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. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  2. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  3. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  4. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  5. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  6. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  7. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  8. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  9. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  10. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  11. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  12. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  13. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  14. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  15. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  16. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  17. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  18. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  19. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  20. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  21. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  22. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  23. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  24. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  25. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  26. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  27. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  28. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  29. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  30. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts