“While Google is actively trying to reduce Android fragmentation by imposing certain conditions to partner companies — including forcing them to use the latest Android OS versions on new devices in order to get access to Google apps and the Play Store — other companies are ready to help OEMs create their own Android forks,” Chris Smith reports for BGR.

“TechCrunch reports that Russian giant Yandex has now released its own Yandex.Kit to help OEMs fork Android to their hearts’ content,” Smith reports. “Yandex is basically encouraging OEMs to offer users a Google-free Android experience by using its own services instead of the Google services mobile device users will get with Google-approved Android devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

“In a blog post announcing the new Kit, Yandex described it as ‘a comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution, versatile and technologically honed enough to be offered to original device manufacturers as firmware that they can install on their devices shipped to the Russian market,'” Natasha Lomas reports for TechCrunch. “The kit is fee-free, and while Yandex is obviously targeting Russian device makers and mobile carriers who want a more locally flavoured set of services to Google, it is also targeting international B2B clients by offering ‘deep customisation’ for parts of the kit — such as the ability to brand the app store and have the specific device maker’s/carrier’s own apps featured (i.e. rather than having to stick with Google’s branding and whatever Google wants to feature in its Play Store).”

“Yandex said it already has two customers for the firmware kit, who will be showing devices at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona next week,” Lomas reports. “These are Chinese OEM Huawei and Russian device maker Explay. Yandex said both makers will launch their Yandex-flavoured Android handsets in Russia in March.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another sign that Google’s Android is forked.

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