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. Primer to the Crisis and Scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An introduction to the chaotic state of what used to be the world's leading patent office and quickly became Europe's biggest embarrassment



  2. Workers of the European Patent Office (EPO) Are Going on Strike Again, Almost 90% Voted in Favour

    Thousands of brave EPO employees chose to cast a vote and make it known that they are in favour of another strike



  3. Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO

    FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli's attempt to help them get in



  4. Emerging Threat to Patent Reforms at the USPTO

    Our plan of returning to coverage of US patent affairs in the wake of powerful lobbies that pursue patent maximalism



  5. You Know That the Unitary Patent (UPC) is in Huge Peril When Its Biggest Fans Admit It's Unlikely to Happen Even Next Year

    The tactics of Team UPC turn ugly as they personally target anyone who stands in their way, even a professor/judge who is courageous enough to state the obvious



  6. More Than Six Human Casualties Under Battistelli at the EPO, But the Human Toll Can Become a Lot Worse

    The bigger or much broader picture detailing the high cost of autocracy and mental torture at the EPO, where lives are ruined not only when these are ended and some key buildings pose severe threat to a lot of workers



  7. EPO's Elodie Bergot Calls Staff Suicide Just 'Passing Away', Pretends to Care

    How the EPO continues to mislead if not lie to staff, even when staff commits suicide -- a growing problem for Team Battistelli, whom some insiders hold accountable for these deaths



  8. The Administrative Tribunal of ILO Will Deliver EPO Judgments in Six Days

    Despite its old age (nearly a century), ILO's tradition when it comes to enforcing the law is anything but sterling, yet one can hope that it will stop its unproductive cat-and-mouse game with the EPO, where compliance is rare and actual judgments (not deferrals/referrals) are even rarer



  9. Links 21/6/2017: Red Hat's Numbers Are Up, New Debian Being Studied

    Links for the day



  10. Another Suicide Reported at the EPO While the Paid-for Media Focuses on 'European Inventor Award' Charade

    Puff pieces for Benoît Battistelli published aplenty while the European media refuses to deal with the reality -- not paid-for illusions -- at the European Patent Office



  11. Links 20/6/2017: Chuwi Lapbook, Linux 4.12 RC6, Mesa 17.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. At the European Inventor Award Ceremony Benoît Battistelli Lied to a Lot of Scientists and “Media Partners” About the UPC

    The Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, still lives in a fantasy world or simply lies intentionally, which would be worse



  13. Contact Details for the EPO's Administrative Council Delegations

    List of Heads of Delegation and their E-mail addresses (used to be public information before Benoît Battistelli's oppressive regime or coup)



  14. Don't Forget to Vote for EPO Strike This Week (Thursday)

    A reminder that there's a vote on a strike at the European Patent Office later this week, giving an opportunity to rebut the "vocal minority" myth which Benoît Battistelli likes to spread



  15. European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines: Motivation and Impact of Leaks

    Advice on when to leak and what to leak for the desired effect, which is reformatory (though transparency and accountability)



  16. Links 18/6/2017: New Debian Release, Catchup With a Lot of News

    Links for the day



  17. Appalling Press Coverage Regarding the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    How the media has lied (and keeps lying) about the UPC, which the European public neither needs nor wants, putting aside serious constitutional issues that are associated with the UPC



  18. The Writings on the Wall at the European Patent Office: Number of Directors May Soon Decline From 150 to Just 65-70

    Battistelli is seizing more direct and indirect control over the European Patent Office (EPO), which is supposed to eject him with a proposal for replacement already formally prepared for publication



  19. European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines

    The first part of a series which offers tips for sending us material/evidence, specifically from the European Patent Office (EPO)



  20. General Consultative Committee of the EPO Warns About Battistelli's Plans

    The General Consultative Committee (GCC) issues a long document (176 pages) which explains to the overseer of the Office how internal rule changes make things even worse



  21. Links 16/6/2017: New Atom Release, Firefox 55 Beta

    Links for the day



  22. Leaked: European Patent Office Still Uses Microsoft Windows XP... in 2017

    The EPO continues to rely on inherently insecure (by design) platforms and Mr. Kraft, Battistelli's CIO, bragged that the actions of the Office "prevented any damage to the EPO and its reputation"



  23. Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Start “Real Soon” Now... Said Team UPC For So Many Years

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is going nowhere fast, but those who spent time and money promoting it for self gain continue to lie to the press with overly optimistic predictions, unrealistic timelines, and Kool-Aid about the supposed 'benefits' of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  24. EPO Management Wastes Millions of Euros on a Silly, Gratuitous, Self-Serving Festival While EPO Staff is Planning Another Strike

    Unrest at the European Patent Office (EPO) is growing again, with plans of a strike resulting in a formal vote for a strike next week



  25. Links 15/6/2017: Mir 0.26.3, FreeNAS 11.0

    Links for the day



  26. Software Patents in Europe Are Still Promoted by the EPO, Even in Defiance of the Ban

    The European Patent Office continues to ignore the directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, which had software patents disallowed with an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes at the European Parliament



  27. Leaked: Job Advertisement for Removing Battistelli From the European Patent Office

    In spite of rumours that Benoît Battistelli would pursue elongation of his term, in clear defiance of the rules (again), paperwork is being put forth to replace him



  28. Links 14/6/2017: New BlackArch Linux ISO and Q4OS 1.8.6, Orion

    Links for the day



  29. Even UPC Proponents, Paid by the EPO's PR Firm, Admit That UPC May Never Happen

    Speculations are being floated regarding the cause of the impasse, which is going to result in a very long period of uncertainty and possibly the collapse of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) as it was envisioned by Michel Barnier, Benoît Battistelli and other opportunists



  30. Caricature: Balance of Justice at the European Patent Office

    Balance of justice under Battistelli's regime isn't quite what the Office wants the public and the Dutch authorities to believe


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