Maemo offers more freedom than Android

Maemo offers more freedom than AndroidI am not a developer, just an avid user, so I can’t talk from hands-on experience with developing software for mobile platforms, but found this very interesting article that compared several areas of these two Linux-based operating system. It was encouraging to hear that Nokia has kept Maemo fairly open and appears to offer more for the developer. Google Android devices are HOT right now with devices like the Motorola DROID and HTC Hero, but I hope that this type of excitement is generated for the N900 and Maemo. It is a tougher sell in the US where the N900 will cost you $550+, but if T-Mobile can offer this subsidized for half that price then we may see more enthusiasm.

The Nokia N900 is an awesome device that I find myself using more and more as I spend more time with it and I can’t wait for my own personal device to get here in November.


8 Comments to Maemo offers more freedom than Android

October 30, 2009

Sure maemo is on its 5th embodiment as Android arrivres 2.0, before google backed maemo but they needed some iTunes like control on the published software on the platform (you’ll never need to “root” a maemo device to gain full control) , a very indicative case is the Skype native client and some other software blocked by some strange criterias .

[…] UPDATE: More reasons for my choice Software freedom and someone else who agrees with me Maemo offers more freedom […]

October 31, 2009

“Maemo offers more freedom than Android”
From a dev standpoint: No question. The relationship between Google (now, Android) and the dev community seems strained at best. The carrier and manufacturer reps that we’re dealing with seem more or less oblivious to the needs and expectations of the dev community, all the while the recent release of Android 2.0 looks like a rush job, only a couple of weeks in advance of the release of the DROID. NO devices are available for devs to test their apps, while manufacturers and carriers are playing under a veil of NDAs between Android, Verizon and Motorola. So, in the Android Market, I’m forced to exclude Verizon, the carrier that “launches” Android 2.0 on the DROID, from the list of carriers that I publish to, because I have no idea whether the apps will work or not. To me, the “open” aspect of Android got steamrolled over by launch-crazy corporations. You can imagine there’s a lot of unhappy campers on Android right now.

The real kicker is Google though, who leverage their big name into app launches that directly run up against independent devs and established firms alike. Google Listen and Google Nav come to mind. The latter in particular, coming out on Android 2.0, seems questionable in the way it came to be. I am sure the dev team at Google took full advantage of Android 2.0 SDK previews and test devices that TomTom, Garmin and others did not have access to. It’s going to be interesting to see if that’s going in front of regulators; in particular the European Union seems to have some strong opinions when it comes to practices like these.

[…] Maemo offers more freedom than Android […]

November 2, 2009


It’s sad but true: I just canceled my N900 pre-order and ordered a motorola droid. Why? Just because Android 2.0 looks way better than Maemo does. I’m not sure that will be happy with the Droid – but I’ll give it a try…


PS: I own a iPhone 3G at the moment… So we’ll see if I’m happy with android. :-)

November 3, 2009

you know whenever people start saying how much better one platform is over another because of feature x or feature y it is a sure sign of trouble … if the platform was better nobody would need to say it as we would all know it already

i think maemo is awesome and i have a N810 and love it BUT i don’t think nokia got on the boat soon enough and what they offer isn’t that much better (or better at all really) than the (now) entrenched players … the N900 is not a game changing device like the iphone was and i honestly think it will be a rather sad failure in the long run … certainly i have no interest in buying one to replace my N810

the DROID (or MILESTONE as it’s called here) however is very interesting to me and the open source nature of the OS makes for a very active dev community with (i think) a very bright future

just my 2c

November 3, 2009

AndroidBummed, stop the FUD, I have been testing my applications on the 2.0 SDK for a few days now.
The fact that you say that 2.0 is “rushed” takes a lot of credibility from your post, first because you have not tried it, and second because android already features a lot of things that maemo doesnt. (Just have a look at all of the frameworks it provides, its amazing that such an OS is more advanced in many ways than my desktop OS!)

For everyone else:
Also, “android root” and “maemo root” are quite different things. You dont need to be root in android to install things or do anything. Android actually has an additional layer of security not present in maemo, and is more secure.
It does not require you to be root for trivial things (like installing applications). See

You normally wont ever need to get root in android, at least the average user wont need to, because you can already install apps and replace core functionality (like the dialer or other apps) with other apps thanks to its application framework.

As a user AND application developer, I have never felt the need to become root. I do however need to do this constantly on my main computer (which is running linux, of course)
Unless of course you want to modify the system itself, which you can do – just like you can do that in maemo, because, you know, both are open source and actually have very similar licenses. (both maemo and android devices have open and closed parts)

The article is comparing maemo on the n900 to other android devices, which are indeed usually “locked” (android by itself is not locked, they modified it) for security reasons. Just like you could LOCK a maemo device. Because android and maemo are free, anyone can give you a device running any of those two where you do NOT have root.

Therefore, if you want to compare maemo with android and you think maemo is more open, read again, do your homework, and try to understand the difference between an open source project and an actual modification or implementation on an actual device! :-)

November 3, 2009

Geez Pablo,
What FUD. Want some facts?
I’ve checked 2.0, constrained to the emulator. As you may be aware of, and let me repeat this, there are no devices available for testing.
– I know at least one of my releases breaks completely. I put an emergency patch on it posting an error message if it is started on 2.0 until I have the time to figure out how to solve it. Launch date is Friday, and I’m not going to sweat it, not again.
– All apps I’ve released do not work on devices with soft keys, representing back and search keys (along with others). This cannot be tested with the emulator and there’s no way (that I’m aware of) to determine the difference between devices with regular keys vs. soft keys.
Overall, in Android Market, I’ve blacked out my releases so they don’t show on Verizon. O2 and Vodafone in Germany will follow.

** These are hard facts ** that every dev has to deal with in some form or another.

Nokia N8 Guide

Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide