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Dell and Baidu Introduce a Smartphone With Forked Version of Android

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the primordial-soup-software dept.

Android 146

cortex writes "XDA developers is reporting on the release of a new smart phone which runs a forked version of Google's Android operating system: 'Dell and Baidu, the Chinese search giant with over 80% marketshare in its home-country, unveiled the Streak Pro on Tuesday (via Computerworld). The device has a 4.3 AMOLED screen with 960×540 resolution and packs a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor. Most notably, however, is the operating system it runs: a forked Android version dubbed Baidu Yi, which replaces Google's services with those of Baidu.' How will this impact Google's support for Android and open source in general?'

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With the expected Chinese requirements. (2, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479824)

Perhaps they want something onboard that makes Carrier IQ look tame.

Search for or have anything deemed subversive on the device, it reports you silently.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (2, Interesting)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479862)

Seriously, I'm tired of these stupid comments towards China. Especially when US government is much worse. Have you lived there or actually know it? Because it isn't like that. I have my own experience. Sure, do keep up with the "China == bad" bullshit, but you're only lying to yourself. Just like with communism == bad during cold war. It's bullshit without real experience.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (4, Insightful)

adriantam (566025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479912)

I agree with you that "China == bad" is not always true. But how do you explain the 80% market share of Baidu? In China, you can't do big business without kowtow to the government. That's a reason for that bullshit to exists. And that's a way to get rid of those bullshit: lift your hands off the people and let them have the freedom. By the way, I am Chinese.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480078)

Your figures may be a little out of date - Baidu's current market share in China is 60.67%.

Source: http://gs.statcounter.com/#search_engine-CN-monthly-201011-201111

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (-1, Troll)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480250)

such a robust and poignant refutation of adriantam's point. thank you for your stellar insight, anonymous coward.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480368)

how the fuck do you prove a negative?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480512)

Well you find a better source of statistics, then. I provided a source, where's yours?

I wasn't trying in any way to refute adriantam's point. I was adding additional information, since I happened to already know Baidu's current market share in China. 80% isn't correct. I happen to agree with adriantam's broader point.

Oh wait, you were just trolling. Go fuck yourself you stupid speck of shit.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481208)

Why would you think he meant to refute anything? He was only updating a statistical figure. You may be only trolling, since here his intent was more than obvious, but expectying a reply to be either "This!" or a complete refutation is not an uncommon stance here in Slashdot. Collaborative discussion is rare, giving way to a belligerent disposition that fosters binary thought.

Baidu is awful (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480182)

Baidu is absolutely laden with spam. The English searches are a little better, those come from Bing rather than Baidu's own engine, no great but passable.

But when I was in Shanghai I used Baidu almost exclusively, because they keep blocking Google. Sometimes Google works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it works but is so ridiculously slow that it's unusable. I know this is not Google making, but the Chinese tricks. However I still need to find things.

It's not a political thing I think, a lot of it is just corruption. It's not that the guy running the routers is such a communist puritan that he favors Baidu comrades, it's that he's such a corrupt person, ten bucks in his pocket and he'll route you through a Pentium 4 firewall! Baidu just know who to pay off.

Corruption is politics. (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480310)

That's the point being missed here, corruption is both the result and the driving force behind politics.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (1, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480262)

But how do you explain the 80% market share of Baidu?

The same way you can explain Google's 80% market share in the US?
http://gs.statcounter.com/#search_engine-US-monthly-201011-201111 [statcounter.com]

That is to say, that they're popular because they deliver what people are after?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481528)

Or may be "because they're the only viable alternative"?

Here, for example, Russia does have a real competing search engine, so google's dominance not so clear cut: http://gs.statcounter.com/#search_engine-RU-monthly-201011-201111 [statcounter.com]

US has Google and nearly unusable Bing and Yahoo, China has Baidu and nearly unusable Google.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481692)

I'm no Bing fan, but I'd hardly call it unusable. Search results are OK, homepage is clean (unlike Yahoo), and the maps are actually pretty good. If you wanted to use Bing, you could certainly do worse.

The point is, Google is better. So people choose to use it more.

Baidu is presumably better liked by Chinese users than Google or the other alternatives, so people use it more.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (5, Informative)

mynickslongerthanurs (1322243) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480766)

But how do you explain the 80% market share of Baidu?

Because its major competitor is suffering from blatant malicious QoS deterioration?

  • Every 15 minutes, any attempt to access google is met with a reset. The blocking lasts 15 minutes, causing an artificial 50% downtime for ALL Google services.
  • When the service is accessible, searching for a potentially 'inharmonious' word (including seemly innocuous false positives like 'carrot') resets the connection immediately and deny future access to Google for 5 minutes.
  • Don't even THINK about using Google Search over SSL.
  • G+ doesn't work. Well, neither does Facebook.
  • Blog service (blogspot/blogger) doesn't work. In fact, searching for the word 'blogspot' resets the connection.
  • Video service (Youtube) obviously doesn't work.
  • No site managed by Google Sites works.

Oh, and I'm a native.

less RIAA fascism there... (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481052)

But how do you explain the 80% market share of Baidu?

I cannot comment on the claims about malicious Google blocks, but it would be naive to ignore their different stance towards IP and therefore their higher perceived quality when searching for / downloading MP3 files etc. ... (e.g. Baidu 500 [wikipedia.org] ). Many "westerners" will consider this bad, but it is a form of liberty ...

slavery is freedom (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481294)

war is peace. brought to you by the new Chinese-American-Corporation-Party, the party for liberty!

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481268)

Yes Microsoft has >90% desktop share from kowtowing to government
oh and Google does the same in search.

China's government is bad but get some real info

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481450)

How do you explain the 65.3% market share of Google?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479920)

Do you want to cite anything? It's well known that China will do anything to silence people who promote freedom. Just look at how they treat protests, religion, free speech, the internet, etc. etc. etc.

The US is faaaaar tamer in comparison.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479980)

Please, point me to the last time china killed over 100.000 foreign civilians outside its borders.

Also, let me know about the secret prisons china has outside its borders in order to torture people and circumvent its own laws.

Lastly, please do tell me about the wars china made up in the last years, just to sell some guns and loot and endebt the ravaged places.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (4, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480022)

Also, let me know about the secret prisons china has outside its borders in order to torture people and circumvent its own laws.

.

You assume they need to be outside the country?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480574)

what is the score in Tibet?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481150)

China finds plenty to do within its own borders. They are just constrained by their means at the moment from stepping outside. The Chinese government also finds its own laws somewhat less restricting than the US, and hence has no need to circumvent them.

Hey, I'll be the first to denounce the things you mention in the US, however most of the ground the US government is covering has been passed over long ago by those in power in China.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (-1, Troll)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480168)

It's well known that China will do anything to silence people who promote freedom.

That's false. They don't have anything against freedom. If you try to start riots, then yes you're going to get problems. But this is based on what majority of Chinese want. They don't want riots causing deaths and problems, and support Chinese government to prevent those. It's democracy after all - you may not like it, but majority want that.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480316)

Democracy??? Really? What about the guy that wrote essays supporting democracy? He just got sentenced to 9 years in prison.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204464404577115623080454832.html

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480352)

It's democracy after all - you may not like it, but majority want that.

one party != democracy

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (2)

Darri (948351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480576)

one party != democracy

Agreed.

Say the Chinese communist party were to split into two factions, both deeply committed to communism, but with subtle differences when it comes to implementation details, then all of a sudden you'd have a model democracy, right?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480586)

But 2 is?

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480604)

It's called that, but none of the systems are really democratic. What the romans did worked - a lottery, the same as with jury duty.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (3, Insightful)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480958)

If you try to start riots, then yes you're going to get problems.

If you try and peacefully petition the Government for redress, you're going to get in trouble too. The whole reason there are so many riots in the first place is that China is horribly corrupt, it has a massive income disparity between rural and urban areas, because of the corruption rural dwellers can have their land taken from them at any time with essentially no compensation, and if you try to peacefully complain about any of this you're going to jail.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479934)

I can't tell if you're trolling or really that poorly informed. For all my complaints about how we do things, your suggestion that the situation in the US is worse than China is patently absurd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China [wikipedia.org]

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479984)

How many meetings of Chinese people for a free Tibet or independent Taiwan clubs are you allowed to go to? Why is the Chinese internet so censored?

remember to post something about Guantanamo your question dodging response!

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480024)

I actually live in China. And yes, it is pretty bad. Perhaps not for the same reasons that many outsiders think. But I, like you perhaps, do have my own experiences here. I also happen to think the US is bad however.

The must frustrating thing here is that even although many people here are aware of the problems with their society, they still have the same mentality or opinions which are the cause of those problems...

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480110)

Hey! So basically the same problem that has stonewalled right's progression in the US.
9-11!!!!! FOREVER!!!!

Not sure what the chinese equivalent is? Maybe 'stable society' FOREVER!

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (2)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480340)

hello, 50 cent army [wikipedia.org] , and welcome to slashdot! i hope you have a terrible time!

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480580)

It looks like you posted the exact same link as an AC did 2 hours ago. Way to whore for karma! Why arseholes like you get to post at +2 is beyond my understanding. And you were busy replying to a 0 AC earlier in the thread, so don't make out like you surf at +2 or some crap.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480754)

Looks like you have another account to mod your feeble comments up with when you get pissed off. What's the matter, can't get to +5 by copying AC comments?

http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2589146&op=Reply&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&pid=38480018

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480760)

I think that USA and China are part of the same system, else the first would have retained control of its economy instead of basically helping out the second. Both morally bankrupt like ummm all the rest of the worldwide system (I'm not talking about the NWO I am talking about the de-facto situation, in morally sound systems trials elections patents and thousands other things would be less dependent on how powerful the players are).

Anyway, it's true, in a lot of forums and discussions China is readily defended, while the USA defenders are more subtle or even absent. The puppeteers in USA know that it's irrelevant how much you speak about something, as long as actions do not hurt real interests.

Back to the poster defending China. You might be right but make better points than "you have no experience of X, how can you tell it's bad?", just substitute X for crack to see how hollow it is.

US much worse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480374)

C'mon. While I do agree that the US government has done (and is doing) very bad things, and I'm the first one to stand up and say that -- the Chinese government is as least as bad (and I'd think it's even worse. Much worse).

The bad things the one does don't justify the bae things the oter does. Goes in both directions.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481058)

Well, communism as implemented during the Cold War was really bad, mostly because it wasn't really communism but a dictatorship of the ruling class who controlled the means of production and used artificial shortages of basic needs, military force and militarized police to maintain their position.

One might contrast that with the freedom we have in the US, where we have our means of production controlled by the ruling class which uses artificial shortages of basic needs, the military and militarized police to maintain their position. Oh, wait...

ask zhao lianhai (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481286)

how 'different' it is.

Re:With the expected Chinese requirements. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479864)

Butt up-chuck your cum fuck.

smells like... (1)

noh8rz (2535268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480154)

...fragmentation!

Not at all (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479834)

There's already some Android phone out that uses Bing as the search engine. And then of course there is Amazon who essentially is forking Android.

Google had to know this would happen, they simply don't care. If they keep advancing Android it keeps Android devices more desirable than others in theory. Plus at this point what would the strategy really be? Close Android off and watch vendors run to Microsoft?

Re:Not at all (2)

Acheron219 (564804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479882)

I think the "interest" angle here is that it's a Dell branded device, rather than a Chinese brand name. (Built in China though, for sure). It's moderately interesting more in the implication of what this might do with Google's relationship to Dell, if Dell has any intention of competing in the US market at all any more.

Re:Not at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480106)

While I'm not wild about this, some part of me doesn't care either. OSS has copyrights on their software. The copyrights allow people to do what they want so long as attribution is given. Microsoft 'allows pirating' as it 1) increases their market penetration while not making the poor have to pay what little they have. 2) the pirating doesn't spread to people who can afford it. In the name of market penetration, I'm willing to let this go. I wouldn't mind seeing Baidu put Linux on some computer hardware though, so things sync up properly. They should tie up with ASUS and do that thing. It would be a good thing. Better if they flooded the N. American market with these cheap units. It would be good for all around.

Re:Not at all (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480142)

Depends on how you define forks. Amazon has to my knowledge not "Forked" Android. To do so would be to take Android and do in house development in a different direction. From what I can tell they have simply taken Android as is and put their modifications on top of it. Amongst them removed the Google Apps, and added their own primary interface and own apps.

Most phone manufacturers do this already just not on the same big scale. Samsung ship phones with TouchWiz, a Samsung specific home screen and app drawer for their phones which is more like iOS than Android, as well as the Samsung Marketplace. The difference is that they still have Google's partnership and ship the phone with the complete set of Google Apps and the official Market.

When you fork a project you take the project at a given time in a new direction, and the codebase typically starts separating more and more from the original. Customising Android, regardless of how heavily you do it does not make it a fork until you essentially take over a whole new project.

Re:Not at all (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480702)

Technically, their intent was to fork it. The Chinese government was adamant about not wanting any secret US back-doors in it.

My guess is that they probably did it just like our US Department of Defense. They probably froze it to an older version to try to secure that at least, and then when they finally could deliver something to their bosses, they got yelled at for delivering a version so old, that Google had already published at least half-a-dozen new major versions in the mean time.

Re:Not at all (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480380)

Android is not being forked, not on those and not on this article.

"Most notably, however, is the operating system it runs: a forked Android version dubbed Baidu Yi, which replaces Google's services with those of Baidu.' How will this impact Google's support for Android and open source in general?'"

Gapps (Google Applications) do not belong to Android, they are separated applications from Google.

Android source code is available from source.android.com and that is the Android. Gapps are not avalable from there as they do not belong to Android.

Gapps and Android needs to be think as Windows and Adobe CS suite. Even if some PC manufacturer would preinstall Adobe CS with Windows to PC and add that price to that computer price, it would not be forking Windows.

But people do not understand smartphones or Android, it is just a software system like Windows is, but instead including NT operating system, it has Linux operating system in it.
That if you swap official (and usually preinstalled) Google applications for Android with official operator or manufacturer applications, does not mean it is forking Android.

Amazon has never forked Android, neither is Dell and Baidu forking it now. They are simply swapping non-Android applications to other non-Adroid applications. Microsoft has done that as well with Verizon by swapping gapps to bing, hotmail and others applications.

Installing a own launcher (homescreen) or doing any other tweaking isn't forking. Amazon has not toke Android source code and started to develop it in own branch making it incompatible with Android and Android applications. Amazon knows that would be a suicide and Amazon could not even use a name "Android" at that point as it is a registered trademark.
Even if with Windows would be open source, Microsoft would not allow someone to take Windows, making it incompatible with Windows and still keeping its name as "Microsoft Windows".

Re:Not at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480664)

wont they simply tell them to fork off?

Re:Not at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481688)

Amazon didn't fork android, they did a find/replace from "Phone" to "Kindle" and switched out what handles the HOME intent. You can see this if you look at the permissions for an app: it says "Kindle calls: Read Kindle state and identity" whereas a normal phone says "Phone calls: Read phone state and identity". It's virtually identical to any other android device in most ways.

The other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC do the same thing--they just replace a few strings and swap out the default apps. I doubt Baidu is trying to fork the whole platform, which is rather stupid because most developers will develop for android. I suspect they are just doing the same thing that all other manufacturers do, which is replace the hardcoded urls from stuff like "http://google.com/m?client={CID}&source=android-home" to "http://baidu.com/...", as well as install some buggy tracking software just like the telecom companies do and replace the home screen. They can also add logic to prevent .apk's from being installed except from an approved market, so they get control over their "platform".

Yes, technically a "fork", but not one that will keep up in development pace from android. Then google will come out with "Jamba Juice" or whatever comes next, and Baidu will scramble to update all their hacks so people don't get bored and switch to a google-sponsored phone.

Google will smile and laugh (1)

triceice (1046486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479846)

Google will do nothing to change their stance, but they will work to better integrate in to Android and make it so people want them not Baidu.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1, Interesting)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479876)

Google is really bad in Russia and China. Most people use Yandex or Baidu because it gives much better results. Google simply fails to give good results there. Google has ignored that market, and it will eventually bite them in the ass.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479884)

Google didn't "ignore" the chinese market, they pulled out for ethical reasons (present chinese government wanted them to censor).

Re:Google will smile and laugh (2, Interesting)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479904)

That was only last year. They had a minor market share to begin with, so gaining good publicity by "pulling out of china" was only good for marketing purposes. They weren't profitable there to begin with. Google has a good marketing team tho - instead of announcing that they failed to profit in Chinese market, they turned it upside down and told they're getting off for ethical reasons to make it look less failure.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480006)

Google had a significant portion of the Chinese market before pulling out - over 35% [nasdaq.com] . And even with the current situation where they have much less marketshare, they're profitable [engadget.com] . So basically you're full of shit.

Google had been against censorship all along, but decided to try and change China from the inside. Eventually, they discovered that it wasn't possible, so they stuck up for their principles and took their ball and went home. It's rare that you see a company put principle ahead of profit, and they should be commended for it.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480204)

Google has a 34.21% market share right now.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480302)

Oh look, it's the Anti-US troll once again!

Hi troll!

Re:Google will smile and laugh (2)

zerojoker (812874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480532)

That's because they are competing on an unfair market. The Chinese government is highly corrupt and is trying to support chinese companys where they can. They do not only block youtube, twitter, google and the like for political reasons, but also to support domestic companies. If you cannot reach youtube due to the firewall, of course you will change to a chinese alternative. Same goes for twitter, google, and all the other google services...

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1)

triceice (1046486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479962)

Hard to give "good results" when your indexing is limited by the "Great Wall". But yes I agree with you.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480044)

Are you serious? I just did a test search for %E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%E5%B9%BF%E5%9C%BA on both Google and Baidu and Google's results are much better. In Google's results there's more detail and depth, less redundancy and more breadth as well. Also, on Google's page the map is just below the first search result, whereas on Baidu you have to page down. And Baidu's map has so little context, it is utterly useless.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480292)

Yes, but if you do your test search whilst you are located in China, I suspect your Google results will be filtered or blocked in some way, reducing the coherency of the results to below that of Baidu.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480748)

Interesting. Does that hold true for Taiwan as well? How well do they do in overseas Chinese communities,?

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481298)

Google is actually very decent for Russian. Yandex is marginally better, but, frankly, more people use it out of habit, not because it's some conscious choice.

Re:Google will smile and laugh (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480232)

Google will do nothing to change their stance, but they will work to better integrate in to Android and make it so people want them not Baidu.

In what way is that not changing their stance? So lets get started with our reasonable demands: first thing is, not being able to drag a running app to the trash or equivalent is pure brain damage. Let's see Google climb down off the patronizing justifications for this design flaw [custhelp.com] and fix it.

But what will Microsoft do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481170)

Will Microsoft try to extort Dell and Baido like they have with so many Android vendors [arstechnica.com] ? Oh how they'd love to collect license fees from a few hundred million Chinese smart phone customers...

Flooding the Market (3, Insightful)

Dancing Propeller He (632229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479900)

This is great for the Android hardware ecosystem. Android hardware can then become the commodity computer of the future. The PC model of real hardware and software choices needs to move into the phone/tablet market as well. Otherwise we will simply be just the iJailed users of these devices.

Re:Flooding the Market (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480336)

This. And of course the many great improvements on Android that already exist in the wild, like cyanogenmod. I probably will never buy another phone not capable of running cyanogenmod.

Re:Flooding the Market (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481096)

Mobile phones and tablets are "systems-on-a-chip" - all the hardware is in one ASIC chip. This avoids the overhead of multiple ASIC packaging, sockets, multi-layer track, motherboard interconnections, smoothing capacitors, resistors and other glue components, as well as the potential to have multiple hardware combinations. That saves on memory space for drivers.

For a PC 75% of the components on the motherboard are for just for interconnection purposes. Compare the size of the actual silicon for the CPU and GPU, and how much of the packaging is just to connect the silicon to the motherboard socket or PCI Express connector.

Re:Flooding the Market (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481118)

This is great for the Android hardware ecosystem. Android hardware can then become the commodity computer of the future. The PC model of real hardware and software choices needs to move into the phone/tablet market as well. Otherwise we will simply be just the iJailed users of these devices.

Problem is, that Android doesn't offer anywhere near the compatibility across hardware and software as Wintel do. The platform is too fragmented.

Non Google services or a code fork? (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479916)

They would not be the first Android phone to not use Googles services, hell Motorola replaced the Google services with Yahoo on some of their phones. That does not mean that it is a code fork. So what specifically is different about the OS, other then the non-Google bundled apps?

Re:Non Google services or a code fork? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480048)

The name?

Re:Non Google services or a code fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480246)

Forking would mean a lot more work to take advantages of future improvements in Android, If Baidu was a force like Google, it would make sense but I doubt they have half the cojones of an American company.

Re:Non Google services or a code fork? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480418)

Nothing, Linux is still used as OS in that Android version and Android itself is still same. Difference is just that Baidu and Dell has swapped official Google apps (gapps) to own ones. They are non-Android parts.

Article writer does not have a clue what Android is.

That article is now a mission to make Android look bad and get a later valid argument to say that Android has scattered to multiple versions what are incompatible to each other.

License issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479990)

Im supposing Baidu Yi source code is not available, at least I couldnt find it.

And Android's license is mostly BSD-like so that's legal, except for the kernel and a couple of packages which are GPL.

I wonder how this would have played, if Android had been fully GPLd. That would have been an interesting story as well.

Re:License issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480194)

The source code for the GPLd stuff only needs to be made available to the people who are provided with the OS, ie. people who buy the phone.

Re:License issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480398)

The source code for the GPLd stuff only needs to be made available to the people who are provided with the OS, ie. people who buy the phone.

That's only true if you actually deliver the source code together with the phone. Otherwise you have to give the source code to whoever asks for it. See GPLv2 [gnu.org] section 3, especially points a) and b)

Re:License issues (-1, Offtopic)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480460)

Which is why the GPL is bad for businesses: Why would you want to spend resources catering to non-customers?

Re:License issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480722)

Which is why the GPL is bad for businesses: Why would you want to spend resources catering to non-customers?

Because it is a lot cheaper than writing everything from scratch? Copy free GPL code, adapt it to your needs, post it somewhere on the web.

Re:License issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480902)

But by using their version I am their customer. Also any hardware buyer can redistribute source, why make it hard to get for anyone.

GPL and business (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481540)

Which is why the GPL is bad for businesses: Why would you want to spend resources catering to non-customers?

Asking your question here is no more than a rhetorical ploy, and a rather poor choice of one at that.

Ask instead one of the businesses which uses or relies on Linux in its products, such as many NAS vendors. Here's one example [sourceforge.net] .

Re:License issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481088)

Maybe they are including it with the phone. If not, they can still charge anyone else requesting the source code for the media, shipping and fair labour costs.

And same linux problems, closed drivers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480084)

Until the copyrighted binary drivers can separated from the kernel so you can upgrade the OS, you wont have a truely open OS. This goes on with every release of android, look at the Icecream fiasco with Samsung.

Impact? (3, Interesting)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480096)

"How will this impact Google's support for Android and open source in general?"

Not at all, or possibly for the better?

If they didn't want people to fork Android (and, as noted above, it's debatable if this is really a fork or just replacing bundled apps / settings), they shouldn't have open sourced it.

If they get pissy and decide to close it off due to forks/mods like this, then we're still left with the previous versions of Android - and we're better off without a developer that wants to take their bat and ball and go home at the first little upset.

Re:Impact? (4, Interesting)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480320)

"How will this impact Google's support for Android and open source in general?"

Not at all, or possibly for the better?

Definitely for the better. Truth be told, Google's attitude towards free software sucks in major ways, not least their overt campaign to undermine the GPL and copyleft in general. Yes, this is overt, and shameless. There is one loose cannon in particular whose name I will not mention whose personal vendetta includes not only the entire GPL ecosystem, but Debian too. Might as well have a serial puppy shooter on staff.

Re:Impact? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480386)

Not all os us who love open source software love GPL... I don't mind the puppy shooter.

As a programmer, I open source a lot of what I do (a decision I usually make after I have working code), but I don't touch anything GPL, because that's taking away my freedom to decide my license, and therefore what I can do with my code. Sometimes if I can't did what I want as non-GPL source, I write it from scratch. But since I usually open source it, I guess everyone wins. Users then have two open source options, and the next developer that comes along has a BSD option.

Re:Impact? (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480450)

There is one loose cannon in particular whose name I will not mention whose personal vendetta includes not only the entire GPL ecosystem, but Debian too.

Could someone name and shame here? I'm not saying this is untrue; maybe the parent has a real reason not to name; but strong statements require evidence. Google continually claims to be supporting and helping Linux.

This is a pretty serious accusation against a company which would have been priced out of the market if it hadn't had Linux and wouldn't have had Linux (or for that matter BSD) if the GNU project hadn't provided a shelter for FOSS during the bad days around the BSD lawsuit. Google, IMHO would have been swamped by Microsoft by now without GPL software.

My Xperia came with a forked version, too (1)

oheso (898435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480196)

Oh, that's not what you meant?

Re:My Xperia came with a forked version, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480478)

My phone came with a fork.

Hmm (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480214)

Given the amount of care that has gone into Google's search results recently, I don't think Google will care.

Nothing new here... (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480354)

Follows the pattern that Baidu appears to have adopted in duplicating what Google does. Typical copy, change the picture and the name, and paste.

Given the history, Google should have left the software open source elsewhere and kept it proprietary in China.

Re:Nothing new here... (0)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480412)

huh?

Re:Nothing new here... (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480466)

News flash: The parts they have replaced are the non-open-source parts, i.e. Google's proprietary apps.

GNU/Linux is nothing BUT forks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480402)

200+ versions. Some have inittab. Some BSD-rc. Some with faster startup. Some with Gnome 3, others with Gnome 2 or KDE.

If consumers can select to go to the Android apps store and spend $ to buy someone's App and it works - Meh.

Android Fighting for the Bottom? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480452)

In spite of the "open" nature of Android, I truly wonder if open = superior customer experience?

Likewise, I am not convinced "free" = best for the consumer as that is only one small part of the consumer cost and experience.

A smartphone today is a special device, not a thermostat or light switch.

Re:Android Fighting for the Bottom? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481108)

I get to compare Android to it's competitors on a daily base. In my experience the closed OS bring a nice featureset to the table, but when it comes to customizing the phone to your needs nothing compares to Android. Even if you personally lack the skills or resources to mod or code, there are lively communities that are open to suggestion and pick up good ideas and are very likely to implement them in their "homebrew" versions.

But it's the small things that can make a huge difference in user experience. No matter how much you like the iPhone experience for instance, but when it comes to physical access to your own files, for instance, iOS sucks badly. From getting the files on your device to accessing it on the go and finally placing them elsewhere Android is so much nicer to use. And that has nothing to do with openness of code, but how much freedom do you allow your customer to have; it already starts with basic things as the charge/data interface on the device.

Android + Google apps for the full experiance (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480456)

Yes ... their is the Android OS as well as Google apps, which are amongst the most popular.
Google have managed to opensource the OS, but stay in relative control considering the full experience requires the Google apps.

Re:Android + Google apps for the full experiance (2)

jscotta44 (881299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481516)

Wow. The "full experience" requires the use of Google apps? So much for open source and choice.

Yes, if you have the technical ability that /.'era are supposed to have, then you can root your phone, fork your own version of Android, yada, yada, yada. But Google would go broke if the only people using Android phones are /.'ers. So as more organizations move to fork Android for their own purposes, it will be interesting to see just how long it takes before Google pulls out of supporting it.

ma8e (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480822)

a GAY NIGGER locatin6 #GNAA, effort to addrees All major marketing our cause. Gay non-fucking-existant.
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