Google Seeks to Regain Control of Android, Aims to End Fragmentation by Restricting Custom UIs

Google has been humming the same tune for a while now, blissfully ignoring the cries of fragmentation rallied against their Android OS. Not anymore, it seems. While the company isn’t flat out admitting anything, a new report over at Businessweek has it from people in the know that Google is cracking down on manufacturer customizations of Android and enforcing a “non-fragmentation clause” found in the mobile operating system’s licensing. We have seen an instance of this already with Google holding back the Android 3.0 Honeycomb source from all but a few privileged tablet developers. Those that are making Honeycomb tablets haven’t done much in the way of UI customizations, either.

Google’s public stance on the matter is that it wants to stabilize Android and gain an element of quality control. It seems a little too late for their decision to crack down, however. Android has always been called an open-source project, free for any company to use. Perhaps it is its huge growth in popularity that has finally exposed some of the problems with this thinking to the Android Team. And by problems we mean fragmentation.

To be included in the special circle of manufacturers some concessions have always needed to be made for Google, but it sounds like Big G wants more say in things now. There are apparently allegations filed with the US Department of Justice that Google purposefully delayed the launch of certain Verizon smartphones due to the handsets deploying the Bing search engine from Microsoft, a direct competitor to Google.

The days of calling Android truly open source may be numbered, whether you like it or not. Sure it might clean up things in the wild west town of smartphones, but at what cost to innovation?

[via Businessweek]

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  • Mitchel

    i think its a goodthing… get rid of crappy UI’s… more stock like platforms or a option for stock android

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

    • Proprietary_Android

      Indeed. All they have to do is require all OHA partners to give an option for an optimized stock Android that the user can reset their device to and then Google would take over updates and upgrades. The OEM would just optimize the stock Android for the device to “give back” to the project.

      However, I don’t think Google is asking anything like the article is claiming. Google is just restricting changes to their search engine and ads. In other words, they are only protecting their own interests from what I’ve heard thus far.

  • Mitchel

    i think its a goodthing… get rid of crappy UI’s… more stock like platforms or a option for stock android

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully it will mean an end of all the silly custom ROM stuff.

    • Sevenstars

      Why are custom ROMs silly? Have you ever used one? Do you actually know anything at all about what they are and what they do? Do you realize that most ‘silly’ custom ROMs perform MUCH better and more efficiently than the garbage that comes with most phones such as Sense, Touchwiz, Blur, etc.? Do you realize that ‘silly’ custom ROMs have given a LOT of phones more life when the manufacturers abandon them? Do you know that you can take,for example, a Droid 1, flash a custom ROM on it, and run it at 1366MHz all day long and outperform a Droid X while using half of the battery the X does(just one example)? I’m not attacking or insulting you, I am simply trying to figure out how you qualify ‘silly’ when most of these ROMs are magnitudes better than the bloated garbage that comes with most Android phones out of the box.

    • Sevenstars

      Why are custom ROMs silly? Have you ever used one? Do you actually know anything at all about what they are and what they do? Do you realize that most ‘silly’ custom ROMs perform MUCH better and more efficiently than the garbage that comes with most phones such as Sense, Touchwiz, Blur, etc.? Do you realize that ‘silly’ custom ROMs have given a LOT of phones more life when the manufacturers abandon them? Do you know that you can take,for example, a Droid 1, flash a custom ROM on it, and run it at 1366MHz all day long and outperform a Droid X while using half of the battery the X does(just one example)? I’m not attacking or insulting you, I am simply trying to figure out how you qualify ‘silly’ when most of these ROMs are magnitudes better than the bloated garbage that comes with most Android phones out of the box.

      • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

        The headline is a bit misleading actually, with “custom ROM’s”, It makes you think Google is denying the hacker community custom ROM’s. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s about the custom skins from manufacturers.

      • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

        The headline is a bit misleading actually, with “custom ROM’s”, It makes you think Google is denying the hacker community custom ROM’s. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s about the custom skins from manufacturers.

        • Sevenstars

          I understand that Lucian. You missed my point entirely.

        • Sevenstars

          I understand that Lucian. You missed my point entirely.

        • Sevenstars

          I understand that Lucian. You missed my point entirely.

        • Sevenstars

          I understand that Lucian. You missed my point entirely.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        And I swear Google added something to an official release of Android after it was in a custom ROM first. I might be mistaken, I dont know.

        I seen a notification app for the iPhone that would be alot better than whats on there now. And if iOS did mimic it or use it outright in an official release of iOS, I would applaud them, say good job Apple.

      • Anonymous

        There shouldn’t be a need for roms. I never found a need to root my phone after I bought the Nexus One when it came out.

      • Anonymous

        There shouldn’t be a need for roms. I never found a need to root my phone after I bought the Nexus One when it came out.

      • Anonymous

        There shouldn’t be a need for roms. I never found a need to root my phone after I bought the Nexus One when it came out.

      • Anonymous

        There shouldn’t be a need for roms. I never found a need to root my phone after I bought the Nexus One when it came out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000128010091 Curtis Bascue

        Yeah, I personally have preferred stock Android, but Devs. are making new little things for custom ROMs every day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000128010091 Curtis Bascue

        Yeah, I personally have preferred stock Android, but Devs. are making new little things for custom ROMs every day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000128010091 Curtis Bascue

        Yeah, I personally have preferred stock Android, but Devs. are making new little things for custom ROMs every day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000128010091 Curtis Bascue

        Yeah, I personally have preferred stock Android, but Devs. are making new little things for custom ROMs every day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000128010091 Curtis Bascue

        Yeah, I personally have preferred stock Android, but Devs. are making new little things for custom ROMs every day.

    • Pierceye

      +1 Sevenstars. One other thing worth mentioning is that many of the features developed in the custom ROMs are inspiration for the official developers at the manufacturers. Just my opinion on the overall topic, I like Sense. It has the spit and polish that Google has never seen fit to supply Vanilla Android with. On the flip side of that coin, it would be nice to see UIs that can be turned off or even uninstalled if the OWNER of the device chooses to do so.

    • Pierceye

      +1 Sevenstars. One other thing worth mentioning is that many of the features developed in the custom ROMs are inspiration for the official developers at the manufacturers. Just my opinion on the overall topic, I like Sense. It has the spit and polish that Google has never seen fit to supply Vanilla Android with. On the flip side of that coin, it would be nice to see UIs that can be turned off or even uninstalled if the OWNER of the device chooses to do so.

    • squiddy20

      Haha you’ve got to be joking! ROM development makes improvements that the carriers/manufacturers left off. My Vanilla 2.1 Samsung Moment now has 2.2.x because of the devs over at SDX. Both Sprint and Samsung stopped at 2.1 and provided only a few updates to fix bugs, but there are cases of data lockup and many other major problems still around. The dev community has at least tried to fix all of that. There’s some talk of possibly trying to port Gingerbread too.

    • squiddy20

      Haha you’ve got to be joking! ROM development makes improvements that the carriers/manufacturers left off. My Vanilla 2.1 Samsung Moment now has 2.2.x because of the devs over at SDX. Both Sprint and Samsung stopped at 2.1 and provided only a few updates to fix bugs, but there are cases of data lockup and many other major problems still around. The dev community has at least tried to fix all of that. There’s some talk of possibly trying to port Gingerbread too.

    • squiddy20

      Haha you’ve got to be joking! ROM development makes improvements that the carriers/manufacturers left off. My Vanilla 2.1 Samsung Moment now has 2.2.x because of the devs over at SDX. Both Sprint and Samsung stopped at 2.1 and provided only a few updates to fix bugs, but there are cases of data lockup and many other major problems still around. The dev community has at least tried to fix all of that. There’s some talk of possibly trying to port Gingerbread too.

    • squiddy20

      Haha you’ve got to be joking! ROM development makes improvements that the carriers/manufacturers left off. My Vanilla 2.1 Samsung Moment now has 2.2.x because of the devs over at SDX. Both Sprint and Samsung stopped at 2.1 and provided only a few updates to fix bugs, but there are cases of data lockup and many other major problems still around. The dev community has at least tried to fix all of that. There’s some talk of possibly trying to port Gingerbread too.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully it will mean an end of all the silly custom ROM stuff.

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    Terrible idea. It’s the one thing that allows the handset manufacturers to differentiate their products. Sense and New Blur, as much as it pains me to say the latter, are both better than stock… New Blur may even be pushing Sense as well.

    I think a better policy would be holding back new versions of Android from manufacturers that neglect their lineup that technologically should be capable of upgrading to that version. IE, Samsung would be SOL. And I don’t think it’d be a great policy to alienate the company that birthed Android for them, HTC, and the one that mainstreamed it, Motorola.

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    Terrible idea. It’s the one thing that allows the handset manufacturers to differentiate their products. Sense and New Blur, as much as it pains me to say the latter, are both better than stock… New Blur may even be pushing Sense as well.

    I think a better policy would be holding back new versions of Android from manufacturers that neglect their lineup that technologically should be capable of upgrading to that version. IE, Samsung would be SOL. And I don’t think it’d be a great policy to alienate the company that birthed Android for them, HTC, and the one that mainstreamed it, Motorola.

    • Brutalsnowman

      handset manufacturers make handsets. The same phone with a different UI is not a different phone. This will now give them more time to make better and more exciting phones. This means good things for consumers. They can sell their UI in the market if they want to keep it going, its not hard.

    • Brutalsnowman

      handset manufacturers make handsets. The same phone with a different UI is not a different phone. This will now give them more time to make better and more exciting phones. This means good things for consumers. They can sell their UI in the market if they want to keep it going, its not hard.

      • Tim242

        There’s only so much they can do with a slab.

      • Tim242

        There’s only so much they can do with a slab.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        It’s not just the interface… it’s what it does overall. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        It’s not just the interface… it’s what it does overall. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        It’s not just the interface… it’s what it does overall. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        It’s not just the interface… it’s what it does overall. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

        • Anonymous

          All of this can be modular though. I’m not saying that OEMs need to get out of the software game in order to add value to their offerings, but do it in a way it doesn’t modify the source code. Make these functions into separate apps that can be disabled or uninstalled.

        • Anonymous

          All of this can be modular though. I’m not saying that OEMs need to get out of the software game in order to add value to their offerings, but do it in a way it doesn’t modify the source code. Make these functions into separate apps that can be disabled or uninstalled.

        • Anonymous

          All of this can be modular though. I’m not saying that OEMs need to get out of the software game in order to add value to their offerings, but do it in a way it doesn’t modify the source code. Make these functions into separate apps that can be disabled or uninstalled.

        • Anonymous

          All of this can be modular though. I’m not saying that OEMs need to get out of the software game in order to add value to their offerings, but do it in a way it doesn’t modify the source code. Make these functions into separate apps that can be disabled or uninstalled.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      it’s not such a terrible idea. OEM should really focus on their hardware! samsung, htc and motorola are completely hardware. each have their pros and cons.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      it’s not such a terrible idea. OEM should really focus on their hardware! samsung, htc and motorola are completely hardware. each have their pros and cons.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      also, this might be actually better for getting updates. Google cannot update custom UI android OS. which causes a lot of people to hate companies like Samsung and HTC for leaving their phones in the dust with 2.1. With this stricter management, Google can push out updates faster and quicker while leaving Samsung and HTC to focus on editing their custom UI Launcher. quick and painless

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      also, this might be actually better for getting updates. Google cannot update custom UI android OS. which causes a lot of people to hate companies like Samsung and HTC for leaving their phones in the dust with 2.1. With this stricter management, Google can push out updates faster and quicker while leaving Samsung and HTC to focus on editing their custom UI Launcher. quick and painless

  • Itmustbejj

    “The days of calling Android truly open source may be numbered, whether you like it or not.” — Android was never ‘truly’ open source our else it would be licensed under the GNU license instead of the Apache license. If it was ever truly open source manufacturers would never be able to build proprietary code on top of it that they can keep unreleased (not talking about kernels which they are forced to release).

  • Itmustbejj

    “The days of calling Android truly open source may be numbered, whether you like it or not.” — Android was never ‘truly’ open source our else it would be licensed under the GNU license instead of the Apache license. If it was ever truly open source manufacturers would never be able to build proprietary code on top of it that they can keep unreleased (not talking about kernels which they are forced to release).

  • B2L

    This is awesome everyone should get vanilla android. And then if someone wants to have some custom ui on top. They can always make some kind of theme chooser, or at least an app that you can install it if you want it.

  • B2L

    This is awesome everyone should get vanilla android. And then if someone wants to have some custom ui on top. They can always make some kind of theme chooser, or at least an app that you can install it if you want it.

  • lt.chang@gmail.com

    Android is not open source in the first place. It’s merely free source.

  • lt.chang@gmail.com

    Android is not open source in the first place. It’s merely free source.

  • UCS

    They will need to bring the stock UI up to speed then – there is a reason most companies skin their devices. Stock UI is flat and boring – it doesn’t tap into 1/10th of the potential Android offers.

    • Itmustbejj

      CM7 integrated the T-Mobile theme engine into ‘stock’ android that can dramatically change the appearance of the phone with a few button clicks. There is no reason carriers couldn’t ship with a badass theme engine that doesn’t involve heavily patching into the core of the OS.

    • Itmustbejj

      CM7 integrated the T-Mobile theme engine into ‘stock’ android that can dramatically change the appearance of the phone with a few button clicks. There is no reason carriers couldn’t ship with a badass theme engine that doesn’t involve heavily patching into the core of the OS.

    • http://profiles.google.com/pskeptic Paranormal Skeptic

      There is nothing preventing OEM’s from installing custom UI’s ON TOP of Android. Just like LauncherPro, or GoLauncher EX.

    • http://profiles.google.com/pskeptic Paranormal Skeptic

      There is nothing preventing OEM’s from installing custom UI’s ON TOP of Android. Just like LauncherPro, or GoLauncher EX.

  • UCS

    They will need to bring the stock UI up to speed then – there is a reason most companies skin their devices. Stock UI is flat and boring – it doesn’t tap into 1/10th of the potential Android offers.

  • sonelone

    If google wants to do this, they need to improve the user interface if android and make android have more features like sense.

  • Anonymous

    This is a good thing …
    OEM should put the customization on top of Android, and not integrated.
    Thus, it can be uninstalled :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      or replaced

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      or replaced

  • Anonymous

    This is a good thing …
    OEM should put the customization on top of Android, and not integrated.
    Thus, it can be uninstalled :)

  • Whap

    In some ways this is good, as Google could potentially get updates out more quickly. However there are aspects of vanilla android that always seem a little “beta”. For me its not an issue, I love the os, and will continue supporting it. If they choose to close it, they really need to Polish it a bit more. The average consumer will not understand why their HTC phone with its pretty overlay (sense) all of a sudden looks different or not as polished looking. (Yes I realize most of us that read phandroid prefer stock os. I am talking about the average consumer)

  • http://twitter.com/mjsandroid Michael Schmidt

    To all the people who harp on about how this would stop OEM’s from “differentiating their products” I have two responses…

    1. So what? Really, that’s the OEM’s problem to sell me on good hardware design.

    2. Um, no, they can still make whatever crappy UI they want want, but it can be implemented _over_ the OS, like we can do now with great Home replacement apps like Launcher Pro.

  • http://twitter.com/mjsandroid Michael Schmidt

    To all the people who harp on about how this would stop OEM’s from “differentiating their products” I have two responses…

    1. So what? Really, that’s the OEM’s problem to sell me on good hardware design.

    2. Um, no, they can still make whatever crappy UI they want want, but it can be implemented _over_ the OS, like we can do now with great Home replacement apps like Launcher Pro.

    • Itmustbejj

      +1 Practically every current OEM custom skin could be implemented as a skin or home replacement. The problem is that HTC wants to force you to buy an HTC phone to have their awesome Sense widgets as opposed to buying a Moto phone and installing a Sense theme.

    • Itmustbejj

      +1 Practically every current OEM custom skin could be implemented as a skin or home replacement. The problem is that HTC wants to force you to buy an HTC phone to have their awesome Sense widgets as opposed to buying a Moto phone and installing a Sense theme.

      • drhill

        They could even tie the Sense theme to HTC specific hardware. While there are still ways to get around that for resourceful people, it would keep most of the people buying HTC phones if they wanted HTC themes.

      • drhill

        They could even tie the Sense theme to HTC specific hardware. While there are still ways to get around that for resourceful people, it would keep most of the people buying HTC phones if they wanted HTC themes.

      • Pskeptic

        They could just put the Sense UI on the market, and charge $10 for it… And then, they shouldn’t even care if a Sense UI get’s loaded on a Moto.

        • Len Waugh

          They are hardware developers. They spent a lot of money designing great software so that you purchase their hardware. Your idea is not an option… as it defeats the purpose of writing sense.

          I agree with Google but I do feel for the vendors. Compare the hardware on most of last years devices. 1gzh, approx 4″ screen, 3g speed… maybe throw a front facing camera.. ya.. its hard for vendors. In samsungs case they have super amoled.. but the others are screwed if the got nothing.

        • Len Waugh

          They are hardware developers. They spent a lot of money designing great software so that you purchase their hardware. Your idea is not an option… as it defeats the purpose of writing sense.

          I agree with Google but I do feel for the vendors. Compare the hardware on most of last years devices. 1gzh, approx 4″ screen, 3g speed… maybe throw a front facing camera.. ya.. its hard for vendors. In samsungs case they have super amoled.. but the others are screwed if the got nothing.

        • Len Waugh

          They are hardware developers. They spent a lot of money designing great software so that you purchase their hardware. Your idea is not an option… as it defeats the purpose of writing sense.

          I agree with Google but I do feel for the vendors. Compare the hardware on most of last years devices. 1gzh, approx 4″ screen, 3g speed… maybe throw a front facing camera.. ya.. its hard for vendors. In samsungs case they have super amoled.. but the others are screwed if the got nothing.

        • Len Waugh

          They are hardware developers. They spent a lot of money designing great software so that you purchase their hardware. Your idea is not an option… as it defeats the purpose of writing sense.

          I agree with Google but I do feel for the vendors. Compare the hardware on most of last years devices. 1gzh, approx 4″ screen, 3g speed… maybe throw a front facing camera.. ya.. its hard for vendors. In samsungs case they have super amoled.. but the others are screwed if the got nothing.

      • Pskeptic

        They could just put the Sense UI on the market, and charge $10 for it… And then, they shouldn’t even care if a Sense UI get’s loaded on a Moto.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        Sadly… Sense is much more than widgets. Which makes your dream scenario impossible. It does the little things that Stock does not. The things that add flair and make it unique.

        • Anonymous

          I wish you would have explain exactly what Sense does that stock doesn’t that done below the app level. The theming yea. But that could easily be surfaced to a point where an OS update would not break it. So honestly theres no reason his dream scenario could not be. Sense is basically replacement apps and a theme.

          • Bullet Tooth Tony

            I did, it just got buried below newer posts as the day proressed. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

            Everything in the markt that does that at an “app level”… rip-offs from Sense. Including Beautiful Widgets the the visible side. Sense still does it all better than each of the rip-offs.

            And besides, it means just as much to Custom ROMs as it does to Sense, Blur, Touchwiz, et al. So I wouldn’t exect to be seeing superuser access to be able to install the ROs that rip it off, or the apps that require superuser access to be installed.

          • Bullet Tooth Tony

            I did, it just got buried below newer posts as the day proressed. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

            Everything in the markt that does that at an “app level”… rip-offs from Sense. Including Beautiful Widgets the the visible side. Sense still does it all better than each of the rip-offs.

            And besides, it means just as much to Custom ROMs as it does to Sense, Blur, Touchwiz, et al. So I wouldn’t exect to be seeing superuser access to be able to install the ROs that rip it off, or the apps that require superuser access to be installed.

          • Bullet Tooth Tony

            I did, it just got buried below newer posts as the day proressed. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

            Everything in the markt that does that at an “app level”… rip-offs from Sense. Including Beautiful Widgets the the visible side. Sense still does it all better than each of the rip-offs.

            And besides, it means just as much to Custom ROMs as it does to Sense, Blur, Touchwiz, et al. So I wouldn’t exect to be seeing superuser access to be able to install the ROs that rip it off, or the apps that require superuser access to be installed.

          • Bullet Tooth Tony

            I did, it just got buried below newer posts as the day proressed. A lot of custom ROMs steal things from Sense that everyone thinks are so worth taking the risk to brick your phone to obtain… flip the phone over mid-call, speakerphone. Starts ringing, flip it over, silence. Starts ringing loudly, pick it up, it quiets down. Want to surf while on a call? Sense adds the ability to end a call to the notification pane. Driving around using navigation, the calls don’t interrupt your view of the map, they come in within the map. And that’s just what it does on the phone functions.

            Everything in the markt that does that at an “app level”… rip-offs from Sense. Including Beautiful Widgets the the visible side. Sense still does it all better than each of the rip-offs.

            And besides, it means just as much to Custom ROMs as it does to Sense, Blur, Touchwiz, et al. So I wouldn’t exect to be seeing superuser access to be able to install the ROs that rip it off, or the apps that require superuser access to be installed.

        • Anonymous

          I wish you would have explain exactly what Sense does that stock doesn’t that done below the app level. The theming yea. But that could easily be surfaced to a point where an OS update would not break it. So honestly theres no reason his dream scenario could not be. Sense is basically replacement apps and a theme.

        • Anonymous

          I wish you would have explain exactly what Sense does that stock doesn’t that done below the app level. The theming yea. But that could easily be surfaced to a point where an OS update would not break it. So honestly theres no reason his dream scenario could not be. Sense is basically replacement apps and a theme.

        • Anonymous

          I wish you would have explain exactly what Sense does that stock doesn’t that done below the app level. The theming yea. But that could easily be surfaced to a point where an OS update would not break it. So honestly theres no reason his dream scenario could not be. Sense is basically replacement apps and a theme.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        Sadly… Sense is much more than widgets. Which makes your dream scenario impossible. It does the little things that Stock does not. The things that add flair and make it unique.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        Sadly… Sense is much more than widgets. Which makes your dream scenario impossible. It does the little things that Stock does not. The things that add flair and make it unique.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        Sadly… Sense is much more than widgets. Which makes your dream scenario impossible. It does the little things that Stock does not. The things that add flair and make it unique.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      i totally agree. the OEM can design their launch app like launcherpro or adwlauncher and put it out on the market like everyone else. if people like it, then let them choose.

      these oem are doing way too much changing the android UI that causes it fragment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

      i totally agree. the OEM can design their launch app like launcherpro or adwlauncher and put it out on the market like everyone else. if people like it, then let them choose.

      these oem are doing way too much changing the android UI that causes it fragment.

  • frank

    I am all for this

  • http://twitter.com/teleknEsis Kyle Miller

    ’bout freakin time! I was getting really tired of seeing HTC Sense, MotoBlur, TouchWiz, etc. Seems like T-Mobile is the only carrier that knows people want stock vanilla android. Make it happen, Google

  • http://twitter.com/teleknEsis Kyle Miller

    ’bout freakin time! I was getting really tired of seeing HTC Sense, MotoBlur, TouchWiz, etc. Seems like T-Mobile is the only carrier that knows people want stock vanilla android. Make it happen, Google

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

    • Anonymous

      *Cough* Sense Expresso *Cough*

  • Zinnu

    In my humble opinion, HTC Sense is by far the best UI for Android devices. Android UI’s should follow a tested path, much like Linux UI’s (GNOME, KDE, WindowMaker, fvwm, etc.) and not tie a manufacturer to a UI. For example, you may choose to have a Motorola Droid X running HTC Sense; what’s wrong with wanting that?

  • Zinnu

    In my humble opinion, HTC Sense is by far the best UI for Android devices. Android UI’s should follow a tested path, much like Linux UI’s (GNOME, KDE, WindowMaker, fvwm, etc.) and not tie a manufacturer to a UI. For example, you may choose to have a Motorola Droid X running HTC Sense; what’s wrong with wanting that?

    • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

      I think the fragmentation of UI’s in Linux’s case is one of the biggest reasons regular users never liked Linux over Windows. Windows is the same wherever you go and that’s a big plus. Don’t tell me you never handed someone your Android phone and they weren’t like “Ugh, umm, so how do I use this?”

    • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

      I think the fragmentation of UI’s in Linux’s case is one of the biggest reasons regular users never liked Linux over Windows. Windows is the same wherever you go and that’s a big plus. Don’t tell me you never handed someone your Android phone and they weren’t like “Ugh, umm, so how do I use this?”

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t stop microsoft from changing where everything is on Windows after every version. And Microsoft Office is different from every single app on the system.

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t stop microsoft from changing where everything is on Windows after every version. And Microsoft Office is different from every single app on the system.

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t stop microsoft from changing where everything is on Windows after every version. And Microsoft Office is different from every single app on the system.

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t stop microsoft from changing where everything is on Windows after every version. And Microsoft Office is different from every single app on the system.

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t stop microsoft from changing where everything is on Windows after every version. And Microsoft Office is different from every single app on the system.

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t stop microsoft from changing where everything is on Windows after every version. And Microsoft Office is different from every single app on the system.

  • Austin

    Love it. I hope this is for real and makes the stock experience the more normal way to use Android.

    • Tim242

      Stock is boring.

      • Austin

        You are boring.

      • Austin

        You are boring.

      • Austin

        You are boring.

        • Tim242

          How old are you, 12?

          • Droid X •

        • Tim242

          How old are you, 12?

          • Droid X •

        • Tim242

          How old are you, 12?

          • Droid X •

        • Tim242

          How old are you, 12?

          • Droid X •

          • Austin

            Sure.

          • Austin

            Sure.

          • Austin

            Sure.

          • Austin

            Sure.

          • Austin

            Kind of funny coming from the guy who posted the same comment over and over on different people’s comments “They can only do so much with a slab.” U Fail @ Life

          • Austin

            Kind of funny coming from the guy who posted the same comment over and over on different people’s comments “They can only do so much with a slab.” U Fail @ Life

          • Tim242

            Insults from anonymous people on the internet don’t bother me. It is such a
            waste of your time.

            • Droid X •

          • Tim242

            Insults from anonymous people on the internet don’t bother me. It is such a
            waste of your time.

            • Droid X •

          • Tim242

            Insults from anonymous people on the internet don’t bother me. It is such a
            waste of your time.

            • Droid X •

          • Tim242

            Insults from anonymous people on the internet don’t bother me. It is such a
            waste of your time.

            • Droid X •

          • Austin

            Kind of funny coming from the guy who posted the same comment over and over on different people’s comments “They can only do so much with a slab.” U Fail @ Life

          • Austin

            Kind of funny coming from the guy who posted the same comment over and over on different people’s comments “They can only do so much with a slab.” U Fail @ Life

      • Austin

        You are boring.

      • Anonymous

        Gotta disagree there. I’ll take stock over Sense for most things on my Dinc. NotBlur on the wife’s X doesn’t seem too bad though.

        • Tim242

          Sense adds to the Android experience. Blur does not.

          • Droid X •

        • Tim242

          Sense adds to the Android experience. Blur does not.

          • Droid X •

        • Tim242

          Sense adds to the Android experience. Blur does not.

          • Droid X •

        • Tim242

          Sense adds to the Android experience. Blur does not.

          • Droid X •

      • Anonymous

        Gotta disagree there. I’ll take stock over Sense for most things on my Dinc. NotBlur on the wife’s X doesn’t seem too bad though.

      • Anonymous

        Gotta disagree there. I’ll take stock over Sense for most things on my Dinc. NotBlur on the wife’s X doesn’t seem too bad though.

      • Anonymous

        Gotta disagree there. I’ll take stock over Sense for most things on my Dinc. NotBlur on the wife’s X doesn’t seem too bad though.

    • Tim242

      Stock is boring.

  • Austin

    Love it. I hope this is for real and makes the stock experience the more normal way to use Android.

  • Jbond

    Why not just tell manufacturers and carriers that you expect the user to have an option of removing non-essential bloatware (for the carriers I assume there are programs they put on there to protect their network). Just like when you get a windows PC. You can go through and remove 95% of the crap its loaded with.

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Google needs to exercise their leverage in this for the sake of the end user. You think when Apple was negotiating for the Verizon iPhone they entertained the notion of a non-uninstallable VZ Navigator app?

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Google needs to exercise their leverage in this for the sake of the end user. You think when Apple was negotiating for the Verizon iPhone they entertained the notion of a non-uninstallable VZ Navigator app?

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Google needs to exercise their leverage in this for the sake of the end user. You think when Apple was negotiating for the Verizon iPhone they entertained the notion of a non-uninstallable VZ Navigator app?

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Google needs to exercise their leverage in this for the sake of the end user. You think when Apple was negotiating for the Verizon iPhone they entertained the notion of a non-uninstallable VZ Navigator app?

  • Jbond

    Why not just tell manufacturers and carriers that you expect the user to have an option of removing non-essential bloatware (for the carriers I assume there are programs they put on there to protect their network). Just like when you get a windows PC. You can go through and remove 95% of the crap its loaded with.

  • craigdhd

    This is dumb, android is not fragmented because of ui’s, it’s fragmented because of hardware.

    The simple fact is if you don’t like a custom ui don’t buy that handset but android will remain just as fragmented.

    CM7 needs seperate maintainers for each handset even after the custom ui os removed and Nexus 1 took months to get gingerbread after nexus s was out.

    Games will still be coded for specific gpu’s, apps will still need to be updated for new os revisions, htc will still not support external hui devices in their kernels and hardware manufacturers still won’t release optimised kernels or new drivers for phones that have stopped making them money.

    All restricting development of skinned sndroid will do is make every handset look the same when you turn it on the first time and most people who know enough to complain about custom ui’s will still end up installing apps to replace most of what would be stock anyway.

    • Anonymous

      I think Phandroid might be inferring too much from the source article. It didn’t specifically mention homescreen UIs.

    • Anonymous

      I think Phandroid might be inferring too much from the source article. It didn’t specifically mention homescreen UIs.

    • Anonymous

      I think Phandroid might be inferring too much from the source article. It didn’t specifically mention homescreen UIs.

    • Anonymous

      I think Phandroid might be inferring too much from the source article. It didn’t specifically mention homescreen UIs.

  • craigdhd

    This is dumb, android is not fragmented because of ui’s, it’s fragmented because of hardware.

    The simple fact is if you don’t like a custom ui don’t buy that handset but android will remain just as fragmented.

    CM7 needs seperate maintainers for each handset even after the custom ui os removed and Nexus 1 took months to get gingerbread after nexus s was out.

    Games will still be coded for specific gpu’s, apps will still need to be updated for new os revisions, htc will still not support external hui devices in their kernels and hardware manufacturers still won’t release optimised kernels or new drivers for phones that have stopped making them money.

    All restricting development of skinned sndroid will do is make every handset look the same when you turn it on the first time and most people who know enough to complain about custom ui’s will still end up installing apps to replace most of what would be stock anyway.

  • Ace Curry

    I don’t know how I feel about this.

  • Sevenstars

    While I agree that manufacturers and carriers throw too much garbage on phones which causes massive delays in updates (if they happen at all) so the companies can get all of their crap into the update, I think making ALL phones 100% vanilla Android is a terrible idea. The reason I say this is because if there are say, 100 Android phones on the market and all of them ran absolutely identical UIs, there would be no place for a phones “personal identity” meaning that the only difference would be the processors and the name on the phone. At first glance, some people may think this is a great thing – it isn’t. It would absolutely stifle any kind competition and innovation would drop like an osmium balloon because a lot of manufacturers who would otherwise try to get in on the action wouldn’t bother and why would they? To make a phone that is essentially identical to 100 other phones already on the market? I hate to even draw this parallel, but it would be like Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, et al. Making iPhones – all the same UI, possibly slightly differently shaped, but regardless – still the same phone. I do agree whole heartedly with what some others have mentioned in that the garbage (as I call it) shouldn’t be integrated into the OS, rather “on top” like Launcher Pro, ADW EX, GDE, etc. so if you don’t like it, you can remove it. The day that I can no longer flash a custom ROM on an Android phone is the last day I will ever think about buying one again. If Android eventually gets completely locked down like the iGadgets, the very thing that made Android successful will make it just like iPhone – but with a replaceable battery.

    • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

      Google could make it easy for them to create “themes” for the phones – not as deep customization, but enough to make it look different and it should be easy to install or uninstall, unlike current skins. Plus, they could still use all their widgets, like the Sense widgets, etc. Think about it, is there much to the HTC Sense besides the black theme and their widgets? Not really. I’m sure those are the things most people think about when they imagine HTC Sense.

    • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

      Google could make it easy for them to create “themes” for the phones – not as deep customization, but enough to make it look different and it should be easy to install or uninstall, unlike current skins. Plus, they could still use all their widgets, like the Sense widgets, etc. Think about it, is there much to the HTC Sense besides the black theme and their widgets? Not really. I’m sure those are the things most people think about when they imagine HTC Sense.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve been saying this for a while. They should basically look at what CyanogenMod is offering in terms of themes.

        OEMs should package their themes along with sets of replacement apps for stock and allow them to be installed and removed from phones. They could be pre-installed on their own phones and downloadable in the market for others for a price.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve been saying this for a while. They should basically look at what CyanogenMod is offering in terms of themes.

        OEMs should package their themes along with sets of replacement apps for stock and allow them to be installed and removed from phones. They could be pre-installed on their own phones and downloadable in the market for others for a price.

      • Sevenstars

        Exactly my point – themes, UIs etc. do NOT need to be integrated into the phone’s OS – especially since this is the major issue in upgrades. These things can be easily “laid over” and removed/replaced. As you said, Sense isn’t that big of a deal and sure as hell doesn’t need to be baked right into the ROM. It is nice looking, but I can do a lot more with Launcher Pro or ADW EX and Beautiful Widgets. The issue is the fact that these manufacturer UIs are integrated with the ROM, so instead of simply waiting for a simple port of the newest OS , pretty much everyone is stuck waiting for the manufacturers and providers to put all of their garbage on the phones, and in some cases, can’t be removed unless you root the phone. Good example – Madden, City ID, and NFS Shift on the Droid 2. Putting it on there is one thing – having to root your phone top get rid of it is another. I can use LP and BW, but unless I root, Sense or Blur is still there.

      • Sevenstars

        Exactly my point – themes, UIs etc. do NOT need to be integrated into the phone’s OS – especially since this is the major issue in upgrades. These things can be easily “laid over” and removed/replaced. As you said, Sense isn’t that big of a deal and sure as hell doesn’t need to be baked right into the ROM. It is nice looking, but I can do a lot more with Launcher Pro or ADW EX and Beautiful Widgets. The issue is the fact that these manufacturer UIs are integrated with the ROM, so instead of simply waiting for a simple port of the newest OS , pretty much everyone is stuck waiting for the manufacturers and providers to put all of their garbage on the phones, and in some cases, can’t be removed unless you root the phone. Good example – Madden, City ID, and NFS Shift on the Droid 2. Putting it on there is one thing – having to root your phone top get rid of it is another. I can use LP and BW, but unless I root, Sense or Blur is still there.

      • Sevenstars

        Exactly my point – themes, UIs etc. do NOT need to be integrated into the phone’s OS – especially since this is the major issue in upgrades. These things can be easily “laid over” and removed/replaced. As you said, Sense isn’t that big of a deal and sure as hell doesn’t need to be baked right into the ROM. It is nice looking, but I can do a lot more with Launcher Pro or ADW EX and Beautiful Widgets. The issue is the fact that these manufacturer UIs are integrated with the ROM, so instead of simply waiting for a simple port of the newest OS , pretty much everyone is stuck waiting for the manufacturers and providers to put all of their garbage on the phones, and in some cases, can’t be removed unless you root the phone. Good example – Madden, City ID, and NFS Shift on the Droid 2. Putting it on there is one thing – having to root your phone top get rid of it is another. I can use LP and BW, but unless I root, Sense or Blur is still there.

      • Sevenstars

        Exactly my point – themes, UIs etc. do NOT need to be integrated into the phone’s OS – especially since this is the major issue in upgrades. These things can be easily “laid over” and removed/replaced. As you said, Sense isn’t that big of a deal and sure as hell doesn’t need to be baked right into the ROM. It is nice looking, but I can do a lot more with Launcher Pro or ADW EX and Beautiful Widgets. The issue is the fact that these manufacturer UIs are integrated with the ROM, so instead of simply waiting for a simple port of the newest OS , pretty much everyone is stuck waiting for the manufacturers and providers to put all of their garbage on the phones, and in some cases, can’t be removed unless you root the phone. Good example – Madden, City ID, and NFS Shift on the Droid 2. Putting it on there is one thing – having to root your phone top get rid of it is another. I can use LP and BW, but unless I root, Sense or Blur is still there.

      • JGarrido

        That may be all people realize or remember when they think of SenseUI, but it surely does much more then this. Take a look at the points Bullet Tooth Tony mentioned above, not to mention the online services available with version 2.0 and above.

        That’s not to say all of these things aren’t doable without baking it into the phone (I think?), I only wanted to point out that they provide much more then just themes and widgets.

        With the amount of money they put into the development, I’d venture to say they couldn’t charge less then $20-$30 for this additional software, which I doubt most customers would pay out of pocket. But when combined with the hardware and offered as a package deal, well… you get the picture. Don’t forget carriers in the equation, which need to be ‘sold’ on the phones that they offer.

      • JGarrido

        That may be all people realize or remember when they think of SenseUI, but it surely does much more then this. Take a look at the points Bullet Tooth Tony mentioned above, not to mention the online services available with version 2.0 and above.

        That’s not to say all of these things aren’t doable without baking it into the phone (I think?), I only wanted to point out that they provide much more then just themes and widgets.

        With the amount of money they put into the development, I’d venture to say they couldn’t charge less then $20-$30 for this additional software, which I doubt most customers would pay out of pocket. But when combined with the hardware and offered as a package deal, well… you get the picture. Don’t forget carriers in the equation, which need to be ‘sold’ on the phones that they offer.

      • JGarrido

        That may be all people realize or remember when they think of SenseUI, but it surely does much more then this. Take a look at the points Bullet Tooth Tony mentioned above, not to mention the online services available with version 2.0 and above.

        That’s not to say all of these things aren’t doable without baking it into the phone (I think?), I only wanted to point out that they provide much more then just themes and widgets.

        With the amount of money they put into the development, I’d venture to say they couldn’t charge less then $20-$30 for this additional software, which I doubt most customers would pay out of pocket. But when combined with the hardware and offered as a package deal, well… you get the picture. Don’t forget carriers in the equation, which need to be ‘sold’ on the phones that they offer.

      • JGarrido

        That may be all people realize or remember when they think of SenseUI, but it surely does much more then this. Take a look at the points Bullet Tooth Tony mentioned above, not to mention the online services available with version 2.0 and above.

        That’s not to say all of these things aren’t doable without baking it into the phone (I think?), I only wanted to point out that they provide much more then just themes and widgets.

        With the amount of money they put into the development, I’d venture to say they couldn’t charge less then $20-$30 for this additional software, which I doubt most customers would pay out of pocket. But when combined with the hardware and offered as a package deal, well… you get the picture. Don’t forget carriers in the equation, which need to be ‘sold’ on the phones that they offer.

      • JGarrido

        That may be all people realize or remember when they think of SenseUI, but it surely does much more then this. Take a look at the points Bullet Tooth Tony mentioned above, not to mention the online services available with version 2.0 and above.

        That’s not to say all of these things aren’t doable without baking it into the phone (I think?), I only wanted to point out that they provide much more then just themes and widgets.

        With the amount of money they put into the development, I’d venture to say they couldn’t charge less then $20-$30 for this additional software, which I doubt most customers would pay out of pocket. But when combined with the hardware and offered as a package deal, well… you get the picture. Don’t forget carriers in the equation, which need to be ‘sold’ on the phones that they offer.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davehaynie Dave Haynie

      That assumes that someone (anyone?) is actually choosing a phone based on the UI tweaks… not in-spite of them. Is that ever really the case?

    • http://profiles.google.com/davehaynie Dave Haynie

      That assumes that someone (anyone?) is actually choosing a phone based on the UI tweaks… not in-spite of them. Is that ever really the case?

    • http://profiles.google.com/davehaynie Dave Haynie

      That assumes that someone (anyone?) is actually choosing a phone based on the UI tweaks… not in-spite of them. Is that ever really the case?

    • http://profiles.google.com/davehaynie Dave Haynie

      That assumes that someone (anyone?) is actually choosing a phone based on the UI tweaks… not in-spite of them. Is that ever really the case?

  • Sevenstars

    While I agree that manufacturers and carriers throw too much garbage on phones which causes massive delays in updates (if they happen at all) so the companies can get all of their crap into the update, I think making ALL phones 100% vanilla Android is a terrible idea. The reason I say this is because if there are say, 100 Android phones on the market and all of them ran absolutely identical UIs, there would be no place for a phones “personal identity” meaning that the only difference would be the processors and the name on the phone. At first glance, some people may think this is a great thing – it isn’t. It would absolutely stifle any kind competition and innovation would drop like an osmium balloon because a lot of manufacturers who would otherwise try to get in on the action wouldn’t bother and why would they? To make a phone that is essentially identical to 100 other phones already on the market? I hate to even draw this parallel, but it would be like Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, et al. Making iPhones – all the same UI, possibly slightly differently shaped, but regardless – still the same phone. I do agree whole heartedly with what some others have mentioned in that the garbage (as I call it) shouldn’t be integrated into the OS, rather “on top” like Launcher Pro, ADW EX, GDE, etc. so if you don’t like it, you can remove it. The day that I can no longer flash a custom ROM on an Android phone is the last day I will ever think about buying one again. If Android eventually gets completely locked down like the iGadgets, the very thing that made Android successful will make it just like iPhone – but with a replaceable battery.

  • Brutalsnowman

    ” Sure it might clean up things in the wild west town of smartphones, but at what cost to innovation?”

    Innovation will come when HARDWARE manufacturers make better hardware! there is some innovation for you. Offering different phones and accessories will set them apart. not what UI they put on their phone.

    No innovation loss here.

    • Sevenstars

      I agree with your sentiment, but in the business world, it wouldn’t make sense, or even happen. A manufacturer isn’t likely to put tens or hundreds of millions of dollars into R&D when the only thing they have going for them is a processor with smaller architecture or 6 cores instead of 4, etc. While there is obviously a large Android dev and mod community, in the overall picture, we are a very small part and most people not only don’t care if their phone has one core or 137, a good half of the people I come across with Android phones not only don’t know what version they have, they had no idea that there even were other versions. I’m not talking about people like us who check Android blog sites, hang out in XDA, etc. I’m referring to the majority of the population, and when you own a business and want to be profitable, that is your market.

    • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

      I completely agree. Hardware manufacturers should innovate where they are best – in hardware – and leave the software to Google. Besides, it’s not like we’ve seen that much innovation from custom UI’s from manufacturers until now. Almost all of them are worse than the stock UI, not only in looks, but performance as well.

      Most people still choose an Android phone because of its hardware and because it’s “Android” – not because it has “TouchWiz” or “Blur” and very few actually choose “Sense”. Most HTC fans still pick the phones for their hardware and design.

      This whole “differentiation through custom UI” idea is mostly in the manufacturers’ heads and it’s wishful thinking.

      • Tim242

        There’s only so much they can do with a slab.

      • Tim242

        There’s only so much they can do with a slab.

    • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

      I completely agree. Hardware manufacturers should innovate where they are best – in hardware – and leave the software to Google. Besides, it’s not like we’ve seen that much innovation from custom UI’s from manufacturers until now. Almost all of them are worse than the stock UI, not only in looks, but performance as well.

      Most people still choose an Android phone because of its hardware and because it’s “Android” – not because it has “TouchWiz” or “Blur” and very few actually choose “Sense”. Most HTC fans still pick the phones for their hardware and design.

      This whole “differentiation through custom UI” idea is mostly in the manufacturers’ heads and it’s wishful thinking.

    • Sevenstars

      I agree with your sentiment, but in the business world, it wouldn’t make sense, or even happen. A manufacturer isn’t likely to put tens or hundreds of millions of dollars into R&D when the only thing they have going for them is a processor with smaller architecture or 6 cores instead of 4, etc. While there is obviously a large Android dev and mod community, in the overall picture, we are a very small part and most people not only don’t care if their phone has one core or 137, a good half of the people I come across with Android phones not only don’t know what version they have, they had no idea that there even were other versions. I’m not talking about people like us who check Android blog sites, hang out in XDA, etc. I’m referring to the majority of the population, and when you own a business and want to be profitable, that is your market.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

      • CalypsoArt

        Exactly! Yet people on these sites want to boycott moto for locked bootloader and feel that will “show them”. I’d love to see a real study/statistical analysis of Android handsets, what percentage is rooted etc. I bet it would be miniscule in relation to units sold. HTC, Moto, et al are in the business of selling handsets, preferably to people who think they’re good enough straight out of the box.

    • Tim242

      There’s only so much they can do with a slab.

    • Tim242

      There’s only so much they can do with a slab.

  • Brutalsnowman

    ” Sure it might clean up things in the wild west town of smartphones, but at what cost to innovation?”

    Innovation will come when HARDWARE manufacturers make better hardware! there is some innovation for you. Offering different phones and accessories will set them apart. not what UI they put on their phone.

    No innovation loss here.

  • Anonymous

    I think this won’t mean there won’t be any custom UIs. What I think will happen is that it will change the way Custom UIs are done.

    It’s not like a company can’t make a Custom UI like the way Launcher Pro works. It can just be a problem that the final customer can chose to remove that won’t effect the OS itself.

  • Anonymous

    I think this won’t mean there won’t be any custom UIs. What I think will happen is that it will change the way Custom UIs are done.

    It’s not like a company can’t make a Custom UI like the way Launcher Pro works. It can just be a problem that the final customer can chose to remove that won’t effect the OS itself.

  • Larry Mao

    “The days of calling Android truly open source may be numbered, whether you like it or not. Sure it might clean up things in the wild west town of smartphones, but at what cost to innovation?”

    To be fair, adding Bing as the one and only search option on a phone is a far cry from innovation. Good for Google, it’s about time it starts telling these manufacturers to shove those skins where the sun don’t shine.

  • Larry Mao

    “The days of calling Android truly open source may be numbered, whether you like it or not. Sure it might clean up things in the wild west town of smartphones, but at what cost to innovation?”

    To be fair, adding Bing as the one and only search option on a phone is a far cry from innovation. Good for Google, it’s about time it starts telling these manufacturers to shove those skins where the sun don’t shine.

  • me

    Every phone maker should be required to install their custom UI and all that bloatware in a manner that would allow the customer to uninstall it at their wish. End of story. I don’t buy a computer and get locked into dealing with all that bloatware… and these phones should be no different!

  • me

    Every phone maker should be required to install their custom UI and all that bloatware in a manner that would allow the customer to uninstall it at their wish. End of story. I don’t buy a computer and get locked into dealing with all that bloatware… and these phones should be no different!

  • http://twitter.com/peamonster Peter Bailey

    Don’t take my MIUI

  • http://twitter.com/peamonster Peter Bailey

    Don’t take my MIUI

  • anon

    Require oems to provide a stock option. Then innovation can continue.

  • anon

    Require oems to provide a stock option. Then innovation can continue.

  • Tim242

    They are not banning skins. They are just requiring them to be approved by Google, specifically Andy Rubin. Skins are important, as there is only so much they can do with a slab to differentiate. Getting in a hurry for an update is silly. I just put Gingerbread on my Droid X. It is nice, but nothing much but UI tweaks. There is nothing groundbreaking that should make you feel like you just have to have it as soon as Google releases it. I may actually go back to FroYo.

  • Tim242

    They are not banning skins. They are just requiring them to be approved by Google, specifically Andy Rubin. Skins are important, as there is only so much they can do with a slab to differentiate. Getting in a hurry for an update is silly. I just put Gingerbread on my Droid X. It is nice, but nothing much but UI tweaks. There is nothing groundbreaking that should make you feel like you just have to have it as soon as Google releases it. I may actually go back to FroYo.

  • John_clavis

    Come on, guys, Sprint ID is incredibly valuable — I can… uh… well, I… uh… I know — I get demographically-targeted advertising shown to me for free all day! LOL I have no problem with the restriction of carrier bloatware, if that’s what this means…

  • John_clavis

    Come on, guys, Sprint ID is incredibly valuable — I can… uh… well, I… uh… I know — I get demographically-targeted advertising shown to me for free all day! LOL I have no problem with the restriction of carrier bloatware, if that’s what this means…

  • brent

    I don’t like stock android. I want HTC Sense, Sony UX, or Touchwiz 4

  • brent

    I don’t like stock android. I want HTC Sense, Sony UX, or Touchwiz 4

  • Anonymous

    Good, force the companies to go more stock and remove carrier powers like at&t’s bs about no sideloading. and Yes no BING on android by default and if the carriers and phone makers disagree tell them to stop making android devices and google will buy a small phone maker and possibly sprint and launch google mobile with exclusive android phones and take all their consumers. I like stock and there needs to be more stock phones out here.

  • Anonymous

    Good, force the companies to go more stock and remove carrier powers like at&t’s bs about no sideloading. and Yes no BING on android by default and if the carriers and phone makers disagree tell them to stop making android devices and google will buy a small phone maker and possibly sprint and launch google mobile with exclusive android phones and take all their consumers. I like stock and there needs to be more stock phones out here.

  • Anonymous

    Good, force the companies to go more stock and remove carrier powers like at&t’s bs about no sideloading. and Yes no BING on android by default and if the carriers and phone makers disagree tell them to stop making android devices and google will buy a small phone maker and possibly sprint and launch google mobile with exclusive android phones and take all their consumers. I like stock and there needs to be more stock phones out here.

    • Spanki

      That would defeat Google’s original purpose of Android (even though that would be totally awesome and I wish they did that lol)

    • Spanki

      That would defeat Google’s original purpose of Android (even though that would be totally awesome and I wish they did that lol)

    • Spanki

      That would defeat Google’s original purpose of Android (even though that would be totally awesome and I wish they did that lol)

    • Spanki

      That would defeat Google’s original purpose of Android (even though that would be totally awesome and I wish they did that lol)

  • Anonymous

    Good, force the companies to go more stock and remove carrier powers like at&t’s bs about no sideloading. and Yes no BING on android by default and if the carriers and phone makers disagree tell them to stop making android devices and google will buy a small phone maker and possibly sprint and launch google mobile with exclusive android phones and take all their consumers. I like stock and there needs to be more stock phones out here.

  • Anonymous

    c’mon, what’s the big deal? so one year from now you will have non-“with google” devices, imagine an amazon tablet with just their store and some 3rd party maps…

    as far as i’m concerned i think AOSP is more than enough to enable innovation, now if they kill that.. then there will be a reason to complain

  • Anonymous

    c’mon, what’s the big deal? so one year from now you will have non-“with google” devices, imagine an amazon tablet with just their store and some 3rd party maps…

    as far as i’m concerned i think AOSP is more than enough to enable innovation, now if they kill that.. then there will be a reason to complain

  • Anonymous

    c’mon, what’s the big deal? so one year from now you will have non-“with google” devices, imagine an amazon tablet with just their store and some 3rd party maps…

    as far as i’m concerned i think AOSP is more than enough to enable innovation, now if they kill that.. then there will be a reason to complain

  • Anonymous

    c’mon, what’s the big deal? so one year from now you will have non-“with google” devices, imagine an amazon tablet with just their store and some 3rd party maps…

    as far as i’m concerned i think AOSP is more than enough to enable innovation, now if they kill that.. then there will be a reason to complain

  • Mr.Piñeyro

    They shouldnt restrict it, just make every phone come with stock UI and give us the choice to download via air customs UI like sense or touchwiz….just let us choose, is that simple, want to keep it open and not restrict anything, just create an option for clients for us……

  • Flscarnage

    This is awesome. Vanilla is so much better than most, if not all, custom UIs.

  • Flscarnage

    This is awesome. Vanilla is so much better than most, if not all, custom UIs.

  • Flscarnage

    This is awesome. Vanilla is so much better than most, if not all, custom UIs.

  • Flscarnage

    This is awesome. Vanilla is so much better than most, if not all, custom UIs.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s a good thing. Now carriers and manufacturers can put their custom skins in the Market or let us download it from their website like everyone else so we won’t have to sacrifice our timely updates

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s a good thing. Now carriers and manufacturers can put their custom skins in the Market or let us download it from their website like everyone else so we won’t have to sacrifice our timely updates

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s a good thing. Now carriers and manufacturers can put their custom skins in the Market or let us download it from their website like everyone else so we won’t have to sacrifice our timely updates

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s a good thing. Now carriers and manufacturers can put their custom skins in the Market or let us download it from their website like everyone else so we won’t have to sacrifice our timely updates

  • http://twitter.com/wingdo Doug Wing

    If I wanted the same UI on whatever phone I bought I’d just buy an iPhone. I moved from a D1 to a TB and I really like Sense. I specifically went to the TB for SenseUI (well that and LTE). If it was just for h/w I’d have gotten another Moto phone.

    The thing which makes Android great is that different manufacturers can make the OS their own (SenseUI, Touchwiz, Ninjablur etc). That is what makes the Android market so special compared to the iPhone. If all phones ran exactly the same UI (except for a “skin”) who’d care what phone you bought. The reason Android has taken off so well and quickly is BECAUSE the manufacturers can customize the core OS. Android gives them the ability to differentiate their product from everyone else’s.

  • http://twitter.com/wingdo Doug Wing

    If I wanted the same UI on whatever phone I bought I’d just buy an iPhone. I moved from a D1 to a TB and I really like Sense. I specifically went to the TB for SenseUI (well that and LTE). If it was just for h/w I’d have gotten another Moto phone.

    The thing which makes Android great is that different manufacturers can make the OS their own (SenseUI, Touchwiz, Ninjablur etc). That is what makes the Android market so special compared to the iPhone. If all phones ran exactly the same UI (except for a “skin”) who’d care what phone you bought. The reason Android has taken off so well and quickly is BECAUSE the manufacturers can customize the core OS. Android gives them the ability to differentiate their product from everyone else’s.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

    • Anonymous

      Cmon, even if every Android phone was vanilla Android, the customizations we can do to it -without even rooting- is almost limitless.

      I can understand if you like Sense UI. But I think it would be a lil unfair to compare every Android phone being vanilla Android to buying an iPhone.

      The iPhone needs to be jailbroken to change and add things Android can stock.

  • http://twitter.com/wingdo Doug Wing

    If I wanted the same UI on whatever phone I bought I’d just buy an iPhone. I moved from a D1 to a TB and I really like Sense. I specifically went to the TB for SenseUI (well that and LTE). If it was just for h/w I’d have gotten another Moto phone.

    The thing which makes Android great is that different manufacturers can make the OS their own (SenseUI, Touchwiz, Ninjablur etc). That is what makes the Android market so special compared to the iPhone. If all phones ran exactly the same UI (except for a “skin”) who’d care what phone you bought. The reason Android has taken off so well and quickly is BECAUSE the manufacturers can customize the core OS. Android gives them the ability to differentiate their product from everyone else’s.

  • http://twitter.com/wingdo Doug Wing

    If I wanted the same UI on whatever phone I bought I’d just buy an iPhone. I moved from a D1 to a TB and I really like Sense. I specifically went to the TB for SenseUI (well that and LTE). If it was just for h/w I’d have gotten another Moto phone.

    The thing which makes Android great is that different manufacturers can make the OS their own (SenseUI, Touchwiz, Ninjablur etc). That is what makes the Android market so special compared to the iPhone. If all phones ran exactly the same UI (except for a “skin”) who’d care what phone you bought. The reason Android has taken off so well and quickly is BECAUSE the manufacturers can customize the core OS. Android gives them the ability to differentiate their product from everyone else’s.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, if HTC makes a phone with Vanilla Android and you have to buy Sense UI..

    Isnt that extra profit for HTC than just having Sense UI already installed on the phone? Those that like it so much would be willing to pay for it. Even if its free, I’m sure HTC can find a way to profit from it being installed after purchase.

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

    • Sevenstars

      +1 jroc – Well said!

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Proprietary_Android

    I’ve brought this topic up before and there are a few issue that people don’t realize.

    The number one issue is, these OEM’s need to make modifications to Android in order to add proprietary software that Google won’t add. Like Cisco’s software for business. They can’t just add that as an app, thus they need to customize Android which leads to “proprietary Android” for their handsets.

    That’s a necessary evil if Android is to remain open sourced. Therefore the only real options are to enforce that OEM’s give an option for users to have an optimized stock Android reset via the market or something. This way the end user can choose to be updated via the OEM and their “proprietary Android OS” or go stock Android and allow Google to update the handset.

    As far as this article. I don’t think Google are trying to stop any of this UI stuff. They are only protecting their own interests in search and ads–they don’t want the search engine changes or ad network altered. In other words, Google doesn’t give a rats ass about the OEM’s making Android into a proprietary OS as long as it still has Google’s apps and ad network embedded.

  • Brandon

    I agree 100% with Mr.pinero. Just give people the option that’s all.

  • Dan

    Thank goodness for this. Because of the nonsense with fragmentation, I’d seriously consider moving to an iPad. You’ve got issues with apps not working with HTC products because of Sense, you’ve got Samsung devices that aren’t compatible with many apps, you’ve got slow updates from manufacturers because they need to make sure their crap doesn’t break anything on the new OS, etc. The base Android OS should be stock and any additional apps the carrier or device manufacturer wants to put on should be extra AND uninstallable.

  • Dan

    Thank goodness for this. Because of the nonsense with fragmentation, I’d seriously consider moving to an iPad. You’ve got issues with apps not working with HTC products because of Sense, you’ve got Samsung devices that aren’t compatible with many apps, you’ve got slow updates from manufacturers because they need to make sure their crap doesn’t break anything on the new OS, etc. The base Android OS should be stock and any additional apps the carrier or device manufacturer wants to put on should be extra AND uninstallable.

    • Bela

      What apps don’t work because of Sense? I am seriously curious to know this.

    • Bela

      What apps don’t work because of Sense? I am seriously curious to know this.

    • Bela

      What apps don’t work because of Sense? I am seriously curious to know this.

    • Bela

      What apps don’t work because of Sense? I am seriously curious to know this.

    • Bela

      What apps don’t work because of Sense? I am seriously curious to know this.

      • Dan

        It’s been over 6 months since I’ve rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (getting rid of Sense and any other HTC stuff). I don’t remember specific apps, but one that I do recall was a Wii mote controller app. There are always apps on the market that have to put out specific fixes because of incompatibilities with manufacturer modified Android OS’s. The point is that these “custom” versions of Android make things more difficult for developers and users – if there are custom apps installed over the existing stock Android OS, it would solve a lot of problems and get OS updates out to users much faster than they are put out now.

      • Dan

        It’s been over 6 months since I’ve rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (getting rid of Sense and any other HTC stuff). I don’t remember specific apps, but one that I do recall was a Wii mote controller app. There are always apps on the market that have to put out specific fixes because of incompatibilities with manufacturer modified Android OS’s. The point is that these “custom” versions of Android make things more difficult for developers and users – if there are custom apps installed over the existing stock Android OS, it would solve a lot of problems and get OS updates out to users much faster than they are put out now.

      • Dan

        It’s been over 6 months since I’ve rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (getting rid of Sense and any other HTC stuff). I don’t remember specific apps, but one that I do recall was a Wii mote controller app. There are always apps on the market that have to put out specific fixes because of incompatibilities with manufacturer modified Android OS’s. The point is that these “custom” versions of Android make things more difficult for developers and users – if there are custom apps installed over the existing stock Android OS, it would solve a lot of problems and get OS updates out to users much faster than they are put out now.

      • Dan

        It’s been over 6 months since I’ve rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (getting rid of Sense and any other HTC stuff). I don’t remember specific apps, but one that I do recall was a Wii mote controller app. There are always apps on the market that have to put out specific fixes because of incompatibilities with manufacturer modified Android OS’s. The point is that these “custom” versions of Android make things more difficult for developers and users – if there are custom apps installed over the existing stock Android OS, it would solve a lot of problems and get OS updates out to users much faster than they are put out now.

      • Dan

        It’s been over 6 months since I’ve rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (getting rid of Sense and any other HTC stuff). I don’t remember specific apps, but one that I do recall was a Wii mote controller app. There are always apps on the market that have to put out specific fixes because of incompatibilities with manufacturer modified Android OS’s. The point is that these “custom” versions of Android make things more difficult for developers and users – if there are custom apps installed over the existing stock Android OS, it would solve a lot of problems and get OS updates out to users much faster than they are put out now.

      • Dan

        It’s been over 6 months since I’ve rooted my phone and installed a custom rom (getting rid of Sense and any other HTC stuff). I don’t remember specific apps, but one that I do recall was a Wii mote controller app. There are always apps on the market that have to put out specific fixes because of incompatibilities with manufacturer modified Android OS’s. The point is that these “custom” versions of Android make things more difficult for developers and users – if there are custom apps installed over the existing stock Android OS, it would solve a lot of problems and get OS updates out to users much faster than they are put out now.

    • Bela

      What apps don’t work because of Sense? I am seriously curious to know this.

  • Dan

    Thank goodness for this. Because of the nonsense with fragmentation, I’d seriously consider moving to an iPad. You’ve got issues with apps not working with HTC products because of Sense, you’ve got Samsung devices that aren’t compatible with many apps, you’ve got slow updates from manufacturers because they need to make sure their crap doesn’t break anything on the new OS, etc. The base Android OS should be stock and any additional apps the carrier or device manufacturer wants to put on should be extra AND uninstallable.

  • JaylanPHNX

    I have a feeling this is in preparation for when 3.x comes to phones.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

    • Anonymous

      really, what the cool innovative feature in ios4?

    • Anonymous

      really, what the cool innovative feature in ios4?

    • Anonymous

      really, what the cool innovative feature in ios4?

    • Anonymous

      really, what the cool innovative feature in ios4?

    • Anonymous

      Sometimes you are ok, other times….not so much.

      Cleaning Google’s clock…alrighty then…

    • Anonymous

      Sometimes you are ok, other times….not so much.

      Cleaning Google’s clock…alrighty then…

    • Anonymous

      Sometimes you are ok, other times….not so much.

      Cleaning Google’s clock…alrighty then…

    • Anonymous

      Sometimes you are ok, other times….not so much.

      Cleaning Google’s clock…alrighty then…

    • Anonymous

      yeah like you are now allowed to have wallpaper. That’s innovative for the iphone.

    • Anonymous

      yeah like you are now allowed to have wallpaper. That’s innovative for the iphone.

    • Anonymous

      yeah like you are now allowed to have wallpaper. That’s innovative for the iphone.

    • Anonymous

      yeah like you are now allowed to have wallpaper. That’s innovative for the iphone.

    • Anonymous

      yeah like you are now allowed to have wallpaper. That’s innovative for the iphone.

    • Anonymous

      yeah like you are now allowed to have wallpaper. That’s innovative for the iphone.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • Mr. Truth

    Q: but at what cost to innovation?
    A: No cost. Apples been cleaning googles clock on the innovation front.

  • 1linuxfreak

    Sounds still Open Source to me they are just stopping the fragmentation and saying you can use it for free , but don’t fragment it .

  • 1linuxfreak

    Sounds still Open Source to me they are just stopping the fragmentation and saying you can use it for free , but don’t fragment it .

  • 1linuxfreak

    Sounds still Open Source to me they are just stopping the fragmentation and saying you can use it for free , but don’t fragment it .

    • D-man

      Sounds like you don’t understand what “open source” means…

    • D-man

      Sounds like you don’t understand what “open source” means…

    • D-man

      Sounds like you don’t understand what “open source” means…

    • D-man

      Sounds like you don’t understand what “open source” means…

    • D-man

      Sounds like you don’t understand what “open source” means…

  • 1linuxfreak

    Sounds still Open Source to me they are just stopping the fragmentation and saying you can use it for free , but don’t fragment it .

  • Psionix

    Manufacturers can still opt to have their UI backed into the OS instead of making it an app like launcherpro.

    The catch is they will only get the source codes way way way later, that means their product will always be running on versions of Android that are way behind.

  • Psionix

    Manufacturers can still opt to have their UI backed into the OS instead of making it an app like launcherpro.

    The catch is they will only get the source codes way way way later, that means their product will always be running on versions of Android that are way behind.

  • Psionix

    Manufacturers can still opt to have their UI backed into the OS instead of making it an app like launcherpro.

    The catch is they will only get the source codes way way way later, that means their product will always be running on versions of Android that are way behind.

  • Psionix

    Manufacturers can still opt to have their UI backed into the OS instead of making it an app like launcherpro.

    The catch is they will only get the source codes way way way later, that means their product will always be running on versions of Android that are way behind.

  • SIGINT

    Google gets a clue finally…

  • nhf7170

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way your Blur.

  • nhf7170

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Blur.

  • Matt

    Where the hell is the proof for any of the assertions in the original article other than “sources familiar with the matter”? Serious business week is a POS as far as news is concerned.

  • Matt

    Where the hell is the proof for any of the assertions in the original article other than “sources familiar with the matter”? Serious business week is a POS as far as news is concerned.

  • Matt

    Where the hell is the proof for any of the assertions in the original article other than “sources familiar with the matter”? Serious business week is a POS as far as news is concerned.

  • Matt

    Where the hell is the proof for any of the assertions in the original article other than “sources familiar with the matter”? Serious business week is a POS as far as news is concerned.

  • Bela

    I have a solution that can please everyone.

    Simply let the OEMs do what they do, but also require them to allow us to load vanilla Android without a hobbyist developer cooking up the ROM for us. Simple. It gives people choice. Those that tout sense, or touchwiz, or blur is amazing can still have that as they please. Those that want to pick the best hardware with the nicest updates can always update straight away to the newest vanilla release.

  • Bela

    I have a solution that can please everyone.

    Simply let the OEMs do what they do, but also require them to allow us to load vanilla Android without a hobbyist developer cooking up the ROM for us. Simple. It gives people choice. Those that tout sense, or touchwiz, or blur is amazing can still have that as they please. Those that want to pick the best hardware with the nicest updates can always update straight away to the newest vanilla release.

  • Bela

    I have a solution that can please everyone.

    Simply let the OEMs do what they do, but also require them to allow us to load vanilla Android without a hobbyist developer cooking up the ROM for us. Simple. It gives people choice. Those that tout sense, or touchwiz, or blur is amazing can still have that as they please. Those that want to pick the best hardware with the nicest updates can always update straight away to the newest vanilla release.

  • Bela

    I have a solution that can please everyone.

    Simply let the OEMs do what they do, but also require them to allow us to load vanilla Android without a hobbyist developer cooking up the ROM for us. Simple. It gives people choice. Those that tout sense, or touchwiz, or blur is amazing can still have that as they please. Those that want to pick the best hardware with the nicest updates can always update straight away to the newest vanilla release.

  • Bela

    I have a solution that can please everyone.

    Simply let the OEMs do what they do, but also require them to allow us to load vanilla Android without a hobbyist developer cooking up the ROM for us. Simple. It gives people choice. Those that tout sense, or touchwiz, or blur is amazing can still have that as they please. Those that want to pick the best hardware with the nicest updates can always update straight away to the newest vanilla release.

  • Bela

    I have a solution that can please everyone.

    Simply let the OEMs do what they do, but also require them to allow us to load vanilla Android without a hobbyist developer cooking up the ROM for us. Simple. It gives people choice. Those that tout sense, or touchwiz, or blur is amazing can still have that as they please. Those that want to pick the best hardware with the nicest updates can always update straight away to the newest vanilla release.

  • Jay

    Very bittersweet news. Sure, custom ui’s delay updates and provide different experiences between brands but for average consumers that doesn’t matter. I was upset at first my atrix came with blur but after using it a few days I realized it isn’t as bad as I thought. I still use adw ex but if I was restricted to just blur I wouldn’t mind. We also assume that killing custom ui’s would end fragmentation but I remain skeptical. That still depends on the manufacturer. If motorola wanted to they could have gingerbread ready for the atrix in a week or two if they solely focused on it but they wont, even stock Android devices like the g2 don’t get their updates quick. Like the iphone, Android would carry the same look between phones but it would still take forever to get your updates. Even without blur/sense/touchwiz they still have to alter the kernel and cater to the carriers wishes most of the time. This move could hurt Android as well. If, say, motorola couldn’t customize Android to stand out from other phones they’d probably just focus more on their custom os and dump Android. It’d turn it into WP7, consumers would walk into a store and have all WP7 devices set before them and realize that even though these are all made by different companies they’re all the same damn phone.

  • Anonymous

    custom UI’s are fun but many people need Cisco VPN and codecs such as divx and Samsung is the only one that will be offering it. Google can’t incorporate proprietary stuff into the open source AOSP

  • Anonymous

    custom UI’s are fun but many people need Cisco VPN and codecs such as divx and Samsung is the only one that will be offering it. Google can’t incorporate proprietary stuff into the open source AOSP

  • Anonymous

    custom UI’s are fun but many people need Cisco VPN and codecs such as divx and Samsung is the only one that will be offering it. Google can’t incorporate proprietary stuff into the open source AOSP

  • Anonymous

    custom UI’s are fun but many people need Cisco VPN and codecs such as divx and Samsung is the only one that will be offering it. Google can’t incorporate proprietary stuff into the open source AOSP

  • Anonymous

    custom UI’s are fun but many people need Cisco VPN and codecs such as divx and Samsung is the only one that will be offering it. Google can’t incorporate proprietary stuff into the open source AOSP

  • Anonymous

    custom UI’s are fun but many people need Cisco VPN and codecs such as divx and Samsung is the only one that will be offering it. Google can’t incorporate proprietary stuff into the open source AOSP

  • Brad

    I have no problem whatsoever with Google grabbing the reins and enforcing quality control on their OS, because the fragmentation has become pretty ridiculous, and will ultimately cause the platform to become unsustainable. I believe that fragmentation is by the far the #1 reason why Linux has never achieved any real success on the desktop, because it lacks any form of standardization that both consumers and enterprises need.

    That said, I also have no problem at all with OEM and carriers loading custom UIs and apps on the phones, with one caveat: they cannot be integrated into the OS, and they must be allow users to uninstall them. Having a custom launcher is fine, but you should have the ability to uninstall it (not just hide it in the background) and revert to the stock Android launcher. Apps like Verizon’s VZ Navigator, Bing, and so on can come preinstalled, but should not be part of the rom, so that they can be uninstalled (can be reinstalled from Android Market or other app store if the user ever wants them back). After all, modern smartphones are essentially full blown computers. Have you ever purchased a PC that didn’t allow you to uninstall all factory bloatware apps, and revert to a standard Windows desktop? Smartphones should be no different. As long as all Android phones are AOSP at the core, and preinstalled UIs and apps are removable after purchase, I and all other consumers will be happy.

    For that matter, if the custom UIs were modular, companies like HTC and Samsung and Motorola would actually be able to create a revenue stream by charging for them as aftermarket launcher apps, as their UIs could be installed on any Android phone, instead of just their own. To me it makes perfect sense to separate the software and hardware, because right now it seems to be impossible to get the best of both worlds. Samsung arguably makes the best hardware (Hummingbird chips, Super AMOLED, etc.), but can’t code worth beans. HTC makes stunning user interfaces, but many don’t like their hardware. And so on and so forth. Buying an Android phone should be like buying a PC. You pick your hardware, get a standard OS (possibly with some removable bloat), and put whatever customizations you want on it from there. Let’s stick with what works, and not try to reinvent the wheel in every emerging market.

  • Brad

    I have no problem whatsoever with Google grabbing the reins and enforcing quality control on their OS, because the fragmentation has become pretty ridiculous, and will ultimately cause the platform to become unsustainable. I believe that fragmentation is by the far the #1 reason why Linux has never achieved any real success on the desktop, because it lacks any form of standardization that both consumers and enterprises need.

    That said, I also have no problem at all with OEM and carriers loading custom UIs and apps on the phones, with one caveat: they cannot be integrated into the OS, and they must be allow users to uninstall them. Having a custom launcher is fine, but you should have the ability to uninstall it (not just hide it in the background) and revert to the stock Android launcher. Apps like Verizon’s VZ Navigator, Bing, and so on can come preinstalled, but should not be part of the rom, so that they can be uninstalled (can be reinstalled from Android Market or other app store if the user ever wants them back). After all, modern smartphones are essentially full blown computers. Have you ever purchased a PC that didn’t allow you to uninstall all factory bloatware apps, and revert to a standard Windows desktop? Smartphones should be no different. As long as all Android phones are AOSP at the core, and preinstalled UIs and apps are removable after purchase, I and all other consumers will be happy.

    For that matter, if the custom UIs were modular, companies like HTC and Samsung and Motorola would actually be able to create a revenue stream by charging for them as aftermarket launcher apps, as their UIs could be installed on any Android phone, instead of just their own. To me it makes perfect sense to separate the software and hardware, because right now it seems to be impossible to get the best of both worlds. Samsung arguably makes the best hardware (Hummingbird chips, Super AMOLED, etc.), but can’t code worth beans. HTC makes stunning user interfaces, but many don’t like their hardware. And so on and so forth. Buying an Android phone should be like buying a PC. You pick your hardware, get a standard OS (possibly with some removable bloat), and put whatever customizations you want on it from there. Let’s stick with what works, and not try to reinvent the wheel in every emerging market.

  • Brad

    I have no problem whatsoever with Google grabbing the reins and enforcing quality control on their OS, because the fragmentation has become pretty ridiculous, and will ultimately cause the platform to become unsustainable. I believe that fragmentation is by the far the #1 reason why Linux has never achieved any real success on the desktop, because it lacks any form of standardization that both consumers and enterprises need.

    That said, I also have no problem at all with OEM and carriers loading custom UIs and apps on the phones, with one caveat: they cannot be integrated into the OS, and they must be allow users to uninstall them. Having a custom launcher is fine, but you should have the ability to uninstall it (not just hide it in the background) and revert to the stock Android launcher. Apps like Verizon’s VZ Navigator, Bing, and so on can come preinstalled, but should not be part of the rom, so that they can be uninstalled (can be reinstalled from Android Market or other app store if the user ever wants them back). After all, modern smartphones are essentially full blown computers. Have you ever purchased a PC that didn’t allow you to uninstall all factory bloatware apps, and revert to a standard Windows desktop? Smartphones should be no different. As long as all Android phones are AOSP at the core, and preinstalled UIs and apps are removable after purchase, I and all other consumers will be happy.

    For that matter, if the custom UIs were modular, companies like HTC and Samsung and Motorola would actually be able to create a revenue stream by charging for them as aftermarket launcher apps, as their UIs could be installed on any Android phone, instead of just their own. To me it makes perfect sense to separate the software and hardware, because right now it seems to be impossible to get the best of both worlds. Samsung arguably makes the best hardware (Hummingbird chips, Super AMOLED, etc.), but can’t code worth beans. HTC makes stunning user interfaces, but many don’t like their hardware. And so on and so forth. Buying an Android phone should be like buying a PC. You pick your hardware, get a standard OS (possibly with some removable bloat), and put whatever customizations you want on it from there. Let’s stick with what works, and not try to reinvent the wheel in every emerging market.

  • Brad

    I have no problem whatsoever with Google grabbing the reins and enforcing quality control on their OS, because the fragmentation has become pretty ridiculous, and will ultimately cause the platform to become unsustainable. I believe that fragmentation is by the far the #1 reason why Linux has never achieved any real success on the desktop, because it lacks any form of standardization that both consumers and enterprises need.

    That said, I also have no problem at all with OEM and carriers loading custom UIs and apps on the phones, with one caveat: they cannot be integrated into the OS, and they must be allow users to uninstall them. Having a custom launcher is fine, but you should have the ability to uninstall it (not just hide it in the background) and revert to the stock Android launcher. Apps like Verizon’s VZ Navigator, Bing, and so on can come preinstalled, but should not be part of the rom, so that they can be uninstalled (can be reinstalled from Android Market or other app store if the user ever wants them back). After all, modern smartphones are essentially full blown computers. Have you ever purchased a PC that didn’t allow you to uninstall all factory bloatware apps, and revert to a standard Windows desktop? Smartphones should be no different. As long as all Android phones are AOSP at the core, and preinstalled UIs and apps are removable after purchase, I and all other consumers will be happy.

    For that matter, if the custom UIs were modular, companies like HTC and Samsung and Motorola would actually be able to create a revenue stream by charging for them as aftermarket launcher apps, as their UIs could be installed on any Android phone, instead of just their own. To me it makes perfect sense to separate the software and hardware, because right now it seems to be impossible to get the best of both worlds. Samsung arguably makes the best hardware (Hummingbird chips, Super AMOLED, etc.), but can’t code worth beans. HTC makes stunning user interfaces, but many don’t like their hardware. And so on and so forth. Buying an Android phone should be like buying a PC. You pick your hardware, get a standard OS (possibly with some removable bloat), and put whatever customizations you want on it from there. Let’s stick with what works, and not try to reinvent the wheel in every emerging market.

  • Brad

    I have no problem whatsoever with Google grabbing the reins and enforcing quality control on their OS, because the fragmentation has become pretty ridiculous, and will ultimately cause the platform to become unsustainable. I believe that fragmentation is by the far the #1 reason why Linux has never achieved any real success on the desktop, because it lacks any form of standardization that both consumers and enterprises need.

    That said, I also have no problem at all with OEM and carriers loading custom UIs and apps on the phones, with one caveat: they cannot be integrated into the OS, and they must be allow users to uninstall them. Having a custom launcher is fine, but you should have the ability to uninstall it (not just hide it in the background) and revert to the stock Android launcher. Apps like Verizon’s VZ Navigator, Bing, and so on can come preinstalled, but should not be part of the rom, so that they can be uninstalled (can be reinstalled from Android Market or other app store if the user ever wants them back). After all, modern smartphones are essentially full blown computers. Have you ever purchased a PC that didn’t allow you to uninstall all factory bloatware apps, and revert to a standard Windows desktop? Smartphones should be no different. As long as all Android phones are AOSP at the core, and preinstalled UIs and apps are removable after purchase, I and all other consumers will be happy.

    For that matter, if the custom UIs were modular, companies like HTC and Samsung and Motorola would actually be able to create a revenue stream by charging for them as aftermarket launcher apps, as their UIs could be installed on any Android phone, instead of just their own. To me it makes perfect sense to separate the software and hardware, because right now it seems to be impossible to get the best of both worlds. Samsung arguably makes the best hardware (Hummingbird chips, Super AMOLED, etc.), but can’t code worth beans. HTC makes stunning user interfaces, but many don’t like their hardware. And so on and so forth. Buying an Android phone should be like buying a PC. You pick your hardware, get a standard OS (possibly with some removable bloat), and put whatever customizations you want on it from there. Let’s stick with what works, and not try to reinvent the wheel in every emerging market.

  • Lenny

    I am all for this but its a little late. Some people like me still have phones that are running Android 2.1 and now nearly 6 months after the phone was released we are told were getting Froyo “soon” Their not even giving us Gingerbread.

  • Anonymous

    Finally! Just what i’ve been waiting for!

  • Anonymous

    Finally! Just what i’ve been waiting for!

  • Anonymous

    Finally! Just what i’ve been waiting for!

  • Anonymous

    Finally! Just what i’ve been waiting for!

  • Anonymous

    Finally! Just what i’ve been waiting for!

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • joey

    fuck getting rid of custom skins from hardware. work on getting the bloatware from carriers and locked boot loaders. i have a droid x purely because i like the hardware. if i was unaware of root etc. i would hate this phone for the bloatware alone.

  • Abrown

    So what I can say is that the only custom UI that has added anything good to the scene is HTC’s Sense UI. I never really liked MotoBlur or whatever they’re calling it now. And the other UIs and skins are worthless, ugly, or ruin any intuition that android did have. So it’ll be a mixed bag of good and bad if Google cracks down. However, I can’t help but think this could do more harm than good if it stifles the freedom to customize the phone. Just today I was talking to someone who has the iPhone 4 and was a little jealous that I could drag and drop pretty much any file onto my phone, including my syllabus from class, and didn’t require syncing with anything to do so. I love the freedom the device gives, and some of the cool things I enjoy come from manufacturers too. Hopefully that freedom will only get better if Google does crack down.

  • Abrown

    So what I can say is that the only custom UI that has added anything good to the scene is HTC’s Sense UI. I never really liked MotoBlur or whatever they’re calling it now. And the other UIs and skins are worthless, ugly, or ruin any intuition that android did have. So it’ll be a mixed bag of good and bad if Google cracks down. However, I can’t help but think this could do more harm than good if it stifles the freedom to customize the phone. Just today I was talking to someone who has the iPhone 4 and was a little jealous that I could drag and drop pretty much any file onto my phone, including my syllabus from class, and didn’t require syncing with anything to do so. I love the freedom the device gives, and some of the cool things I enjoy come from manufacturers too. Hopefully that freedom will only get better if Google does crack down.

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/lukito Rasterman

    Do you even know what open and open source even mean?

    Companies can still get access to the Android source code and do whatever they want with it – open source.

    But if you want early access to what Google is doing, have them help you with the design & engineering of your product, include software from them and have a nice Google logo on your product that will help you sell it, then you’ve got to sign-up and abide by a program. What’s so wrong about that?

    Look at the business models of Red Hat, Novell and others with open-source Linux. Same thing. Can we please have some more intelligence in this discussion and not the low-brow journalism this is?