a little madness

A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free -Nikos Kazantzakis


Enjoying Android, Freedom

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about the infamous Section 3.3.1. Rather than wasting more time on that, I’d like to share a pleasant afternoon made possible by my own phone: an Android-based G1.

I purchased this phone in the UK, but have since returned to Australia. This did require me to SIM unlock the phone, but my original provider (T-Mobile) allowed this for a minimal fee. This is better than being stuck, but not quite as good as having an unlocked phone to begin with. A neutral result on the freedom front.

Where having an Android phone really shines, though, is that I can install whatever I like on it. I’m not at the mercy of the manufacturer, or my service provider. I’m taking advantage of this right now by using a tethering application1 to give my laptop mobile internet access. I love being able to roam, settle somewhere comfy and work for a while. This is something certain carriers are resisting, purely to protect their own interest. But because I use a free platform, I’m in control.

This kind of freedom works particularly well for me, because I work from home, with all the flexibility that entails. It’s especially good considering that home is within walking distance of this:


Not a bad office for the afternoon :).

What’s my point in all of this? Not to gloat — well, not entirely! The real point is that freedom enables all sorts of fun and creativity. If you value that, don’t waste time complaining about the alternatives. Just get yourself an open phone, and start supporting it with your imagination.

1PdaNet, if you’re interested. I’m still evaluating, but it’s looking pretty good.

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2 Responses to “Enjoying Android, Freedom”

  1. April 16th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Matt says:

    I think you’ll find that many people are still at the mercy of their service provider, even on their so called free platform. Friends aren’t able to upgrade their version of Android on their HTCs because their carrier hasn’t bothered to enable the OTA updates.

    And choosing to hack the phone to do it is no different to jailbreaking the fruity phone you seem to be railing against.

    Disclaimer: I like my fruity phone just fine, and tethering is no problem for me. 🙂 (I wouldn’t choose to develop for it to make a living though – not when the ground underneath you can be ripped out without warning.)

    And welcome back to beautiful Sydney – guess there’s no point seeing if you want to catch up when we are in London in June!

  2. April 16th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Jason says:

    Sure, lots of carriers still suck, but at least you have more choice there too ;).

    Anyhow, my point wasn’t to rail against the closed phones, more to cheer for the open one! Despite the conceded issues with some carriers, it is a pretty open ecosystem, and seemingly heading towards more open rather than less.

    I get annoyed by people who complain about Apple as if Apple owes them something. I think Apple’s rules suck, but it’s their platform so it’s their choice. I just won’t buy their phone – pretty simple. Why spend time whining when there are good alternatives?

    Anyhow, we weren’t expecting to be back quite so soon, but it’s good to be here :). We’ll have to have some kind of Sensory mini-reunion…

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