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With Cyanogen Dead, Google's Control Over Android Is Tighter Than Ever (greenbot.com) 212

Last week, Cyanogen Inc announced it is shutting down all its services. A day later, CyanogenMod announced that it is going away too. Regardless of how you found Cyanogen's commercial operating system or open source fork CyanogenMod, the demise has bigger implications. From a report on GreenBot: Cyanogen might never have seriously threatened to take control of Android, but the upstart's shutdown still represents a major victory for Google. As Google showed with the launch of the Pixel, the company is taking steps to ensure no one ever gets close to stealing Android's soul ever again. [...] In many ways, Cyanogen encapsulated more of the spirit of Google's mobile OS project than Android itself ever did. As an early offshoot of the mainstream project designed and supported by habitual modders, Cyanogen was in many ways more aligned with the iOS jailbreaking community than Android proper, bringing customization and features far beyond those available in the stock OS. But almost as quickly as Android took off, Google began reining it in. By implementing stricter rules for manufacturers to prevent further fragmentation -- including licensing of its apps and mandatory inclusion of its search bar widget -- Google actively worked to keep deviant versions of Android on the fringes. Nonetheless, CyanogenMod persisted, surviving cease-and-desist orders, takeover rumors and general Google-led consternation. And now it's all over. Google won, not by waging war with Cyanogen but by doubling down on its own vision, forging partnerships with manufacturers, and working to ensure that Google's Android remained the world's Android.
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With Cyanogen Dead, Google's Control Over Android Is Tighter Than Ever

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Only instead of the carriers telling us what we can do with our phones, it's Google and Apple.

    • now, on top of carrier control, we have google and apple inc.

      just look at the new google phone that used to be sold by them. Pixel, the dumbed down Nexus, is now sold exclusively on Verizon.

      • Pixel, the dumbed down Nexus, is now sold exclusively on Verizon.

        It's sold unlocked for use on any carrier.

    • Which is a good thing. When I had a Lumia Icon w/ Verizon, I just couldn't get updates to it b'cos Verizon (at the time) hadn't tested it completely. I much prefer it where it's in the control of the OS maker: like whenever Apple is ready w/ an update, I just have to install it, and not bother Verizon, whose personnel usually don't have a clue.

      Google controlling the Android updates is a good thing, and so is Microsoft getting hold of updates in Windows 10 Mobile. I'd rather not leave that w/ the ca

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @12:44PM (#53560297)

    Goolge needs to ban carrier builds and let people update there os with out needing to wait for the carrier to do it.

    • Goolge needs to ban carrier builds and let people update there os with out needing to wait for the carrier to do it.

      Why do they "need to"? You can buy a Pixel phone if you want an iPhone-like carrier free experience.

      • If you live in Australia, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, or United States, then yes, you can. If you don't, you can't, at least not easily.

        The number of countries the iPhone 7 was available to pre-order in five times the number of countries the Pixel is available in two months after release.

      • Is this correct for AT&T? When I have experimented with non-AT&T phones, AT&T will not allow access to their LTE service, so always end up stuck at HSPA+.
        • by Scoth ( 879800 )

          This varies by phone. Non-AT&T phones that support the proper frequencies should work just fine on AT&T with LTE. There can sometimes be some drama getting the APNs set up just right, but it's usually not hard. Also, some features like HD Voice or VoLTE may or may not work depending on the rom and software support - those usually need a stock AT&T or AT&T-derived rom, but it may be possible to install one on an unlocked device and make it work.

        • I used to be an AT&T customer, and I never had problems with third party phones.

          • Did the phone actually connect and state LTE? HSPA+ and lower work without issue, but LTE I have yet to see work, including a friend who has one of the OnePlus phones.
            • Maybe you need a new SIM?

              https://www.reddit.com/r/Googl... [reddit.com]

              I've had similar experiences: employees claiming falsely that the phone is blocked on their network when there actually is a simple technical problem (like a new SIM).

            • For a phone to work with LTE on AT&T, it has to support the correct bands. An LTE phone bought outside the US or intended for a non-US market is unlikely to work. (Notable exceptions: recent iPhone models and some Samsung and LG flagship phones.) A OnePlus phone that was sold directly to a US customer should be fine. Phones bought from Chinese resale sites like Banggood and AliExpress are pretty much guaranteed NOT to work. Phones from eBay and Amazon Marketplace may or may not work; check the for-sale

    • except google won't do it because they are like the old Microsoft. no retail presence and they are content to let others sell and support their product as long as they control it

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @01:14PM (#53560477)
      Then Android wouldn't be open source anymore. Which do you want? An OS which is open and that anyone can fork and modify if they don't like how the original author made it? Or an OS which is closed and proprietary so you have to take it the way the original author made it, no alterations?

      Way I see it, the carrier problem isn't Google's responsibility. It's a market problem - vertical integration causing lack of customer fluidity. The carriers own the towers, the service, and also sell the phones. GSM tackled the problem by requiring SIM cards, basically forcing all phones to be interchangeable between carriers. The U.S. doesn't have that so your phone is frequently tied to your carrier, giving them an unprecedented level of control over your phone.
      • The US is muddied with Sprint and Verizon's CDMA crap, but you can have universal US phones. The Nexus 6 is and example I still use. It works on any US carrier. You need a different model for good international support, but that's true for any radio device in the US vs the world. TV's just the same. It's a pain to near impossible to find a good cheap USB ASTC tuner for the US that supports Linux, but there seems to be swarms of DVB ones for the rest of the world. :(

        • you can have universal US phones. The Nexus 6 is and example I still use. It works on any US carrier.

          The same is true of the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL, FWIW.

      • I wouldn't mind carriers owning it if they were prompt about supporting every model w/ the latest version. I am w/ Verizon, and for a while, when I owned a Lumia Icon, I couldn't get it upgraded from 8.0 to 8.1. Both Verizon and Microsoft kept tossing the blame on each other. I know that Google too let the carriers own the version releases: I had an Ellipsis 7, which I could never upgrade to Lollypop or Marshmallow.

        I prefer the new scenario, where starting from Lollypop, Google makes it easier to upgra

      • by sad_ ( 7868 )

        A carrier/vendor build ban is too much, but each android phone should be flashable so that you can install at least a basic android as released by Google (and any OSS custom rom projects).

    • I'll expand on this and say it should be made illegal to lock the owner out of their own devices. Root should be understood.

  • Crackpot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @12:46PM (#53560325)
    Despite the CEO of cyanogen claiming they were taking away Android from Google, they were always irrelevant. They may have had a few wins with minor players consumers had no relevance with consumers and were never going to replace Google services.
  • Google won't do a damn thing to flex that muscle on something as simple as forcing the carriers to not stymie any updates. I have an unlocked LG G5 and all of the carrier versions are getting updates rolled out. I contacted LG and asked the WTF is going on that my unlocked RS988 is not getting the update. Their response to when it'll be allowed? \_()_/

    • Google won't do a damn thing to flex that muscle on something as simple as forcing the carriers to not stymie any updates.

      You profoundly misunderstand the relationship between Google and the carriers.

      Android exists as it does today so as to make the carriers feel safe. Safe that if Google screwed them in some way they'd have all the source to their OS and the expertise to carry on without Google. Google may have the $$$, but carriers own the wires, cables, poles, lines to your homes, cell towers and the agreements that allow them to exist, and the spectrums themselves. Android's entire business model was to be the anti-Apple.

  • Probable FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @12:49PM (#53560345)

    Unless you want to be accused of contributing the the Google-FUD, be sure to make mention of this whenever Cyanogen/CyanogenMod is mentioned:

    https://github.com/LineageOS
    http://lineageos.org/

  • Lineage OS (Score:5, Informative)

    by gti_guy ( 875684 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @12:50PM (#53560349)
    • So we will have Android distros from now on? Cool. Just hope there is a good way to upgrade my 2 Android toys to the Marshmallow version
  • I thought Cyanogen was open source? If there is so much traction, another player will pick up where Cyanogen left off and the whole thing will continue.

  • LineageOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by lactose99 ( 71132 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @01:01PM (#53560397)

    So CyanogenMod is only closing-down due to trademark stuffs surrounding Cyanogen. The actual OS is going to live on as LineageOS, still organized by Steve Kondik.

    • The actual OS is going to live on as LineageOS, still organized by Steve Kondik.

      Thats no reason to stop whining about Google selling our souls to the devil.

  • No basis in reality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @01:04PM (#53560411)

    The name is dead but the software itself isn't going anywhere. Ass kissing is only necessary to distribute Google Play Services (GPS)... a proprietary bundle of Google malware otherwise Android is open source and there isn't shit they can do about how you use it.

    The only real competition Google has ever had with respect to GPS was from Amazon who operates their own app store separate from Google.

    Personally I will never use an Android phone with Google Play Services installed. For me it isn't a choice between a custom mod and Google it is a choice between no GPS or nothing at all.

    • Without the Play Services, what do you actually use on the phone? Do you have a decent map application? What email app? Does it have push notifications? I assume you don't use YouTube or any other streaming services either. Is it really a "smart phone" without the apps.

      Do you huntdown and manually install all your apps? How many work without adsense or other google services?

      CyanogenMod was great, but without installing Gapps it seems a bit pointless to me. How many people honestly run a mobile device

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by jabberw0k ( 62554 )

        How many people honestly run a mobile device with no app store?

        My flip-phone serves all the functions of a telephone (you can talk on it). Honestly, how can anyone who reads Slashdot use one of those locked-down user-hostile spy-computers that the gullible masses have been tricked into calling "smart" "telephones"? "Smart" is just a euphemism for "Treacherous." Stallman was right.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Myphone also plays mp3s, audiobooks, and has an ebook reader. It might be useful to call an Uber. I find it sad that to get that minimal functionality, I have to get a smart phone, but it's an imperfect world.

        • How many people honestly run a mobile device with no app store?

          My flip-phone serves all the functions of a telephone (you can talk on it). Honestly, how can anyone who reads Slashdot use one of those locked-down user-hostile spy-computers that the gullible masses have been tricked into calling "smart" "telephones"? "Smart" is just a euphemism for "Treacherous." Stallman was right.

          Because people have different tradeoffs - maps / games / video outweigh thouse considerations, for me. And bear in mind that you have also made a tradeoff, you carry a phone that is locatable at all times, has a completely closed-source OS that could be doing all sorts of things you pin on Google Services - you don't know.

        • Is the software on your flip phone open source?
          Oops.

      • by nnull ( 1148259 )

        There are plenty of offline map services on Android and they're pretty decent, especially where I can actually turn off traffic alerts (Have it track me online) or not. What bothers me is that Google pretty much can access my phone whenever they want. Ever try logging into your account? Yeah, what you can do there, they can do more.

        In the meantime, I'm sure we'll have alternatives. The end of Cyanogen is not the end of roms. XDA forums is still there and I'm pretty sure Cyanogen is already forked. Hell, ac

      • Check out the F-Droid store. K9mail for email, OsmAnd~ for mapping/navigation, firefox, vlc, Face Slim if you really must use facebook. Not using google play store and the related services does wonders for your battery life. It's perfectly feasible to run a productively useful yet google-free android phone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        1) OSMand
        2) K9-Mail
        3) Yes, K9-Mail supports IMAP-IDLE
        4) The Youtube web site works in Firefox (in the background too, if you're into that)
        5) F-Droid
        6) Many apps are available with embedded ad libraries replaced by dummies.

      • Without the Play Services, what do you actually use on the phone?

        I don't spend a lot of time with apps.. I use it mostly for communication and tethering the laptop on the go.

        Do you have a decent map application?

        Yes, internal maps for whole country completely offline with automatic rerouting, TTS. 0 data usage. Love it. Also have 3D google earth app.

        What email app?

        I normally don't do email on my phone. I've used k-mail in the past just screwing around and it worked fine. Don't find on screen keyboards and tiny displays acceptable for any purpose other than writing short text message. I would never write an email on m

        • 1) OSMand
          2) K9-Mail
          3) Yes, K9-Mail supports IMAP-IDLE
          4) The Youtube web site works in Firefox (in the background too, if you're into that)
          5) F-Droid
          6) Many apps are available with embedded ad libraries replaced by dummies.

          Great reply, with this and the list from above I may have to give a Google-less experience a try. Though, to be fair, anything using replaced ad libraries is surely a copyright violation in the US so is a bit moot against the original point; Android without Google Play Services isn't really commercially viable.

          The only real competition Google has ever had with respect to GPS was from Amazon who operates their own app store separate from Google.

          Personally I will never use an Android phone with Google Play Services installed. For me it isn't a choice between a custom mod and Google it is a choice between no GPS or nothing at all.

      • Without the Play Services, what do you actually use on the phone?

        Play Services [opengapps.org]

        My phone came with Play Services, arguably I'm entitled to run them. Who cares where I got them? Google apparently doesn't care.

        Now, with that said:

        Do you have a decent map application?

        osmand [osmand.net]

        What email app? Does it have push notifications?

        The default app works, although it does not have push notifications. Poll more.

        I assume you don't use YouTube or any other streaming services either. Is it really a "smart phone" without the apps.

        There are apps.

        Do you huntdown and manually install all your apps?

        You could do, or you could use getjar or f-droid...

        How many work without adsense or other google services?

        Lots don't. Many do. If you get them from one of the above, they won't.

        CyanogenMod was great, but without installing Gapps it seems a bit pointless to me. How many people honestly run a mobile device with no app store?

        Cheap phone plus CM equals bitchin' feature phone.

        But seriously, installing gapps is not hard.

        • Arguably, I'm entitled to take your car for a joyride. Arguably.

          • Arguably, I'm entitled to take your car for a joyride. Arguably.

            On what basis? I have a license to run play services on Android on this phone. It came with the stock OS, which was Android with play services. On the other hand, I've never given you any kind of permission to drive my car, nor would I.

            • On what basis?

              Pretty sure I can think of something. After all I just need to argue the point.

              I have a license to run play services on Android on this phone.

              Did you sign any agreement with or pay Google any money? You don't have a license for anything, your device's vendor has a license and the license has stipulations. Google licensed their apps to run on top of the stock OS that came on your phone. Google required the vendor to run a rigorous tests before it would allow them to run the Google apps.

              • Did you sign any agreement with or pay Google any money?

                Not directly.

                You don't have a license for anything, your device's vendor has a license and the license has stipulations.

                My vendor was granted the right to extend that license to me, and that's what they did.

                Google licensed their apps to run on top of the stock OS that came on your phone.

                And I've replaced that OS with a reasonable facsimile, based on code provided by... Google.

                Google required the vendor to run a rigorous tests before it would allow them to run the Google apps.

                Go on, pull the other one.

                • My vendor was granted the right to extend that license to me, and that's what they did.

                  Well that sounds interesting. I'm sure you'll provide that license.

                  And I've replaced that OS with a reasonable facsimile, based on code provided by... Google.

                  You can't change a contract after it's written and agreed upon. Regardless of how reasonable the modifications seem to you. That's a contract for you. If everyone got to muck around with the terms according to what they think makes sense a contract would be worth nothing.

                  • You can't change a contract after it's written and agreed upon. Regardless of how reasonable the modifications seem to you.

                    Point to the part that says I can't update to a newer version of Android.

                    • Point to the part that says I can't update to a newer version of Android.

                      I never said that did I? I said that Google requires vendors to pass a suite of tests before they license Google apps on their dist of Android running on their device. Ergo, if the build you are running hasn't passed those tests, it isn't licenses to run Google apps.

                      If the dist you are running didn't come with a version of Google apps in the firmware, it isn't licensed to run them. That's not a rule of course, just pointing out the obvious that if someone went through the hassle of passing the tests and the

    • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @02:44PM (#53561013)

      Android is open source and there isn't shit they can do about how you use it

      Android is not open source. You have to be a major OEM (Samsung, HTC, etc.) and pay big, big money to get Android source code, as well as agree to bundle in (and pay separately for) other shit like Google's Play store and dozens of Google services and apps. If you want access to the latest and greatest <dessert name> version of Android you need to agree to launch a flagship product with it and advertise that version of Android as being the next coming of Christ Himself, etc.

      AOSP is open source, and it's fucking useless to 99.999% of people. You can't legally get any of the Google apps on it, and going forward that includes all the baked-in but needlessly-separate features Android phones will have. See the Pixel for examples - the Assistant, the Launcher, the customization UI, etc.

      Not only is AOSP bare and useless, it's often simply fucking broken. It gets lip service support from Google and "lol fuck you" support from hardware manufacturers. The only way to get a free and open and usable Android experience is to do so illegally - use AOSP and inject Google's apps and services, maybe grab some firmware or blobs for specific hardware so the damn thing charges properly or the WiFi actually works, hack some more shit to maybe get Android Pay working or get WiFi calling enabled, and illegally download and share the updated APKs whenever there's a security patch (often), then cry because you have to reformat your phone to flash a new ROM with the latest Android security updates every month because even when someone on XDA uploads an OTA differential patch for your phone it never works quite right.

      Android is fucked up in many, many ways and Google is making it worse every day. They're becoming the walled garden of iOS without the garden.

      • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @03:41PM (#53561411)

        Yep. Most people don't realize that NOT EVEN NEXUS DEVICES have official buildscripts available to create a ROM with everything in the official factory ROM (including binary blobs that aren't open source). You can build and install generic AOSP, but generic AOSP is a subset of what's part of an official Nexus 6P ROM. AOSP on a Nexus 6P is no better than it was on the Galaxy S3 (IMHO, the S3 was the Golden Era of AOSP, and the closest we ever got to being able to flash a semi-device-nonspecific ROM the way you'd boot Debian or Ubuntu on a PC... almost everything since the S3 has been a slide downhill compared to what we had).

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        Considering that the Pixel is a new phenomenon, and the latest Nexus devices are still being supported like they always were, "making it worse every day" is overstating things a bit. And the Pixel is what it is due to the success of the midrange Android market, which removed some of the appeal of the Nexus line. Android is fragmented because it's open source. That's got all the good and bad aspects. A lot of innovation in Android came from various OEMs, and were eventually incorporated into the mainstre

      • Not providing open source support is not the same as a walled garden. You do the definition of walled garden a great disservice. You can make that claim when you are no longer able to side load apps Including another store, or use your phone without a Google account.

      • Android is not open source.

        https://source.android.com/sou... [android.com]
        Maybe what you meant was: the software running on my phone isn't open source.

        You have to be a major OEM (Samsung, HTC, etc.) and pay big, big money to get Android source code, as well as agree to bundle in (and pay separately for) other shit like Google's Play store and dozens of Google services and apps.

        False. We were a company of ~10 people when we started building a product on Android (custom hardware), starting with AOSP. We now have 4 soon to be 5 hardware devices running Android. We're not "Google certified" nor do we license or run Google apps.

        The only way to get a free and open and usable Android experience is to do so illegally - use AOSP and inject Google's apps and services

        What you really meant was: "The only way to get the GOOGLE experience ...". Sort of like saying "The only way to get HBO with my free basic cable is t

  • Over time, every human venture goes to a bad place. Why?

    Because suddenly it has dependents, and those tend toward rent-seeking, and then that influences leadership to try to "keep the herd together" instead of admitting that it must cull the weak.

    So now Google is an abusive monopolist because its leaders look out there, and see all those smiling hopeful faces, and realize they have to keep growing in order to keep everyone happy, even though that means (1) worse things for the consumer and (2) eventual doom.

    They just can't stop themselves... ah well, it takes a tragedy for humans to learn, and even then, it only takes for awhile. If we filtered out the stupidity, we would be working 2-hour days and enjoying life, but why not suffer for the pretense of equality.

    • Much more specifically: in the USA businesses become evil when they "go public". They become completely ensnared by Wall Street analysts rather than being responsive to customers or even to the actual stockholders. Nothing "public" about it.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @01:17PM (#53560495)
    So long as the OEMs continue to control whether or not, and when, security patches are installed, Google can claim all the control they want. But they do not have that control. Android customers are left in the lurch, subject to the whims of the OEMs and to security issues from unpatched vulnerabilities.
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @01:58PM (#53560757)
    companies like Samsung & etc.. and other hardware makers of Android phones made their own OS based on Linux. and it was a open source co-op method of development where everybody pitched in to develop the OS & apps so they can have something on their phones that was not controlled by another company
    • Why would they do that? High risk, lots of effort, design by committee, no market presence, lack of features that big names provide e.g Google apps which many customers actually care about. There is zero reason for them to do this. They have every reason to bake their own mini and tightly controlled OS and yet they aren't making any serious effort in that either.

      May as well wish for a unicorn.

  • Built to fail (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Cyanogen Inc. had three paths to profit:

    * Two paths with low-hanging fruit, but requiring hard work to yield near certain success -

    Path A - Port CynogenMod to new platforms for pay
    * Lowest risk, uses the skills and the community they already have
    * Profitable from day one
    * Takes a few years to grow to a meaningful size - like CyanogenMod!

    Path B - Sell retail install

  • Who Wrote this? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jdkc4d ( 659944 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @02:16PM (#53560863)
    I really just want to write "WRONG" as the entire content of this post and just leave it at that. The article seems to have some of the facts, but not all. Yes, Cyanogen the company has decided to shut down. And CyanogenMod, the open source version of the OS released by Cyanogen based on Android also decided to change their name because they don't want to get sued. But facts seem to end there. CM will continue on under another name. If you are running CM on any of your devices, rest assured, aside from a name change, the next build will be more of the same.
    Where I am getting frustrated with this article is the notion that this is a big win for Google. I have to disagree. Google or alphabet or whatever they want to call themselves may have created the android OS, but they release it in an open source format. They do this to get it out there on as many devices as they can. More importantly, they do this to get it into the hands of as many developers as they can. There are a number of things that I actually thought were part of android, that only later when reading stock android was adding certain features did I realize were actually only part of CM. That's really what open source is about, the ability for a wide variety of people to work to better something together. A lot of times things seem to make sense when one person is working on them, but later we come to find out that they don't make sense to others.
    If Google actually wanted to rein in android, they would simply retool with proprietary code, and release the next version of their OS closed source. The only thing they actually seem to be concerned with are phones that are still running old versions of the OS. This makes is hard not for them, but for application developers to support their applications in that ecosystem. We have seen Google take steps in the recent year or two to modularize some of the core components of Android so that those pieces can be updated even if the OS itself has not been.
  • Cyanogen died from a terminal disease it contracted when it got into bed with Microsoft.

  • I mean Android is just a use of an OS kernel and some standard services, including application security, and some UI conventions.

    Everyone's free to write their own apps for it to make phones do whatever.
    And that's much easier to do (and get wide user adoption) because the apps can target Android standard services.

    If anything, there's too much diversity (not enough lockdown) due to carrier and/or phone maker mods of Android.
    So users can get befuddled when they get something different and thought they were ge

    • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @03:44PM (#53561427)

      > I mean Android is just a use of an OS kernel and some standard services, including application security, and some UI conventions.

      And Google's very, very proprietary, non-opensource, and defacto-required (if you don't want your phone to be crippled) Google Play Services, which are required for installing apps from Google Play, using Google Maps, using Google-assisted location services, Google Pay, and plenty of other things. Over the past couple of years, Google has been systematically moving more and more of Android's core functionality into Google Play Services.

      • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2016 @04:08PM (#53561519)

        Ok but for the sake of argument, other than the following factors:

        1) Name recognition and reputation
        2) Resources and ability to write good quality software and maintain good databases with quality data (e.g. maps database, wifi IDs database)

        Is there anything stopping open organization SPQR from creating

        SPQR App Services for Android

        and offering equivalents to the Google-branded services?

        If resourceful, SPQR could convince phone makers to pre-load their phones with the SPQR app store and services.

        My devil's advocate question is: Is this just jealousy that Google out-innovated and out-standardized others, and out-"take my free stuff"-offered others, creating a de-facto monopoly?

        Is this just bitterness that the network effect (on adoption) is the network effect, and it's tough to compete with after a while?

        Seriously, if there is a strong will (including possibly distributed financial backing) to have a good quality open alternative to Google services on Android, couldn't that be done in theory? There's nothing license-wise or artificial-technical-barrier preventing it, is there?

        • I think the problem people have is that there are various pieces of mobile OS functionality that have been moved out of the open Android Open Source space into the proprietary Google Play space (like location [google.com]). Google Play services are not free (as in beer or freedom), it's another walled garden with commercial restrictions on usage. It's not just a matter of "replace Google search, maps and other services". The Android kernel itself is a decreasing amount of the software footprint required to build mobil

        • Is there anything stopping open organization SPQR from creating

          SPQR App Services for Android

          and offering equivalents to the Google-branded services?

          s/SPQR/Amazon/g

  • Time for an OpenBSD Phone?

    My favorite phone is still my Kyocera DuraPlus [amazon.com] that I use on Ting. Battery lasts ~2 weeks. It does have Bluetooth and a bare bones browser for when I *need* to see something on the web. It would be nice to plug it into my laptop and use USB or bluetooth as a LTE modem, when I have the opportunity.

    I would absolutely pay for an OpenBSD phone in the same form factor that worked and was as secure as the Kyocera. You could also use the same software/hardware to make a secure IoT device.

    • How about something based on Minix, which would minimize the resource consumption, and then use OBSD security services on top of that to arm it?
  • What is it with the bad story editing? CyanogenMod is renaming itself, but that is it. It is not "going away".

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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