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Google Pulls Camera App Out of Android

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Top message:  Android becoming closed? by Zpike   Apr 16, 2014, 2:21 PM

Replying to:  Re: Android becoming closed? by Vmac39   Apr 17, 2014, 5:29 AM

Re: Android becoming closed?

by ButtaKnife    Apr 17, 2014, 11:23 AM

With something like this, there are two perspectives. The first perspective is the more open-source purist one which sees a previously very open platform losing open versions of apps that would otherwise make it a complete platform for free. I completely understand that view, and I feel a sense of loss from it as well, but I also don't think it's a huge blow to AOSP since the AOSP apps for a long time haven't been that great anyway. Anyone building a truly open version of the Android platform could pretty easily find better replacements or let users download apps themselves.

The other perspective is that Google Android is becoming massively better by doing exactly what you described - enabling easier updates of Google's apps using the Play Store as the delivery mechanism. Given the difficulties with pushing updates through device manufacturers and carriers, it makes a lot of sense to do it this way. Like it or not, you have to give Google some credit for trying to improve its own ecosystem, even if that means that the open version of the ecosystem has to stand on its own two feet without Google's help on more and more apps. In a sense, that's probably better in the long run anyway.

I don't think that AOSP is dead because of these apps being removed and that Tizen or any other OSs are the de-facto future as a result. The Android platform is still a very good one to use. Just look at what Amazon and other companies are doing with it without Google's apps. Sure, they don't have the marketshare that the Google-blessed Android ecosystem has, but other open platforms don't and likely won't either. This is the disconnect between our desires for an open platform and a successful ecosystem. We have both separately already, but being open led to a host of fragmentation problems for Android. It's not at all easy to have both together.

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