Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Sep 2011 22:10 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Baidu, a company primarily known for its search engine in China, has announced that it is launching a new mobile operating system: Yi. The new OS is to be forked off of Android and Baidu will be providing its own apps and services in lieu of Google's apps. Those apps should include Baidu-based maps, ebooks, downloadable music, cloud storage, and cloud backup. There will also apparently be a custom SDK and app store for the platform."
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All this talk about forking ...
by searly on Wed 7th Sep 2011 13:03 UTC
searly
Member since:
2006-02-27

I doubt very much that it is a full fork (as much as I doubt that the Amazon Tablet is a full fork) ... it is most likely Android with a new UI on top of it (just like HTC, Samsung etc.) an a whole lot of services, extra applications thrown into the mix (much like google apps) ... it would be crazy to fork Android and not make use of the already existing user/developer base, and I doubt that developers will want to support yet another platform ... (the same for Amazon, they would be shooting themselves in the foot , also note that the Amazon App Store contains regular Andorid Apps) ... so I think the talk about Android forks lately is somewhat overhyped ...

Edited 2011-09-07 13:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

They said they will develop it independently from the existing Android codebase and it won't match Android version numbers so that really sounds like a classical definition of a fork.

They had to fork it because Google keeps the latest versions closed so they would always be seen as being behind. I am sure they will retroactively merge new Android stuff back in though.

This will be sort of like UNIX flavors. Mostly compatible at the ABI layer but with enough differences that you need some type of compatibility layer.

Reply Parent Score: 0

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Note, that they don't care much if devs outside China will ignore the platform.
The play here is to keep chineese market (and ecosystems) out of control by entities outside of China, which starts to become major consumer force.

The language barier causes the natural fragmentation in any platform anyway.

Edited 2011-09-07 17:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

I actually think this is more of a business decision for Baidu, rather then a politically motivated one.

No one but Google makes money from Android and Baidu had to pay telco's to carry their apps. Now Baidu can do a deal with the OEM's to provide their OS and there is no need to deal with the telco's.

Reply Parent Score: 3

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I guess they will make sure latest Android apps work on their platform but not the other way around not unlike clasic EEE MS approach.

Reply Parent Score: 2

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

I doubt very much that it is a full fork (as much as I doubt that the Amazon Tablet is a full fork) ... it is most likely Android with a new UI on top of it (just like HTC, Samsung etc.) an a whole lot of services, extra applications thrown into the mix (much like google apps) ... it would be crazy to fork Android and not make use of the already existing user/developer base, and I doubt that developers will want to support yet another platform ... (the same for Amazon, they would be shooting themselves in the foot , also note that the Amazon App Store contains regular Andorid Apps) ... so I think the talk about Android forks lately is somewhat overhyped ...


If this was an event happening anywhere in the rest of the world, then I'd agree with you. However, you seem to be underestimating just how badly China wants to rely on itself & not the outside world for IT & general technology. Don't forget that most computer tech is created with the Western world in mind. This has massive benefits for us, but massive downsides for Asian countries who communicate very differently than we do. For a better idea of how well this could turn out, look to the Chinese Linux based OSes, the Chinese MIPS processor, & other Chinese homegrown tech that mimics what's available in the rest of the world. Lets face it, China's a huge country, with tons & tons of people. Would you really want all of those people to think that their own country couldn't compare to everyone else. For the most part, countries want their citizens using mostly homegrown products.

Reply Parent Score: 2