Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Feb 2014 23:38 UTC

Another day, another fear-mongering 'Android is closed!'-article at Ars Technica. After Peter Bright's article last week (sharply torn to shreds by Dianne Hackborn), we now have an article with the scary title "New Android OEM licensing terms leak; 'open' comes with a lot of restrictions".

The title itself is already highly misleading, since one, the licensing terms aren't new (they're from early 2011 - that's three years old), and two, they're not licensing terms for Android, but for the suite of Google applications that run atop Android.

This article makes the classic mistake about the nature of Android. It conflates the Android Open Source Project with the suite of optional proprietary Google applications, the GMS. These old, most likely outdated licensing terms cover the Google applications, and not the open source Android platform, which anyone can download, alter, build and ship. Everyone can build a smartphone business based on the Android Open Source Project, which is a complete smartphone operating system.

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And you can write the whole thing to address controllers and devices directly and completely avoid using the OS's APIs for interacting with them.
I love how Amazon provides us with nice counterexamples for all those uninformed opinions about how GMS is necessary and AOSP without it is useless.

Push notification via Amazon Device Messaging:

Achievements and game progress tracking with Amazon GameCircle:

Certainly, Amazon did not write any code to address controllers and devices directly.

Interaction with online services is easily possible and necessary, and only interaction with Google services is done through proprietary code.

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