View Poll Results: Android: Better off, Worse off or the same as an independent company

Voters
10. You may not vote on this poll
  • Better off

    4 40.00%
  • Worse off

    5 50.00%
  • The same

    1 10.00%
  1. anon(10092459)'s Avatar
    A couple releases recently cause me to consider whether Android users would better off if the OS was still independent; the Note 9 and Android P.

    Some say, Samsung would be better off to go their own way. I think what they're saying isn't necessarily about Android, but about Google. That thought caused me to wonder if Google's influence on the OS has been a good thing for all concerned parties.

    Perhaps Android users would be better off providing just a base OS and not have Google's vision involved. I mean, Material Design is a Google thing. Does that design language need to be a part of Android? AI is a Google thing. Does DeepMind need to be baked into the OS across all OEMs? Would Android have reached the #1 OS in the world without Google and it's resources?

    Personally, I think they've benefited from being owned by Google. But I can see why some disagree with that too. Not all of Android needs or wants Google involved.

    What do you guys think?
    09-04-2018 01:10 PM
  2. Itsa_Me_Mario's Avatar
    Note: This is a POLL - log in through a browser if you want to vote.
    09-04-2018 02:01 PM
  3. mr_master's Avatar
    Not sure, but I think that when it comes to privacy, Android (i.e. Android users) may have been better off if Android was independent of Google.
    anon(10092459) likes this.
    09-04-2018 02:06 PM
  4. Itsa_Me_Mario's Avatar
    Not sure, but I think that when it comes to privacy, Android (i.e. Android users) may have been better off if Android was independent of Google.
    How so? Google is one of the only Android OEM's that doesn't sell user data, making them one of the, if not the most privacy friendly OEM of the bunch. I was relatively shocked to find out that RIM (BB10 and BB Mobile) sells user data, I would have assumed they were on the level with Google, but they aren't. Google is also the primary architect of most of the positive security functionality that exists in mobile, meaning that separating Google from Android would by default leave Android faaaaar less secure.
    anon(10092459) likes this.
    09-04-2018 02:12 PM
  5. Rukbat's Avatar
    First, Android was never a stand-alone company, it started as a product of Google's.

    If all companies went their own way, you wouldn't have Android, you'd have what we had 15 years ago - each company writing its own OS, and no one marketing apps (although some of us wrote apps for our own use - but every time you got a phone with a different system you had to write different apps, you couldn't even port them.)

    If "Android" did away with the look, with AI (which it isn't, it's jut a good parser and a decent database lookup on a huge database), you'd still be back to the same thing - every company with its own "AI", so you couldn't have things like Echo or Alexa controlling smart devices, because half of that is "baked into" Android. And if it didn't have Material Design, it would still have some design - but every manufacturer would have its own - so things that interoperate with parts of the phone having to do with the design would have to be written by each manufacturer - fracturing Android even further.

    You're missing something that any competent junior developer would have seen immediately (and I wouldn't call 46 years of experience "junior level"):

    When you remove critical parts of a system, the system falls apart completely. It's like Android was a building and all you want to remove are the foundation and the elevator shafts. Small, unimportant things.

    Without which the building wouldn't stand and, if it did, would be virtually useless.

    Remember, Android isn't even the base, it's just an app that runs on Linux. (Yes, the operating system in Android phones is Linux - almost all of Linux, if you install busybox, is in there.) So you get rid of - what, Linux? Then Android has nothing to run on. Okay, so you leave Linux but get rid of Dalvik? Oops - Dalvik is what runs the apps. All the apps, including the home pages, the app drawer - everything you see. Without Dalvik all you'd see is a black screen. Get rid of all the "AI" parts "baked in" and Bixby stops working.

    If you like Samsung and Touch Wiz, buy Samsung, but most of what you're seeing is Samsung (or garbage added by your carrier), not Google. Google is mostly the stuff you don't see. Oh, yes, Maps is in there. So you don't want navigation? (Maps navigates better than the other nav apps - it has a much larger database to work on. But you never developed a nav app, so you won't appreciate that.)

    About all that's Google that a lot of people don't need is Google Play Apps and Google Play store (and if you want to get your apps from virus-riddled sites, go ahead, but don't tell others to). The rest, on your phone, is Samsung. (And the first thing I do, after setting up a Samsung phone is install Nova, root the phone and uninstall everything Samsung. Yes, root. How anyone who runs Linux as an OS can run it without access to sudo - you can't.) Oh, you don't like the Google keyboard? Neither do I (and I'm using a Google Pixel) - Swiftkey is the second app installed.

    But fracturing Android even further? Just when Google got a few manufacturers to agree to release the monthly updates monthly (Samsung isn't one of them - they wait a few months, gather up a few updates, then release them all as one update. And you can be susceptible to all sorts of malware and chicanery until then. Samsung gets the updates on the same schedule as everyone else - they got today's update at the beginning of August, but they don't release monthly.)

    No, we had this war twice already, let's not start it again.


    The poll is missing something (which is why I didn't vote):



    • Better off
    • Worse off
    • The same
    • Irrelevant


    Oh, and another thing. Android, in a slightly modified form, is already available separate from Google. It's called LineageOS. How many phones is the Oreo version available for? Not many. Pie? Maybe early 2019. IF there's a version for your phone. The carriers are not going to work on some proprietary OS to put their junk on so the manufacturers will have to. We'll keep seeing new phones but, just like in 2000-2008, we won't keep seeing improvements to software, or improvements across the board, (It took about 4 years of yelling and screaming before we could send an MMS from one carrier to another.) But if someone like LineageOS is developing the system? How long did RIM keep Blackberry virtually unchanged except for the hardware? How long did Nokia keep Symbian the same? How long did Nextel not ask Motorola for any major software changes (except the ability to remotely read your employees' GPS locations)?

    Fracture Android like that and forget about software changes. We'll get "something new" every year, from every manufacturer, but none of them will have anything to do with each other. Any other phone but BB have a trackball? Any phone but Nextel (and the failed Motorola S60 - great phone, if you don't mind the way CDMA "goes digital") have push to talk?

    @Itsa_Me_Mario:

    Part of the security is that Android is mostly open source (the OS in AOSP is Open Source). No small company that takes Android over is going to release all their software, and closed source is always less secure than open source. Android has hundreds or thousands (depends on the minute you choose) of developers picking it apart, trying to break it, trying to hack it, and reading the source looking for any little snippet of code that might be unsafe. A company with 100 developers won't have the resources to do that, so we'll see more viruses, more Trojans, more security holes like Google Play Protect open_in_new (which today's update fixes).
    ahaxton and anon(10092459) like this.
    09-04-2018 03:21 PM
  6. anon(10092459)'s Avatar
    First, Android was never a stand-alone company, it started as a product of Google's.
    Not sure where you're getting this from. Android, Inc was founded by Andy Ruben and purchased by Google in 2005 for an estimated $50 million.

    Definitely one helluva response. Bit pedantic, but I enjoyed reading the point of view. Ultimately, I read your response to say that users lives would be the same without Google, correct?
    mr_master likes this.
    09-04-2018 04:52 PM
  7. Rukbat's Avatar
    Written starting in 2004, not released until November 2007 - by Google.

    Ultimately? No. They'd be the same as iPhone users lives, because that would be the only smartphone around.

    Also no free (to the developer) app store, few developers, because relatively few developers run Macs (you can develop Android apps on Linux, you can't develop iPhone apps on it). It would be a very different world. (For instance, if not for the competition with Android, iOS and iPhones in general would have developed a lot slower. We might be anxiously awaiting the iPhone 5 - some time in 2019.)
    09-04-2018 06:18 PM
  8. mr_master's Avatar
    How so? Google is one of the only Android OEM's that doesn't sell user data, making them one of the, if not the most privacy friendly OEM of the bunch. I was relatively shocked to find out that RIM (BB10 and BB Mobile) sells user data, I would have assumed they were on the level with Google, but they aren't. Google is also the primary architect of most of the positive security functionality that exists in mobile, meaning that separating Google from Android would by default leave Android faaaaar less secure.
    Google's business model is all about user data. Google tracks your searches and they track you on a big part of the web to target ads. That's how their services stay free. Not saying that the ad-based business model is bad, but less tracking wouldn't hurt them and it would benefit user's privacy. For example, DuckDuckGo is profitable even though they don't track your searches.

    Here's a Wikipedia article that talks about Google and privacy concerns. You can find more articles from around the web in the References section.
    anon(10092459) likes this.
    09-05-2018 05:17 AM
  9. Itsa_Me_Mario's Avatar
    Google's business model is all about user data. Google tracks your searches and they track you on a big part of the web to target ads. That's how their services stay free. Not saying that the ad-based business model is bad, but less tracking wouldn't hurt them and it would benefit user's privacy. For example, DuckDuckGo is profitable even though they don't track your searches.

    Here's a Wikipedia article that talks about Google and privacy concerns. You can find more articles from around the web in the References section.
    Nearly all companies are collecting as much data as they can. DDG is an exception but they also cannot provide any of the services which Google does. What I was getting at is what the companies do with the data once they have it. Google protects it, while most of them sell/share/trade it as currency. Google gives users far more control and visibility over their data, how and what is collected and how it is used than anyone else in the induction as well.
    09-05-2018 06:41 AM
  10. LeoRex's Avatar
    Right... How that data is handled and used is key. Unlike just about every other company that data mines their user base, Google utilizes that data to directly benefit those users by personalizing content. Yeah, they use the information to sell more ads, but when those ads get to you, they'll often be for stuff you actually are interested in. But it goes far beyond ads sells... Location awareness, traffic updates, appointment reminders, the list goes on. And that isn't even getting into the huge catalog of apps and services that Google provides free of charge... All of this is possible because we allow Google to collect our data.

    Android is much better off under Google's wing... Android is just a mobile operating system... Google's services then turn it into a powerful tool.
    09-05-2018 06:57 AM
  11. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    Android is just a mobile operating system... Google's services then turn it into a powerful tool.
    A good way to drive this point home is to flash a ROM on an older phone without GApps. It isn't that much of a fun experience.
    09-05-2018 08:25 AM
  12. anon(10092459)'s Avatar
    Well, one of the main reasons I choose Android is because of Google's involvement. I enjoy Google's services above the rest and therefore want to be on the platform that's most synergetic with their services offering.

    I think, though, your posts bring up the controversies and misunderstandings around Google's data collection. It's a lot for sure, but how that data is handled and used is key. The false narrative of "they sell your data" is very much alive and well. That fairy tale, however false, can create a lot of mistrust.

    A lot of Microsoft devotees have strong feelings about Google. With no windows based phone, they've been put in a position to have to decide between Android and iOS for a phone. I wonder how many didn't choose Android because of Google and not necessarily because of Android itself.
    kct1975 likes this.
    09-06-2018 10:47 AM

Similar Threads

  1. New to Android smart watches and have a notification question
    By mach1man in forum Android Wear / Wear OS
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-01-2018, 10:49 AM
  2. pair with other Android devices?
    By magia21 in forum Samsung Galaxy Watch
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-25-2018, 04:46 AM
  3. Why is my s9+ showing 42 GB of system files/user data ?
    By Android Central Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-06-2018, 02:43 PM
  4. do I need a sim card if only use wifi
    By Android Central Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-04-2018, 10:56 AM
  5. How do i change the default calendar?
    By Android Central Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-04-2018, 09:37 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD