October 3, 2011

Keeping Android Open

Filed under: code, open, phone — wseltzer @ 10:58 am

I’m speaking at the beginning of next week at O’Reilly’s Android Open conference.
O'Reilly Android Open Conference 2011
I’ll be talking on “Leveraging Openness,” strategic considerations for developers and users of the platform to use openness in their favor, supporting user autonomy rather than lock-in. More on that later.

I also appreciate Android’s openness at the practical level of the individual user. This weekend I put the CyanogenMod firmware on my Android phone, in response to security warnings about recently introduced logging functions, and so as not to lose root access with a stock upgrade. The process was simple, well-documented, and gives me the level of control I expect over a device that can track all my movements and communications.

Then there are the little things: I like to change the default screen density to take better advantage of the high-resolution screen, no problem. (Note, however, that in the latest version of the Android market, some apps check these settings and won’t install, claiming device incompatibility. The fix? Change the lcd_density back, install apps, and revert the change; those I’ve tried work just fine.)

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