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AT&T cripples its first Android offering; not suitable for devs

Not even a full day after releasing the Android powered Motorola Backflip, AT&T is being slammed for closing off the Android platform on the device. Last week, we reported that AT&T had stripped Google search from Android, in favor of Yahoo. However, we had no idea of what else was to follow.

Early adopters of the Motorola Backflip may be compelled to return their phones after realizing that it doesn't run the Android they hoped for. Android's primary appeal comes from its open-ness. AT&T (which is synonymous with "the iPhone carrier"), seems to have a thing against a platform being open to user customization. One of the shocking discoveries of a now annoyed Backflip owner involves just this. In the XDA-Developers forum, aikeru posts a thread entitled "[Android] Motorola Backflip - DON'T BUY, HERE'S WHY!."

In the post, aikeru makes known that the device lacks the option to install applications from un-trusted sources. In all builds of Android, users have the option to allow non-Market apps to be installed on their phones. This allows users to install apps from a memory card or via their web browser. Without having such an option, developers have no way of testing their own applications on their device. The Backflip is 100% useless to them.

He also mentions that AT&T loaded a lot of their own bloatware on the device, and hid/removed any competing apps that Android would have come with. This, combined with the outdated Android 1.5 and inability to use Google search, makes this phone a no-go for most Android fans. Just when you thought AT&T was opening up, they go ahead and prove you wrong.

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