If there was a popular phone platform that was even more open, while providing the same levels of functionality, I'd be very tempted to give it a go.
While Android remains free for anyone to use as they would like, only Android compatible devices benefit from the full Android ecosystem. By joining the Open Handset Alliance, each member contributes to and builds one Android platform—not a bunch of incompatible versions
source : http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-benefits-imp...
Many AOSP applications have been abandoned by google in favor of their proprietary applications.
There remains nothing stopping you replacing all the Google stuff on Android, including the very parts that make them money.
One of the sadder, non obvious, parts of the way mobile has developed is it is becoming synonymous with trivial front ends to cloud services, and not really smart client apps at all.
I'm not sure why technical people can't be more aware of how the world works, but until we are, the world is going to continue to be run by MBA's and marketing people. Google is the one of the few bright spot but most companies are run by a different breed.
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed :->
If Android is not freedom what is iOS then? No inter app communication, no exchangeable launcher/lock screen/ keyboard, real multitasking came just since this fall, no real resolution independency, no nothing.
Who cares? The article writes about Android. Just because iOS i even less free does not make Android better.
- Google does not have a war against rooters. They try to close exploits but any pure google android phone can be rooted with no effort.
- Android allows almost ANY application to be installed on non-rooted devices. Exception is applications which require root, which won't function.
- Android allows for things like Humble Bundle, which is impossible on iOS.
- Android allows me to chose any email client I want with full support of cross-application features. Any browser I want. Any instant messaging program I want. Any chat program I want. Etc.
IDK that feels pretty good to me.
The freedom problems with Android are more to do with driver support. Until an app development SDK is self hosting it's a bad sign too, but none of the mobile OS candidates has that right now.
Who cares about the layout of a button and some images in a page (as theres little value in this code) if the real brain in applications will be closed behind the clouds?!
We need more devices that can run independently, with open source code and preferably in a distributed and autonomous way..
Clouds are anti-hacker and anti-opensource; if a user platform help this trend to grow(as FirefoxOS do), it helps for more closed- source and hidden secrets.. completely against the hacker spirit of collaboration and openess
Then it promotes the whole "search" part. That seems to be links to websites mixed in with applications, which does seem confusing and doesn't sit well with having data independence. But that's just the same as using web sites on Android.
On the positive side, I'd trust Mozilla to maintain their first-party code as free software. The core phone apps are not likely to go proprietary, as seems to be happening on Android.
That may seem ridiculous, but the hooks are not there in Web APIs to do peer to peer communication for example, let alone peer to peer based on discovery of nearby devices. Chrome OS even lacks zero conf network support. Aside from Mozilla (who seem overly attached to the support of carriers) the people pushing the advancement of the web platform have zero interest in altering this direction, and in fact would prefer we go further in it.
I would be far keener on FF OS or Chrome OS if they supported sandboxed node.js on the clients, and worked on extending the API from node.js, not the web browser model.
There's a lot of people buying android devices, thinking they are supporting the open-source movement..
So its better not compare the worst(iOS) with the bad(Android) when it comes to openness; lets compare it to how it should be, according to Android PR; what they are saying and what they are practicing are very distant things; and thats the most pure example of hypocrisy
"We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard"
- Steve Jobs, 2010
experience of Android is only on Google's Android, this is my point, if you want to have the true Android Experience, than you have to use Google's Android because Google Apps only run on official Android OS
If you would like to make changes and build your own OS X kernel, instructions to do that are at
There are very few devices where you can compile and install AOSP and have a genuinely useful result. Compiling alone is fairly useless if the binaries you generate can't be used for any purpose. You may recall the maintainer recently quit because it became an untenable position:
What conflates this is the confusing naming. Android, the open source OS is different from Android(TM), Google's brand for devices running Android, and both are different from Android, the combination of the open source OS with Google's services that many users recognize as Android.
Yes, the official name of he former is 'Android Open Source Project', but in the mind of many, it's just 'Android'.
Android is (about) just as free because AOSP is open source as Mac OS X is free because Darwin is open source.
Nobody claimed that Android was the ultimate freedom, but it's the most free mobile operating system that is successful in the market place.
Free software extremists like the author of that article can simply never be satisfied.
"Replicant is a fully free Android distribution running on several devices."
Most alternative ROMs have binary drivers pulled from the official ROMs, but it should be no worse than running a Linux distro with, say, non-free binary firmware images which are loaded on demand for wireless cards, and you strike a better balance between a fairly open system and the latest hardware.
Who needs RMS when this guy is on the case.
The problem begins with the installation of every android device when you're asked to register a Google account (same process with the Apple ID in iOS). [Sure enough you can use the phone without a Google account or an iOS account but your excluded from each ecosystem]. For me - as an iOS user - I got a much worse feeling using the Google ecosystem than Apple ones because of one simple fact:
Google can get much more value out of the data you're generating than Apple does using it to later 'enhance' your experience for all other Google services (Google Search, Gmail, etc.) showing ads. Knowing everything about my daily behavior ('When is the user active? Was does he do? Where is he? ...') will lead to a perfect profile to sell the right ads.
At Apple you at least got the change to opt-out even using the ecosystem of the unique ad identifier. Correct me if this is possible using a Google account on android as well.
But when you're honest: How many users are willing to use the device without connection to the Google ecosystem? It's the same on iOS. My point of criticism remains the same: The data you're (then) generating in the Google ecosystem has a higher value than in any other ecosystem (Apple, Microsoft, etc.) and more likely makes you a product (and not free).
i bought my Android device 2.5 years ago it has only get 2.3.5 , initially it was 2.3.3.
GE Android is Google's and they do whatever they want with it, and they control and update it just like they do with Chrome, but Android needs to become a little more open than it is (more like Chromium), and they need to actually keep develop it, just like they do with Chromium.
I'd actually prefer a more Google-dominated Android ecosystem than a Samsung or some other Android OEM one, and I'd prefer to see more standardization in the Android ecosystem for both hardware and software.
My only concern is NSA or the US government starting to demand of Google to spy all Android users through Play Services, or to be able to shut down their phones at will during protests. I just hope Google will not be that stupid to allow them without a fierce fight.
But I guess we'll deal with that when the day comes. Until then, yes, I want Google to get more control of Android and fix fragmentation.
We should call it by it's proper name "Android/FirefoxOS"