Open Android Alliance

In the past: cyanogenmod made one of the most popular 3rd party Android ROMs for HTC devices. Personally I haven’t yet tried it on my Magic, but friends tell me it’s the ROM to use.Android

On September 24th 2009, Google sets their legal team on the ROM creator, asking him to stop distributing the parts of Android that aren’t open source but in fact are good old traditional closed source apps – made by Google. Cyanogen himself (Steve Kondik) responded something in the spirit that since the ROM only runs on hardware that already runs the apps users already have a license to use them. Google responded, saying they protect the Google Phone Experience.

This C&D act triggered a huge reaction in the Android communities as people suddenly became aware of the fact that A) parts of the Android core OS aren’t at all open (source) and B) Google is not the cuddly Teddy Bear we all want it to be.

In the front, where a lot of the custom ROMs are being discussed and users of them hang out, they created the Open Android Alliance with the intent of creating a completely open source Android.

In another end and indepedently of the xda-developers it seems, lots of participants in the google group android-platform pretty much decided the same thing but they rather started out discussing exactly what would be needed to do and what code there is and so on.

Currently, both camps have been made aware of each other and there have been expressed intents of joining into a single effort. I don’ t think such subtleties matter much, but we just might see the beginning of a more open more free Android project getting started here. I’ll certainly be interested in seeing where this is going…

Updated: they now have their own domain. Link in article updated.

6 thoughts on “Open Android Alliance”

  1. This is a good summary of the situation.

    I too look forward to seeing a completely free Android distribution!

  2. Open Android Alliance should watch out for trademark troubles:

    I know that the Android name within mobile OS got a lot of attention and momentum atm, but if I were OAA I would have selected another name. Kind of better illustrate that it is an alternative, something different, a fork or something.

    (Hopefully they’ll switch their name after getting enough developers onboard to get som drive…)

  3. As it was touted open source at the gate I see no problem at all. If goog goes after the name they will eventually lose market shares too.
    I did not get the g1 as I saw where it was headed to begin with (contract WITH data mandatory, buyme button, etc.).
    I am not quite sure if any corporations understand what unlocked and free actually means.

  4. The only “problem” is that some of the core functionality of all existing Android phones are proprietary Google apps so thus ripping them out will render you an Android that is rather handicapped.

    And btw, that G1 deal you refer to sounds like a country or region specific thing that doesn’t necessarily apply to the phone or even operators in other regions.

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