9 Android - GNU/Linux Devices
Freedom is fundamental to our society. Open source, allowing anyone to freely view and learn our shared knowledge, gives us more than just freedom. Open source leads to a level of quality, assurance and innovation that is just not possible in a secretive, closed source, profit driven, world. Like GNU/Linux, on which it is based, Android demonstrates a society friendly alternative. With open source we can develop the very best solutions for all to benefit.
Open standards and open source are fundamental planks in ensuring our ongoing freedoms and our ability to share what we know with our friends and society so that we can better innovate and benefit everyone—and be society friendly.
Mobile telephones and smartphones, deploying closed standards with locked plans, provide a demonstration of how commercial interests can often result in our freedoms being eroded. Apple’s iPhone is an interesting example of how people can be locked into an ecosystem that ensures ongoing and easy profits for the manufacturer. All too often we pay expensively to be locked in to vendor’s ecosystem, as history has repeatedly demonstrated. The Vendor benefits and users are convinced that they also benefit. The truth is different.
Android is a GNU/Linux based mobile operating system. Like the original open source GNU/Linux based mobile telephone, the Neo1973, it can bring to the community an open source portable device that, often, you can own and control. The devices are based on the open source GNU/Linux operating system and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Anyone is allowed to write applications, and through a collaborative community, sharing the source code with each other, we can see some really innovative applications emerge for Android.
The Open Source is available through https://source.android.com/.
See Chapter 32 for developing apps for Android.
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