Android is the Ubuntu of the Mobile Linux market

Open Source has been compared to living in a house where contractors can stop by any time and change anything they want at their whim. Granted, it won't charge you a dime, but you might find out one day that your living room and bathroom have been swapped. When it comes to Fedora systems, it's not too bad because i have a good grasp of what's going on, and i can prepare myself for it.

I can't say the same about the Android. Yesterday i updated the ROM on my phone from Cyanogen to 4.2.14. To my not so pleasant surprise, all my alarms were disabled, and it's a very lucky thing that i happened to wake up at just the right time. I can't necessarily blame Google, HTC nor Vodafone for this, because i'm not running their "Enterprise" version of Android, but it's the haphazard way that Android works really gets me. Furthermore, the alarm clock program was working perfectly on the phone up until now, and suddenly Google feels the need to replace it with a media center like application that not only ignores the saved alarms i have but also ignores the lock command and is accessible even if my phone is supposed to be locked. For a Linux based phone, it defies all expectations of a Unix like system.

So haphazard updates that break the system, a chutzpah that enables marketing to think it's Linux, even if it's nothing like it, and a market that enables both closed and proprietary source on the device easily really sounds like another well known Linux distribution that we love to hate. Maybe it's not the most perfect analogy though, i don't know any of any Google employee who's been to outerspace yet. I'm still waiting on the Google Rocket Ship Beta.

4 flames:

Anoniem zei

As a Debian member, I thank you for your FUD skillz.

Yankee zei

Debian is not Ubuntu. It never was. And the last i checked, no Debian maintainer has been to outerspace yet either.

mdzlog zei

In this analogy, what is the analogue of your upgrade to the latest Cyanogen ROM, a third-party derivative of Android? Would this be an upgrade to the new version of Linux Mint or gOS? Which derivative of Ubuntu do you use for comparison?

In what way is Ubuntu "nothing like Linux" in your view? Do you find your personal experience of Ubuntu to be very different from using Fedora? In what ways?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Yankee zei

Analogies only go so far. In my really bad analogy, the relationship between Android and Cyanogen is an upstream-downstream relationship. Cyanogenmod's role in this is that it shows a problem earlier and more rudely than Google, HTC, or Vodafone NL would have because they have me upgrading alot to newer technology. I expect that the trio of companies responsible for my phone and service do more testing when jumping major releases, but Cyanogen tends to make changes incrementally. Comparing Cyanogen to Mint or gOS isn't accurate at all. My concern is about the promise of 'easy to use and is for everyone' and the frequent breakage i see in both Ubuntu and Android.

I also feel Ubuntu is not representative of the Linux or Unix community as a whole, which i really hope doesn't discount the work that many individuals put into it. It's definitely a Linux distribution, but the people that market Ubuntu as synonomous with Linux do everyone a disservice. Calling Android Linux or Unix is a magnitude worse. Considering Google did what they did to run their custom Java stack on top, made up their own packaging format and everything that runs in the Java userspace is more or less as un-Unix as Microsoft Windows, please take my statements as the hyperbole that it is.

I'm just a bit cranky that my alarm broke, and it could have had a really negative consequence.