[ILUG] Android gone Free
John P. Looney
valen at tuatha.org
Wed Oct 29 12:54:57 GMT 2008
On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 11:33 AM, Michael Watterson <watty at eircom.net>wrote:
> Android you are not supposed to install Native Apps. Think Archos 5 or
> 605WiFi. Lovely Linux Gadget only runs user apps in Flash, Java, Opera
> Widgets or Web Client generally. No user supplied native Apps.
Well, not off the Google Marketplace, no. And not on the emulator. But if
you have an unlocked phone, you can install whatever you want. TMobile chose
not to allow people root access to the phones they sell perhaps as a
security measure and or to reduce the chances of people bricking their
phones and claiming them as faulty. Alas, there aren't any unlocked G1
phones on sale yet (it's only a matter of time, but certainly you could port
Android to any phone that runs OpenMoko). So, it's like saying 'Linux isn't
open because someone sells "Trusted Computing" PCs with Linux
Symbian you can write and install a native App. No Java needed. Symbain
> is even going open. The Source of Archos and T-Mobile G1/Android is Linux
> based and open. You can't install native apps or your own version of Linux
> on the Hardware supplied with either.
1) You can't install a native app on a phone unless it's been signed by
2) When they "Symbian is going open" the mean "not yet" and "you'll pay
1500 quid for a source licence", and parts will still be restricted. You can
get all 11 million lines of source to the android platform for free, today,
and nothing is restricted.
Please don't confuse the Android platform with the G1 phone. One is a
software stack, the other is a specific implementation of the software stack
on one specific phone model. It's also unhelpful to confuse a 'locked phone'
with 'closed source' in some way.
> A Mac or Windows PC is a more open Plaform than an Android Phone.
You'll need to define 'Open', I'm afraid. I'm new to this Linux thing and
don't really get how a Windows PC is more 'Open' than Linux.
Don't be fooled by the fact the Android version of Linux and the Google
> Android version of Java is open. This is not about an Open Platform. Having
> Open Source Android is less useful as having the Source for the SW of a
> Brother Sewing machine.
I don't see how the two are comparible, I'm afraid. Earlier you said "It
is all about having a CLOSED platform", and now you are saying it's not
about an open one. So...what is your argument again ?
Unless you want to write Google Android flavour Java apps for the Google
> Store or an Android phone you buy, forget about Android. It's really no
> different to concept of Archos gadgets (Linux) or iPhone (OS-X). It's about
> Google Control.
So, because you can't install native apps on the one phone model that's
been released, you are willing to junk the whole system ?
> I've built real open source Linux gadgets and worked with 3rd party ones
> such as GP2X or Sharp Zaurus. Iv'e done my own HW with my own custom OS too.
> I can see no value to Android except to Google and some Phone carriers. It's
> no step forward for Linux or Open Source or DIY phones like Trolltech
> Greenphone or OpenMoko was.
So, go and port Android to those other phones, and start writing your
native apps (which won't have access to power saving libraries, won't play
well with other apps, can't reuse other activities, 3D hardware, a common UI
base, etc. No one will want to use it, but at least you'll be able to write
it. You can write native apps for Android, but it's really not a good idea.
It's not a general purpose machine.
> If you want to fiddle with interesting HW and Linux this rather than
> Android is a better starting point:
> Not a phone (though it's possible to add a USB 3G Modem and do VOIP).
Ah, see that's where you are confused. The point of Android isn't to
'fiddle with interesting harware and linux'. It's to use Linux to create the
best damn phone anyone can get, price no object. And the Android guys really
think that the way to do that is by opening the source so people can add to
it; by writing end-user apps, tweaking the OS to do better battery life,
writing an app to match mobile-phone mast data with GPS coordinates and
uploading them to an open server so anyone can use the data.
> If you want to write native apps on an Open Source OS, for real commercial
> phones, currently Symbian is the closest you can get.
List one way how Symbian is more open than Android and I will buy you five
pints. Go on. I dare you.
triad 238: Trí luchra ata mesa: luchra tuinde, luchra mná bóithe, luchra
Three worst smiles: the smile of a wave, the smile of a lewd woman, thegrin
of a dog ready to leap.
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