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Nov 20, 2019, 02:25 pm

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Think outside the box!

Started by Keanen, Aug 19, 2019, 10:20 am

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Keanen

Aug 19, 2019, 10:20 am Last Edit: Aug 19, 2019, 10:25 am by Keanen
It feels good to run my own site on my own server with an up-to-date version of SMF to type in. It clears the head. In much the same way, it feels good to use a freshly installed Linux desktop.

Android, despite being an allegedly open source platform, doesn't feel so good. This is due to all of the proprietary bundleware, OTA updates, and other shit you can't control unless you root your phone. Just like Windows.

But what's that? A glimmer of hope on the horizon! The libre mobile operating systems Plasma Mobile and Ubuntu Touch are blazing a trail for completely libre mobile handsets in the near future (if you don't count ARM's proprietary IP cores).

Some people, however, are stuck to their old ways. I found a long-running thread on the Plasma Mobile forums discussing what apps users can't live without. Let me quote the most recent post's list:

Quote1. Adsense
2. Google Analytics
3. Wynk Music
4. MX Player
5. Hotstar
6. WhatsApp
7. Facebook
8. Messenger
9. Google Duo
10. Google Files Go
11. Google Pay

What's wrong with this picture? As far as I know, 100% of these apps are proprietary. If that's not enough, the top apps are AdSense and Google Analytics. This was posted on a forum for discussing a mobile platform that is supposed to be free of all of that shit.

I get it, the poster wants to make money, but Google's ad network is inflexible and tied to proprietary components of the Android platform. Is my desire to not have AdSense follow me wherever I go arbitrary or esoteric? I think not! My desires are valid.

Some people use the term "free software utopia" to describe a hypothetical world where no proprietary or user-hostile components are part of any computing system. We can get there.

No matter how invisible a proprietary component is, you still intuitively know it's there. In my future, the phone I bring to the beach makes no noise, does nothing unexpected, and acts as my companion when I need to send an email or use an app, no strings attached. I will know that there are no strings attached because I will at least skim every line of code and compile it myself on a completely libre system, for a completely libre system.

So, that was a rather long post to get a point across. If mobile electronics can't be just as benevolent as desktops, we will find ways to live without them. When you make apps, keep the point in mind.