Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jun 2014 10:17 UTC
General Development

The μg Project aims to provide a free, fully compatible replacement of the often used proprietary GAPPS package by Google.

Very little information is available at this point, but I've always wondered why nobody ever tried to create open source replacements for the various Google Apps - most notably Google Play Services. This is clearly in its very early stages, but it'd be fantastic if we could one day have a drop-in replacement for Play Services, ensuring you could have a truly Google-free Android device while still being able to run applications that use the Play Services APIs.

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by Luke McCarthy on Fri 27th Jun 2014 11:05 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your RSS feed is encoded incorrectly. "μg" is rendered as "μg".

Reply Score: 2

Disturbing
by Kochise on Fri 27th Jun 2014 12:23 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

Yeah, I find somewhat stange that everybody wants to get away from Google software, yet are eager to use Android because it is so "open" (AOSP, CyanogenMod, etc...)

Cyanogen has run their own market, etc... If you really wants to get out from the Google ecosystem, you know, I bet OpenMoko would be more than happy to welcome you.

Seriously, it's Google's platform and ecosystem, I can understand they are driving it the way they want. Just like Microsoft do with Windows (8, RT, Phone).

Not happy with ? Jolla, SailfishOS, Tizen, WebOS, ...

Really.

Kochise

Reply Score: 3

RE: Disturbing
by moondevil on Fri 27th Jun 2014 12:45 UTC in reply to "Disturbing"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

People have regarded Google as high priest of open source, do no evil thing, savior from Microsoft and so on.

Now that they realize they are just another corporation, these type of behaviors look more like trying to save face than anything else.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Disturbing
by WereCatf on Fri 27th Jun 2014 13:08 UTC in reply to "Disturbing"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, Google's search is without a par IMHO, and considering the fact that I often have to do searches on the Internet.. Also, I don't wish to resort to pirating stuff, so I am kind of forced to use Play Market; I totally suck at navigating anywhere, so I need a GPS and the best GPS-app I've found for Android is Sygic GPS Navigation, but alas, I don't think it's sold outside of Play Market.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Disturbing
by meme on Fri 27th Jun 2014 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Disturbing"
meme Member since:
2006-04-03

Well, Sygic is sold outside Play Store. Actually, it used to be sold only outside Play Store initially ;)

Visit their web and you can purchase directly from them. However, there is a caveat: it uses an activation scheme. When you upgrade your device, you have to call them, to provide you with new activation code.

There is also a discounted version, that cannot be moved to another device. (It is supposed to be bundled with phones.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Disturbing
by meme on Fri 27th Jun 2014 15:44 UTC in reply to "Disturbing"
meme Member since:
2006-04-03

It's throwing out baby with the bathwater.

AOSP Android is a good platform, with many man-years worth of work put into it. You can fork it and use it without Google. You cannot fork WP, or Tizen, or Sailfish. You can still use existing apps - at least those, that do not require Google APIs, which are still in minority. You can still use all the knowledge you have from Android+Google development and use it to develop purely Android apps. You still benefit from the work, that Google is putting into AOSP.

The thing is, that Google worked hard to make it's services so enticing proposition, that nobody would bother to use Android without it. (At least here, because Chinese do not have access to Google, so they use the just AOSP part).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Disturbing
by hobgoblin on Fri 27th Jun 2014 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Disturbing"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Tizen and Sailfish are just as open source as Android.

https://www.tizen.org/

https://sailfishos.org/

Never mind that they share a legacy, Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin. Sailfish actually builds on a fork of those two, Mer.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Disturbing
by kurkosdr on Fri 27th Jun 2014 16:10 UTC in reply to "Disturbing"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Yeah, I find somewhat stange that everybody wants to get away from Google software, yet are eager to use Android because it is so "open" (AOSP, CyanogenMod, etc...)


Who is "everybody"? Users? I don't think so. The Play Store, Google Maps and YouTube are some of the best corners in Android. And competing services are typically inferior.

The only people who care about what's in AOSP are people who care about open source, not average users.

I would say that a little bit of close-source-ness is a good thing, because OEMs can't mangle the close-source parts. For example the Android TV launcher will be the same for everyone, like the Gapps are the same for everyone. But that would bring downvotes, so I won't say it :p

The only problem is if you have bought a cheap 'n nasty device from a small manufacturer with no Gapps, or if you are compiling a ROM. But you can download the Gapps afterwards, so it's not that big problem.

Edited 2014-06-27 16:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

How about server side?
by torp on Fri 27th Jun 2014 13:54 UTC
torp
Member since:
2010-08-10

How are they going to reimplement everything without using google's servers? And if they do use them, what's the point?

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about server side?
by Morgan on Fri 27th Jun 2014 14:02 UTC in reply to "How about server side?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Run your own, or use a more trusted (than Google) third party:

https://lwn.net/Articles/602521/

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: How about server side?
by meme on Fri 27th Jun 2014 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE: How about server side?"
meme Member since:
2006-04-03

It is one thing to run your mail/calendar/contact server (not that many people do, or it is going to become popular with mainstream anytime soon). Even storage is an easy thing.

But it is totally another league to run your own:

- mapserver (do you have an idea, how much disk space is used by tiles for entire world at all zoom levels? No, OSM will _NOT_ host it for you, if your app will get popular. And that's just map tiles - you are not going to get your own ortophoto anytime soon).

- Google Now... where are you going to get the data to feed something similar?

- Speech recognition - again, you don't have enough data and CPU time for it to be useful.

- Chat system/Hangout - sure, you can make your own chat system, this thing is not complicated, but you need network effect there. What's good a IM system, where you are alone?

- Youtube - you probably are not going to run your own equivalent either ;)

One more thing, that very few people noticed during the latest keynote - Android Auto is part of Play Services, _not AOSP_. It means that in future, if you want to connect your phone to your car, you pretty much need to have phone with Google services. Not even Kindle phone will do.

Reply Score: 2

Great for alternative OS folks
by tanishaj on Fri 27th Jun 2014 14:30 UTC
tanishaj
Member since:
2010-12-22

A few people here seem to wonder what the point is of not just using the services from Google.

My first thought is that other platforms that support Android apps would benefit greatly. Platforms like Jolla/Sailfish, Blackberry, and Amazon Fire would be a lot better if apps that required Google Play services worked with fewer problems (or at all).

Again, many people will just say why not run Android if you want Android apps. Well, I love my Blackberry and do not want and Android phone. However, it sure is nice I can run the Android apps for my Nest thermostat, a smaller bank I deal with, and the parking garage I use everyday. These apps all run great but I know I have run into at least one app I wanted to use that would not work properly because it used Google Services to persist data in some way.

Reply Score: 4

avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Isn't this exactly what the Nokia X and Amazon Phone are? They take AOSP and but their own services instead of Googles. The reason that their is no Open Source for this is because the Closed Sourced Ones are so good and popular (and money)

Reply Score: 4