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 These old, most likely outdated licensing terms cover the Google applications, and not the open source Android platform, which anyone can download, alter, build and ship.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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Android similar to OSX now
by FunkyELF on Fri 14th Feb 2014 15:09 UTC
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Android has an open "core" of functionality but is basically useless without Google's non-open apps like the Google Play Store, Maps, etc.

This is similar to Apple's OSX which has an open kernel.

The difference is that when Apple goes around saying their OS runs on an open kernel they're explicit about it only being the kernel that is open.

The problem with Android now is the definition. Similar to the problem with Linux a while back and lead to the term GNU/Linux.

Should we start referring to these devices as Google/Android/Linux devices where Android and Linux may be open and free but Google's stuff isn't.

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