Less than openy

According to 9to5Google, the reason Google Wallet is nowhere to be found on the upcoming Android Samsung Galaxy Nexus is because... wait for it... Verizon has blocked it. That's worth repeating. Google has allowed a carrier to prevent users from having a Google app on a platform marketed as being open, on a device meant to be the very flagship, the beacon of that openness.

If this story turns out to be accurate, it wouldn't be the first time Google has caved to Verizon. They've turned their backs on the net neutrality principles they previously held dear, for Verizon. They've betrayed their users by allowing crapware to be indelibly pre-installed on Android, for Verizon and other carrier partners. They even allowed the delay of Galaxy Nexus in the country in which they're headquartered, more than likely for Verizon.

And none of that would be a problem, none of it would even be noteworthy except that Google has used openness -- complete openness -- time and again as a weapon against Apple -- a way to turn users away from iOS and rally them to Android. And now, as then, it's deliberately misleading at best and a flat out lie at worst. It's said in a way that suggests it's better for end users when it's not. It's said in a way that suggests it puts control in the end user's hands when it doesn't. It puts in back in the carrier's hands. It's better for the carriers.

With the corruption of the Nexus line, it's not even "openy" any more. It's less than openy.

If you use Android rather than iOS because you like a choice of hardware form factors, or prefer the deep integration of Google services, or its UI better fits the way your brain works, or you just flat out think it's better on any or many levels, that's fantastic. If you use Android for philosophical reasons and a fundamental belief in it being nobler and more open, you've been bamboozled. Again.

Update: Google has confirmed that Verizon asked for Google Wallet to be excluded from the Galaxy Nexus [CNet]

Source: 9to5 Google via Android Central

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts

 

4
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

← Previously

Kindle Fire usability tests confirm Steve Jobs' criticism of 7-inch form factor

Next up →

Facebook Messenger app rumored to include video calling in next update

Reader comments

Less than openy

37 Comments

1) You are basing this on internet rumors. Neither Google nor Verizon has confirmed this.
2) It is still a hundred times more open then the iphone.

It's just a way to make iOS users feel a bit better about running a closed off O/S. Last I checked I don't see Apple posting source nor do I see custom ROMs/Kernels being made from that source.

Agreed, this article sounds like russian propaganda :)) I wonder why they write stuff like this. Or what the pleasure is in bashing Google.
If I have an iPhone it doesn't mean I don't see the benefits of having an Android device. I dislike this article and I should troll the author.

Agreed, this article sounds like russian propaganda :)) I wonder why they write stuff like this. Or what the pleasure is in bashing Google.
If I have an iPhone it doesn't mean I don't see the benefits of having an Android device. I dislike this article and I should troll the author.

@Mustang5Oh: Siri for starters. It can also run smoothly and reliably without crashing every couple of days.
But then again, @hittrj01 was asking YOU, the android user, what advantages your "open" software gives.

Siri: navigate to.
Open Facebook
Etc. etc.
Hope apple updates tus to make it possible. If it wasnt possible on android i would root. Done. For the user that's open.
Apple forbidding link to kindle store and numerous other business decisions IS far more less open then google wallet on one particular android phone. The user again, can easily root.

Another time confusing the openness of the operating system with the devices they use it?
Android is not less open because a device doesn't have an app.
Someone has to calm down his anger

difference is you can root the nexus, and install your wallet and not worrie about software update. That's why it's open.
Can I "root" my iPhone 4 running IOS 5.0.1 to turn on my wireless hotspot feature? No I can't. Vodafone shut the hotspot down and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it.
Oh I could jailbreak? I don't think so, lose my warranty, having to be near my PC to restart my device and having to reinstall all my apps and redo my settings just to jailbreak? Ridiculous.
I love IOS, but Android really is open, they can use tethering without the carriers permission and rooting your device isn't a crime.
Wish IOS was this open too.

Rooting your android phone voids your warranty too. And use a tethering app with any regularity and see how fast you get booted off your carrier.

To root an Android phone is to gain access to the root level of the file system. To jailbreak an iPhone is to gain access to the root level of the file system. Call it what you want but it is the same thing. Sometimes I wonder if people even know what the word "root" means. I think they think this is a term the Android community made up. And to clarify, yes, you can jailbreak/root your iPhone 4 to enable the personal hotspot feature. But if you use it enough you will be flagged by your carrier, just as you would on an Android phone.
The whole voiding the warranty thing is a weak argument too. If you drop your phone and need a new one, just restore it before taking it in. If the phone is so messed up that it can't be restored then it is also to messed up for Apple to see that it was jailbroken. You should do this anyways as you don't want your information in the hands of strangers. My boss has dropped his Jailbroken iPad and cracked the screen and never once has Apple not replaced it. He is on his third replacement. Again, all of them were jailbroken and never did he even bother restoring before taking them in. Good luck walking into your carrier with a broken Android and walk out 10mins latter with a new one. Rooted or not.
Also, rooting/jailbreaking isn't a crime. At least not in the US. It has specifically been deemed legal.

difference is you can root the nexus, and install your wallet and not worrie about software update. That's why it's open.
Can I "root" my iPhone 4 running IOS 5.0.1 to turn on my wireless hotspot feature? No I can't. Vodafone shut the hotspot down and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it.
Oh I could jailbreak? I don't think so, lose my warranty, having to be near my PC to restart my device and having to reinstall all my apps and redo my settings just to jailbreak? Ridiculous.
I love IOS, but Android really is open, they can use tethering without the carriers permission and rooting your device isn't a crime.
Wish IOS was this open too.

It means you can enable your wireless hotspot tethering feature without your carriers permission. That's what it means.
This is the single reason that makes me hate my iPhone. Since when do carriers decide how I use my phone? Or my internet broadband for that matter.

@inappropriate_response
Actually no. This "tethering" service is a new idea, that came out with the iPhone and is just for the iPhone. On any other device I can just get an app and have tethering on my phone without breaking any contractual obligations, I've been sharing internet from my phone to my laptop since my Treo 680, a phone that came out long before the iPhone or the iPhones wireless hotspot.
I could share my internet connection via clable or wifi with both my HTC Hero and Palm Pre Plus. Ever since I got an iPhone though that's no longer legal or possible.
And to top it all it's not even about the money, my carrier doesn't allow tethering on the iPhone for my data plan, because it's unlimited. It's not a matter of paying more (because I would), it's impossible.
Go figure.

@inappropriate_response
And a further mention, I bought my iPhone 4 unlocked, from the store, without a contract, not through Vodafone, I got a contract with Vodafone later moving up from a prepayed card that I've been using for years specifically for internet (the data plan on the prepayed card was limited to 200mb, to get more I had to sign a contract) if it was their phone I would understand but it's not, it's unlocked.

I don't give a shit about philosofical reasons to use Android. I just prefer the better customization options, that's it. But if I start thinking "philosofical", I still prefer Android rather that iOS. No point of comparisson between both systems, one is open (with some exceptions as you pointed out), and one is closed. End of story.

Not only is Google bamboozling their users on openness, let's hear them address how they work with "CarrieriQ" and the Carriers to spy on Android users. Android zealots can have their open, malware infected, buggy, ICS not released in the country of origin first, caving to the carriers platform. I'm sticking with the iPhone. It gets the job done and I really don't care what anyone who is against it, thinks.

You thought wrong, perhaps first you have to look what an Open Source system is and not what you think is

I won't even be moved to a limited data plan :) I used wireless tethering on my unlimited data plan for a long time with my Pre Plus, no trouble, maybe they just didn't know or it really doesn't matter. There's nothing about not being able to share my internet connection in my contract.

google Wallet will be on the Galaxy Nexus, once the brains at xdadevelopers work out how to get it on the device ;-)

The carriers are out of control these days. It seems like Apple is the only device manufacturer with enough balls to step up and tell the carriers what they will sell and how to sell it.

They aren't totally innocent. Just look at the Tether app that was released in the App Store and then removed about 12 hours later at the requests of the carriers. You can't fault them though. It is just business. Apple needs the carriers so sometimes they have to make sane business choices. I don't really see how Google caving in regards to a payment system being removed at the request of VZW. Who knows what the reasoning was behind this move. VZW may have feared that they would be held responsible for someones Google Wallet being hacked. I don't really see how this has anything to do with Android being less open though.

Nope, it has nothing to do with security. Carriers are scrambling to create NFC payment systems of their own and so they are blocking all manufacturer NFC systems until they can get their own out. Take a look at the 9930 on Verizon, NFC came out blocked because Verizon didn't want users accessing it until they had an approved service. It's just like with GPS in the past, carriers blocked it to make you pay extra for their services. It's a step backwards more than forwards.

Why the hell is this here? Man, amongst the first posts I read on TiPB, and it's one about bashing a competing platform. What a circle jerk.

Honestly, I have completely lost faith in the Android platform. The device makers crap it up with their overlays and programs that don't work half the time. Google keeps caving into carrier requests, and allow the carriers to crap up the phones on top of the manufacturer's crap ware. The whole platform is going to crap in a toilet sized basket.

Some times watching you people blab your stupid cements make me wonder why I ever switched to this 4S lol it's a phone who gives a rats ass I loved my nexus s only reason I have this 4S it was free and I was not ready for an upgrad I like it but so much I can't do like block them annoying ass adds in the apps that was easy with my nexus and a nice clock widget that's just 2 things I could go on and on...

Honestly it sounds like you are trying to make yourself feel better about how closed Apple's environment is by saying "look, look, Android is kinda closed too!". I am a huge iPhone fan, but anyone who thinks Android is as closed of a system is lying to themselves. Sure, it's not really completely open like Google pretends, but a lot more open than Apple.

It's Verizon, so no surprise here. Verizon has a major case of control-freakytis. It has been rather strongly stated in many tech blogs over the years that this had been one of the factors that prevented the iPhone from being available to VZW customers until this year.
But there is also a group of large corporations that have formed a consortium to set up a mobile wallet system of their own, and Verizon is one of them. They just blocked out a competitor.

Only one Nexus device actually has Google Wallet available (Sprint's Nexus S). It's not just an issue with Verizon.

This is hilarious. Of course Google has to bend over and take it (and smile too) since they need Verizon to sell all of those Motorola phones that their new subsidiary sells. ha ha.

And this is why I traded my Photon for a Iphone, because at least Apple is up front about who and what they are....Android is for suckers..

This is not a surprise or new. Google supports Flash, now killed by Adobe, even though flash is completely proprietary, ie CLOSED. Yet Google dissed the new HTML 5 video standard for another standard, because the competing standard was open. At the time, Google said that they only support open standards. That changes depending on which way the Google winds blow that day
Cheers !