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

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 These old, most likely outdated licensing terms cover the Google applications, and not the open source Android platform, which anyone can download, alter, build and ship.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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Is AOSP still 'Android'?
by oskeladden on Fri 14th Feb 2014 00:17 UTC
oskeladden
Member since:
2009-08-05

Thom, I think the point is that whilst AOSP is still clearly open, AOSP and Android are diverging so rapidly that it's starting to get difficult to say they're the same OS. If the most popular applications written for one version of a platform will not work on another, and if the user experience is fundamentally different, are they really still the same OS? We're not quite at that stage as yet, but with the ever-deepening integration of cloud features into Android, there's a real chance that we'll get there in a couple of releases.

I should stress that I'm not finding fault with Google. But I really did like Andy Rubin's pithy definition of 'open', and I feel slightly sad that we're getting to a point where if you issue those commands, you'll end up with an OS that is no longer fully compatible with the OS Google actually ships to its commercial partners.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Is AOSP still 'Android'?
by WorknMan on Fri 14th Feb 2014 00:38 in reply to "Is AOSP still 'Android'?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Thom, I think the point is that whilst AOSP is still clearly open, AOSP and Android are diverging so rapidly that it's starting to get difficult to say they're the same OS. If the most popular applications written for one version of a platform will not work on another, and if the user experience is fundamentally different, are they really still the same OS?


No, they're really not. That's why I think that any so-called Android device that doesn't come with the Google suite of apps (ESPECIALLY the Play store) doesn't really qualify. For example, the Kindle Fire is NOT an Android tablet - it's an Amazon tablet running a bastardized Android hybrid.

And do you know what? That's okay with me. To me, Google Play and GP services is sort of the glue that holds the whole thing together, and prevents Android from turning into the fragmented mess that is desktop Linux. I'm not really a fan of 'open' systems for the sake of them being open. I like a hybrid system like this, where one entity has a little control, that keeps things at least somewhat uniform between the various builds/vendors.

Edited 2014-02-14 00:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Is AOSP still 'Android'?
by JAlexoid on Fri 14th Feb 2014 00:57 in reply to "RE: Is AOSP still 'Android'?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

That's why I think that any so-called Android device that doesn't come with the Google suite of apps (ESPECIALLY the Play store) doesn't really qualify. For example, the Kindle Fire is NOT an Android tablet - it's an Amazon tablet running a bastardized Android hybrid.


Any device that can pass the compatibility suite is an Android based device. Kindle Fire does not pass that suite.

But technically any device that has no GMS will not have the permission to be named AndroidTM.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Is AOSP still 'Android'?
by bassbeast on Fri 14th Feb 2014 23:11 in reply to "Is AOSP still 'Android'?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Here is what I personally do not get...why is Thom and others waving that Google fanboi flag as hard as they can and getting upset when we have seen THIS EXACT SAME THING over and over AND OVER?

Company gets big, company becomes douchey...is this REALLY shocking to anybody here? Let me spell it out in simple terms that will hopefully make it clear as crystal, the only reason Google was nice before was they were on the bottom but they are not on the bottom anymore, are they? Now they have a duty to the stockholders to seek maximum rent and you can't do that by giving the competition the tools to compete. think Google LIKES the Kindle? Not anymore than they liked those CCC tablets that removed their apps for some homebrew stuff.

At the end of the day when a company reaches the top they WILL become assholish and start doing any trick they can to insure that big fat money truck stays on course and they stay #1, we have seen this time and time and time again. And this isn't a slight on Google, not like they are the first company to become assholish when they reached #1, I'm just pointing out that as threats to their dominane show up they WIL be more like late 90s MSFT than they will be the old "throw cool shit at the wal and se what sticks" company of old.

Oh and FYI, don't know if this goes for outside the USA as well but GOG is giving away Dungeon Keeper Gold for free for 42 hours, link below, enjoy and happy VD.

<a href="http://www.gog.com/">GOG

Reply Parent Score: 4