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 These old, most likely outdated licensing terms cover the Google applications, and not the open source Android platform, which anyone can download, alter, build and ship.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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Old information over blown.
by tkeith on Fri 14th Feb 2014 12:32 UTC
Member since:

Since very early on Android has contained proprietary Google apps. They have always been separate and complimentary, and not essential, to the AOSP base. The amount of Google apps has grown(not surprising) and Google has created a separate app that contains shared code(Google play services) that others can even use. Of course Google would like everyone to use their services, this is not news. The beauty of Android is that others(like Microsoft) could make their own app that contains plugins and ties to their services. How is this "locking down" or making Android less open?

Google owns the name Android and makes an agreement that if you want to use their propitiatory name and services you have to use it properly. Again how is this news?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Old information over blown.
by bassbeast on Sat 15th Feb 2014 00:08 in reply to "Old information over blown."
bassbeast Member since:

Because Google is tying more and more of the low end through the proprietary wall so its no longer "write once run anywhere" but "Write for Google, Android, ASOP" and guess which one of those three gets left out often?

But don't take my word for it, load ASOP onto a device you have and try loading the top 20 off the Playstore and see for yourself. its really not hard to do, just download them from the Playstore onto an Android device and copy the .APKs.

I have a feeling you'll find that quite a few don't work and this is why it very much IS a problem and DOES make the platform less open, because what good is having the code if the apps don't run? after all by that logic the TiVo is "open" because they give you the code,never mind you can't do anything with it.

At the end of the day the ASOP is worthless if Android apps won't run without major porting, and this is a serious problem that I have a feeling will only get worse as more competition enters the market and Google tries to lock in their place at the top of the heap. Remember friends, with Google products you are NOT the customer, you are THE PRODUCT and if they can't lock down those eyeballs,make sure those ads aren't blocked, and gather that data? Then that is tens of millions of profits right down the drain. So just like every corp that has reached #1 they will do whatever it takes, ethical or not, to continue to dominate the market.

Reply Parent Score: 2