Crippled Android phones

Hans's picture
Mon, 2013-03-25 09:30 by Hans · Forum/category:

Here is an interesting article on The Verge, describing how to change at least the looks and the primary user interface of an Android phone that is burdened with they typical bloatware, like HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz, such that the phone looks and behaves more like a Nexus phone:

Back to stock: get the Nexus look on any Android phone

The article also has a lively, but very long discussion in its comments.

I recommend the article to those who have bought a phone saddled with bloatware, but do not want to go the hard way of rooting and exchanging the entire operating system.

That said, sadly, none of the measures described there, or any measures, will yield an entirely uncrippled phone. Everybody, including Google, always feels the need to cripple each and every phone, because they want to you give it up and get a new one before the hardware is actually outdated.

These are the standard methods of crippling a phone:

  • Too little RAM
  • Too little internal memory and no external memory (like an SD card)
  • Withhold available technology, like LTE
  • Proprietary ROM, based on an obsolete Android version, usually with bloatware extensions, that is updated with a huge delay for a limited time, then not updated at all
  • Unswappable battery
  • Leaving defects unfixed for a long time or forever
  • Add movable parts, like mechanical buttons, that wear out (and will soon look old-fashioned, Apple-style)

Each manufacturer, as well as Google, chooses various mixes of these methods, so almost all buyers will find a phone that seems perfect at first, because everybody is blind to some of these methods. But after very few years the crippling starts to bite, and the buyer is more or less forced to buy a new phone.

I do not quite understand why the Google Nexus phones are not an exception. Why is there no Galaxy Nexus with 64 GB internal memory and 2 or 4 GB RAM? That would have come fairly close to the ideal phone. (The Nexus 4 adds the unswappable battery crippling and is actually a step backward.)

Read on for more information