Android’s Next Big Competitor: Google

Over the past three years, Google's Android operating system has grabbed a major share of the global smartphone market. But there's more than one flavor of Android out there, and Google is increasingly finding one flavor being pitted against the other.

In one corner is the truly open-source Android, which falls under the purview of Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP). When Google launched the project in November 2007, it had no foothold in the emerging smartphone market, so anything it could do to give its position a jumpstart against the likes of Apple, Windows and Symbian made sense.

In the other corner is Android One, the initiative launched by Google last month that takes aim at the 5 billion-plus people in the world who still don't have smartphones. Unlike with the open-source Android, Android One is controlled by Google, which will automatically provide users with updates, security patches and other fixes as they become available. Google says Android One offers adopters the advantage of reduced costs for customization and testing, which will help manufacturers produce smartphones that are more affordable to those in developing economies. What Android One isn't, though, is open source.

'Closed-Source Creep'

This is hardly the first time Google has attempted to keep a tighter grip on Android since unleashing the open-source version on the world seven years ago. Android OS followers such as Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo have described the company's approach as "closed-source creep."

"When Android had no market share, Google was comfortable keeping just these apps and building the rest of Android as an open source project," Amadeo wrote late last year in an article titled, "Google's iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary." "Since Android has become a mobile powerhouse though, Google has decided it needs more control over the...

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Android’s Next Big Competitor: Google

Over the past three years, Google's Android operating system has grabbed a major share of the global smartphone market. But there's more than one flavor of Android out there, and Google is increasingly finding one flavor being pitted against the other.

In one corner is the truly open-source Android, which falls under the purview of Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP). When Google launched the project in November 2007, it had no foothold in the emerging smartphone market, so anything it could do to give its position a jumpstart against the likes of Apple, Windows and Symbian made sense.

In the other corner is Android One, the initiative launched by Google last month that takes aim at the 5 billion-plus people in the world who still don't have smartphones. Unlike with the open-source Android, Android One is controlled by Google, which will automatically provide users with updates, security patches and other fixes as they become available. Google says Android One offers adopters the advantage of reduced costs for customization and testing, which will help manufacturers produce smartphones that are more affordable to those in developing economies. What Android One isn't, though, is open source.

'Closed-Source Creep'

This is hardly the first time Google has attempted to keep a tighter grip on Android since unleashing the open-source version on the world seven years ago. Android OS followers such as Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo have described the company's approach as "closed-source creep."

"When Android had no market share, Google was comfortable keeping just these apps and building the rest of Android as an open source project," Amadeo wrote late last year in an article titled, "Google's iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary." "Since Android has become a mobile powerhouse though, Google has decided it needs more control over the...

Comments are closed.