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Old 12-19-2008, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default RIM should find a way to license Android

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Google reveals upcoming Android features | Wireless - CNET News

I LOVE my BlackBerry, I really do, but I fear with each passing day RIM devices are falling further and further behind because of their dinosaur OS. Everyone knows how large and supportive the software community for iPhone is, and it will be the same for Android. The strength of a platform depends on it's community, and I fear the BB software community is shrinking.

In my ideal world, RIM would adopt Android but keep all the same functionality that we all know, expect and love from a BlackBerry device. This will prepare them for the future. Right now, they have a legacy platform that feels like a leaking dike patched with band-aids

Google has proven that with a top-tier engineering team they can launch scalable platforms. Just think about what they have done recently with their entire platform: Web services, GMail, Google Docs, Chrome, Android, etc. - it's incredible. I don't have any confidence in the RIM OS being able to thrive when competing with a built from scratch OS that is open to the community. RIM is going to go the way of Palm if it maintains the current strategy.

My friend, who recently bought the G1 - mainly to tinker with, had this to say today after I sent him the above link:

"Yeah I'm reporting bugs and requesting enhancements already - and they are responding to it. First time I've ever felt a mobile platform cared about me. It's an open bug database .. you comment, they comment, they fix."

It's this kind of support, and software development methodology that is going to draw developers, and as a consequence, consumers to the Android platform.

Right now, I give Android the best chance of being able to deliver functionality that closely matches the BB. The iPhone - bleh - it will always be prioritized for the llamas.

Why not adopt the same OS and take advantage of all that comes and is coming with the platform?

-c
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why not send your suggestions to [email address] and see what they have to say?

Remember - everything, and that means EVERYTHING, Google does is for one reason: to gather more information about you and your habits. Not to give you great "beta" software - to gather information about you. That they can then sell.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Android sucks. It may be something special in the future, but for now it's a work in progress, and it needs LOTS of work. I would want nothing to do with Android on my Blackberry.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am not sure I agree that Android is necessarily a great OS. They had this huge embarassing security flaw last month and security is really important in the eyes of corporate users. BlackBerry is still #1 for business use.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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RIM made it clear at the Developer Conference that the BlackBerry was built from the ground up with security and the enterprise in mind. I don't think they will deviate much from the current platform. They are making great strides in advancing the OS. This was the first year they reached out to developers and made more advanced APIs available.

You will see a lot of great new apps and functions in the next year. Android is not the answer for BlackBerry. Android fits nicely into the market for many users but it would be a huge mistake for RIM.

It might be cool for RIM to port a BlackBerry Application Suite to Android though like they are doing for WM.

BlackBerry on Windows Mobile? Check it outxxx8230; | BlackBerryNews.com
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is certainly in it's infancy, and bugs are to be expected. However, given the way they develop, issues bugs get squashed efficiently.

The scary thing is, or if you want to look at it form another angle, impressive - is where it is at such an early stage.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conker
In my ideal world, RIM would adopt Android but keep all the same functionality that we all know, expect and love from a BlackBerry device. This will prepare them for the future. Right now, they have a legacy platform that feels like a leaking dike patched with band-aids
RIM should abandon their own platform for Android? Please. To what end? "All the same functionality" doesn't require a platform change to Android because we already have the functionality today.

And what would such a move say to all of the millions of users of BlackBerry devices? It would say we have no confidence in our platform so you shouldn't either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry
Remember - everything, and that means EVERYTHING, Google does is for one reason: to gather more information about you and your habits. Not to give you great "beta" software - to gather information about you. That they can then sell.
You've made a big charge there. Any links to credible news sources that in any way supports your statement that Google sells user information? No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyrianq
They had this huge embarassing security flaw last month and security is really important in the eyes of corporate users. BlackBerry is still #1 for business use.
Is this meant to imply that RIM is immune to bugs in their software? What about the PDF bug from earlier this year? The very recent Desktop Manager Active X bug? Or the Storm needing a reflash at release because of a "security issue"?

Huge bug? No bigger than some of RIM's from this year. Embarrassing? Aren't they all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conker View Post
The scary thing is, or if you want to look at it form another angle, impressive - is where it is at such an early stage.
It is neither scary nor is it impressive. Google bought Android in 2005 and it had been in development for a few years at that point. Given that they are now 5 years or so down the road with Android I am rather surprised that it isn't more advanced and feature rich than it is.

And just for the record, RIM doesn't need to "find a way" to license Android. They can download it for free as soon as the source is released. January is what I read somewhere but I don't know for sure. Go here and read about it if you would like:

Developer Roadmap - Android

The Apache License means that anyone will be able to use Android.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry View Post
Why not send your suggestions to [email address] and see what they have to say?

Remember - everything, and that means EVERYTHING, Google does is for one reason: to gather more information about you and your habits. Not to give you great "beta" software - to gather information about you. That they can then sell.
Everyone does that, not just Google. If anyone uses those supermaket price fob things, they do the same thing Google is doing.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dualsub2006 View Post
Is this meant to imply that RIM is immune to bugs in their software? What about the PDF bug from earlier this year? The very recent Desktop Manager Active X bug? Or the Storm needing a reflash at release because of a "security issue"?

Huge bug? No bigger than some of RIM's from this year. Embarrassing? Aren't they all?
Of course RIM is not immune to bugs, but what most people don't realize is that RIM has a multi-billion infrastructure to support this end-to-end security, e.g the NOC, BES, etc. Google and Apple don't.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyrianq View Post
Of course RIM is not immune to bugs, but what most people don't realize is that RIM has a multi-billion infrastructure to support this end-to-end security, e.g the NOC, BES, etc. Google and Apple don't.
Now you've changed the subject. I don't see how their multi billion dollar investment would protect anything when there is a security flaw that leaves the handset vulnerable to attack. I mean, if I had fallen victim to the PDF vulnerability or the Active X vulnerability, no email from RIM telling me how much money they had spent on their infrastructure would make me feel any better about being hacked. Just sayin.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dualsub2006 View Post

You've made a big charge there. Any links to credible news sources that in any way supports your statement that Google sells user information? No?
Come on...it is at the core of their business model. The data that they collect is use to target ads to you. While you may want to split hairs and argue that they are not selling your data because it does not directly pass from Goggle to an acquiring company, by virtue of the fact that it is used for ad targeting it is getting sold.

Don't believe me -- have some friends send you a few emails to a gmail account that talk about your desire to purchase a new product -- say a leather briefcase -- and watch ads on the right of your screen.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This belongs in off topic.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conker View Post
Google reveals upcoming Android features | Wireless - CNET News

I LOVE my BlackBerry, I really do, but I fear with each passing day RIM devices are falling further and further behind because of their dinosaur OS.
"Some of the changes coming to Android are bug fixes, affecting elements such as e-mail, conversation-list scrolling, and the alarm clock. Several new features are, however, also being added--for example, the ability to save MMS attachments."

OMFG! With such insane features as an alarm clock and saving MMS attachments, I'm surprised we all don't own Android handsets already!

conker, what functionality is blowing your mind with Android that you don't get with your BB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conker View Post
The strength of a platform depends on it's community
Windows Mobile has a large community, and yet I don't see them doing any better than RIM.

IMO most consumers buy handsets because (a) they like the form factor and (b) the core functionality meets their needs. Thus, having a large or small community isn't that important to the average consumer.

At the same time, yes, Palm pulled their OS, however I don't see a lot of consumer handsets offering more functionality than Palm OS did.

To summarise my random thoughts above: nerds don't represent the majority of the market.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djm2 View Post
While you may want to split hairs and argue that they are not selling your data because it does not directly pass from Goggle to an acquiring company, by virtue of the fact that it is used for ad targeting it is getting sold.
Targeting ads and selling user data isn't hair splitting, it is two distinct and totally different things. Period.

Under one scenario a third party ends up with your information. Under the other they don't. I, for the life of me, can't see where there is a hair to split. Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Google and even the much beloved RIM are all collecting information about you on the Internet.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I wouldn't worry about it. Enterprise customers hold the power. They are slow to change gears, which is why Windows is still the leading OS. . . It's not too late to catch up on some functionality.

The exclusive licensing of certain phones to the highest bidder carrier is a formula for failure. Snap out of it RIM!
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dualsub2006 View Post
Targeting ads and selling user data isn't hair splitting, it is two distinct and totally different things. Period.

Under one scenario a third party ends up with your information. Under the other they don't. I, for the life of me, can't see where there is a hair to split. Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Google and even the much beloved RIM are all collecting information about you on the Internet.
Well we will agree to disagree. I do not grant Google -- or any of the firms that you mention -- ready access to information about me. So be it -- you are willing to let them have it, while I resist as best I can.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry View Post
Why not send your suggestions to [email address] and see what they have to say?

Remember - everything, and that means EVERYTHING, Google does is for one reason: to gather more information about you and your habits. Not to give you great "beta" software - to gather information about you. That they can then sell.
Wow you've got your foil hat on nice and tight huh?

Links and sources to confirmed said accusations? I didn't think so.

They harvest information to make their software that much better. There's a reason why Google is on top.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMdx View Post
"Some of the changes coming to Android are bug fixes, affecting elements such as e-mail, conversation-list scrolling, and the alarm clock. Several new features are, however, also being added--for example, the ability to save MMS attachments."

OMFG! With such insane features as an alarm clock and saving MMS attachments, I'm surprised we all don't own Android handsets already!

conker, what functionality is blowing your mind with Android that you don't get with your BB?


Windows Mobile has a large community, and yet I don't see them doing any better than RIM.

IMO most consumers buy handsets because (a) they like the form factor and (b) the core functionality meets their needs. Thus, having a large or small community isn't that important to the average consumer.

At the same time, yes, Palm pulled their OS, however I don't see a lot of consumer handsets offering more functionality than Palm OS did.

To summarise my random thoughts above: nerds don't represent the majority of the market.
The main point behind my post was preparation for the future and scalability. There is nothing on the Android phone that I want right now. I simply don't want RIM to fall further and further behind, while platforms like Android and iPhone take more and more consumer AND developer market share away, because their platforms are newer and are more nimble. The "not invented here" mentality works for some - like Apple and Microsoft, but RIM is certainly neither of those companies.

Many here and on other forums have replied to my post by using the "RIM has the corporate market" argument. That kind of thinking is how companies become less and less relevant and fail. Just look at the American auto industry. It's true, BB's seem entrenched in the corporate world, but why should that be enough or even relevant when the line dividing business and consumer is more and more blurred with these devices? As new corporations evaluate, or re-evaluate their smart platform of choice they now have other legitimate platforms to consider, and pure business consideration is no longer the tipping point.

We should all want RIM to expand into other markets, as they are trying to do. My fear is that their platform will prevent them from being able to keep up with the Apple's and Android's of the world. As a longtime software developer, it's painful watching how obviously dated their OS is, how dated their development processes are and how they are struggling to adapt and catch up:
+ Luanch of their "store"
+ Luanch of a touch-screen device
+ Widely publicized and marketed developer conference (I wonder what attendance was like in comparison to developer conferences put on by Apple and Google)
+ Email [email address] ? Where is the forum where I can "talk" to developers, and really feel like they are listening? I might as well drop a letter to them in a mailbox.
+ Archaic OS update process that always has one crossing one's fingers
+ No over the air update process
+ Lack of release notes with each OS
+ Frequent beta releases of OS's

I TOTALLY agree, nerds do not represent the majority, and this statement helped me realize why people were misunderstanding my original post. Again, the lines are being blurred - actually are now. It is simply my opinion that given their current OS platform, they simply will not be able to remain competitive on the consumer side of things, while the others will be able to advance at a much quicker pace, distancing themselves, while at the same time being able to make incremental or significant advances (really their choice depending on strategy and where the market is going) towards matching RIM's business functionality.

The comment about Microsoft developers is a good one. I am not sure how to respond to that. All I can say is that it is certainly better to have an army of developers behind your platform, then a shrinking one. iPhone had 10,000 applications launched for their phone last month. You cannot ignore that. Other manufacturers are and have decided to launch new phones with the Android platform. Why wouldn't they? It's a very attractive long term investment. The manufacturer does not have to invest in an "invented here" software development team, they have access to a large population of skilled developers, can leverage the Android store (which will have a monetization strategy as it grows) and can market their phones towards an ever increasing consumer base of Google fans.

I just want RIM to adopt a strategy that will allow them to stay relevant and competitive.

Thank you all for the insightful discussion.

-c
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Last edited by conker : 12-22-2008 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8820)

Bottom line, the OP statement is the equivalent of saying GM and Ford should start making Toyotas and Hondas. Well, no, they should not. They need to make products that people want to buy, do it very well, provide top notch customer support, etc. etc. etc. In other words, compete, not imitate.

This thread reminds me of those from a while ago along the lines that RIM needs to imitate Apple re the iphone or die.

My opinion.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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no way, RIM likes their java a la 1995 OS.

security will always be there priority and that will stifle OS innovation. Android is way too new for this discussion, give it 15 years and then see if RIM & Android are ready.

this is like saying Microsoft should license OSX. make zero sense at this point.
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