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Thread: Android Q Will Allow Carriers to Lock Your Phone in More Ways

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    LG G7
    Google FI
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    Android Q Will Allow Carriers to Lock Your Phone in More Ways

    A potentially not so consumer friendly enhancement here.

    Last week, we got out first ever glimpse at an early, unfinished Android Q build which featured some much-awaited features such as a system-wide dark mode and a native screen recorder. Even the permission settings got a fresh coat of paint and some sweet new features that let users control which app gets access to what. The yet-to-be-named version of Android is significantly more privacy-centric than its predecessor, but there’s some bad news as well.

    Over the weekend, four commits were posted to various parts of Android’s Gerrit source code management. Titled “Carrier restriction enhancements for Android Q.”, they indicated that network carriers would have more control over which networks devices will and will not work on. In Android Q, it will be possible to designate a list of “allowed” and “excluded” carriers. It is a list of what will and won’t work on a particular phone. It even allows blocking virtual carrier networks that run on the same towers as the primary carrier.

    Currently, carriers can only set specific restrictions for each SIM slot. If the proposed changes go through, it will be possible for carriers to lock out the second slot unless there’s an approved SIM card in the first slot. We can expect to see some carrier on carrier battle where one company blocks a competitor’s SIM cards, resulting in a fair amount of not-so-happy customers. All three commits appear to have been merged, so the likelihood of them making it to the final build seems high.

    This change might not make a huge difference to most phone buyers, considering that a lot of people prefer unlocked devices to carrier-locked ones. Carriers aren’t particularly well known for their generosity, so a few new restrictions here and there are part and parcel of the carrier-locked device ecosystem. Thankfully, emergency services will be exempt from the rules and will work as they did before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    That's WAY ****** **!
    As a USA citizen I have the right to criticize my government. My thanks for this is endless in magnitude.

    Fascism is here led by a racist, hypersensitive, crass, immoral psychopathic traitor, narcissist liar committing High Treason against the USA.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Pixel3XL, Pixel3, Pixel2XL, s9+, s8+, Atom, Axon 7, MoFi, etc
    Google Fi, Xfinity Mobile, att, tmo, RP/vzw/att/tmo, Tello, Tru, eKit
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    No surprise here. Hopefully unlocked phones will be free from this anti-consumer move (and same goes with eSIM).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    New York
    VZW - Work / T-Mobile (iPhone)
    Feedback Score
    This is NUTS!!!

    There really aren’t any carrier subsidies anymore, so there is really no reason for addition restrictions. We need to follow Canada and OUTLAW LOCKING OF ANY DEVICES.

    I know some people feel that devices on payment plans would be okay to lock, but I disagree. It should NOT matter if I finance or pay outright — as any payment subsidy is contingent on my continuing service — if not, no more payment subsidy for me. If I don’t pay, that’s a consumer finance issue so if carriers want to play loose on the credit criteria, that’s their choice, but those who are credit worthy shouldn’t suffer as a result of the choices the cell companies make.

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