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Google Targets Android Fragmentation With Updated Terms For SDK 154

Posted by timothy
from the eula-do-what-we-say dept.
SternisheFan writes "Google has expanded its legal agreement with developers working on Android applications to specifically prohibit them from taking any action that could lead to a fragmentation of the operating system. The prohibition was added to the terms and conditions for Google's Android SDK (software development kit), which developers must accept before using the software to build Android apps. The previous version of the terms of service, published in April 2009, didn't address the issue, but the new terms published on Tuesday include this new paragraph: 'You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.' Google did not respond to several requests for comment. The issue of Android fragmentation has been gaining increased attention, but it's happened largely as a result of actions taken by Google and Android handset makers, not developers. It's a problem because it means that Android applications may not run properly across all Android devices. 'It continues to be a problem, both on smartphones and tablets,' said Avi Greengart, research director at Consumer Devices. 'Google has talked about multiple initiatives for dealing with it, but none of them have successfully addressed it.'"
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Google Targets Android Fragmentation With Updated Terms For SDK

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  • Re:No SDK forks? (Score:5, Informative)

    by XanC (644172) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @07:10PM (#41996943)

    Being allowed to fork and being allowed to call your fork "Android" are different things.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @07:21PM (#41997053)

    Letting carriers have more control of the handsets was one of the "ins" that android had.

    People have really short memories, and forget how some carriers were infamous for disabling features so they could sell them back to you nickle-and-dime. Ringtones, wallpaper, hell they even liked to charge a premium to get photos off of your device. Verizon was known as "the phone raper". They'd sell devices that were hollow shells of their non-US counterparts.

    Apple turned that model completely upside down, taking control away from the carriers. This pretty much started the smart phone boom (as we know it). Because of apple, you're not forced to buy apps through the Verizon store. The iphone is an APPLE device. Not an At&T one. Not a verizon one. Apple correctly puts the carriers in their place as commodity bit fingers and communication infrastructure maintainers. (Which the carriers hate with the fury of a billion suns)

    Google was looking to be more flexible and "open". They were also willing to play ball with carriers (to boost market share and adoption) and let them molest the devices to a greater extent. But not completely. Google has a baseline standard that has to be followed. Play by Google's terms or no Google apps for you. There's been some friction over this, mostly by companies that think they can remove google maps and charge a premium rate for another product.

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