Google Ecosystem

August 23, 2011

As many of you may know, I am a fairly big Google fan boy, and when possible encourage adoption of Android smartphones over Microsoft, Nokia, and on occasion Apple alternatives. Personally feel the iPhone is a superior phone on a fair few categories, but the price of the contract considering you are getting the same thing, data, minutes and texts, is hard to reconcile.

That said, I have to admit, a year on, owning a T-Mobile branded HTC Desire, I do feel a little left out in the cold by the whole Google ecosystem. The phone is powerful, without doubt, but due to it being bloated with T-mobile junk, I continuously had to fight with free memory on phone, having to remove apps to make room. Even after the 2.2 update when apps could now be partially or entirely stores on sd card as well as internal rom. An iPhone user does not have this problem, as the ecosystem is entirely controlled by Apple, no branded phones exist, only a vanilla Apple experience, which does not require special considerations when rolling out updates. This means everyone gets them at the same time, and they generally work first time.

I recently thought to root my phone, and allow a third party Android build on the phone, desperate to receive 2.3 update, which would allow my phone to integrate with the Voip system we have. The experience has been eye opening! Not just is 2.3 fantastic, the cosmetic changes of CyanogenMod 7 make the phone feel like it is all new and shiny again. Worst revelation, is the amount of free memory remaining, with a non-bloatware T-mobile OS, I have tons of free memory! Literally have installed everything I had before, and still not filled a third of the memory compared to my busting at the seams T-mobile branded version.

Have to say, I am very disappointed that these great phones are being bloated with software that can not be removed, and I in part blame Google for not taking a firmer approach with mobile carriers, to ensure a smooth upgrade cycle and better user experience. Don’t mind bloatware, as long as it can be removed by a fairly non-technical person, then it is all fair.

F8 IT Solutions Ltd does not encourage anyone roots, or modifies a mobile phone, this is simply a post to highlight how with exactly the same phone, a very differing user experience can be gained if the mobile carriers and Google started controlling the ecosystem to favour user experience and conforming with a more ‘pure’ Google experience.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly