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Google Tackles Android Fragmentation With New SDK Licensing Agreement

12:39 pm on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This step has taken way too long, imho, but I welcome it now
Recognizing that fragmentation of the Android platform frustrates consumers and developers alike, Google is looking to put a stop to it.

The company has modified its legal agreement with developers working on Android apps to specifically prohibit them from any action that could contribute to further fragmentation of the mobile platform. The anti-fragmentation clause was recently added to the Android SDK licensing terms and conditions, which developers must accept in order to build Android apps.

Google Tackles Android Fragmentation With New SDK Licensing Agreement [news.cnet.com]
11:11 pm on Nov 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When Android was being developed it was a whole different story -- Google presented itself as just one of many corporations involved in the "Open Handset Alliance" and that Android, (the target OS), would be free and open.

As I said about seven month ago here -- [webmasterworld.com...] -- now everything related to Android is geared towards promoting Google Play and Google+

Most interesting at Open Handset Alliance:
Innovating in the open
Each member of the Open Handset Alliance is strongly committed to greater openness in the mobile ecosystem. Increased openness will enable everyone in our industry to innovate more rapidly and respond better to consumers’ demands. Our first joint project as a new Alliance is Android™. Android was built from the ground up with the explicit goal to be the first open, complete, and free platform created specifically for mobile devices."


Note -- no mention of Google owning, controlling or setting iron-fisted policy on the use of Android.

...and this announcement, again, from 2007 makes not mention of Google at all: [openhandsetalliance.com...]

Here's some articles about Android forks. You can see why Google wants to control it --

Three Android Forks that Exist Today
Sat, Sep 17, 2011

So you've heard about how South Korea is going to make its own, possibly Android-based open-source smartphone OS, and how China's Baidu search engine is planning an Android fork. It's true; the inevitable forking of Android is starting in earnest, as company after company (and possibly the occasional government) takes Google's open-source programming code and runs with it. And since the vast majority of Android's code is licensed under permissive, BSD-style licenses instead of the "copyleft" GPL, they don't even have to give anything back.


So, I have to ask: When did Google change all things Android into being under 100% under their corporate control?

...I don't think they can now.

Here's another article promoting why Samsung should fork Android now--

"Samsung should fork Android.

Samsung should take the Ice Cream Sandwich code base and follow the path blazed by the Kindle Fire; using TouchWiz user interface to maintain continuity; and the ‘S’ apps to form part of the core operating system; while continuing to work on the software services and cloud support to replicate Google’s services so any transition for the majority of the Galaxy users would be seamless.


All Google can do is rely on brand building, trademark and copyright of their own use of Android -- and keep competitors out of Play, (which will force competition in the marketplace and maybe someone will build a better "Android App Store" or whatever the lawyer's decide it can legally be called).
3:44 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator bakedjake is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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So, I have to ask: When did Google change all things Android into being under 100% under their corporate control?

Last time I checked, AOSP is freely available, and you can compile it and use it however you'd like subject to the terms of the license (which I believe is stock Apache 2.0 license). I believe Amazon and a few carriers have third party markets, and lots of manufacturers customize the handset experience - I see TV commercials for them all of the time. I don't know anyone who uses Google+ on their Android handsets with any regularity, but I know lots of people who use Facebook.

If you don't like the terms of the stock SDK redistributable, download the AOSP source tree and compile your own SDK redistributable. Then you can promote platform fragmentation all you'd like.

The hyperbole is a bit silly.

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