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Linux-based phones : Why are GNU/Linux users treated as second class?

Oct 05, 2009, 19:33 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Cartwright)

"It's all about the apps
Thanks to the ubiquitous iPhone (you have to admire Apple's marketing skills if nothing else), mobile phones are all about the applications these days. I own an HTC Hero, an Android-based (but not Google-dependant) phone and mightily pleased I am with it too. I like the fact that there are plenty of applications, some useful, some silly and some a nice way to waste a few minutes waiting for a train. Installing new Android apps is a breeze — as you would expect it to be — but there's something missing from the listings: the licence. Sure some apps include their licence within the notes but those will be from the authors that feel the licence is important; and usually that's the free licences.

"This makes it a right royal pain to find out what licence your preferred app is deployed under. I appreciate that for most people this isn't an issue: they simply don't care about the licence their software is released under. But for many people the reason they chose Android would have been for the licence the OS uses and we'd appreciate having a similar choice about the apps. Without knowing apps' licences, we aren't really given that choice. Like many I'd like to to see the amount of free software on Android increase but this is not going to happen if developers don't even know there is a choice — let alone users. In response to this the community has created an Android Free Software wiki which lists free Android software and the licences they use."

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