Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Sep 2013 13:44 UTC
Google

Google's strategy is clear. Play Services has system-level powers, but it's updatable. It's part of the Google apps package, so it's not open source. OEMs are not allowed to modify it, making it completely under Google's control. Play Services basically acts as a shim between the normal apps and the installed Android OS. Right now Play Services handles the Google Maps API, Google Account syncing, remote wipe, push messages, the Play Games back end, and many other duties. If you ever question the power of Google Play Services, try disabling it. Nearly every Google App on your device will break.

Fragmentation addressed through the backdoor. Too bad it's too technical for most blogs, so the fragmentation line will be parroted for years and years to come.

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kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

I don't agree with Stallman on many things, but he was right on one thing: A piece of software is either 100% open source, or it's closed source.

If you have a piece of software which is mostly open source but some of it is closed (and the closed parts are in an app called hereisourproprietarystuff of PlayServices or whatever), and insist calling that "open source", there is the very real danger that the hereisourproprietarystuff will gradually become larger while the open source part gets smaller or stays the same.

Edited 2013-09-04 09:50 UTC

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