Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.
Search Linux Today
Linux News Sections:  Developer -  High Performance -  Infrastructure -  IT Management -  Security -  Storage -
Linux Today Navigation
LT Home
Contribute
Contribute
Link to Us
Linux Jobs


Top White Papers

More on LinuxToday


Why Google Android software is not as free or open-source as you may think

Jan 24, 2014, 23:00 (2 Talkback[s])

While the basic Android software is indeed available for free, and can be downloaded, compiled and changed by anyone, it doesn’t include the apps that make up Google’s mobile services - such as Maps, Gmail, and crucially Google Play, which allows people to connect to the online store where they can download apps.

Without them, a device has only minimal functionality.

To get the key apps, a manufacturer needs a “Google Mobile Services” (GMS) licence. GMS licences are issued on a per-model basis. While Google does not charge a fee for the licence, one of the integral steps in the licence-application process requires payment to authorised Android-testing factories. These factories, which include Foxconn and Archos, charge a fee for carrying out the testing required to obtain a GMS licence, which the Guardian understands is negotiated on a case-by-case, per-manufacturer basis.

Complete Story

Related Stories: