If you’ve rooted your Android phone, you’re familiar with ClockworkMod – it’s one of the most popular recoveries (a ‘recovery’ is somewhat like the BIOS of a Windows computer. If you can boot to recovery, you can do anything). ClockworkMod is created by a guy who goes by Koush, and he’s well respected in the Android community (rightfully so). ClockworkMod is normally installed using ROM Manager, another application that Koush developed that basically provides a user-friendly GUI to the otherwise un-aesthetically-pleasing process of *using* ClockworkMod – doing a nandroid backup, installing new ROMs, etc.
All that to introduce this latest……situation? Basically, Koush developed a brand new version of ClockworkMod that supports touch input (historically you’ve had to use your phone’s volume and power buttons for navigation). He’s offered two methods of distribution, and that’s caused some issues with members of the Android community.
FREE – like other versions of ClockworkMod, you can download the touch-friendly update for free, but it’s only installable via Fastboot. Basically that requires you to use the Android SDK on a supported computer and use some command-line commands to perform all the steps. It’s basically the nerdy way to do it.
$1.99 – if you’re lazy, don’t want to hassle with Fastboot, or any other excuse, you can pay $1.99 through the Android Market and get the touch-enabled ClockworkMod to install through Koush’s ROM Manager application (Which is free).
Some have taken issue with this, but I think it’s brilliant, personally. I’ve used tons of versions of ClockworkMod on various devices, and it’s a great little piece of code. It does precisely what it says on the tin, is stable, and is generally pretty easy to use if you can read. I have also gone through the experience of setting things up via Fastboot and can assure you it’s not insanely difficult. It does take a bit of research to know what all is going on, but a half an afternoon and you should be fine.
I’ve seen other developers do this, offering an .apk for free through various forums, but for a small price on the Android market. Some of those I’ve continued to use the free version by sideloading onto my phone. Others, I’ve tried out the free version, but then bought the full version on the Android Market, mainly so that I can easily keep the app up-to-date without having to sideload a new version every time the developer releases and update.
Do you think Koush is being greedy, or do you agree that he’s simply taking advantage of the opportunity?