Smartphones Are The New PersonalComputer

Small cheap computers are what everyone wants who is not in bed with Wintel.“the transition toward mobile and cloud-based computing is unstoppable, with tablet volumes expected to pass total PC volume in the fourth quarter of 2014 and on an annual basis in 2016. Even smaller tablets are facing stiff market competition from large-size smartphones (phablets)….If you look at the development of the smartphone market through today, the increased functionality of the devices has killed off the digital camera market and it has killed off the GPS device and MP3 device markets. All of that functionality has become standard across all smartphones. Now if you embed a SlimPort Pro Tx into a high-end smartphone, you can exploit the increased performance that is being supplied by the wave of new quad-core and 8-core processors hitting the market. You now have a PC in a pocket.” If you add to the capabilities of the legacy PC huge portability, low price, flexibility, GPS, good camera and connectivity to all kinds of stuff, you have a better PC, not a low-end PC. With FLOSS running the machine, you get a reasonable price for better IT. You see, all those restrictions in the EULA (End-User Licence Agreement, where you agree to slavery) cost you money. That’s why M$ and “partners” put those restrictions in there.

If you want to use your hardware to its maximum capability, you have to use Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) such as GNU/Linux or Android/Linux. Rather than pay ~$100 to M$ for permission to use the hardware you own, spend the $100 on better hardware in a competitive market not a private playground for the rich, or, buy groceries. That gives you a better deal, just what you need. It’s not in your best interest to be anyone’s slave.

See Turning a smartphone into a PC in a pocket: Q&A with Analogix.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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31 Responses to Smartphones Are The New PersonalComputer

  1. oiaohm says:

    By the way each of the Google play services is uninstallable individually. So you can insert the open source replacements individually.

    NOGAPPS Network Location service is already superior to the Google Play Network Location Service. Due to being able to use more Location databases. Being closed source in fact forbids Google Developers from using particular databases.

    The bits kurkosdr is complaining about will most likely be better off replaced. Open source map api that is under-way will be able to be coded not to have to use google maps but in fact have a choice between different map providing services.

    This is the problem every closed source bit in android in fact has a team somewhere working on building a replacement to it. This is low level drivers to google play services. The launcher has already been replaced.

    Android the closed source parts are becoming more and more optional. Having thrid party replacements allow more store access to application developers. It is in application developers best interest to assist clones to Google Play services to appear.

  2. oiaohm says:

    https://code.google.com/p/adw-launcher-android/ Android Home cloned. http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Google_Apps is free.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1715375 Finally NOGAPPS is cloning play services.

    Android Home is cloned. The clone takes the same themes and the clone looks basically identical. Users have not been able to tell the difference between cyanogen mod replacement and googles. Other than the fact cyanogen mod replacement exposes more security. None of the forks to android when Google closed the source to Android Home was using it. In fact at the time no OEM vendor was shipping with the google open source loader either.

    Dr Loser and kurkosdr when you install gapps built for AOSP versions that installs google play. From google play you can install android home as a an application. Android home is nothing more than another third party launcher these days. What is the cost of Android home on Google play. Zero dollars. Yes you can buy a license to Android home as a end user. Just after install. Both google play( gapps) cannot be in the default open source install images. You are allowed in fact to include a auto download for gapps as long as it displays the google license of gapps and requires user intervention to install on a open source image.. Who negotiated this one http://omnirom.org/. Google is very willing to negotiate.

    Google Play Services and Android Home are freeware. The need to buy license is for certified device/rom status. Without certified device/rom status you have to inform the user that its has not been threw google tested before gapps can be installed. This is why Gapps cannot be in rom image out box.

    The freeware license on Google Play Services is a minor pain in but. Loser you don’t have to part with any money to have Play services on a AOSP version of Android. You also don’t have to part with any money to have Android home on AOSP version.

    The existence of NOGAPPS means if google did not provide a means to install gapps it would be cloned faster.

    Google play services are uninstallable. Alternative can be installed. As yet the Alternative is not complete. So applications using google play services networking side work with or without gapps installed. Just you have to choose gapps or nogapps.

    Interesting enough nogapps is focused on adding the parts applications really use of google play services. The big one is goggle maps.

    Serous-ally from an application compatibility point of view once google maps replacement works the only other major thing is the licensing server bit of Google play. Of course you cannot clone this. Applications installed by amazons installer use amazons licensing service not google plays licensing service.

    kurkosdr and drLoser. sorry there is not very much code that you require from Google at all to run Android applications. Most of what Google closed source that applications really use is forked. You are talking 90+ compatibility without using Google play or nogapps at all. Using nogapps you are up in the 95 with maps when complete 98. The remaining 2 percent is protected under DCMA in other words copy right protection.

    The problem here the parts both Loser and kurkosdr you can acquire as a end user a free license to use. As a rom maker no you cannot but you can provide a interface that walks the user threw installing them after the image is installed on the device.

    The big killer but here is google play services are being forked and they are removable from stock google roms. Like you install the amazon store and all the applications you own are from amazon. You don’t need google play any more. No application in the amazon android application store depend on google play.

    So the main thing you need google play for is accessing the google application market.

    Application developers for Android are in fact hating Google Play Services. Why it results in them unable to list there applications in all markets for sale.

  3. DrLoser says:

    For those, like Dougie and oiaohm, who have the attention span of a goldfish but are still struggling to match the level of a piscine intellect, I feel I should repeat Kurks’ basic point here:

    There, you said “Android”, the whole of it. Android is not open-source, because pieces of it are not open source. You are wrong.
    And even if you revise the quote to: “One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of MOST OF Android and Linux.”, you have to give a number to define ‘most’, because Play Services and Android Home are not insignificant amounts of code.

    Unless otherwise argued, I think we can all agree that this is not a true FLOSS system.

    But actually it’s even worse than that, from the point of view of the GPL. Because the bits that consumers actually want, ie Play Services and Android Home, are completely proprietary.

    Completely, as in, you cannot even buy a license for the binary blob.

    I fail to see how Google is advancing the cause here.

  4. DrLoser says:

    I don’t think Kurks was asking about Debian, Robert.
    In fact, I think he was asking about Gnu/Android.
    Do you have a definition of “tiny” for Gnu/Android?
    Kurks generously helped you out by pointing out the two rather large bits that are not, in fact, either “free open source software” or available to the individual as a personal purchase.
    I genuinely don’t see the point at issue here. Either you can “freely examine” all the code, possibly with exceptions for obscure drivers or whatnot, but certainly not for important things such as the proprietary bits of Android, or you cannot.
    I mean, would you define Android as FLOSS or not?
    That’s an easier distinction to make. You don’t even have to debate the definition or ramifications of “tiny.” It’s a binary choice.

    Is Android FLOSS, or is it not?

  5. ssorbom wrote, “The FSF goes so far as to refuse to endorse Debian because of the existence of the non-free the repos.”

    vrms
    Non-free packages installed on beast
    elmer-doc Elmer multiphysics FEA package documentation
    firmware-linux-nonfree Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
    firmware-realtek Binary firmware for Realtek wired and wireless network
    Contrib packages installed on beast
    flashplugin-nonfree Adobe Flash Player – browser plugin
    Contrib packages with status other than installed on beast
    nspluginwrapper ( dei) A wrapper to run Netscape plugins on other arc
    3 non-free packages, 0.1% of 3300 installed packages.
    2 contrib packages, 0.1% of 3300 installed packages.

    I think even kurkosdr would think 0.1% was tiny, and that’s just in package-count. In MB it might be even smaller. Further, what of that firmware runs on a x86-amd64 PC? Probably none. It’s bits for some chips on the motherboard providing I/O for some devices. Even if the source code were provided and the licence were FLOSS, would it mean anything to anyone but the manufacturer? This is “angels on the head of a pin” stuff. I won’t lose sleep over it. I will delete that elmer-doc package. I don’t need/want it on my system any longer. There goes 90MB. My NIC needs non-Free firmware to run. Should I leave it sucking juice and buy another to plug in? Why should I spend more money to use the hardware that I own? I chose my motherboard for throughput, not the NIC. I have another NIC kicking around but it’s RealTek, too. I like RealTek stuff. Heck. I run Linux 3.15 with non-Free drivers and all. I could delete the Debian packages and likely carry on but why risk changing my configuration over this tiny thing? They do not threaten my ability to run, examine, modify and distribute the software I recommend, Debian GNU/Linux.

  6. kurkosdr, thinking he can command the sea to roll back, wrote, “Give me a specific number here, or even a range of numbers”.

    Who made you the boss? “Tiny” does not need definition: dict: “Very small; little; puny”

    Everyone knows what tiny means when they see it. I would put up megabytes of Linux code and Android code against anything k writes about. He’s writing about some skin on an elephant.

  7. kurkosdr says:

    @dogbrain (dougman)

    I like how the open source fans continuously fail to define how much they consider “most” and how much they consider “a tiny portion” so they ‘ll have tons of wiggle room. Speaking of which…

    @pogson

    How much do you consider “tiny”? Give me a specific number here, or even a range of numbers (I am making it easy)

    Does an entire set of APIs missing with the mass of code required to implement it classify as tiny? Does an entire launcher missing too clasify as tiny? If I don’t get your definition of tiny, conversation can’t move on.

    I am very pressy on this, because, in order for your definition of tiny to apply to the amount of closed code of Android, it also has to apply to the amount of closed code of SteamOS, an OS you do not consider “open-source” but instead “partially open-source”. It will also have to apply to the amount of closed code of Solaris 11 (not Express or Illumos/OpenIndiana). Solaris 11 is an OS you also consider partially open-source

    PS: Code in repositories or app stores not needed for advertized OS functionality, especially code needed only if you have certain hardware (aka drivers) are not part of the OS. But anyway, let’s sort out the whole “tiny amount of code” that open source OSes can supposedly get away with first.

  8. ssorbom says:

    PS
    You can download stock Android (for PC) here:
    http://www.android-x86.org/download

  9. ssorbom says:

    But Kurkosdr is saying that if you were to rip out the non-free bits of Android that binary compatibility would be broken. If Kurkosdr is right, that is more like comparing the closed bits of Android to glibc. If glibc were to go closed tomorrow, Debian would be in the same boat as Android is now, I think. That’s a bit more fundamental than a few drivers around the edges
    Btw, those drivers matter, even in Debian’s definition of freedom. From what I have seen, discussions about proprietary drivers always start flame wars for Debian devs.
    The FSF goes so far as to refuse to endorse Debian because of the existence of the non-free the repos.
    https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html

  10. kurkosdr wrote, “Android is not open-source, because pieces of it are not open source. You are wrong.”

    OMG! I’m black! I have a spot of dirt under my fingernail… Having a tiny portion of non-Free code out there on devices does not make all of Android/Linux closed-source. Is Debian non-Free because they have a bit of non-Free firmware in their repositories? Neither is Android/Linux.

  11. dougman says:

    I love how the trolls continuously re-draw the line in the sand, as they retreat. LOL…..

  12. kurkosdr says:

    And before you say “I never claimed Android is open source, just ‘most’ of it”, I quote:

    Pogson said: “One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of Android and Linux.”

    There, you said “Android”, the whole of it. Android is not open-source, because pieces of it are not open source. You are wrong.

    And even if you revise the quote to: “One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of MOST OF Android and Linux.”, you have to give a number to define ‘most’, because Play Services and Android Home are not insignificant amounts of code.

    So, the quote has to be revised to: “One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of SOME OF Android and Linux.”

    Now you are factually correct (Android is partially open-source), and can stop wasting your time and mine.

    Still friends?

  13. kurkosdr says:

    @Pogson

    Are we arguing about whether Android is open source or about whether the present system works? I thought we were arguing about the former all this time.

    So, when it comes to whether Android is open source: No it’s not unless you apply slippery-slope standards. That is the point I am trying to drive forward, but you don’t want to admit it and are needlessly wasting my time.

    Example of slippery-slope-ness: What do you mean by “the bulk of the software on the devices is FLOSS”. What percentage of software is defined as “the bulk of software”? Are all parts of the software equal, or certain parts of the software (like the ones responsible for APIs) weigh more in the decision of whether an OS is open source, and with what weight?
    Slippery-slope, man (prove it’s not by providing numbers and backing them up)

    “Who wants that?”
    The user trying to compile Android from AOSP. You claimed Android is open-source, so, since the OS is open-source (your claim), the user should have the latest official experience Android offers and binary compatibility with Android apps just by compiling the source code. He can’t. Important bits are missing from AOSP.

    SO, FOR THE LAST TIME, MY POINTS ARE:
    Android is not open source (like you claimed), it’s mixed open/closed source. Better than iOS and WP if you are into open-source, sure. But it’s not open-source, so stop claiming that!

  14. kurkosdr wrote, “It’s open only if you don’t want the latest official Android experience, and don’t even want full binary compat with Android apps.”

    Who wants that? Google? Marketing droids? Real people want IT that works for them. No one has a monopoly in small cheap computers because they are small and cheap and many players are shipping them with and without Android/Linux.

    The only reason Google wants standardization is so all those lovely apps work on every device. Google wants lots of devices that can access Google’s ads and cloud-services. The apps are one way Google attracts consumers by making the devices more useful. The same folks who claimed Android/Linux was “fragmented” are now claiming it’s some kind of top-down monopoly. It’s not. Google is applying a minimal guidance to the ecosystem, sanity if you will, so that users and suppliers can all get along. It would be lovely if that weren’t necessary but Google has to herd cats, all those OEMs wanting to distinguish themselves in diverse ways. Still, the bulk of the software on the devices is FLOSS and can be forked if necessary. Few have tried because the present system works. Why break what works? Oh, those who want M$ to run the monopoly want Android/Linux broken. Tough. Live with it.

  15. kurkosdr says:

    “DrLoser this is your problem you think you need to buy google apps. To ship pre-installed images with them you have to buy the rights this is correct.”

    Okay, fine, you can download download the Google Apps and Google Play Services. You can’t ship them pre-installed, but I ‘ll let that slip, in order not to lose the big picture:

    1) Google Play Services is proprietary software which is crucial for full binary compatibility of Android apps. Android apps relying on the Play Services APIs are compatible with Android but not AOSP.

    2) Android Home is proprietary software, and it replaced the AOSP launcher as the official launcher of Android in the Nexus 5. Am I noticing a proprietary fork of the launcher here? (the launcher is a crucial part of the user experience)

    You guys just don’t want to admit that Google is practicing “closed openness”. It’s open only if you don’t want the latest official Android experience, and don’t even want full binary compat with Android apps.

    Now, I ‘ll sit back and watch Pogson claim for the 3rd time you can examine, modify, and redistribute “Android” source code, while this actually applies only to the AOSP parts of Android.

    PS: That’s a big loophole you are opening there open source fans, be careful. If the open source community starts arguing how much non-driver crucial bits (necessary for binary compat) is OK to exclude from the source release in order to still have the Pogsons of this world tout your OS as open source (“one can examine, modify”… etc) you ‘ll start walking a very slippey slope.

  16. dougman says:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2362720/hp-says-the-machine-will-supercharge-android-phones-to-100tb.html

    “Hewlett-Packard has kicked off an ambitious project that aims at nothing less than reinventing the basic architecture of computers. HP is working on an Android version that it says could lead to smartphones with 100TB of storage….We want you to be able to store your entire life; think of 100 terabytes on your smartphone…Managing the new architecture will require new and improved operating systems. HP is building a Machine OS from scratch, but it’s also developing a version based on Linux and another with Google’s mobile OS….What we actually building is a version of Android that is tuned and optimized for these nonvolatile memory systems, otherwise known as memristors “

  17. dougman says:

    Derrr Bing-A-Ling, pseudo-lawyer, just loves setting himself up for libel suit….please continue inserting foot or hoof in mouth.

  18. oiaohm says:

    http://www.replicant.us/2014/03/unveiling-the-samsung-galaxy-back-door/

    DrLoser this is your problem you think you need to buy google apps. To ship pre-installed images with them you have to buy the rights this is correct. CyanogenMod after much debate with Google has the right to distribute gapps as a in-dependant package this was not just debated for CyanogenMod but for all existing and future Android modifications. So sorry its zero cost to install google play and you don’t need to go out and get a license as long as you expect your end user to install it themselves. If google did not agree to zero cost CyanogenMod was going to fork the interfaces.

    The only proprietray parts in android that you cannot get legally one way or another are the hardware drivers for some soc chips. CyanogenMod has deals with quite a few OEM and ODM allowing them to ship the closed source drivers.

    Also DrLoser the claim no one is trying to backfill those parts is ignoring Replicant fork for Android. Replicant is more focused on the more important closed source bits that are missing that effect more applications than google play being missing. What is more important GPS support and 3d Graphics. Also from my link above the worst issues don’t come from phones not being able to run particular applications. Worst issue comes from the low levels being defective and not audited. Yes samsung baseband is documented as being able to breach the complete OS and required being patched. Question how many other phones out there have not properly audited firmware blobs allowing the OS above to be breached because of them. Sorry Google Play is minor problem. If you are worried about Google Play you use android applications that don’t depend on it and uninstall it. Yes Google Play is uninstallable from a stock android device. Is it really part of the OS when its removable??

  19. DrLoser says:

    Code to an API, examine, modify and write code… same difference to me, blah…blah..blah.

    I, Dougman, in the presence of my peers (ignoring the obvious fact that almost everybody here has a decent education), hereby confess that I was hopelessly wrong and for some idiot reason brought up the subject of “examining the source code” when, to be honest, I wouldn’t even know the difference between source code, an API, or indeed cow dung.

    “I’m not going to apologise for this pathetic failure to come up with anything remotely relevant, because that’s not what I do.

    “My job is to find people even stupider than I am, and to charge them through the nose to wreck their IT systems on some farcical 90-day guarantee.”

    Have I got that about right, Captain Renault?

  20. dougman says:

    Code to an API, examine, modify and write code… same difference to me, blah…blah..blah.

    I really don’t care. I run a business, make money and work for myself which gives me freedom, something you do NOT have. Get back to your cube and start coding more. The world is waiting!!

    The gist of this article is that smartphones are the new personal computer, supplanting Microsoft desktop PC’s and M$ ideals in the IT realm, so much so that they have resorted to patent extortion.

  21. DrLoser says:

    I see Dougman is parading his ignorance again.

    If one could not examine Android code, then how do all those developers write apps for the platform?

    I know this is teaching somebody with even the remotest programming ability to suck eggs, but here’s what these people do, Dougie:

    They code to an API.

    Android APIs are in public view. You don’t need to “examine the code,” you just need to understand the API. Incidentally, this is true of games, etc, on iOS and on M$ systems too — which makes Kurkos’ point all the stronger.

    Which bit of “there are proprietary parts to this platform. I cannot even buy an individual license for these proprietary parts. Furthermore there is no-one, repeat no-one, out there in FLOSS who is making even a token effort to backfill those parts” do you not understand, Dougie?

    I’d say this is a major, catastrophic failure of logic on your part, except that you’d need to understand logic before you committed the failure.

  22. kurkosdr wrote, “” One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of Android and Linux.”
    No, you can’t.”

    “Get the complete Android platform and modify and build it to suit your needs. You can also contribute to the Android Open Source Project repository to make your changes available to everyone else in the Android ecosystem.”

    See http://source.android.com/

    The complete source code is available to be modified by anyone. Google uses a BSDish licence so the source code can be hidden by anyone who modifies it but Google, itself, provides the source code. Linux, of course is pure FLOSS with GPLv2 licence.

  23. dougman says:

    KUKU, is off his drugs too.

    If one could not examine Android code, then how do all those developers write apps for the platform?

    http://grepcode.com/project/repository.grepcode.com/java/ext/com.google.android/android/

    Same thing with Tizen and Sailfish.

    http://developer.samsung.com/samsung-gear

    http://releases.sailfishos.org/sdk/latest/

    Also, Amazon provides you with everything if you want to look at the source for the Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200203720

    Get back under the bridge troll!

    Eh…

  24. oiaohm says:

    Does not kurkosdr know http://www.replicant.us/ and http://www.cyanogenmod.org/.
    http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Google_Apps Yes google allows cyanogenmod to provide google applications just not embedded in default install images.

    kurkosdr opendawarin over android shows lack of homework. cyanogenmod is willing to use closed source parts replicant does not. Majority of android applications run on replicant without issues. replicant and cyanogenmod without google play are in the majority Android Application compatible.

    What is the big issue with opendarwin and its successor PureDarwin is only X11 no OS X graphical system. Android Derived(replicant and cyanogenmod) use the same graphical API’s as Android.

    Both replicant and cyanogenmod are Android binary compatible. Both you can install google closed source parts on and have them work. So they are binary compatible.

    In fact replicant is working on filling in the blanks.

    The launcher claim is invalid. Even the latest launcher by google for android is fully open source. Yes I know OEM’s replace the Launcher a lot. But both the replicant and cyanogenmod have Launchers android users would not notice any major differences at least no bigger than the OEM differences. Please remember Cyanogenmod has already made its way on to production phones as the OS installed out box. Android and Cyanogenmod without question are compatible with each other.

    Play Services is the only glitch up with compatibility on Android Derived that lacks work around that are complete.

    Sailfish OS where to download that is simple.
    https://sailfishos.org/develop-overview-article.html Yes download its SDK it includes everything include the complete OS source code. https://source.tizen.org/ Same with tizen.

    Sorry sailfish OS images also come from the same site for sailfish devices they are build from exactly the same source code as what is in the sdk. There are a few bundled firmware blobs for hardware devices but other than that its identical.

    In fact both tizen and sailfish OS include options to download the blobs to build your own images that work on sailfish OS and tizen devices.\

    Ubuntu touch in fact runs Android applications as well as Ubuntu applications. Ubuntu Touch has a cgroup setup that contains Android include able to use Google Play Services. Very few apps is not the Ubuntu touch problem. Ubuntu touch is all of Android + Ubuntu extras. Heck with work on IOS application support under Linux Ubuntu touch might end up all of IOS+ all of Android + Ubuntu.

  25. kurkosdr says:

    ” One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of Android and Linux.”
    No, you can’t. (it’s as if I am talking to a wall btw). What you said applies to AOSP, not Android. Android is not AOSP, Android relies on AOSP code and the closed Android Home and Google apps to give you the Android experience and Android binary compat.

    “If Google tried to prevent folks from doing that, the world would just fill in the blanks.”

    They can do the same for OS X. Have you heard about OpenDarwin? Too bad Darwin or OpenDarwin are not the OS X experience or OS X binary compat, much like AOSP isn’t the Android experience and Android binary compat.

    Why aren’t you cheering for OS X too? All the world needs to do is fill some blanks.

  26. kurkosdr says:

    Oh, and where can I download Samsung’s Tizen or Sailfish OS?

    Even if there is a source code dump somewhere, it doesn’t correspond to the OS that ships in the device. There are missing bits. The OS that ships in the device is not something you can buy.

    The only truly open source OS for small cheap computers is Ubuntu Touch. Too bad it has a really narrow list of supported hardware, came late to the party (very few apps), is really obscure and will probably remain so (apps).

    MY POINTS ARE:

    1. 99.99% of small cheap computers don’t run open source operating systems, they run either closed source OSes (iOS and WP), or they run mixed open and closed source OSes, which (here is the interesting bit) RELY on the closed source parts for crucial parts of the user experience (launcher) and most importantly binary compat (Play Services APIs).

    2. There is no reason to believe that Ubuntu Touch will manage to dethrone giants like Android, iOS or even WP (same applies for Sailfish and Tizen btw), as it didn’t dethrone Windows or OS X in Linux.

    So, small cheap computers (and Android) are NOT what will make users use a free and open source OS, even if the low-level plumbing is Linux. Sorry, truth hurts.

  27. kukosdr, playing a con-game, wrote, “More freedom.”

    One can run, examine, modify and distribute the source code of Android and Linux. If Google tried to prevent folks from doing that, the world would just fill in the blanks. The world is much larger than any corporation and could do it in weeks/months. Remember when Oracle tried to restrict Java, MySQL and OpenOffice.org? The world filled in the void just like pulling your finger out of a pail of water. M$’s stuff has nothing on the freedom of */Linux.

  28. kurkosdr says:

    Android’s future is tied to Google apps. Without them, Android has no binary compat (Google Play Services APIs are closed), no PlayStore, no modern launcher (the old unmaintained AOSP launcher will not be good for long, it will get more and more dated), no future.

    And the Google Apps are available under a restrictive license. But when Google does a restrictive license, all is good, some of the parts are open source, so the restrictions of the license of the closed parts magically don’t matter (even if they are crucial for binary compat).

    Android Home is closed source, acting as a closed source gatekeeper if you want the latest android experience. Android Home cannot be bought or downloaded by users, just OEMs. So much for “you can compile your own version of Google-free Android”. Not anymore if you want the latest experience with the latest launcher!!

    How is this more freedom compared to Windows 8? You can buy a Windows 8 disc, and have the LATEST version of Windows and windows “launcher” (windows desktop). Which you can install on a machine (with or without touchscreen). This is more freedom than Google’s apps and Android Home, which are available under a restrictive license too, BUT aren’t available to buy in a disc like Win8, and are necessery to have the latest Android experience and to have binary compat with most Android apps (Play Services APIs remember?)

    Also, the version of Android for the media center is completely closed, also has a restrictive license and you can’t buy it in disc too. Meanwhile Windows 8 Pro is something you can buy and install it on your machine. More freedom.

  29. kurkosdr wrote, “I wonder if you ‘ll keep praising small cheap computers if Android loses it’s current dominant status or goes closed-source”

    1. Whether or not Android/Linux remains hot is irrelevant. We have GNU/Linux, Tizen and a few others ready to take up the slack. That’s what a competitive market gives compared to a monopoly.
    2. Google can’t really take Android/Linux closed source. Android can be forked and Linux is securely FLOSS. Google doesn’t control Linux. Google uses Linux. There is a difference. Samsung, for instance, has more programmers than Google and can clearly run with the ball if Google drops it.
  30. kurkosdr says:

    PS: Oh, Google hasn’t rebranded Google TV to Android TV yet (although wikipedia claimed Google would do so). Anyway, find and replace Android TV with Google TV if you want. You still can’t buy a disc containing it and put it in your NUC-based media center, like you can buy a disc containing Windows 8 Pro.

  31. kurkosdr says:

    I wonder if you ‘ll keep praising small cheap computers if Android loses it’s current dominant status or goes closed-source (note: the new android camera app and Android Home are already closed-source, and AOSP’s camera and launcher are abandoned code now, so Google is not far from closing Android).

    This is one of the reasons I don’t like the Linux community. They will praise anything that supposedly helps Linux, no matter what that thing is. They praised netbooks as the platform that would put everyone online, but when the market shifted to XP as the netbook OS of choice, netbooks became crap low-end subnotebooks. They bashed ARM tablets as luxury toys, but when Android hit it big with the Nexus 7, tablets became the new personal computer.

    One more thing: I prefer the MS EULA over Google’s “closed openness”. Where can I buy or download a disc containing the full official Android experience (including the new camera app, Home and Google Apps)? Like I can buy a disc containing the full official Windows 7/8 experience?
    Also, “Android TV” (yes such thing exists) is mostly closed-source. And where can I buy/download Android TV from (not the ordinary Android) to put it in a NUC, like I can buy Windows 8 Pro? Oh yeah, Android TV is for OEMs only.

    “Google’ closed openness”. It’s worse than the MS EULA…

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