Pulser_G2 · Aug 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

Our Trial of a Xiaomi Forum

XDA was originally a forum for the discussion of one particular model of HTC smartphone, more commonly known as the O2 XDA. Over time, more and more HTC devices were added, until XDA was the go-to place for Windows Mobile devices of all kinds. Eventually, a handful of non-HTC Windows Mobile devices were added. The turning point was the introduction of Android, and the plethora of devices which followed, and bring us to the XDA we know today.

Part of the process behind the scenes at XDA is gauging community interest, and identifying the direction in which users want the site to go. For a while, there have been regular user requests for the addition of Xiaomi devices to XDA. And we’ve chosen not to add them, for many well documented reasons regarding GPL compliance.

At XDA, we are strong supporters of the GPL, and manufacturer compliance with the GPL has been something featured on past occasions. Despite this, however, there has been ever-growing interest in Xiaomi devices on XDA.

A couple of weeks ago, some revelations started to surface in the media, suggesting that Xiaomi devices were “phoning home” to the company’s servers in China, uploading user data. The allegations were that these were the miCloud features of the product, which were being invoked even without the user enabling the feature. This was quickly backed up with packet captures from a user of the device. These allegations were then confirmed by well-known security company, F-Secure, on their own blog, where they verified that contacts and received SMS messages were forwarded to Xiaomi servers, along with the device IMEI and phone number.

Yesterday, Hugo Barra posted a defense of Xiaomi’s privacy policies which, besides from defending the status quo, makes a small concession in that the cloud messaging features will be able to be disabled, and will not be enabled on new devices by default.

In light of revelations such as these, however, we know that many XDA users are concerned by privacy and security, and feel that a time has been reached where the good the XDA community can do (in providing a platform for the discussion and dissemination of topics such as these) could benefit users of these devices. Such forums would open up opportunities for users to do what XDA users do best, in improving the device, and removing privacy-compromising features.

The introduction of a Xiaomi forum is a trial, and we’ll be reviewing how effective the forums are – without kernel sources being made available, the device doesn’t comply with the GPL, and this poses a significant limitation to what developers on XDA can achieve. Perhaps users will take this as an opportunity to increase pressure on Xiaomi to comply with their legal obligations and release sources. Only time shall tell, but we welcome you to join in the discussion in the Xiaomi Mi 3 forums.


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
TAGS:

Pulser_G2

Pulser_G2 is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Developer Admin at xda-developers, interested in everything in mobile and security. A developer and engineer, who would re-write everything in C or Assembler if the time was there.
Chris Gilliam · Mar 28, 2015 at 12:45 pm · 1 comment

Pinsy Brings Social Sketching To Your Watch & Phone

Did you watch Apple's VP draw on his wrist during the Apple Watch announcement and wonder "why can't my Wear watch do that?" In typical XDA fashion, one enterprising forum member has brought similar functionality to Android Wear with a twist; it works on phones and watches alike, with other platforms on the way! The app is called Pinsy, and its release debut is a strong proof of concept with plenty of room to grow. You may remember the developer behind this project, XDA...

XDA NEWS
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Mar 27, 2015 at 04:13 pm · 2 comments

Should You Get Wear? Wearer’s Practical Observations

Wear is said to not offer enough for mass adoption, even though its been in the market for over 9 months. I personally have a Gear Live which I purchased 8 months ago, and my experience with it has had its ups and downs throughout my time with it. For the longest time, I was not able to recommend the platform to anyone. Since then, a lot of updates have hit Wear watches, some improving battery life, others changing the...

XDA NEWS
GermainZ · Mar 27, 2015 at 01:15 pm · 2 comments

SlimRoms: Updates on the Horizon

SlimRoms' website has been experiencing technical difficulties for the last month or so, but it's good to know the team is working hard and is still on top of things. The SlimRoms GitHub repos are getting updated with some major changes showing up. Most notably, some projects are getting a new 5.1 branch: lp5.1! A new, revamped and open source website is also in the works, with a look inspired by material design. We also got a tip about an...

XDA NEWS
Share This