Bits And Bytes (week of 10/23)

petershihpetershih ZTE FanaticUnited StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
<body><p>Welcome to our weekly <a _jive_internal="true" href="">Bits And Bytes</a> poll and discussion! Give your honest opinion, debate ferociously, and respect each other at all times...</p><p></p><p><strong>Question</strong>: Would you use an "R&D version" of Stock Android made available through your OEM, but without official support or future updates?</p><p></p><p><strong>Context</strong>: Everyone likes stock or near-stock, as evidenced by a <a _jive_internal="true" href="">popular poll last month</a>. For those who unlock their bootloaders and flash third-party ROMs, this is easily a reality. But what if you could do this without unlocking your bootloader, with the caveat that this stock Android OS would not be officially supported by the OEM? This means no future updates and no official call center support, but the warranty is not affected. The assumption is that you can always revert back to the default OEM-supported OS for future updates.</p><p></p><p><strong>Action</strong>: 1. Select one of the options below and 2. reply to justify your reasoning. Although there is no correct answer, please provide sound reasoning to support your selection. After a week or so, your Mod Squad will soon identify and reward those with the most thoughtful responses!</p></body>

Bits And Bytes (week of 10/23) 74 votes

YES - sign me up now!
67% 50 votes
NO - if it's not supported, I don't want anything to do with it
32% 24 votes


  • maulgandhimaulgandhi United StatesPosts: 519 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bet it would be very difficult choice for users to pick official vanilla rom with no update and no support. In a heart beat, I would be down to download vanilla android rom for my phone, but update, security fixes, upgrade are very important to me. I would rather stick with OEMs ROM if it means up to date vulnerability/security patches and constant optimization updates.

    Honestly, if ZTE is thinking to go on that route and provide consumers with an option than i suggest Stock ROM with quarterly vulnerability patches, and promises to upgrade to next version within 4 months of next android release. I would definitely signed up for stock android if all the above conditions are met.

  • With no unlocked bootloader, and no future OEM updates, I might not get all the improvements and software upgrades that may come down the line. Would there be no android OS updates as well? No thanks

  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it is nice to have the option of using a "R&D version" of near stock or stock Android on the Axon 7, as long as it doesn't affect the warranty. If the ROM is flashable without voiding the warranty, that would be a big plus for most of the users that are requesting a stock version of Android for the Axon 7. I guess the downside is, if there's no future updates, even for security patches and some bug fixes, it might not be that useful for one to use the "R&D version".

    Companies do have to take into consideration as not all the consumers who bought the phone wants stock Android and only part of the community is voicing their opinion on wanting stock Android, which to me, I think it's mostly the enthusiast that wants it. But like I said, having options for both sides of the consumer for this product would be nice, as if one wants to try stock Android or something near stock, they can do it if they want to try it out, as long as it doesn't void warranty.

  • shoman94shoman94 MainePosts: 605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I say no if it's not updated. I would if it got the same monthly updates.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Would LOVE to do it, but not without official support.  At least for the first 2 years.  After 2 years when the warranty is up I would do this in a heartbeat.

  • cavanaughtimcavanaughtim Wisconsin, USAPosts: 645 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it would be great to try out stock android without voiding the warranty, even if the lack of support means it's only useful for a window of a couple of months. Then if you love it and can't live without it, you always have the option of unlocking the bootloader. And if it ends up not making much of a difference, you just go back to the OEM rom and at least you had a fun experiment.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I would be all for trying it out especially with it not voiding the warranty!  However if updates were not supported I would most likely revert back to oem sooner rather than later to make sure I get all the security updates.

  • samsamhasamsamha United StatesPosts: 2,363 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    i like this idea, especially since it won't need unlock the bootloader and still maintains the warranty. This means that you can still all of the google security measures and use stuff like android pay. Though, I am a bit worried about the lack of update especially security update. I think no feature update, customer support is expected but I feel that it should have security update. 

    I wonder how this could be implemented like dual-boot so users would not loose any of their data or that we will do like a full flash which users would have to setup everything. If it is later, it would be great to have the ability to create full backup and also data backup so users can have the option to do quick full image recovery if they want to switch back. Also, data backup would also be great option as well since it allows people who decided to switch back and forth to quickly flash the rom and able to recover all of the apps and data. Ultimately, the most preferred way would be  able to like switching to diff rom while keeping all of the app and data intact (though I think this is a bit of a far fetch).

  • kennedy0201kennedy0201 MainePosts: 744 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Personally, once it was stated that no new updates would be offered and call support would be a no go, I immediately said no. The device is great for what I need it for, so there is no need for me to change it. I can see why some people would like it. However, the premise that you can always go back to start receiving updates and call support has me weary. If I were to do this and want to revert and my phone had issues reverting, I would be in a tough situation because there would be nothing that I could do. I would absolutely steer clear of it on my end

  • benkoresbenkores Staten Island, NYPosts: 471 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    How about you just get rid of your crappy MiFavor for Nougat so we wouldn't have to choose?

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Could you please tone down your attitude?  Everyone, including ZTE is well aware of the issues with MiFavor.  People posting in every thread how bad it is isn't going to get them to change whatever their long term plan for MiFavor is.  They are working on getting us alternatives to MiFavor and are listening to input.

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    OK to justify my answer.

    While I like the option of stock Android and not having to unlock the bootloader or it already being unlocked, no OEM support leaves you with sometimes questionable support from the places where you get ROMs.  I know when working with a competitor previously, that was very frustrating and I bricked a couple of devices.  It sucks when you pay for a device it works and you tinker with it to get it to a level that can/ cannot be beneficial.  While yes there are alot of pros to a rooted or unlocked device with another ROM, there are also frustrations and learning curves.  To the average user that is not a necessity.  To us more advanced users we want the option.  I have the Robin with the options to load new ROMs which is fun, but for me it isn't necessary as OEM supplied ROM works great and I get updates.  Not to be critical of CyanogenMod but nightlys unstablize the OS and their stable version isn't always patched.  Yet, I do like the options provided in their ROMs.  Now it doesn't affect the warranty and NextBit supports the ROMs so it's not that much of a risk.  UMI also supports this with their RomJoy offering, but is limited to certain supported ROMs.  XDA is good for supporting different ROMs, but my concern is for them to have someone or a team dedicated to those ROMs offering support. I know for certain projects support and development ceases.  You could separate into different variants and sell accordingly.  Then after the warranty is over offer the unlock bootloader option.  Of course with aftermarket support from those ROMs devs.

  • benkoresbenkores Staten Island, NYPosts: 471 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm sorry I didn't mean to sound so harsh. There is just a lot of frustrating things about MiFavor. It's obvious that ZTE is listening to the community and I have no doubt that they will address this.

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    No worries ​. I'm as frustrated as you are, believe me   I'm not sure we'll ever get to the point where MiFavor is gone.  But hopefully they at least improve it.  And i didn't mean you can't debate or voice issues either...they want to hear the good and the bad!

  • It's  not that MiFavor is that bad,  but some of us came from Nexus devices,  and had really grown used to pure Droid.

  • louisdlouisd Arguer in Chief United StatesPosts: 1,192 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted no, but not because I don't want something much closer to stock (I do), but because by instantly orphaning the release, it makes it much less practical for long term use.  I would think that a quarterly refresh of the image, even if installation would require a full wipe, would allow for security fixes and new release updates while minimizing the work of building update packages.  I'd think that the build of the MiFavor tainted version starts with the base build anyway...

  • techlifetvtechlifetv Canoga Park,CAPosts: 282 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would like the option of going stock and going vanilla as long as there is the ability to keep updating the Vanilla Rom thru 3rd party development or at the very least the sources that are needed are readily available to people that can help keep the ROM moving forward.

  • I voted yes but it was a difficult choice.

    No support is understandable, but security updates are kind of important. However the option to revert and not voiding warranty makes it reasonable.

  • yonoshiroyonoshiro Trinidad and TobagoPosts: 23

    There are pros and cons to both scenarios. On the one hand,  the OEM ROM being actively  supported lends itself  well to the timely  resolution of bugs and security issues.  On the other hand,  quirks inherent in the OEM's skin,  which may affect use and performance,  will likely remain as part and parcel of the OEM's ROM.

    With respect to the stock Android  ROM.  The obvious  advantage is that  it will be pure unadulterated  android.  However,  the flip side of the coin is a lack of official  support.  That said,  if ZTE maintains its current course of making good its promises in relation to sources and bootloader unlocking, I am fairly certain that the stock ROM will be maintained  by the developer community (or at the very least,  used as a springboard for further development).

    In any event, the point is moot.  Ultimately, consumers will always benefit from and appreciate  being given choices.  It would be a wise move  on ZTE's part to release  a stock ROM and leave it up to the consumers to decide the route upon which they wish to proceed.

  • timmyjimotimmyjimo Seattle, WAPosts: 15 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm all for having the option, but after using the existing software with the Google Launcher I'm not sure how important it is to me anymore. I've been very happy overall and I don't think I would to go through the hassle of flashing and setting everything up for an unsupported ROM. That being said, I did vote for the option to be available.

  • louisdlouisd Arguer in Chief United StatesPosts: 1,192 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It remains important to me, despite the ability to change launcher because:

    1) You still can't replace the lockscreen

    2) The fingerprint implementation is still broken

    3) The DND settings are still removed from the quicksettings

    4) All the other MiFavor "features"

  • saeedtedsaeedted United StatesPosts: 1,219 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I would appreciate the option to choose a stock Android UI even though it will not be supported. Users (myself included) who decide to flash  for vanilla android ROMs aleady give up OEM support. The R&D vanilla Android can be used as a dive board for users to decide if they want to take a leap into the world of flashing or go back to the OEM's skin.

    I would understand though if users are reluctant to try out a version of Android that wouldnt be getting security updates. Personally,I am willing to take the risk for a UI that gets out of my way.

  • tabletalker7tabletalker7 Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just because there would be no "official" support doesn't mean the community would not be able to help out with problems that occur.  It would also give the community something much easier to work with to build from.  I am willing to bet if unjustified had a stock build to start from the whole CM13 project would have been completed a long time ago.

  • More options are always better for the consumer! I would only do it if there's a way to revert back to the default software of the phone.

  • jasonejasone United StatesPosts: 2,118 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    As much as I hated to I had to click no. Only because of the no promise of future updates. I mean that's pretty shady like here you can't have your cake and eat it too. You want a stock ROM, well to punish you we aren't going to give you any updates. If you were to offer up a stock ROM with security updates, bug fixes, and updates to future version then hell yes. If not then it's just really half Moderated and kind of ridiculous.

    Why not just stick to 3rd party ROMs from other developers who will put in all the work and effort you aren't willing to do. Those developers also include tweaks and extra features not found in stock Android. Which I have always been a fan of. Add features and enhancements without changing the UI too much if you're going to do a near stock ROM.

    I'm a big fan of your tweaks like the double chop for flashlight, although I wish it worked with the screen off like Motorola. I also love the swipe down for the notification shade, the Nougat quick toggles and how it changes color with our wallpaper, and double tap to wake. These are all valuable enhancements. Even the ZTE locker is nice. Except I hate that notification bell with a passion and that I cannot get lock screen music artwork with Google Play Music, other music apps, or Chromecast artwork.

    Add enhancements, don't strip out features, and keep the stock look. You already do almost a good job at this except for the menu theme, stripping out lock screen artwork, the stupid bell, and having a few bugs here or there. Otherwise I'd love to see it get a little closer to the stock look while keeping enhancements and all original features.

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted yes also, though I don't see why we can't get the best of both worlds. e.g., release a phone such as the Axon 7 as it is not, but simply add a book menu that comes up while holding a certain button, and then offer the option there to unlock the bootloader. After that, make it easy for users to flash custom ROMs, thus during the early stages of 3rd party ROM development, users can freely hop back and and forth between the stock ROM, and the 3rd party, both of which are kept up to date with the latest security patches. This will make it very easy for users to enter the world of 3rd party ROMs.

    Think of it like how the even basic users are able to buy a laptop, and easily image the drive to their NAS or an external drive, and then format and install a linux distro, and jump back and forth between system images, or simply dual boot.

    I would love to see a smartphone that gives the same freedom.


    Anyway, ultimately, the success of such a device will be based on how easy the company makes it to develop 3rd party ROMs. For example, if the developers need to spend almost all of their time trying to reverse engineer parts of the stock ROM in order to get things like WiFi, Bluetooth, audio and other aspects working properly, then the device will never get much traction with the community, as at best, you may get one or two devs who will release an alpha ROM with a wide range of issues, then hit a brick wall in terms of fixing certain issues, then simply stop working on it.

    With Google stepping away from the ideas of freedom with their smartphones, that community will be looking for another device to gravitate towards.

    Furthermore, for a device to be of a good value to the users, it would have to appeal to both advanced and average users, otherwise, we will end up with the issues seen with test equipment where a oscilloscope will sell for $3000+ but have a BOM of probably $400 because they only expect to sell it to a small niche market, and in order to recover the R&D costs and turn a profit before it becomes outdated, they charge massive price premium.

    if a device can appeal to a wide range of people by default, but offer a simple way to unlock and get total freedom, then all users get the best of both worlds. Just like how a complete novice user running windows, is not in any way hindered by including the powershell, registry editor, and other advanced functions, but when that user is ready take things to the next level, they have everything they need on the device they already own.

  • coldheat06coldheat06 United StatesPosts: 1,795 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted yes.   .... but one question I have is:   "Would there be a way to switch back and forth from the non-supported R&D version back to the fully supported OEM SW?

    The reason why I voted yes is that I completely enjoy a stock feeling rom especially the speed !!!!!   To me the smoothness and speed, but also along with a few key features are what excite me about the SW of a phone.

  • mobilegeezermobilegeezer Chattanooga, Tennessee AreaPosts: 1,204 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I didn't vote. Very hard choice for me (Mr. Wishy Washy). Watched too much Peanuts over the years. I think it would be a last minute decision once the R&D version became available. This probably doesn't help, but I'm being honest.

  • rlynnsiirlynnsii Ms. United StatesPosts: 4

    I said I would try it,  but I'm not sure how long it would take before I switched - depends on my ability to obtain support; either from OEM or somewhere else?

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