It’s true that Android is open source software, but it’s also the case that if you manufacture handsets and you’d like to run it as your operating system, there are rules (and now, even more than there were in the past).
You must include the search bar positioned near the top of your display (currently on the home screen, though it may also become a requirement for every screen) and Google’s apps must be featured in a place of prominence (hence the Google folder of apps).
Those that scowl at Apple for similar practices will not be thrilled to learn that these apps cannot be deleted from your device (well, not easily anyway). There are currently 9 apps that are required, but moving forward there could be any number more that Google deems necessary for you to have (even though most Android users don’t use them at all).
Is this move wise for Google? Having stricter controls is certainly a good thing if Android wants to break into enterprise and corporate markets that require a more structured and reliable approach to software, but it also risks alienating the control-hungry, tech-savvy, crowd that has made the platform a success.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Major news websites such as Engadget, Gizmodo and Business Insider have been losing their reader base due to a series of articles on Audible piracy. They both gave instructional guides on how you could commit fraud and get access to 25 free audiobooks. Many readers have proclaimed that these types of stories are not indicative to true journalism and boil down to tutorials about how to steal.
A user by the name of GG agreed with me, by stating “It’s likely that Audible has to pay royalties to the authors each time a customer downloads a book, so by publishing this article, you’re literally taking money out of Audible’s pockets (and Audible is, in my experience, a useful company that I’d like to see stay in business). It’s a crummy thing to do, and it certainly makes me think less of both Lifehacker and Gawker.”
Meanwhile Jeff Lamoureaux commented I lost even more respect for Engadget with this “article” and finally CubeJockey lamented “I am sure that all authors are happy that BI perpetuated the fraud by explaining this step-by-step guide to its 17 readers how to exploit this “loophole.” (And since when is lying considered a loophole?)”
I think leveraging a well known news website to get clicks by instructing people how to engage in credit card fraud in order to get free audiobooks is insidious. Buzzfeed may get a bad rep for click bait type articles, but what these sites are encouraging users to do borderline illegal.