I think that it's more of a safety net for google. We've all seen where OEMs can take android devices, and imo, to keep the experience realitively similar from phone to phone is hard without rules. Google want people to enjoy android, not OEMs making similar apps but that have worse experiences and further fragment the android ecosystem. Whilst android is "open" I think it's in googles right to make sure the name doesn't get burned. just my two cents
Does Google provide Android to OEM's for free? If yes, then Google is not asking too much by requiring that its apps be displayed so that phone users see them.
Otherwise some phone manufacturers would just take Android, get rid of all Google stuff, and preload the phones with their own. In fact, some (if not all) Chinese phone makers are doing this any way. On their Android phones, you don't see Google search etc, but some junks that are designed to replace Google apps.
My understanding is that they must use these guidelines only if they choose to preinstall any Google Apps. Amazon uses its forked version without any of these issues. There is a fine line that Google must ride here. Controlling quality while encouraging diversity through the manufactures.
Rick, I think you might be making a mountain out of Google's molehill here. While Microsoft forced OEMs to use THEIR browser, internet explorer, Google isn't forcing anything on the OEMs except the method by which they get to the Google ecosystem. They are also giving some leeway in that the OEM can bury their apps one level down or one screen over from the home page. Considering the comsumer's desire to purchase apps AND the ability to move icons at will, this seems like a convience or at the most, a non-issue.
As to the point of fracturing Android by modifying it, why doesn't that make sense from a business standpoint? Android (the OS) would get a black eye when "custom" jellybean that I created didn't work with apps from the Google store that Google said were compatible. The customer wouldn't blame me, they would blame Google and their "stupid Android" OS, and move more folks to a platform that "Just Works".
I suppose it's true that Google is keeping everything open source and not forcing any particular browser on anyone. Still, there is something eerily similar to Wintel about the recent rise of Android, and once again Apple stands in the way of complete dominance by offering devices that don't have quite the performance or the cost benefit but instead create a more seamless user experience and more integrated ecosystem overall.
but instead create a more seamless user experience and more integrated ecosystem overall.
That's because, once again, as they did with their OS back in the day, they are the exclusive maker of their hardware/software. When you make an OS that needs to run on hardware that any tom, dick or Xio Xing creates, it can't possibly be the tightly integrated, experience that Apple has. Everyone bitches about Windows, but considering how it has to happily coexist with a world full of 3rd party cards and drivers. it is amazing that it works at all.
I don't know how common "forked" versions are for the phones but you see them for cheap-cheap tablets all the time, they sell you some piece of junk for $25 but they get their money back when the user has to download tons of proprietary apps to make it do anything useful, and NOTHING in their "special" store is cheap. Clearly Google would want to distance themselves as far as they can from any outfit that wants to charge money for apps that probably have little or no SW QC, for all Google knows the forked OS ITSELF may be garbage. I think I've heard these vendors are supposed to indicate that these are "non-AOSP" builds but how much does the end-user know about the poor value and risk they would be taking in purchasing something like this? Obviously not much, these devices MUST be selling because you see ads everywhere. I can hardly blame Google for trying to put SOME kinds of constraints in their contracts lest the consumer community starts to conflate the poor SW in these situations with what they would have experienced in the "legit" Android community. Oh and as if those weren't enough reasons not to buy this cheap junk, the Android "base" underneath this mess generally can't be upgraded when a new version of the AOSP build comes out (for several reasons some of which are obvious), so not only are you buying avoidable bugs, they're also permanent...
It is a bit of a misnomer to refer to Android as Open Source when it has such restricitons on it. Nevertheless, it is open enough for the partners to add their own layer on top of it and give it their own look and feel. And if that makes them profitable, there shouldn't be too many complaints about Google's terms. Otherwise, go find another mobile OS if you like :)
You have to remember that Open Source is not the same as Free Software. Originally, Richard Stallman and GNU came with the idea of Free Software, referring not to its price but to the liberal GPL licensing environment it enforced. Open Source was just one aspect of Free Software. When the commercial world warmed up to the idea, they sometimes chafed under its rigid rules and created the Open Source model, which has some but not all liberties of the GPL.There were heated discussions about the differences: people created the term FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) to describe the GPL end of the spectrum, and differentiate it from just purely Open Source with proprietary conditions. I will remind you that Microsoft, who is on record comparing Free Software to cancer, did open and publish the source to quite a bit of their software.
Google's licensing is just one of the implementations of Open Source that is not quite Free in the sense of the GPL, that's all.
1) Android, IMHO is a "stolen" piece of work, which I know most folks may disagree with me on. Based upon the evidence, the court were wrong. There is NO WAY Google could create (re-create) THAT much code in that short of time. . . I don't care how sharp their programmers are, it's just not humanly possible.
2) Fragmentation: #1 example is Amazon's Kindle Fire (which I do have and is not so good. . . ). Amazon, being Amazon, "forked" Android to bolt up to their own content delivery setup. . . Which is what JB wants to do anyway: Sell you content. . .
There was an article recently about how the Amazon folks go and attend Open Souce conferences, to basically leach off others, yet, they contribute nothing back to the community. This also applied to their "cloud" offerings (AWS) too. Why? It's called "vertical integration". . .
3) Of course Google wants "restrictions" it has to. If you think Android is a mess today (whcih it is), imagine what it would be like without said "restrictions" - Google realized that the WinTel approach was flawed and sought to remedy that. They they go and buy Motorla Mobility to compete with Self, then dump it after it implodes and Samsung takes all the horses out of the barn for a run. . . .
Rick, you're probably of the age to remember how HP, IBM were "back in the day": They were all "vertically integrated" companies. They "did it all". And that's why "it just worked!". They didn't call it "big Iron" for nothing. . . .
Today, engineers don't run company's - Bean Counters do, at the behest of the "gamblers" on Wall Street. Not that Bean Counters aren't important, they have their place, but it "takes money to make money". Only Apple can maybe print their own money. . . . Other's really can't.
With the world boiling over with ideas, everyone is trying to "one up" the other in a game that has no end. . . . Rather than focusing on what really matters: Making functional, easy to use stuff for people to be more productive, creative, etc. This is why Apple gets beaten up: They stick to their guns and oh by the way, keep pulling in the profits. Whereas Android may have "market share", but nobody makes any money. . . There's always a sucker in the crowd. . . .
Prediction: Though Google is heavily engrained in our world today (who says go search for it? They all say "go google it"), the Google "bubble" will burst. Not a complete imploding, they do have some very sharp people. But a Correction is due and it might be a bit more challenging then one might expect.
Yes, I'm an "apple fan" - have been since 1984. . . .
". There is NO WAY Google could create (re-create) THAT much code in that short of time. "
Are you saying they copied Apple's code?
Don't forget that Android existed before it was bought by Google. It was started by the creators of the once popular social-networking Sidekick phone, which first came out in 2002, a good 5 years before the iPhone. They left the company called Danger and created Android. (Incidentally, Android tried to get Samsung to buy them before they went to Google).
So you could argue that they copied the Sidekick code.
To add to the confusion, Microsoft later bought the remnants of the company Danger, and since most companies selling Android phones have been forced to pay licensing fees to Microsoft (Microsoft reportedly makes billions from Android phone sales!), you could say that Android is paying for the right to use the code.
Yes this is all a bit confusing, but in the end it doesn't look like Android has stolen any code. I'd be curious to hear your rebuttal.
No, they did not copy any of Apple's code, though do remember: Andy Rubin DID work for Apple at one time. . .
Android is, "technically" NOT an OS. . . Andriod is the "java middle-ware layer" that sits on top of a "modified" Linux kernel. It includes it's own JVM, currently the Dalvik VM, but moving to ART with the latest release. My point, as to "stolen" code is that the original Android company, being a startup, could not have the manpower to develop the entire Java Suite from scratch. . . The VM is unique, but all of the "middle ware" layers were "borrowed" (illegally) from the JavaME codebase. I know you may disagree, that's fine. The case is still pending on appeal.
Yes, it's ironic, I believe I read that microsoft makes more off Android royalties than off their WinPhone (or whatever they call it today) OS. Yea, too funny!
I have an "android" device: it's called a Kindle Fire. Has issues, specifically the battery. with Wifi on, no push notifications enabled, I get < 48 hrs before the device is dead. Even "disabling" the wi-fi doesn't help (go figure). Only way to "kill it" is to go into airplane mode. Now, blame Amazon for monkeying with it? Maybe. . . The unit also does it's unannounced resets. . . and this is a brand new unit. Yet, my iPad2 (year+ old) will "sleep" properly, doesn't drain the battery. . .
Companies are always looking for "the edge" - yea, the edge of what? The abyss? Even Apple has their challenges these days. . . Interesting, though troubling times we live in.
1) Android, IMHO is a "stolen" piece of work, which I know most folks may disagree with me on. Based upon the evidence, the court were wrong. There is NO WAY Google could create (re-create) THAT much code in that short of time
They didn't. They financed Android Inc. for development and then bought them in 2005. They announced the OS in 2007 and released a beta in 2008.
2) Fragmentation: #1 example is Amazon's Kindle Fire (which I do have and is not so good. . . ). Amazon, being Amazon, "forked" Android to bolt up to their own content delivery setup. . . Sell you content. . .
There was an article recently about how the Amazon folks go and attend Open Souce conferences, to basically leach off others, yet, they contribute nothing back to the community.
The license is NOT the GPL. They don't have to contribute back. Also, I'm not sure that I would want everyone and their grandmother contributing back to Android. Have you seen Linux lately? They have code in there to support every little hobbiest widget possible. I don't need my desktop supporting Rasberry Pi and all kinds of other hobby crap.
HP, IBM were "back in the day": They were all "vertically integrated" companies. They "did it all". And that's why "it just worked!". They didn't call it "big Iron" for nothing. .
I don't think they called it Big Iron for the verticlal integration. I believe it simply refered to their product of huge, expensive mainframe systems, that had a presence.
Today, engineers don't run company's - Bean Counters do, at the behest of the "gamblers" on Wall Street.
Perhaps you're speaking of Shareholders that DO have a vested interest in how a company is run. Most tech companies START with the tech guys and then evolve to be money oriented. They have to. Engineers can't drive sustainability, usually.
Only Apple can maybe print their own money. . . . Other's really can't.
I agree on this point. Who else can continue to sell essentially the same iphone over and over again to the same people. Except for the processor getting faster and more memory, they rest of the "features" are incremental changes that the media swears are innovations.
With the world boiling over with ideas, everyone is trying to "one up" the other in a game that has no end. . . . Rather than focusing on what really matters: Making functional, easy to use stuff for people to be more productive, creative, etc.
But wouldn't making functional, easy to use for people to be more productive BE the one upping you are speaking of? If no one is doing that, and that is what people want...
This is why Apple gets beaten up: They stick to their guns and oh by the way, keep pulling in the profits.
Apple gets beaten up because they believe their own press. They think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread when they change their connectors 3x in 4 years.
Whereas Android may have "market share", but nobody makes any money. . . There's always a sucker in the crowd. . . .
I think HTC, Samsung and Google beg to differ. If no one is making money, then why are there so many companies releasing Android phones/tablets?
Prediction: Though Google is heavily engrained in our world today (who says go search for it? They all say "go google it"), the Google "bubble" will burst.
That's a pretty safe bet. If you go out long enough, most large companies are smaller versions of their former selves, "bursting" in effect.
"Also, I'm not sure that I would want everyone and their grandmother contributing back to Android. Have you seen Linux lately? They have code in there to support every little hobbiest widget possible. I don't need my desktop supporting Rasberry Pi and all kinds of other hobby crap."
Yes, I work with "embedded linux" as my job. I get to work with all of the "hobby crap" as you say. And it's painful for those of us working with 512MB of RAM trying to tell customers no, you can't have a full blown desktop + ramdisk + java + + + and make it all fit. . . . Some just don't get it. . .
Especially in the world of ARM, Linux kinds shot itself in the foot. Being base upon a x86 model (from whence it came), having to deal with all of the "stuff" one uses in the Embedded works, coupled with the now overly complex multi-cores, etc, and yea, it's getting messy. . Real messy. Steps are being taken to improve things, but there will be pain for a while I fear.
Part of what I've seen is: yes, every programmer want's to make their "cred" by contributing to the kernel. There's a ton of crap that doesn't make it, simply because it's. . . crap. That's why there are the guru's to filter this so that hopefully, the final product will be "better" in the end.