Android isn't freedom, because Google is closed
0. phoneArena 27 Oct 2013, 09:42 posted on
We've seen a lot of comments recently on various Apple-related articles with commenters belittling the Apple option because they are hawking the ideology that open-source is the ultimate freedom. And, we would have to agree that open-source is the ultimate meaning of freedom, but the trouble is that those who would push the open-source ideology often mistake it for the Google way...
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1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 838; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
I knew this article was by Michael :P
36. Tommy1960i (Posts: 92; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)
Yeah. I knew that this day will come when at least one article will explain the real difference between iOS and Android.
81. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 2846; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Pretty long though the point is that android isn't open.
84. Finalflash (Posts: 1128; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
How is this a great article, it's pretty much addressing the smallest minority of Android users in the community. No one with any semblance of intelligence ever said it was the ultimate freedom. But in that it is far more freedom than other platforms offer. You not only have customization but very few limitations. For example, you can downgrade to a lower version of android if it is available. You can't on iOS at all and I don't know about Windows phone but I think the only other version just came out. Notice how Apple always releases one version of iOS that cripples their older hardware and then cuts support for it after. They don't cut support on a functional update but they know you can't downgrade, so they cripple and then cut off. If this happened in Android I have the "freedom" to downgrade or even go custom if there is one.
Second example, the look of iOS 7. In Android there are multiple ways to change it, but no such choice in iOS (WP as well I think). The new look added little in terms of functionality, made it worse for that matter with certain font issues. Yet there is little you can do about it.
It's not the ultimate freedom, but compared to other platforms, it certainly feels that way.
104. EarnYourLeather (Posts: 86; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
I was going to go off in these comments but you pretty much hit every note. Unnecessary article spawned by Apple fanboys being butthurt at people calling out iOS on how closed the experience really is objectively.
Obviously Android is not the ULTIMATE FREEDOM, we didn't need an article to tell us that. But any iteration of Android provides far more customization capability than the one-size-fits-all "lunchbox" experience you get on iOS.
120. adk199 (Posts: 23; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
I deleted my Google+ profile a few days ago and now i can't rate an app in the Play store unless i join Google+. I din't know that was coming but it is like why i cancelled my + profile. Still enjoy Google and Android... but seems freedom is what they choose is. Don't be mistaken :-)
85. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)
I'm wondering where all the "Android is freedom" cry babies go.
99. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
"Android in its theoretical pure form is the ultimate freedom and the ultimate option of choice. But, theory doesn't really help anyone in the real world because most of us don't use pure Android..."
We are back!!! Miss me! LOL
Don't forget the entire chinese market and Amazon don't use Google service layers and they are still happy because of Android's Open Source. They build their own service layers... Can they do that with iOS??? hur?
100. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)
I'm happy with the way things are with iOS. No lag on my iPhone 5, timely updates and the adware, malware and spyware free OS.
103. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
True all the way from iOS 1 to iOS 6. I have tried iOS 7 extensive to say it lag more than my jellybeans mid to high end devices. Apple might need time to optimize the OS or maybe new A7 chip is a must.
Please be clear that I am happy that you are happy with iOS and Apple. For me, i am a geek so right now Apple iOS devices is a cage.
107. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)
I'm a geek too n just fyi, i own two android devices n planning to get htc one mini. But they will never be my primary phone or OS of choice coz of nagging issues.
111. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
I've never seen any adware, malware or spyware on Android device nor do I know of anyone who has complained about it on their device. Nice canard though. If you want timely updates you can always purchase a Nexus device. Every phone has lag including the iPhone 5. That said, there's a bunch of phones on Android that have as much lag as the iPhone 5 or less including the Nexus 4, the Moto X, the Droid Ultra Family and the LG G2.
113. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Which two android device so we can have a clearer picture? My Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 has no lag which is a Samsung Galaxy S2 equivalent in spec.
Note 2 and note 3 are smooth as butter. Even better than iOS 7 running in older devices.
Try it for yourself in Samsung store over at my place there like one store in every kilometer.
117. 1moreUserNameIdotNeed (unregistered)
and what's the first thing people complain about on those phones/tablets ?? Where are the google services and why can't I install them !
Google's open-source code may be free to download, but unless you're willing to pay for its value added services such as Maps, Gmail, Drive, Play Store etc.. you're pretty much screwed.
119. Finalflash (Posts: 1128; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
I didn't know I had to pay for those....All those google searches and maps usage is costing me?? Damn, better go check my bank balance, didn't know that using the web had a cost.
41. xfire99 (Posts: 366; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)
lol..same here. When I read the topic and no hard guess who writes it. -.-
If there are bookmaker who takes bets like this and I would be millionar. :))
46. volcano321 (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Aug 2013)
Is it a coincidence that Ars Technica had an indepth article about this same topic just a few days earlier? Based on the quality of the articles here, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some "inspiration" for this from elsewhere..
I can't post links, but it's the 2nd of Top Stories of the Week on arstechnica dot com.
69. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 598; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)
I actually linked to that article on here the day it came out to correct joey_sfb's contention about the "open" nature of Google's Android.
64. Synack (Posts: 641; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Michael, you know exactly what we're talking about when we refer to freedom. We are primarily talking about the ability to hack and customize our devices pretty much as much as we want. We have the ability to add or remove wanted and unwanted features and apps whereas iOS is a joke in that category. It's much easier for the user to get exactly what they want with Android.
70. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 598; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)
S-On, locked boot loaders, e-fuse, and "developer editions" aren't exactly the stuff from which "Open" dreams are made.
87. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
A lot of that is done at carrier request and for security purposes. You can't have non-tech savvy people having easy access to system files. Even with that level of protection, the things you can do with Android are far beyond what you can do with any OS. Rooting is just icing on the cake.
73. stealthd (Posts: 866; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
I guess you've never heard of jailbreaking.
82. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 2846; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Don't be ignorant. There's lots of bloat on android that can't be removed.
88. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
What on my Nexus 4 is not removable or can't be disabled?
98. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 2846; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Google services. But we all know only a small number but nexus phones.
102. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
Can you disable or remove apple services you don't use? If not then you should just shut it
106. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
Every one of Google's services can be either uninstalled or disabled including the play store and you don't need root access. With the exception of "Chat On", all of Samsung's apps can be disabled on my S4.
108. MartyK (Posts: 669; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
Apparently you never heard of aosp, you see aosp do not have any gapps inside of its rom, you have to load it.
109. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
Most of the Tech world disagrees with you. Most of the world disagrees with you. Keep living in your bubble.
114. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
RoyalPayne, and you said you own two Android devices and going to buy HTC one mini!?
Posting 107. I always wonder about Apple fan's metal health. Apple always preach about Samsung evil at one end but make them their biggest business partner on the other.
2. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
But android is God and others don't have even this type of freedom to go for comments coming in 3...2...1
5. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
Agreed, i feel sorry for those ios and bb users who don't even have the same level of customization that we android users have, LMFAO
and yet they said android is hard to use, lololololz. It is naturally the same grid of apps as it is on ios but only with the added bonus of being able to put widget
28. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 548; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Pity on those who feel Android is hard & iPhone is easy to use..
For them, let me ask them to do an exercise. Try transferring media files (mp3 & video files) to iphone & iPad..!!!! Damn easy right??? Converting on iTunes rather than easily transferring by simple USB???....!!!!
63. harsha_bonmec (Posts: 10; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
One more task for you iOS users...
Just download a PDF from a mail and attach it to a mail chain replying it.
Had to do this yesterday and my sis's ipad4 just won't let me do it. Sick!
Had to eventually do it using my 2 yr old desire s. It was a cake walk.
Why?! I don't understand why people say iOS is easier to use, I just don't get it. I'm sending this using ipad and I miss Swype so much!! The technology has been there for years and still Apple is so reluctant to adopt it and neither does it allow 3rd party keyboards
65. Shatter (Posts: 1766; Member since: 29 May 2013)
Do image sites like imgur even support uploading from an iPhone?
76. stealthd (Posts: 866; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
Yes, they do. You can do it right from the website, or there are a bunch of apps that support it.
75. stealthd (Posts: 866; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
Why would you send an attachment in a reply? That's just redundant. But I guess what you didn't figure out is you can just forward a email and include it's attachments, or just tap and hold on an attachment and send a new message with it. It's pretty easy.
89. illiad (Posts: 101; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)
ROFL... Most iphone users just would not know what you are talking about... PDF?? wassat?? USB??? um..
105. 9thWonderful (Posts: 230; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
there was an free app i used to transfer videos from a PC to my iPad. it's was simple. stop belly-aching about things you couldn't figure out yet you use a supposedly more advanced OS. i also didn't have to convert iTunes when i carried an S4 & synced all my iTunes music to my SD card...it was drag & drop. i don't get you mf'ers who have such OS loyalty w/no benefit to you...at least demand that these companies pay you for being such blind followers or else what's the point of arguing about what someone else's preference that differs from what you like.
123. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 548; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Why do you need an app for transferring files????
Are you trying to say that transferring using iTunes/any app is more easier than simple copy-paste....??
If you answer is yes, then I pity you...
125. 9thWonderful (Posts: 230; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
why do you need to copy-paste to transfer files? its one system's way of doing things against another's. i've been copying & pasting most of my life. the wireless transfer app took the same amount of time/effort to do what copy-paste does. my point being was its the same thing but you are set on the idea that your way is the ONLY simple way to do things. that's where the problem lies...but i guess i am trying to reason w/a wall.
66. improv (Posts: 92; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)
You don't have to feel sorry for them (including me) because we don't have on iOS what we could have on Android.
Don't you see that your two claims are contradictory? You're saying that the level of customization is high for Android but undermining your argument by saying that it's basically the same as iOS except with widgets.
I understand the Android atmosphere, after having an iPhone 4S and switching to a Galaxy S4 for a few weeks and having had a G1 when Android was at its dawn. The biggest problem for me with Android is that it's difficult to find a phone in the smaller size range that had the same amount of power or engineering beauty as those with the bigger displays. I find it uncomfortable to fit a 5-inch phone in my pocket while a 4-inch or perhaps even up to a 4.5-inch rests comfortably in the space. I recognize that screen size is a minor issue to the software, however.
I acknowledge Android's lead in today's market but you can't just lament on an entire group of people for choosing not to go with your preference. Everything is a preference and I prefer to use iOS for my primary phone.
I really do enjoy the Google atmosphere. I actively use gmail, docs, keep, chrome, and calendar. I'm waiting for the day that iPhones will ship with Android (obviously not going to happen...) but I manage with Google apps on iOS. I simply love the beauty of the iPhone design and I have nothing against the Android atmosphere.
So again (tl;dr), don't feel sorry for me because I know what I'm missing out on and I don't mind. Ask yourself this, how long are you on your phone a day that it should matter so much how you use it? What do you use your phone for the most? For me, as a student, it would be the Google apps I listed above, the alarm, and music. iOS does all of that for me and it's super light!
122. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 548; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
Not feeling sorry for you...
My comment was for people who think iOS is easy..
Clearly you are not the one among them.. So relax...
124. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 548; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
As far as iOS is concerned, I use it on my sister's iPad. Its really fast, faster than some Android devices(juz a little) & I like it..
But when it comes to productivity & making tasks simpler, I start feeling that my hands are tied. I try to do several things juz to complete my task. 90% of the times it is so clumsy on iOS.
Then after getting frustrated, I switch to Android to finish my job.
4. xperiance (Posts: 44; Member since: 22 Oct 2013)
When a long time android user moves to ios/wp, its like a bird in a cage....
6. Nikolas.Oliver (Posts: 1340; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
Idk why but i feel depressed whenever i use ios or wp
47. unholy_aura (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)
totally agree. it's like your options were narrowed :)
8. alltechinside (Posts: 234; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
I think most users portray android as "open" as in "more choice". Yes, it doesn't mean it is actually "open" but people portray it as "open" because you have much more freedom to do what you want compared to other competitors like iOS or Windows Phones.
There is a reason why Google made android "closed" to the google ecosystem. Take a look into this article:http://arstechnica.com/gadgets
It's a long article but it's worth the read. I would love to see Michael write a similar article to this one :D
45. xfire99 (Posts: 366; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)
Yeah, arstechnica article is much better then this one and explains more. Also the commentc have alor more knowledge about android then here. :p
83. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I did write something similar a couple weeks ago:http://www.phonearena.com/news
9. jellmoo (Posts: 447; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Ars Technica posted something very similar maybe two weeks ago, and there is a lot of truth to it. Android *is* open source. The lions share of Google services and applications is not, and that list of items that Google is taking out of the open is growing.
The end result is that saying that the Android we all use and love is open just isn't true anymore, unless we do not use any of the Google applications. I'm not saying that these apps are bad, or that using them is any sort of problem, but we can't point fingers at other ecosystems and bemoan their lack of openness, or point and Android and say the reason that it's great is because it is open. It just isn't true.
Google is doing more and more to stack the deck as it were when it comes to OEMs using Android. Want to use Google apps? Make sure to be a part of the Open Handset Alliance. Want to be a part of the Open Handset Alliance? Better not try and fork Android. Ask Amazon how difficult that makes it for them to find partners for their Fire tablets.
Again, it isn't really a bad thing. Google is being incredibly smart about this, allowing them to retain a level of control over something that would otherwise be completely out of their grasp. It also offers us as consumers a tangible benefit, as by and large Google services are great. They just aren't open.
20. MartyK (Posts: 669; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
I agree with you, however he said Android is not open, he need to distinguish between Android and Google applications instead of muddy the water by crisscrossing between Android and Google software's.
Android base is consider open source.
72. 14545 (Posts: 983; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
I think he did say that. However, he also pointed out the fact that Android, at it's core, is developed by google. It's not an open source work like true Linux flavors are. That is, as I understand it, during development(like 4.4) the community has input in what is implemented. The work isn't made "open source" until it is finished by google. I could be wrong, and someone can correct me where I am. This is just how I understand it.
94. rusticguy (Posts: 2810; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Well Google is even accused of trying to "Privatise Linux". After Sonwden's revelations, there's no such thing as FREEDOM. He revealed a lot of TRUTH after talking to "NSA the diety" who holds everyone by their balls.
10. hcbarclay (Posts: 62; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)
SKYNET is coming!! I love Android and that is all I use but I see the future and it is filled with THA TERMINATOR!!!
11. AfterShock (Posts: 1256; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
May not be open, but can be altered to anyone's liking, even mimick others.
Not so much on other os.