EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.26.13

Android Devices Open the Door to GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The new reality of Android domination and how this affects the race for GNU/Linux domination

Android may not be a very freedom-respecting system (the “apps” in particular) and by default it is quite privacy-hostile; sure, there are Android derivatives or forks (if not branches) which can be installed, but being a derivative of something privacy-hostile is unlikely to be the right recipe (or best starting point). So, in a way, many people have been hoping that once Android conquers the market (of smartphones and tablets at the very least) it should become easier to install GNU/Linux on billions of devices, having paid nothing at all for Android (the Android ‘tax’ is $0). Google is not Microsoft, so rarely will it go to great lengths to prevent GNU/Linux from being fitted onto devices; Google is, after all, itself somewhat of a GNU/Linux vendor.

There was interesting news earlier this month about a “[n]ew indiegogo project to turn your Android device into a full Linux desktop computer” [1]. Remember that some GNU/Linux vendors already eye these opportunities [2] and some explore dual-booting as an entry ramp [3] (Microsoft is trying that too, with very little success). Let us hope that in years to come Microsoft will fail to bundle Windows as a second operating system (even if Windows get rented to OEMs free of charge) and many Android devices will come with a desktop option (like Ubuntu Edge) by default. Android already has some decent GNU/Linux integration [4]. Almost nobody complains about Android being Windows-centric on the desktop side, e.g. development and synchronisation, unlike some other portable Linux-powered devices and operating systems (Palm’s WebOS comes to mind and it’s not alone). In fact, developing for Android on Android [5] is possible if one does not mind proprietary software (which has gotten hard to trust on Android [6]).

In 2014 we are going to see Android pre-installed on almost every device; the Apple stores around Manchester have been rather empty during December (noticeably under-occupied whenever I pass near them) and all the Apple-faithful can do is rely on Android revisionism [7], ignoring that fact that Samsung is already overtaking Apple and creating its own retail stores [8]. Android devices are self-upgrading and self-improving [9,10] (remote update without users’ consent is a problem though), which makes them distinctly better than anything Apple has to offer. Android’s founder and former boss is meanwhile taking Linux forward to land on robotics [11], not just devices like Google’s CCTV Glass.

Now that Android has become one of the most popular platforms (if not the most popular platform) for proprietary software developers (new examples in [12-15]) we just know that Windows has lost its inertia and for GNU/Linux (‘true’ distros) to become popular it’s important to find new ways to fit them on devices with Android, essentially liberating them with Free/libre software.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. New indiegogo project to turn your Android device into a full Linux desktop computer
  2. Five reasons why the Ubuntu tablet could shock naysayers in 2014

    With a recent proclamation by Mark Shuttleworth that an “interesting set of household brands’ are looking at putting Ubuntu Touch on their own phones and tablets,” the mobile landscape has become quite interesting. Prior to this, it seemed like the Ubuntu Phone was having serious issues gaining any traction with major brands. However, with Ubuntu 14.04 placing a major focus on honing the Ubuntu tablet experience, things are going to get interesting.

  3. Canonical Shows Off New Dual Boot Feature For Ubuntu In Latest Developer Preview

    Canonical today unveiled their latest work on their underdog Ubuntu mobile operating system. If you can remember, it was only October when Canonical announced Ubuntu 13.10 for smartphones, with a fully featured system attempting to rival Android. Today, in a somewhat odd move, the company has announced the availability of a developer preview of a new dual boot feature allowing supported Nexus devices to switch quickly between an Android-based OS and Ubuntu.

  4. How to get Android notifications on your Linux desktop

    Stop reaching into your pocket and wondering about every vibration with this clever Android/Linux mirroring tool.

  5. AIDE—Developing for Android on Android

    Android, as a platform, is one of the fastest growing on the planet. It is available on smartphones and a series of different tablet sizes. Most devices also include a full spectrum of sensors that are available to programs you install, so it’s a very inviting platform for development. The usual workflow involves installing a development environment on some other machine, either a Windows or Linux desktop or laptop. You then do all of your code writing, compiling and debugging there before you actually copy it and install it onto your Android device.

  6. Google in hot water over removed Android permissions app

    App Ops Launcher was introduced to Android 4.4 Kitkat and allowed users to install apps and then decide how much information they wanted each app to have access to, such as location data, contact details and so on.

  7. Android ‘started over’ the day the iPhone was announced

    Already in intensive development for two years by 2007, Android was Google’s vision for a mobile operating system of the future. Still, in spite of all the work that had already gone into it, the Mountain View company was sure it couldn’t carry on along the trajectory it’d been following — the earliest Android devices looked very much like Googlified BlackBerrys — and had to alter its plans to compete with the iPhone’s new touch-centric interface. A book excerpt in The Atlantic cites Andy Rubin, who led the early development of Android, as saying “I guess we’re not going to ship that phone,” in reference to the Sooner project Google was initially planning to reveal to the world.

  8. Samsung Galaxy stores could be the next big thing in tech retail
  9. Benchmarking the ODroid XU: A Fast-Clocked Quad A15 ARM Machine

    The ODroid-XU contains 8 CPU cores in a big.LITTLE configuration where four of the cores are active at any time. The Single Board Computer comes with 2Gb of RAM, USB 3, a microHDMI connector able to output 1080p, 10/100 network connectivity, a microSD slot, and the ability to connect up to 64Gb of eMMC flash memory to the system.

  10. Android 4.3 flavors Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra

    Owners of Sony’s Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra should now start to see Android 4.3 pop up on their phones.

    Sony spilled the beans about the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra on Monday but cautioned that the actual arrival time of the Android update will vary by market and carrier. Android 4.3 offers several enhancements and tweaks for Xperia phones.

  11. Google’s robotics program has legs, but where is it going?

    Now that all the foundational research has been done by startups and universities, often with military funding, Google is swooping in. The effort is being led by former Android operating system chief Andy Rubin, a known robotics buff. Rubin is a big-picture thinker, and he’s been obsessed with robots for decades. Angle recalls selling Rubin an iRobot B24 — a 2-foot-diameter research robot with three wheels and sonar sensors — in 1989 or 1990. “This is something that an individual would never buy,” he says. “The only people who would buy it would be research universities and Andy Rubin.”

  12. Circle social media app for Android keeps you in touch with your local community
  13. Monopoly Slots brings a free slot machine to your Android device
  14. Startup Manager Renews Shine on Android’s Boot

    I tested Imoblife’s Startup Manager Full Version on a newish Samsung Galaxy Young and an aging Motorola Photon 4G. By disabling all startup user apps — the ones I had installed myself — I was able to obtain a system boot time of 1 minute, 11 seconds on the Y. That’s a 6-second speedup over boot without Startup Manager. I obtained similarly powerful testing results on the Photon 4G.

  15. Free DU Speed Booster app for Android
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Copyleft: Keeping Code Free

    Now that news about "Linux" is dominated by promotion of proprietary software we ought to remember what perpetrators of such a strategy seek to eliminate



  2. Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

    "I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software's worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!"



  3. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  4. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  5. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  6. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  8. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  9. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  10. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  11. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  14. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  15. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  16. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  17. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  18. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  19. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  21. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  22. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  23. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  25. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  26. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  27. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  28. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  29. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  30. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts