Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Feb 2014 21:18 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless
Yandex.Kit is a customisable suite of mobile components available for most versions of Android OS. It has all the basics indispensable for the up-to-date mobile experience. Vendors selling their original Android devices in Russia can enjoy the full Yandex.Kit package, which currently includes an app store, launcher and dialer, browser, maps, a cloud app - 15 apps overall. OEMs targeting other markets can enjoy Yandex.Kit as a trio of Yandex products - Yandex.Shell UI, Yandex.Browser and Yandex.Store.

Interestingly enough, two Android OEMs, Huawei and Explay, will show Yandex.Kit devices at MWC. Which is interesting, because earlier this month, Ars Technica claimed that leaked GMS licensing terms prohibited companies from releasing Android forks ("The agreement places a company-wide ban on Android forks [...]"). If that is indeed true, then Huawei (I'm not familiar with Explay) will be in for a surprise.

Alternatively, companies can release de-Googled Android phones (alongside Google Android phones) just fine. I guess we'll find out.

Order by: Score:
Multiple stores
by robmv on Fri 21st Feb 2014 21:33 UTC
robmv
Member since:
2006-08-12

There are many devices that pass Google certification and provide alternative stores and applications. Prominent examples are Sony phones with their PlayStation Mobile store, and Samsung. I think Google contracts are more related to defaults than exclusivity.

If Yandex.Kit are extra components provided to OEMs, I don't see contradiction with Google rules, but we are talking about leaked rules and we don't now what is the current text of those

Reply Score: 4

RE: Multiple stores
by kurkosdr on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 00:31 UTC in reply to "Multiple stores"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Exactly. As long as you don't remove any GMS apps, like the Play Store or Maps, Google doesn't care if your phone ships with other app stores too.

Edited 2014-02-22 00:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Multiple stores
by some1 on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 06:32 UTC in reply to "Multiple stores"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Obviously a major point in having a full suite of alternative applications that includes an alternative app store, is to not have any GMS applications on the phone at all. This allows one to avoid GMS licensing terms and save on Google fees.

Reply Score: 4

It's not that complicated...
by geleto on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 08:12 UTC
geleto
Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a lot of misinformation on this, including from tech journalists who should know better.

Google considers the Google Play apps and APIs separate from Android. They are related to Google-only services and it makes sense not to make them part of the OS.
Shipping Android without these apps and APIs does not constitute a fork because they are not part of Android and does not revoke the Google Play license.
There are separate APIs for services like maps and search which are not related to Google services and are part of Android, see for instance: http://developer.mapquest.com/web/products/featured/android-maps-ap...

If you want to ship with Google Play - it's all or nothing, you can't cherry pick bits and pieces. Also you are not allowed to distribute any forked Android. The moment Samsung sells a Tizen handset with Android compatibility built-in, they immediately lose the license to use Google Play in any of their phones, cold turkey style.

And finally - Google does not limit what additional apps, APIs and services you can ship with a Google Play phone. Custom app stores, maps and search are fine.

Edited 2014-02-22 08:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's not that complicated...
by WereCatf on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 08:30 UTC in reply to "It's not that complicated..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

And finally - Google does not limit what additional apps, APIs and services you can ship with a Google Play phone. Custom app stores, maps and search are fine.


Google does, however, state that their apps should be the default ones.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's not that complicated...
by some1 on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 15:06 UTC in reply to "It's not that complicated..."
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

What about shipping alternative implementations of Google Play APIs? That can't be a fork of Android, but I suspect Google will not be happy about it.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting
by Z_God on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 14:28 UTC
Z_God
Member since:
2006-06-11

Yandex also provides very good alternatives for GMail and Google Drive. Yandex Disk for instance can be accessed using plain WebDAV. And Yandex Mail works fine too and includes a Jabber account just like with GMail.

This can become quite popular.

Reply Score: 3

...
by Hiev on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 14:51 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

...I think that GMS should be tested in court, it smells like an anticompetive practice to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by The123king on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 16:28 UTC in reply to "..."
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

It's hardly "anticompetitve". Sure, if you want an Android phone with Google services, you have to accept the GMS agreement. If not, you build your own API's. As long as the base Android system is fully compatible and based on AOSP there should be no legal implications, as it's technically not a "fork". What Yandex are doing is creating a localised alternative to Google services built by russians for russians. IMHO it's a sensible thing to do.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

But the part of "Once you include our services locks you in forever with us and you can't make your own alternative with the open source Android" it is very gray, more black than gray to me.

Edited 2014-02-22 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Yandex.Kit is not a fork of Android
by chithanh on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 16:10 UTC
chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

As others have already pointed out, Yandex.Kit is just a suite of apps that connect to Yandex services. There is no rule which forbids shipping Yandex.Kit on Android devices, even alongside GMS.

Problems for Huawei (which is a member of the OHA) would only arise if they decided to ship a forked version of Android that does not pass the compatibility test suite. Demonstrating compatibility is one of the prerequisites for gaining access to GMS.

Reply Score: 5

GMS ToS
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 16:42 UTC
modmans2ndcoming
Member since:
2005-11-09

not sure building AOSP phones with a replaced services API counts as a form of Android. Those kinds of phones are really only popular in China and Russia where Google services are not used much.

Reply Score: 5