“Six years ago, in November 2007, the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) was announced. The original iPhone came out just a few months earlier, capturing people’s imaginations and ushering in the modern smartphone era,” Ron Amadeo writes for Ars Technica. “While Google was an app partner for the original iPhone, it could see what a future of unchecked iPhone competition would be like… Google was terrified that Apple would end up ruling the mobile space. So, to help in the fight against the iPhone at a time when Google had no mobile foothold whatsoever, Android was launched as an open source project.”
“In that era, Google had nothing, so any adoption—any shred of market share—was welcome. Google decided to give Android away for free and use it as a trojan horse for Google services,” Amadeo writes. “The thinking went that if Google Search was one day locked out of the iPhone, people would stop using Google Search on the desktop. Android was the “moat” around the Google Search “castle”—it would exist to protect Google’s online properties in the mobile world.”
“Today, things are a little different,” Amadeo writes. “Since Android is open source, it doesn’t really ‘belong’ to Google. Anyone is free to take it, clone the source, and create their own fork or alternate version… Google has always given itself some protection against alternative versions of Android. What many people think of as “Android” actually falls into two categories: the open parts from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which are the foundation of Android, and the closed source parts, which are all the Google-branded apps. While Google will never go the entire way and completely close Android, the company seems to be doing everything it can to give itself leverage over the existing open source project. And the company’s main method here is to bring more and more apps under the closed source ‘Google’ umbrella.”
Tons more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: By the way, here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “KingMel” for the heads up.]