Android Market Movies
Hey everybody. Been lurking here for a long time, but this is my first post, and potentially last. After reading Gerry's excellent editorial the other day on the site about rooted users not being able to access the Market's new movie rental service I got to thinking. I'm more than a little perturbed about the current state of Android.
My first Android device was the OG Droid. I loved the thing due, in no small part, to the fact that it was a hackers dream. Thanks to all the great devs behind it, I was able to do some amazing things with that phone that I'd never even dreamed of doing with any mobile device I had owned before it. The day the sliding mechanism started going and Verizon decided to ship me a Droid 2 as the warranty replacement ( the Droid had already been EOL'ed by then) ranks as one of the worst moments of this little hobby of mine. Which actually brings me to my first pain point: Locked bootloaders.
A device with a locked bootloader was just not gonna fly with me, already having been spoiled by Koush's initial ports of Cyanogenmod and CVPCS' excellent Sapphire ROM. No biggie though, HTC had just released the Incredible a couple months earlier and at least they were still releasing open devices. So I did what any geek would do; sold my BNIB Droid 2 and picked up an Incredible. Kept it for a week or so, did some cool stuff with it, and returned to get a Fascinate. (I know, I know. Hindsight's 20/20 and all that)
The Fascinate was fun. Rooted the day it came out, debloated/de-Binged ROMs soon after. Couldn't wait to see CM6 running on that SMOLED beauty. But unfortunately Samsung borked the source release for this one. (I know, it's Samsung. But I had a really good feeling about this one) So, an AOSP ROM would never run quite right on this thing, despite some kick-*** effort by JT1134, Adrynalyne, and punkkaos. Specifically, RIL and some quirky little kernel issues. So once more we went back to the well, mostly because my sister needed a smartphone and didn't care for any of this geekery, but also because HTC was putting out a new phone on Verizon.
So, the Thunderbolt. Nice little phone. And I do use the term "little" quite loosely. HTC's newest device for Verizon, and the one place I was certain the best and the brightest of the VZW Android dev scene would be headed. Only one problem: a locked bootloader. If I'm not terribly mistaken, the first HTC phone to ship in the US with a locked bootloader. Luckily, JCase was able to get around that pesky little roadblock with some nice prerelease firmware voodooery. Yeah, I just invented a word, but this far in that's gotta be the least of my digressions. Anywho, I'm happy with my Thunderbolt. The devs are doing some cool stuff with this baby, even some names I recognize, and trust, from my Fascinate days. But the problem is this: despite the fact people were able to get around it, its still another device that is being shipped locked down. Which will apparently be the norm for HTC going forward. Another frustration with this otherwise great platform.
So, how does this tie in with my shiny, unlocked, rooted, overclocked, beast that looks like it may eat me in my sleep Xoom and Android movie rental service? Its just another locked down service. Specifically, it's Google viewing me as a thief, criminal, pirate, whatever, simply because I want full access to my device. And right now, that kind of feels like the final nail in mine and Android's relationship. Google has gone from being the champion of open, the company that got Verizon to release what was essentially a dev phone, got them to let me choose whatever GPS service I wanted to use on my phone, to being just another company. One that backs down to their OEM partners and lets content distributors dictate to them what I can and can't do with my device.
Sorry this ran a bit long, just had to get that off my chest. And sorry about the formatting, typed this all out on my xoom. I should probably look into changing that title too.
Last edited by tslojr; 05-22-2011 at 11:43 PM. Reason: This and that
- 05-22-2011, 11:59 PM #2
Its googles loss. A bunch of rooted customers that can't use their product. They need to find a better way. I wasn't going to use the movies so it doesn't bother me much but I know a lot will want to use it.
Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
- 05-23-2011, 01:49 AM #3
- 10 Posts
Guess what? I have demonstrated the Movie rental functionality to people on my Motorola Xoom and I have influenced people to actually purchase the device based on this (amongst other things that make Android great).
These are people who would probably otherwise have gone with one of Apple's devices. These are also NOT people who even know what the words "root", "ROM", and "bootloader" mean.
The Android platform is going through a growth period. As they continue to grow they have to cater to the needs of the general population (not just the technically inclined). thankfully, the Android ecosystem is not based around a limited number of devices (unlike Apple's econsystem) and can accomodate different needs/wants.
I think people are really making a huge deal out of this. We have to be pragmatic and think that in order to get content for our devices, the content providers needed some safeguards in place to ensure that no copyright/intellectual property violations happen.
It is unfortunate that this has to be done but I understand why they chose to do it. It is also unfortunate but it is almost a sure given that someone will find a way to abuse the movie rental system on their rooted device (this is not unlike people who have openly posted on forums that they consume gigs and gigs of wireless data because they have their computers tethered to their phones all the time, a big reason why unlimited data plans are going away: the very few spoil it for the majority).
The Android ecosystem needs the content (music, movies, applications) in order to thrive. Android users already get a bad rap as being users who want everything for free and are not willing to pay for apps. We, as part of the community need to prove otherwise. I have made sure that I pay for the applications that I use on my phones and tablet in order to support the developers, the android community and the ecosystem. I have also rented a few movies on my Xoom and will continue to do so in order to support the Android ecosystem in the eyes to the movie industry and let them know that there is a definite demand for their content on my devices.
I understand that the rooting/modding community is upset at this, but we have to be pragmatic about it. Besides, I am sure that there will be other services available for movies for those technically savy enough to root/mod their devices. No, it does not mean that Google is targeting you who root for valid reasons. They are targeting those who would root for the purposes to game the system and proceed to violate copyright/intellectual property. Unfortunately, there is no technological way to provide legitimate rooted users the service while blocking out the bad people, which leads the movie industry, and Google to this solution (again, the few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us).
Don't take it so personal, voice your concern with Google and they can hopefully work out a solution. But it is a mistake for people to turn back just when we are starting to gain some traction with the mainstream media companies (which we need for the long term health of the Android ecosystem).
Google is trying to grow the ecosystem with their Google @home initiative, this will be a dream for us engineering and technically inclined (what other ecosystem is championing this???). They are still incredibly friendly to developers in comparison and will still get my support. My 2 cents.
Last edited by omarcastz; 05-23-2011 at 01:56 AM.
- 05-23-2011, 08:53 AM #4
- 05-23-2011, 09:03 AM #5
- 05-23-2011, 09:11 AM #6
- 77 Posts
Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
- 05-23-2011, 10:42 AM #7
- 485 Posts
What does "OG Droid" mean? Is that supposed to be like "original gangster"? What are you, 12? You rooted your device. We assume you knew the consequences. Well, if you didn't understand, now you do. Suck it up and live with it big boy!
Sent from my Etch A SketchMotorola Droid Bionic 4g LTE - Motorola Xoom Tablet 4g LTE
And yes, the SIM card from the Bionic works great in the Xoom!
- 05-23-2011, 05:34 PM #8Google Nexus Class Devices (Nexus7, Nexus4, Galaxy Nexus lte VZW)...@moosc on twitter ...
- 05-24-2011, 12:02 AM #9
- 142 Posts
What do you expect Google to do? Tell the MPAA to go to hell and not offer movie rentals at all? Or just rent the movies anyway and get sued to hell and back? Their only choice was to give the movie rental service to the majority of people, or nobody at all. Yeah, it sucks, but that's because the MPAA has ****** love for DRM.
This doesn't even change the open source nature of Android because the movie rental service is not part of the Android OS. Google's app suite has never been open. Android itself is still open and other companies can make competing movie rental services if they wish.
- 05-24-2011, 02:23 AM #10Android is all about Personal Choice: Droid RAZR HD, Droid DNA, SGSIII, SG Note 2, HTC One X+, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus4... Hating is so Apple... we're better than that!
Correcting Some of the Shared Everything Misinformation * My Phone Collection
PSA - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Signal Strength Comparison