Rich Freeman on 6 Jul 2012 11:43:30 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Linux friendly tablet?

On Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Morgan Jones <> wrote:
> It's foolish to ignore Apple tablets or phones if functionality or outright hack-ability is your priority.
> Plus your parents/spouse/kids can use them with just about no support.

As much as I get frustrated by the fact that the drivers for my phone
are proprietary, which makes upgrading to newer OS releases painful,
the fact remains that most of the source is available.  That means
that if there is something I don't like about it, I can rebuild it and
make it work for me, whether that means changing how the API works, or

In the case of a Nexus device I don't even have to root the thing -
obtaining root access to the device is vendor-supported.  If you don't
want to use Google services you don't have to - you don't need to
accept any TOS or give any info to Google at all to use one.

No doubt you can hack iPhones as well, but I can't believe that it is
as easy to go changing elements of the OS when the best you can do is
decompile the thing.  Unless you jailbreak an iPhone I don't think you
can install software on it without an Apple account (Google requires
an account to use Play, but you don't have to use Play to install
software on Android and the Amazon App store has almost as much

I never got the whole "anybody can use them without support" thing for
iOS.  When I pick the thing up I have to play with it for 10 mins to
figure out how it works, and I'm sure the same is true for anybody
picking up an Android device.  About the only thing going for an iOS
device is that your kids' friends probably are used to them so you
aren't the one getting the questions.

If there were a completely FOSS alternative to Android I'd be likely
to embrace it, but I'm not aware of any which are remotely comparable
in features/support.  Android is fairly close to a FOSS solution,
which is why I tend to embrace it.  The benefits of avoiding
proprietary software are many.

I'm not going to run Ututo XS just so that I can avoid any stain of
proprietary software, but when given a reasonable choice I'm always
going to prefer the FOSS solution.  Doing otherwise just tends to burn
me when I run into some issue and the only recourse is to buy
something else and often throw out some of my data as well.

Again, it shouldn't be too surprising that many people who subscribe
to the Philadelphia LINUX User Group tend to like to use Linux.  But,
to each his own - I won't think too much less of people carrying
around something that runs OSX or iOS or Windows - I'm stuck using
some of those for work anyway.

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