Archive for August, 2011

Cyanogen -> Samsung

August 16, 2011

My favorite ROM is CyanogenMod, originally produced by Steve Kondik (cyanogen) and now done by a whole team of developers. Steve just started at Samsung as a software engineer supposedly working on Android. And why not? He’s proven his stuff over the years. But how will it affect US? This could be either very good or very bad for Android and alternative ROMs depending on how Samsung handles things and how busy Steve is. He has always been a reasoned voice in the skirmishes between developers as well as among developers and carriers/ manufacturers. Time to change ROMs? (source)

Perhaps MIUI is a good candidate. It’s been around for quite a while, being done by a Chinese company, Xaomi. They’ve just announced a handset that will come with MIUI installed. (source)

Google to acquire Motorola Mobility — so what?

August 15, 2011

it was announced this morning that Google will acquire Motorola Mobility (TechCrunch live blog of the conference call here).

I’ve got a ton of stuff queued up to post and haven’t been able to make the time to actually post them but this particular story has driven me to (at least temporarily) break that roadblock. I have ONE Motorola device: a Verizon XOOM. While I’m happy with the quality of the hardware and Honeycomb, I’m NOT AT ALL HAPPY with Motorola, primarily because they’ve so badly missed their Verizon LTE upgrade. Whether it’s Motorola’s fault, Verizon’s fault or a combination, I look to the hardware vendor to honor their commitments or TELL ME WHY they haven’t.

If I had it to do over again, I’m not sure I’d buy the XOOM. Sure, it’s a Google experience device and, yes, it was the first to market with official Honeycomb support. But the hardware market’s continued to move and there’s even a new 4G tablet imminent on Verizon yet there’s still no upgrade for my XOOM. It’s supposed to be available sometime in September but the lack of any sort of notice prior to this bothers me. It smacks of how RIM doesbusiness — the old carrier/phone vendor model, closed source and closed mouthed.

As long as I’m on a semi-rant, I also have a bone to pick with NVidia and their drivers. Some elements of their HAL (hardware abstraction layer) are still unpublished, making it all but impossible to do things like update the kernel and still bring A2DP to custom ROMs. So, I’m also off NVidia hardware until I see a change in their direction.

OK, so, enough bitching. What am I after with this post? Here’s what I really hope — that Google’s acquisition will have significant positive effects on Motorola Mobility’s attitude toward their customers and, by extension, all other hardware vendors’ attitudes. Unlocking bootloaders, releasing source and binaries for MM’s kernel and drivers and just generally setting a good precedent for the rest of the Android universe of hardware vendors. Google sets the standard for Android base source (granted, they’re not perfect), Motorola Mobility should set the standard for everything hardware (NVidia, are you listening?).