Ubuntu gets bad rep for having releases which have an unfortunate number of bugs which is partly due to the higher number of users and partly due to the size of the testing community compared to user number. But give me a flakey Ubuntu release any day of the week compared to Android…
This new phone I have (Samsung Vibrent) I love, it does a bunch of useful things and has been one of the first devices I was excited to own and test out. So don’t get me wrong when I say:
I’m mightily annoyed that I can’t upgrade it from Android 2.1; at least Canonical doesn’t stop me upgrading Ubuntu even if it will break, at least they don’t stop the community getting involved to fix issues with getting the latests and greatest software working on the latest and greatest hardware. This is particularly poignant since the GPS on this phone under Android 2.1 is known to have a serious bug which can place with hundreds of meters away from your location. Bit of a flaw there.
Anyway, I’m stuck because tmobile, samsung and google all have their own little plans for what I should be allowed to do with my phone and how much they want to put into upgrades for phones they’ve already sold. I am now as convinced as ever that the mobile phone sector is not the greatest opportunity for linux, but the greatest danger to freedom if we as a community can not hold tightly onto some of out even basic rights to install what we like, modify as we like and mess up our stuff and paint it black like the punks of yore.
Update: I wanted to make clear that this is a rooted phone, but what use is that for installing upgrades to devices when there are no releases, no installers or guides. It’s pretty much every man for himself and everyone must be a programmer to get these things upgraded. The phone networks and manufacturers have created a drag on the economy with this sort of thing and I have half a mind to say that it should be illegal to put any sort of lock on any sort of hardware or software owned by the customer.