Birchtree
By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.

Going All Open Source on Android

 Corbin Davenport tried to go all in on open source software on his Android phone:

I started this experiment with one question in mind: could you realistically use an Android phone in 2018 with only open-source software? I think for most people, the answer is no. Just about every service or app used by the general public is closed-source, and unless you're willing to switch away from Google's ecosystem and go without most apps, it's just not practical.

I totally respect people who use open source things when possible, but it’s nice for small things here and there, not a way of life for most people. This experience seems miserable to me.

It also speaks to how “Android is open source” is basically just a talking point that is technically true but is not effectively true for anyone. Even if you install an open source ROM on your phone (already putting you in the top 1% of users) then you can’t use a single Google app or service, or Slack, or Discord, or Twitch, or basically anything you’ve ever heard of. There are a few apps that do kay, but the experience with most of these alternatives sound like a pretty terrible experience.

Open source is great for small tools that developers can use to create cool software, but the open source app options for actual user-facing software is, as it has long been on Linux desktops, pretty terrible.

Show Comments