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Is 'open' killing the Android?

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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August 9, 2011 7:04:17 AM

According to research by Kantar WorldPanel Comtech, Android now accounts for 38% of the UK smartphone market, compared to 23% for Apple's devices.Stateside, Android is faring even better, holding a 54.7% share, while iOS has 27.2%. Last month, Google revealed that 350,000 Android phones are being activated every day.

Yet sales of Android apps remain relatively poor.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13284156


My personal experience with android has been pretty bad, in fact SGS will be my first and last android phone, I am very much sure of this. Couple of reasons of this has been constant stability issues and poor quality of applications in android market, and unless it is improved significantly and brought on par with App Store it could spell trouble for Google. In other words as the writer said 'it could make or break Google's open mobile ambitions'.


More about : open killing android

a b Ë Android
August 9, 2011 12:40:05 PM

The sale of android apps remains poor because quite a few of the apps that you need are absolutely free. for apps that are not, developers need to realize two things: android users arent as carefree with their money as ios users, and that if we do pay for something we demand it to work correctly. developers that just port a badly-functioning app over to android are not going to succeed. when developers start taking android *seriously* then they might actually make money.

what stability issues have you had with android? i've had a couple hang ups and force closes but nothing major. also keep in mind some of that may be due to bloatware slowing the system down or bad app code. dont think for one instant that apples youre-not-holding-it-right iphone is any better.

as far as comparing the apple app store to androids marketplace: while i might be inclined to agree that the marketplace needs some cleanup work, keep in mind that it is also much newer and still developing. what apps available in ios are not available in android? i've found an app for just about everything i wanted to do, and most were absolutely free.

whether you choose an ios or android phone is all about what you expect your phone to be able to do: if you want a closed system that just "works" (well most of the time anyways) then go with apple. just realize you relinquish quite a bit of control going this route. i'm not about to start any apple hate (i have an ipod and itunes) but their methods seem to be all about preventing the end user from doing what apple doesnt want them to do. for example: why can i copy music i bought and ripped to my ipod, but not take it off my ipod and put it on the same computer i used to load it on? you have to backdoor everything just to make it act how you want it to. rediculous.

with current android phones most of them are not running stock android. this means that getting updates since they are custom roms is not going to be a swift thing. these custom roms may be pretty looking but are usually resource hogs. also they tend to have bloatware which you cannot get rid of. the only nice thing about them is a few of the widgets, apps, and camera functions that the phone manufacturer provides.

the thing i like about android is how you can customize your phone to look and act how you want it to. for non root users you can get rid of the stock launcher and use golauncherex, launcherpro or adw launcher which will let you skin the most used parts of your phone, icons, etcetera without the risk associated with rooting. for advanced users we can root the phone and install a custom rom of our choosing. this can completely change how your phone looks/acts. as far as stability goes: its an open project there are bound to be minor snags but in RC versions i wouldnt forsee anything worse than htc sense or other such manufacturer roms.

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in general, google has everything right. keep it free, keep it open. android phones perfectly sync up with google search, maps, navigation, etcetera. the only things missing are a music service with a library as vast as itunes (which is rather impressive) and more/better apps included in stock android than currently found. other than this i think they are doing a rather good job.

i'm using an htc incredible rooted running miui and golauncherex. i've had no more issues now than i did back with stock sense. however i've also gained free wifi tethering, a better menu/notification system, and do not have all the bloatware installed. in general the phone acts and looks how i want it to. at least more so than any other smartphone os on the market.

if you're having trouble with your phone, or lookin for a certain type of app, perhaps we can help you or give you a few ideas so that your phone acts or looks how you want it to.
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August 9, 2011 3:03:11 PM

"what stability issues have you had with android? i've had a couple hang ups and force closes but nothing major. also keep in mind some of that may be due to bloatware slowing the system down or bad app code. dont think for one instant that apples youre-not-holding-it-right iphone is any better. "

Well to answer this, SGS is running stock Samsung ROM with TW UI, and I've had tons of issues with it, some major and some minor.

1. The phone will hang up for no apparent reason
2. Stock messaging application will constantly crash for just the sake of crashing I guess
3. Sometimes when the phone hangs up, and I have to turn it off, then turn it back on it will get stuck on the Galaxy S logo.
4. Upon dialing a number the stock dialer takes a leave for about 4-6 seconds and completely disappear, then come back and dial whatever number it is asked to dial.
5. It will slow down for no apparent reasons
6. Video player at times at its own decide to play videos in fast forward mode.
7. Music player forgets 'Playlist' if I pause it for sometime, most annoying thing is it will also start playing ring tones :( 
8. USB connectivity never works
9. Also it seems to have some sort of death grip issue, if I hold the phone with both hands while surfing the net or playing a game then sometimes it will simply disconnects from my mobile service provider.


These are few issues which readily came to my mind. I have sent this phone back to samsung twice, and they've simply re-installed the stock ROM then sent it back. Anyway, to make it at least workable I've been using 3rd party launchers (GO Launcher etc.).

By the way I have never owned any Apple device (although I've used them) but I am seriously thinking about either going for next iPhone or more probably Nokia's Sea Ray.

In the past I've own several Nokia E series phones (Symbian), HTC Tytn / Tytn II / Samsung Omnia i900 all running WinMo, and they were great sets in their own right. Infact Tytn II and i900 never ever crashed and gave me any other unexpected issues. Personally I prefer stability and reliability over anything else, but that is just me.

I apply the same approach with regard to Market, tons of crappy useless free s*** is worthless for me, I'd rather have fewer but more qualitative / easy to find applications.

Lastly, Google did considerable stealing of others' intellectual property in building Android, and have left cell makers alone to fend themselves against the claims, so they committed theft at the same time when they came up with this new OS, at least that is my opinion. Additionally their 'open source' mantra led them to relinquish (to some extent) control of the OS to OEMs, resulting in everyone slapping their own half baked UIs and other bloatware which made the OS behave in unexpected ways, so there I do agree with you :) 
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a b Ë Android
August 9, 2011 3:34:30 PM

it certainly does sound like you are having alot of trouble with that phone. perhaps you might want to experiment with running a non-stock rom on your phone. i've used miui and cyanogenmod 7 and they seem to work great on my phone. i may have made it sound like its an advanced thing but rooting and backing up your system are free and fairly easy. the hardest part was finding out all the information since there was not much clarification online.

as for "death grip" syndrome: if you have your hand on the antenna of a phone you can definitely interfere with the signal. however it sounds like that model might have an iphone-esque you're holding it wrong issue. bad antenna design most likely and not an android fault.

true, stability and reliablility is key. however my phone is always reliable and doesnt suffer from your issues. like i said i had a few system restarts for apparently no reason but never while actually doing anything. i think i've had two app force closes but thats it. perhaps you were just unlucky and now you have a bad taste in your mouth from the experience. before you switch as i said above it might be worth checking out another rom for comparison.

who said all of the free apps are crappy? there are quite a good number of really good free apps. i see what you mean though: i'd like to see a few of them combined into one polished app. as android continues to grow i'm sure the app store will continue to mature as well.

honestly how can you blame google for stealing intellectual property nowdays. take any top 500 company and i'm sure you can prove them guilty in this. with that said, at least google made it free for us instead of having to pay for their stolen ideas like apple, microsoft, etcetera do.

what i would like to happen is for "barebones stock" android to mature more and include all the necessary apps that we use on a day to day basis. the only thing that should be changed in the code are areas where information needs to be device specific . anything additional (themes, apps, wallpapers, etcetera) should be removable by the end user.
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August 9, 2011 3:43:18 PM

+1 on barebones stock android comment :) 

I mentioned Google because I was sort of getting tired of their mantra that they can do nothing wrong, otherwise, yes every big corporation infringes upon someone else's patents at some time.

I wasn't referring 'every' free application, some are pretty good, and many many of them are pointlessly useless.

Unfortunately I can't try any non-stock rom, reason being the phone just don't want to connect with any PC, in fact I sent it back to Samsung few weeks ago asking them to upgrade it to Gingerbread, and well they told me it couldn't be done unless the phone USB connectivity works.
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a b Ë Android
August 9, 2011 6:09:38 PM

i rooted the easy way. unrevok3d had a program which did it automatically.

that said, i think there is a a way to root manually without having access to a computer. once rooted installing the rom is off your sd card anyways.

you should look into it.

is the usb connectivity a hardware or software issue do you know? if its hardware theres not much you can do besides have the phone fixed. if its software perhaps it will work with a different rom but dont bet on it as it is probably hardware.

as for loading up your sd card: you can either connect it to your pc using an adapter or just download the files directly to your phone's sd card from the internet.
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August 9, 2011 6:19:10 PM

Seems to be hardware related, every few weeks it will work for once or twice, and then gone again. So it seems to be hardware issue to me, but Samsung says it isn't, and blame all three PCs I have may have some 'compatibility' issues, which is pretty stupid anyway.

I haven't looked into rooting / installing non-stock roms from SD card, but I guess it is worth a try, beside my notebook can easily read many types of data cards so that can be easy enough :) 

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a b Ë Android
August 9, 2011 8:34:07 PM

heres a few basic steps:

Phase 1:
Search for a rom. not all roms have compatability with all handsets. pick and download one for your specific device. the two most popular are Cyanogenmod7 and MIUI which are backed by a pretty large crowd and thus get updated/fixed often in case of bugs. if you discover a new bug the community will try and find a fix.

Phase 2:
install titanium backup root (from market)
install rom manager (from market)
copy all photos, music, etc to sd card or other storage
go into contacts and export both to your sd card
download rom files and any other files you need to root

Phase 3:
Root your phone however the online guide states for your phone

Phase 4:
using titanium backup, backup every single ap to your sd card (or at least the ones you want).
using rom manager backup your current rom (which is your "stock rom". i did this just in case i wanted to return to stock.

Phase 5:
install the rom. i used rom manager but i think you can boot into debug mode (look this up) and do it manually as well.

Phase 6:
reinstall your apps, data, contacts from your backed up sources and run a few general checks (phone call, wifi, internet, usb, etc to make sure everything is functional)

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it sounds like alot of steps but its not all that bad. once i got all the information together (which took the longest amount of time) the actual rooting took me less than 10 minutes and the rom installation less than 15. you will probably spend awhile playing around with all the settings in the new rom and reloading apps/data from backups but thats to be expected.

cyanogenmod7 is pretty much stock android 2.3 gingerbread with tweaks and additions with adw launcher standard. i believe cm7 allows you to push your device pretty hard with its modifications and the death ray (flashlight) is insane.

miui is android done in an iphone-esque fashion. the stock launcher lacks an app drawer and all programs are placed on your desktop instead. i'm using go launcher ex for an app drawer at the moment while keeping the smooth feel of miui. by not using the stock launcher theres a few little irritants (normal if you use a non-rom stock launcher) but its not bad. i really like the free wifi tethering and notification toggles. also themeing (lockscreen styles, lockscreen wallpaper, fonts, etcetera) are all very well integrated. the only minor thing is that since it is a translated chinese rom the theme names might be in chinese (and one app has a chinese character name) but that shouldnt turn you off.
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August 19, 2011 4:54:29 AM

Cool thanks for your intput, I will have a long weekend around 30th, so I will probably dig into this issue, and try and see whether I can install the roms you recommended.
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August 20, 2011 8:12:29 PM

Simple fix, buy a different andriod phone, seems like you got a busted phone, stop having it fixed, and make sure it was actually replaced with new one, if not then just buy a different android phone.
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