the software, then google cannot call the OS open source anymore (at least not completely) it could change the whole legal standing of the android OS. If this were to happen independent devs would have much less license to create their own themes, and skins and modifications. Like I said, I am against encrypted bootloaders and all this other nonsense, but let’s be clear who the enemy is. Google is doing the best they can to offer a real open source experience in an industry that is known for being extremely unfriendly to consumers. Keep in mind the predatory contracts and locked down policies are nothing new for big carriers. This is business as usual for them. Google has managed to put cracks in it, but it’s not something easy to take down. Let’s keep in mind who our enemies are. I believe we need to put pressure first and foremost on the carriers, and one way to start would be to send lots of letters and petitions to the FCC, as well as send lots of letters and petitions to the carriers. Google already wants to be open. The hardware manufacturers want to keep google AND the carriers happy. Which means what we need to do is push the carriers more in googles direction. If it takes complaining to the FCC to help push them along, I’m all for it.

          • DBK

            Don’t get me wrong, I also think the carriers need to “back off” as it were, I am merely interpreting the statement above, which appears to insinuate that the carriers have as much freedom, if not more so, than the consumers when it comes to Android openess (contrary to prior information). And it’s because of that that the platform is feeling more and more closed.

            And considering how small a percentage we are as compared to the consumer-base as a whole, I doubt our collective pressure, through whatever means, would have much of an impact. Even though I don’t blame google, I do believe they need to redefine the whole openess concept. If that openess is meant to extend to us as well, then the carriers need to be prohibited from locking their phones down. Let them put what they want on the phone, but let it be easily removable. The platform will never be truly open and will continue to become more and more closed until that (or something similar) happens.

      • http://www.twitter.com/dailydroidapp AndroFan

        Bingo. It’s an outright farce to suggest that only manufacturers benefit from the source code releases, since ANYONE can then adopt it to their device. Basically, people are bitching because they haven’t put the legwork into re-tooling the AOSP releases themselves, and so they “have to” rely on the manufacturers.

        • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

          I definitely tend to agree with you, but it is worth pointing out that while people can download and do whatever we want to the code (provided we put the work in to learn it) we don’t have the same luxury when it comes to hardware. For that we have to rely on the manufactures not to be dicks.

          • http://www.twitter.com/dailydroidapp AndroFan

            But that’s where the Open Handset Alliance comes in – to be a member (and get Google’s blessing), minimum compatibility requirements have to be met to ensure that the AOSPs will run on all of the Google-blessed handsets. Rubin even says as much in the quote above. That’s the nice failsafe that Google has worked in – to get our software, you’ve got be able to run compatible hardware (and also make drivers/info available)

          • RW-1

            If the phone is locked down by the manufacturer, you can AOSP to your hearts content on your PC, but not place it on your phone.

          • Nxus1ne

            And it’s the manufacturer’s right to locked down their phone however they wish. It’s their product they’re selling, you have a choice not to buy it.

          • Calculatorwatch

            The problem is that I don’t have a choice to buy what I really want, which is an unlocked phone that’s nearly as powerful as the locked ones are. All the open software in the world is useless if nobody’s making anything I can run it on.

        • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

          I definitely tend to agree with you, but it is worth pointing out that while people can download and do whatever we want to the code (provided we put the work in to learn it) we don’t have the same luxury when it comes to hardware. For that we have to rely on the manufactures not to be dicks.

        • Honeycomb_FTW

          So, you are saying the average user should have to void their warranty just to get back to a stock Android UI that they can customize instead of being locked into a UI that the OEM chooses. And you think that’s open?

          That’s the catch. OEMs benefit more because they can use the same fear against users that Apple does–do anything and your warranty is void even if its just reverting back to a stock UI. Therefore, for the average user the device is “locked down” just as much as any iOS device. If I’m going to void my warranty just to change the UI then why not use a device that has more apps, more devs, etc?

          The OEM’s implementation of Android is a proprietary Android that is just as locked down as Apple’s iOS devices. There’s no difference in that. Your argument isn’t valid unless a user can create the hardware for the AOSP to go on. It’s the hardware that is locking down Android.

          • http://www.twitter.com/dailydroidapp AndroFan

            The alternative – Google restricting OEM alterations of the source code – is not a valid alternative. THAT is true locking down. So, while OEMs FUBARing the code and “forcing” people to invalidate their warranties is a *undesirable* choice, the alternative of Google entirely preventing licensing of Android (ala Apple) is NOT a choice.

          • Honeycomb_FTW

            For the end user there is no difference, that’s my point. The end user is getting Android on a device, not downloading the AOSP and making their own device thus it is not different than an iOS device despite that fact that Android itself is open source–for the end user it is locked down.

            Your alternative is an extreme that is not necessary nor the only alternative.

            Google could insist that all OHA partners have an optimized stock Android that users can switch to via the market without voiding warranty = problem solved and Google would maintain updates for it form that point on. It’s just that Google doesn’t seem to care about the end user as much as the OEMs and is willing to allow the OEMs to make Android as locked down as they wish without any option for the end user to get the “open Android” experience without voiding their warranty.

  • WormDoes

    “Finally, we continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready..”

    Music to my ears

  • Djkoz78

    It’s good to see that it’s still remaining am open sourced platform. I’m not seeing why so many people are up in about honeycomb’s delay especially since almost all the mobile devices haven’t even seen gingerbread yet. Unless people are upset bcoz they want the source code to develop apps for tablets only. Is it developers our carriers who are upset about possibly the news of google becoming more strict with the fragmentation? Bcoz I for one am sick and tired of waiting for an update that should have come out months ago bcoz carriers feel they need to add there own special touch to the UI ie: VCast, or their own navigation app that u need a subscription to use. When you have google nav for free. I was overjoyed when I heard maybe this was going to stop being an issue.

  • Mr.Joe

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    I was hoping they’d do this so we could get rid of all the false android fans.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dailydroidapp AndroFan

    Toldjaso.

  • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

    Thank the Maker!
    Seriously, I don’t know why but this does actually make me feel a lot better.

    Now if we could just convince carriers/manufactures to stop being dicks (or convince Google to ditch them both and make their own phone/wireless service (buy Sprint *winky winky*)) Android would go from being awesome and open to being perfect!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Morris/551355755 William Morris

      Saw my post earlier, eh?

      • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

        What post? *is curious*

  • Trdracer21

    i was happy that they were gonna be a little more strick I wanted them to take over updates cause it kind of sad that we waited for gingerbread for 4months!!! This is also why developers don’t publish there games everyone should get updates at the same time. Each OEM should have there own skin but it should be install like adw or launcher pro. I love android but gotta admit apple os get updates all the time its alot easier. I know we all know how to root but how about the people that don’t.

  • Jak_341

    Gotta wonder…how much is Andy Rubin really worth?

    • Anonymous

      Not as much as a hair transplant…..

  • Anonymous

    great, thanks

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I’m one of the people who welcomed Google cracking down on these crappy skins and slow updates and I’m kind of disappointed if this is true, and not just corporate speak. We need some standardization and rules because the carriers and manufacturers have shown they will prioritize making money over (and even to the detriment of) the user experience and quality.

    • Honeycomb_FTW

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • http://twitter.com/kn1ghth4wk241 Mike Daniels

      i hear you dude
      i hate the customizations(except for HTC sense of course)

      • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

        But that’s just it!
        Some people hate all the customizations, and want stock Google phones.
        Some people hate all of them. except for Sense.
        Some people love Blur (yes, it’s true, get over it).
        Options is good.

        That said it would be nice if these custom skins were custom apps that could be replaced, and not baked into the core of the OS.

        • Mr.Joe

          Only thing here that’s true.

        • Anonymous

          That’s the ticket. Customize all you want, change whatever you want, but give the consumer the option to change it back. We may love your device and hate your UI, let us judge how it should look and operate. +1 for your post, that’s how it should be.

          • Honeycomb_FTW

            That’s it. . . but Google isn’t doing anything to make that happen. In other words, Google seems to give a rats ass about the end user and will allow the OEMs and carriers to do whatever they want regardless of how it affects the end user. In other words, it seems Google is happy with whatever as long as more OEMs use Android.

          • Anonymous

            You know the truth is, it’s not just Google, it’s pretty much everybody. Look at a device that ships with certain built in functions only to get crippled unless you pay more to un-cripple that function. In the end, to think that any company actually “cares” about a customer is living in a land of unicorns. The only thing companies care about is making money off people who want the tech. The only time they show any “care” is when their sales start dwindling and they have to switch gears. That’s when all the sheep start talking about what great customer service they have, etc. Bullshit. It’s a money making business and to think you’re anything but a contract is delusional at best. Vote. Vote with your wallet and vote hard.

        • Anonymous

          That’s the ticket. Customize all you want, change whatever you want, but give the consumer the option to change it back. We may love your device and hate your UI, let us judge how it should look and operate. +1 for your post, that’s how it should be.

        • http://twitter.com/SoDroid SoDroid

          THIS is exactly right! This is what should happen, but probably won’t.

      • Joe Lujan

        Dude, if you hate customization so much get an iPhone or a Blackberry.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think he hates customization as a whole. Just bad customization. It’s like that site that I believe Droid Life (and Gizmodo and some other sites) linked to the other day showcasing all the terrible skins and customizations that people did to their homescreens. Customization isn’t bad, it’s just that some people (and companies) are absolute idiots when it comes to customizing.

          • http://www.twitter.com/dailydroidapp AndroFan

            One man’s trash, another’s treasure…see the problem here? It’s an all or nothing game.

          • LeeInMKE

            That’s exactly the point…well oppositely actually. It’s NOT an all or nothing game. Customize away, but the consumer should always have the option to recustomize if they hate your crappy Blur UI that you probably spent way too much time and money developing.

        • Honeycomb_FTW

          I don’t think he has a problem with “customization.” What the problem is, is forced UI customizations that the end user can’t change. That’s just anti-Android.

      • Mr.Joe

        Dude WTF? Sense SUCKS.

        • Anonymous

          The fact that it’s a non-user removable skin sucks. But in a world of many evils (skins), it’s the lesser of them all. It’s the least intrusive, it’s without a doubt the most visually attractive (or at least the least painful to look at), and performance under it takes virtually no hit, unlike another UI by a rival company that shall remain namelessmotorola.

          • http://twitter.com/daveloft Dave Loft

            You can easily replace it with a dozen different skins from the market and easily make it look and act like stock Android. You could also just buy a stock Android device if it bothers you so much.

          • VoiceOfReason

            Yes you can always get a custom launcher and make the UI look exactly as you want it to, you can change the way any manufacturer’s skin looks, or flash a custom rom, thats the beauty of android, customization. And I always set my launcher pro to look exactly like stock android cause thats the look I like, but a lot of people that aren’t android nerds like us know nothing about all that. Straight outta the box, sense is super ugly and intrusive to me.

          • calmdown

            if the rumors are to be believed, one won’t be able to flash a custom ROM in the future. Not to mention the vast majority that does not know about root access, ROMs and the like. Also, not every home replacement is what someone wants. it might also be really buggy. I would like the cube rotation feature of launcher pro but want the icon customization of adw. my friend likes the slide out bars of pandahome where he can store extra apps. plus, rosie never really “stops” even if I put adw on my incredible.

          • Mr.Joe

            I disagree. I think Sense looks ugly (I’m going to go as far as to call it fugly). I’ve played with both an Eris and Incredible running the thing and IMO both of them are SLOW. I’ve also played with a DX and found it to be faster then the incrdible.

            I aint saying blur is great, but sense is far from amazing.

          • VoiceOfReason

            I personally hate HTC Sense and find it horribly ugly, I can’t stand it. It is sooooo fugly. I have no idea why people like it so much. It completely takes over the phone and changes everything about the android experience. I like stock android, but if I had to choose a skin it would be the new blur on 2.3.3, it runs smoothly and still gives the phone an android feel to it. How can people say that Sense is the least intrusive??? Do you know what that word means?? Yes it is much better than the original motoblur, anything is, but now days I would take any manufacturer’s skin over Sense. Compared to the new blur or many of the other skins, the performance is virtually no different. The only skin I’ve seen that actually hurt the performance of the phone was the old blur, but the others are all the same, but stock android still gives the best performance. I’ve spent a lot of time with my friend’s new Thunderbolt, and I seriously can’t stand that new Sense it is running, it’s so annoying and it doesn’t even feel like your using an android phone at all, it completely changes the entire UI. When it comes to manufacturer’s skins over android – LESS IS MORE!!!!!!!

          • Mr.Joe

            You are the voice of reason!

          • Anonymous

            Completely agree although I do think sense has some nice additions here and there.

          • Anonymous

            This just goes to show that everyone has an opinion and that’s why there are different skins. You have the choice to get whatever you like.

            My first impression when I got my Thunderbolt was that Sense was wonderful compared to Blur. Although I will say the new Blur in Gingerbread is much improved. There are things I like about both but if I had to choose it would be Sense.

            However last night I loaded a Senseless rom and love it! In fact, that is the way it really should be…. FREEDOM to choose. An unlocked device that allows us to customize as we see fit. (Something you can’t have with Motorola)

    • Wyveryx

      well said. It’s just sad that money and profit will always trump over user preference…

      • Honeycomb_FTW

        Not necessarily. . . because ultimately we, the consumers, choose how to spend our money and if they continue doing crappy UIs and slow updates then I’m sure the money will begin to flow to other companies especially as other alternatives enter the market.

        • Wyveryx

          while I’d like to agree with you on that, and though it is possible, the amount of consumers and the action that they take would have to be a powerful number before they would take a look at the profit loss.
          Figuratively speaking, if all the users who are fervent about customization and regular updates only averages out to say a million dollars profit and the company makes 50 million in profits, then it’s highly unlikely that they will even turn a blind eye if they thought they could make even more profit or have it stay leveled out with ship jumpers…
          Though I’ve never taken any business classes, so I could be just talking out my ass, just seems common sense though.

          • Shanklin07

            I feel like if a company or carrier does something bad like lock a device down and throw bloatware all over a phone, we won’t actually do anything to stop it from happening….Im not trying to be a big negative but really, how many of us really stand firm and stick to our guns? Not many, most just follow the crowd and believe what the next guy says, or what a blog says. At the end of the day, nothing is simple or just the way it’s said to be. Android is heading down a road that we don’t want. Manufacturers and carriers are locking these devices down they are putting crapware on them, and they are raising prices. It will only get worse I fear. The question is, when will we say enough is well….enough?

          • Wyveryx

            I think the real question is not when we say enough is enough, but what can we really do to have them compromise with us?
            Perhaps there is nothing we can do to stop them from adding in their own customizations, and since the device is their own and not the OS, then I suppose they have a right to protect it, but in the end, when someone purchases it, either through a contract or outright, then that person should also have the right to screw with it or it up and then get stuck with a paperweight because of warranty voids.
            It would be interesting if Andy Rubin would comment on that… I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that he would probably say that though Android will always release the code to be open source, he would also say that manufactures also have the right to restrict control over access to firmware… It’s always better to butter your friends, but give Honey to your enemies lol

          • Honeycomb_FTW

            Your points are well taken. And much of what you say is why I will not buy an iPhone. I really had hopes that Nokia would push Meego forward. . . but that’s dead now. Maybe MS might improve their OS enough and not lock it down and take a similar route as they did with Windows–I can at least live with that, but I would really like to see OEMs and/or Google really step up for users’ choice and allows us some way to remove their custom UI without voiding the warranty so we can have our customizable Android on any device.

          • Shanklin07

            Thanks for the reply. What I was saying above is that I’m angry android is going in the direction it’s going. It’s a shame that nothing can last if it’s good. We are the 5% of people that care. And maybe your right, maybe we can’t actually do anything about what is happening…But at the same time I want to tell you that if we think like that things will get worse and we will never have our say. Maybe we don’t have a say now…but as long as android is open source, I think the hardware should be too.

          • ntbohl

            i don’t think it will happen until the purchasing parties take a hard line for a push for more devices like the ones that are being offered overseas. Hopefully, LTE will become a full standard and we’ll only have one set of bands to worry about. Then, we’ll be able to pick whichever phone, unlock it and go wherever we want. I would STILL love to have a N1 if it were on a CDMA network.

          • Jawshua

            No it is common sense, especially when you look at how the minority are always the ones that speak out and demand change. And the majority has no idea, are misinformed, or just put up with bad business and continue to buy what is given to them. It’s like Call Of Duty and Halo, they never take risks or go in unorthodox directions when they know they can just slap a higher number on something and the majority will continue to buy it. And this leaves less alternatives out in the market, so you just keep getting the same old thing, just in a different package with a shiny new bow.

      • Jawshua

        Yeah, I have yet to see any company, let alone Android, not let big time money go their head. They always give you crap you don’t want, or take away things you love. And it’s usually because of someone bitching all the time or people abusing the system for their own personal gain.

  • Honeycomb_FTW

    While keeping this “do whatever you want to the UI” policy for OEMs I think in the long run it will bite Android in the ass. Users want a consistent UI across devices–do you really want a different UI on every device you buy? And users & devs want to be assured that apps will run properly across devices. If Android doesn’t make this happen MS just might. . . and the mobile space might go just like the netbook space did.

    • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

      Yes, I want a different UI on my device. That’s the beauty of open source and rooting, everyone is free to develop, install, and customize their devices to suit their own tastes and needs. I absolutely do NOT want Verizon or Google or anyone else telling me how my device should look and feel. I think the majority here would agree with that sentiment. If I wanted my phone to look like everything else out there, I’d get an iPhail or Winblows phone.

      • Anonymous

        You’re right. The fight here shouldn’t be against Google’s decision to not restrict carriers/manufacturers in what they can and can’t do about customization. What we SHOULD be fighting against is carriers/manufacturers who don’t allow the end user to customize his or her device to his or her liking. I agree — you should have every right to have a different UI on your device. If you want a UI different from everybody else’s, then by God, you should have it. And if you want a different UI tomorrow, then you should be allowed to have that too. No carrier or manufacturer has any right to tell users what they can and cannot do with the phone that they paid for. Our fight is not with Google and their policies here. It’s with the carriers and the manufacturers that let that carriers walk all over them.

        • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

          Couldn’t have said this any better myself; well done.

          If the carriers/manufactures do start encrypting all the bootloaders and/or somehow preventing or severely discouraging root, I really have no reason to sick with android at that point…. After all, iOS/iPhone is the more matured operating system/hardware combo (although android seems to have caught up with hardware in every aspect besides battery life at this point.)

          I know, I know, ‘how dare I?’ I’m just making an objective observation folks, please try to not flame: you will only be making the android community look as bad as the iSheep we all hate so much.

          • MK17

            I still feel that even the most locked Android device is more useful than the most free iOS device.

            You are right though that apple is more matured. I’m really hoping that my Droid being a 1st gen suffers from lag more than the devices that will be coming out when I’m ready to upgrade (which seems true). If so then I still have no qualms sticking with Android since they offer so many more useful features.

            What I think people tend to forget is that a lot of the times we are waiting on something that the iPhone will never have. Just imagine how easy things would be if Google and manufactures were designing skins where you would only put icons on your home screen with no app drawers, multitasking, widgets etc…

            Another thing is Apple is secretive where Google is open. If Google was closed and we didn’t know about these releases and quirks we may all think that everything is okay. They would at least have a lot easier time convincing us of it.

          • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

            I agree and disagree with you, let me break things down based on that.

            Agree:
            > The newer devices are going to be blazing fast which will entice me to stay.
            > Android has the disadvantage of trying to allow more features on the home screens which can be convenient.
            > Apple can be overly secretive and likes to rule with an iron fist which can sometimes be a very bad thing.

            Disagree:
            > I don’t think Android phones are more useful than iPhones if they’re locked down: they may still win in some aspects, but you have to look at the whole picture. One of the most essential parts of any smartphone experience is quality and functionality of the apps. Apple wins outright here: don’t take my weird for it though, go do a side by side comparison of any app you want. Android developers have the big disadvantage of having to make their apps work on all the different versions if android with all the different hardware and all the different modifications that manufacturers and developers of roms make. Thus, it’s likely that the iPhone will always have more polished apps with greater functionality.

            Next, consider the sheer level of hardware integration that macs offer. Their products offer seemed integration, plain and simple: android users have to hack their way to hardware integration our the developers have to do it for us with what usually turns out to be a very hacky, workaround type of solution. Have you ever seen a droid port in a car btw? (maybe you have, I haven’t checked in a while) I have definitely seen an ipod/iphone port in my camry.

            Also look at the accessories available to each.
            being able to do things from the home screen with widgets doesn’t make android more useful when you look at the rest of what makes a phone useful: apple has equivalent apps with more features and that work more smoothly, with less bugs. I can’t convince you by telling you this so I suggest you see for yourself.
            >

        • Honeycomb_FTW

          Yes, I agree. You expanded on my point in a better way than I initially did. What I meant to say was, Google needs to ensure a standard UI for Android that allows the user to choose what they want and not be locked into an OEM/carrier UI.

      • Honeycomb_FTW

        “I absolutely do NOT want Verizon or Google or anyone else telling me how my device should look and feel.”

        You do realize that you contradict yourself here? First you want an OEM custom UI then you don’t want anyone telling you how to have your UI?!?!?! What you want is vanilla Android that allows you to make it however you want. That’s my point. The OEMs & carriers are becoming more invasive with their UI enhancements and making it harder and harder for the end user to alter anything, thus you only get their UI. . . not the custom UI Android allows you to have.

        • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

          When did I say I wanted an OEM custom UI? What I said was I want a different UI on my device. If the OEMs and carriers want to put their custom ones on there, I have no problem with that, as long as I can replace it when I find something I like better without fearing the wrath of Big Red Brother.

          Having said that, the only OEM UI I have any real experience with is the Sense that came with my DInc. I found that there were things about it that I liked (the sliding lockscreen and the clock/weather widget for example) and things I didn’t (such as the dock and notification bar). I went out and found a UI and some apps and widgets that gave me what I wanted without sticking me with things I don’t. THAT is the beauty of openness. Choice. If I could have removed the bloatware from my phone like I do from a new PC, and picked and chosen the elements of Sense I wanted to keep, I’d have probably never rooted and installed a custom ROM.

    • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

      I’d rather have a device I don’t have to upgrade every six months then consistent UI’s across the 4 devices I’d have to buy to keep my phone modern for two years.

      And mainly I mean hardware. If a device has good enough hardware, the dev community will keep providing the latest software regardless of what carriers and manufacturers do.

      • Honeycomb_FTW

        I don’t know why you think you need to upgrade every six months–is that your envy for other devices? My mytouch 3G is still chugging along just fine.

        As for using the dev community to update your device. Sorry, I have to disagree with that. The average user doesn’t want to root their device and flash ROMs. The average user is clueless and will brick their device asap if they go that route and that’s the reason so many carriers and OEMs are locking their devices. That’s just not a reasonable option for 90+% of users.

        While you may want to do that. . . 100M other users don’t. They just want the simplicity of using their device, apps working properly, and updates being taken care of for them. If we go the “depend on the dev community for updates route” we’ll be looking at Android being another Linux distro with 5% market share.

        Sorry, but it’s comments like yours about the dev community that just boggle my mind and I wonder if people on these sites are so clueless that they can’t understand the average user and just how tech illiterate they really are.

        • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

          I never suggested that everyone root, just that it’s what I do.
          *sigh*

          • Honeycomb_FTW

            Yes, that was my point and that’s the problem. Most people are to stupid to do that not to mention rooting voids the warranty and some people just don’t want to do that on a $500+ device.

            I personally feel this is where Google needs to step up to give us users an option to change the ROM without voiding the warranty but I don’t think it will happen.

  • Rizzidy

    Honeycomb on phones? Great, you just gave me another reason to hold off buying a new phone.

  • http://twitter.com/Droid_soldier Paul Devey

    this is a big relief, Google is still our benevolent god

  • http://twitter.com/jayzeroeee Joe

    Could you have picked a more “derp” pic of Rubin?

    • tjhrulz

      lol didnt notice at first but now that I look at it I do not think one exists

    • Anonymous

      Rubin always looks like that. Maybe your comment is the derp.