I imagine it is to save cost as they don't have to manage their own security updates etc, they can just use the stock updates verbatim.
Vodafone UK wants to sell Android phones which are as close to stock (as Google intended) as possible, and the red company's favourite device for this is the Moto G. Writing on the Vodafone company blog, Motorola senior marketing director Marcus Frost unsurprisingly extoled the virtues of the new phone – but he's not just …
because it's faster and has a thousand newer/more better/shinier functions and it's capable of making me look like a rock star and, and, and because Dave will be jealous.....
Alternatively, it's because we like to have new things....all the time, in any event after only a week or so we don't even see the OS/telephone anymore, we adapt and become accustomed to the "new" very, very quickly, the illness is more commonly known as "consumerism"...
i recently had a conversation about this. My point was that it was only a matter of time that some class action is taken against the networks for not providing regular software updates which ended up with a hack; large bill; data loss; exposure of sensitive info.
Especially in light of the recent multiple flaws discovered in Android.
So to cover their shiny metal ass on that front, operators have to pass the buck back to the manufacturer. Apple and MS already cover this aspect.
But if Operators customise Android with UI and other tweaks, then they become potentially liable (?)
So if its stock Android, does the responsibility pass back up to Google?
And before someone posts about being able to update any phone, my point is about providing EASY OTA updates, that any idiot can click "install".
So the question for anyone with better knowledge, where does the buck stop? Would this be the reason for Voda wanting to provide stock Android?
Here in Switzerland ,no one locks or adds any bloat, it feels like paradise....
In France, Orange at least have severely cut down the bloat to removable apps, the phones are free to unlock after
6 months, which is fine. We are almost on Vanilla android except for the little Orange logo during the boot phase, which I really don't see very often. Things are getting better with every new generation.
Not sure about Sfr ( Vodafone).
Typically there is much much more of interest in the latest vanilla Android updates then there is in the device specific modified Androids. Therefore it is a much better consumer proposition to be able to offer faster updates to the latest Android version than it is to offer some unique feature. This is one reason I have preferred a Nexus to a Samsung. I hope in the future my device choice is widened (fingers crossed)
I'd rather like vanilla droid to be the standard, rather than a flagship exception perk.
How about the Nexus differentiating on other elements more heavily than fat-free Android? I loved my Nexus but it did seem odd to me, after a while, that 'no cruft' was actually a sales point. Sort of sad that minimalism had in itself become so rare that it became one the most attractive things about the Nexus.
Different horses and all that, but having developed an allergy to skins, I now always go with the most un-tampered and Nexus excepted, Motorola seem to be doing OK at that right now.
Some stuff is understandable or required mind. Say for example the pen in the note, or the windowed cover screen.
Such additions I use every day, and would hate to try to use the phone with a vanilla OS, where I'd have to just make do with a normal non-tracking pen, or have to unlock the phone every time I want to check something.
Perhaps a good midway is to make all these features available as "apps" from the store, and not as integrated into the os?
I'd really like to unlock my EE S5 to get the latest unbranded ROMs, but as I have a terrible EE signal in the house, I need the EE Wifi calling functionality which isn't available on the unbranded phones.
Unrelated to the article, but on the topic of Wifi calling, it would have been nice if the phone stopped trying to use the radio when Wifi calling is available, as the low signal while at home still destroys the battery life due to the radio working at full power.
Redphone isn't on fdroid. This may also prove interesting if you're thinking like that:
...and also for those apps that are only on Google Play here's a downloader that doesn't need a Google account:
...of course, you'll have to manually check and install updates, as well as ticking the side-load box while installing; but if you want to minimise Google exposure wile still having the toys then this is a good way round it. Check the hashes of the file you download, obviously.
Try "Tasker", you can set up rules to do pretty much anything automatically that you can do manually.
e.g. switch off the radio when wifi is connected. For some of the things you might need to root your phone though (particularly on Lollipop which seems to have locked down a lot more things).
Black, by far the most amazing bit of kit I have EVER used.
So far (~2 hours), I have barely scratched the surface of what it can do; there are (as you prob. know) an amazing amount of features that help you to 'get sh1t done'.
Android looks like a relic already.
Particularly on installing evernote/(anti)social network apps and having the option to deny a capability that an app would like, but imho it doesn't NEED!!!
I have already convinced a good friend to get one when her contract Samsung 'glass oblong' is up for renewal shortly...
So have we come full circle, where the operators are finally realising that locked, bloated, branded handsets with a customised OS and uninstallable apps chewing up storage space actually really, really piss some people off? That differentiation can be achieved by simply selling phones with stock Android installed? That money can be saved and updates made quicker and more cheaply?
I'll believe it when I see it. As it stands we still have the manufacturer overlays, no word about locked handsets and I'll bet they aren't talking about those unwelcome apps whose smelly faces you are only reminded of when you open your app drawer (I'm guessing someone pays them to put them on?). But it's progress...
It needs to be eradicated as much as possible... I am a Moto G 2nd Gen owner and aside from a couple of motorola specific apps (which I believe can be uninstalled) it's very close to pure android... and for a quarter of the price of a Nexus.... I paid £126 for mine from Amazon. I prefer to be on a sim only deal as it's far better value for money and I'm never tied into a contract.
The worst offenders are Samsung and HTC who build at least a dozen or more apps into the build which cannot be uninstalled. HTC for example have Farcebook and Twiter apps, then on top of that their Sense apps for both... Effectively forcing you to have 4 apps for 2 things.
I am fully in agreement with any mobile operator that attempts to eradicate bloatware... even if it's because they're tried it, found it didn't work and are still getting grief from their customers about it because manufacturers are still ramming it down your throats.
It's one of the areas that google went wrong with Android, allowing it to be butchered by anyone... I understand the reasoning behind it... it gave them dominant market share. Time to reel things in a little I think.
The recent stagefright bug and the newer security issues being found only serve to highlight to users/customers that they need better updates more frequently for at least 3yrs after a device is released.
This announcement has nothing to do with what consumers want, even if they are coincidentally aligned. This is about avoiding the finger of blame in the eventual outcome that someone's unpatched operator branded OS has a huge security hole in it that they have ignored despite Google releasing patches.
By pushing their handsets to be stock android, and not making any operator modifications, anything that goes wrong they can simply say "Not me guv" and point at HTC.
Android, although perfectly usable, didn't have a particularly nice UI until version 4.
Things like HTC Sense were actually an improvement; I remember rooting my old HTC Desire and installing stock 2.3 on it, only to realize how fugly it was. I then stuck another Sense ROM on it.
However, Android 5 is rather nice in my opinion and manufacturer customizations now degrade the experience, allied to the security issues.
I used to have Vodafone Sony Ericsson "candy bar" phones (such as a K750i) which were absolutely ruined by the Vodafone firmware - including changing what buttons and shortcut keys did, making all the icons red (so it was hard to see what was what). It was really terrible. Flashing it to the standard Sony Ericsson firmware was slightly tricky, but was well worth it as the bog standard phone was far nicer to use.
Ten years later, I use Nexus phones for the same reason, after suffering Samsung phones which ruin Android.
Given that pretty much every phone I've had from voda has has their bundled crapware on it, from the old Sony Ericsson I had years ago with all the icons replaced with horrible colour-clashy vodafone ones to the HTC One M8 I have at the moment, which I can put a custom ROM onto if I want (thanks to HTC allowing this), but can't get rid of the horrible voda logo on start-up and shut-down. And don't start me on all the voda branded apps which I had to go through and disable one-by-one, because they cannot be uninstalled.
The cynic in me thinks that they want 'vanilla' phones so they can have absolute control over the shitware that they stuff on there, without the option of having the manufacturer's software instead.