Interesting article from Wired…
Typical corporate tactics: You hold a stance until it does not benefit you anymore.
That said, I don't get the title of your post. What does this have anything to do with Android not being "as open as they claim"? The article is reflective of Google's fail attempt of breaking the subsidized-phones-for-contracts ordeal that goes on the in the United States and Google's about-face on their earlier stance since now they see Android can flourish (is flourishing) in the current environment.
I was referring to the part of the article that said the basic Android OS was free to the carriers, but they had to pay for the "good stuff" like access to gmail, google maps, etc.
And also, not directly on Android, but that Google does allow the carriers to install non-removable crapware and UI overlays on top of Android that the average consumer cannot change or opt-out of having.
@Karen: I don't know how Android licensing works, and I didn't read that info in the article, but if it is as you say I don't see why that makes Google evil. They made an investment into Android… they need some sort of return. Android itself is open source, and free but Google has a right to charge for its other services. Anyone that doesn't like it can spend their $$$ modifying Android to fit their needs. It is just a different type of business model; I don't see anything wrong wit hit.
Of course calling Android "open"/"open-source" is as much a marketting tool as it is a technical approach. And, you have to admit, it is working: Manufacturers and service providers alike are flocking to Android. It also helps Android that Apple has shot itself in the foot my only providing AT&T the iPhone in the USA market.
That said, I really also dislike the crapware that come on Android phones, but that really isn't an Android-only issue.
Last but not least: I wonder how long it will take Facebook to do an about-face. See http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/11/technology/facebook_google_verizon/index.htm.
Yeah, they have the right to run their business as they see fit and marketing Android as "open" is working well. And of course, they can charge for value-added services like google maps, etc.
Overall, I think having iOS, Android, and maybe WebOS (if HP/Palm gets their act together) competing is a net win for consumers.
I just don't like the claim of Android being open since it really isn't unless you have a stock Android device--only the Nexus One at retail, you have to root the device and install a custom ROM to get this on any carrier's phone. And the average consumer isn't going to do this anymore than the average iPhone buyer is going to jailbreak.
All companies, all products have their marketing hype (and Apple is probably more at fault than most), but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I'd rather have all the info straight up to make my own decision, but that's not going to happen. Oh well, such is life.
@Karen: Yeah, I can see where you are coming from; in fact I agree with you: I would rather companies be upfront than throw a marketing spin on everything. However, the sky will fall before that happens =P
Re WebOS: It will be interesting how that turns out now that HP has bought it. But, to add to your list, Windows Phone 7 seems like a stunner and MeeGo probably will become very popular soon as Nokia drops Symbian for it. BlackBerry OS, of course, will probably still dominate in the corporate environment.
The dirty little secret about Google Android | Tech Sanity Check | TechRepublic.com
That sounds a lot worse than I think it really is. What the article basically says is that Android is slowly becoming just another carrier lackey to squeeze every last cent out of the consumer because of Google's questionable and lack of actions to keep it carrier independent. It doesn't mean Android is any less of the great thing it was, its mostly an issue of principle, that Google seems to have abandoned it's original intentions for it. It also means that to get to the gooey center, you now have to trudge through some crap.
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