These recent threads from XDA, and even more especially the tone from the XDA headline postings disgusts me. I thought XDA stood against piracy, but it's clear they don't. What's worse is that when Samsung blocks based on build.props, the attitude is that it's a "bug" to be "fixed". I can't even believe Engadget is getting on this train too.
Android is the first realistic open platform we have ever had for mobile devices, and things like this are ruining it. With openness comes respect, yes we can root our phones and get APKs and modify very easily the platform, unlike iOS or Windows Mobile. The respect is that you don't just rip everything out of whatever ROM comes along.
This is a Samsung proprietary app. It is 100% piracy, plain and simple. I get it if people just want to try out an app for personal curiosity and educational purposes for a short time. But this is far, far different. First of all this is a network-based service, so you are causing load, denying service to legitimate users who have paid (through the purchase of Samsung hardware) for this service, and causing extra costs on Samsung. This isn't like stealing cable, it's like stealing cell phone service from AT&T and talking on the phone all day without paying a dime. And when an attempt comes to stop it, not really a true lockdown but more like a signal "hey, guys, please stop it, this is for S3 people" you not only workaround it but spit in Samsung's face with the attitude "OMG WHY DID SAMSUNG BREAK MY S-VOICE!?!?! HOW DO WE FIX IT?!?" It's not your service to use!
This is why we can't have good things. These actions are seriously hurting the Android open source community and even the free software community. It makes the community look like a bunch of assholes. It's hurting the ability for us to mod our devices. The only rational response to all of this is for the OEMs to further lock down bootloaders, add encryption, prevent root access, remove ADB and developer access, etc. And to be honest, I can't blame them anymore. Not after seeing the community act like this and just act like it is their right to use S-Voice.
Open source and open platforms require respect from both sides.