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Google to charge for android license in EEA!

asked 2018-10-17 08:34:08 +0300

tortoisedoc gravatar image

updated 2018-10-20 10:36:44 +0300

This is quite a nasty move. What does this imply for Jolla? More devices? :)

EDIT: here we go, 40 BUCKS!

Do I have to say "told you so " :P

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Why is this a "nasty move"? People have wanted this for so long. It's at least a step in the right direction.

ossi1967 ( 2018-10-17 10:03:05 +0300 )edit

If by "people" you mean the 4 billion android phone users, then I think we are talking about tifferent things..

tortoisedoc ( 2018-10-17 11:52:22 +0300 )edit

@tortoisedoc the key issue here is that manufacturers that sell "Google-phones" (=phones that include the full range of Google services and applications that are not actually part of Android, but required by the current Google licensing scheme) are now allowed to also sell Android phones with a different set of services/apps. So companies like Samsung can keep selling their regular Android phones with everything on board that today's customers may expect, but try a second line of products in parallel that offers alternatives to Google's services. That was forbidden before, which led to the monopoly of closed source, proprietary services we see in the Android ecosystem. The fact that it was forbidden before was heavily criticized and that's why I wrote: People have wanted this for so long!

Now at least there's a chance that this may change. On the legal side, doors are open. As for the license fee: It's only money. And not even a lot of it.

ossi1967 ( 2018-10-20 15:32:31 +0300 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2018-10-17 11:21:57 +0300

coderus gravatar image

But Google is not licensing at all its services for devices not running Android OS, but having compatibility layer for it.

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yes in fact google charges (or plans to) device manufacturers who happen to make and sell android phones.

tortoisedoc ( 2018-10-17 21:33:04 +0300 )edit

answered 2018-10-17 09:05:23 +0300

DaveRo gravatar image

The paid license is for the Play Store and some Google apps, not for the Android OS. And there will be a free license for Chrome and Search.

Whether Jolla could negotiate a license for the Play Store on top of Alien would depend on Google. I doubt it - not worth Google's while for so few users. But possible.

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Yes, please negotiate so we can use the most massive spyware and adware system ever made on our phones. :) And not for free, we want to pay for it. (/sarcasm )

yomark ( 2018-10-17 09:53:18 +0300 )edit

I suppose it would more likely be Myriad who would want to negotiate such a license rather than Jolla, in which case it could be included in the Jolla licence. Hopefully optional - I need Android compatibility but I don't need the Play Store.

DaveRo ( 2018-10-17 10:50:28 +0300 )edit

It would be wonderful if there was an official way to install google play on Jolla. This move could make this possible: If Sailfish owners would pay for access, there would be one reason less for Google to block such folks.

Of course, odds are slim: Google also does not like those sticking with ancient (4.4) version of Android compatibility. (no references, sorry for that)

EDIT: Even if google play was spyware, Sailfish has a wonderful option to turn the Android compatibility and thus the play off at will.

kxq ( 2018-10-18 13:19:09 +0300 )edit

answered 2018-10-18 13:46:37 +0300

saja gravatar image

updated 2018-10-18 13:50:15 +0300

Well, i believe there will be no too obvious benefit for Jolla and Sailfish. But it may lead to more non Google-Android forks installed by manufacturers. (thinking of amazon fire devices e.g.).
Apps are increasingly using play service apis instead of aosp apis what makes the play service (google, closed source) neccessary for running those apps. Thats one reason, why some (even many) android apps do not work (properly) on Jolla Sailfish.
Having more non Google-Andriod devices out there, developers might change their behaviour and move to using aosp apis again what would be of great benefit for Jolla Sailfish as even more apps would work with Sailfish OS.

To be honest i doubt Google will demand significant fees. They need to do _something_ but they surely will not want to loosen their grip on the handset os market. ;)

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answered 2018-10-20 11:18:23 +0300

Federico gravatar image

As far as I understand, the only Sailfish phone that ships with Play Store installed was the Aqua Fish (I don't know about the ones for the South American market, but I guess they may have it, too). So for Sailfish X and any other future project nothing would change.

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answered 2018-10-17 11:13:55 +0300

L_A_G gravatar image

Not sure if this is all that relevant to Jolla... Google obviously still won't license the closed and proprietary parts of Android to any maker of alternative OSs seeing how ensuring control over the Android ecosystem was the reason they made big chunks of the OS proprietary in the first place.

Depending on how this license fee is imposed and how big it's going to be it could end up beneficial to Jolla. If it's a per-device fee some larger manufacturers, who will end up having to pay large sums, may start selling devices without the proprietary bits, thus decentivizing app developers from having their apps rely on these pieces. However if it's a per-vendor fee it will incentivize small vendors to drop those proprietary bits, which in turn will have a similar effect on app developers, albeit a more limited one.

Then there's also the possibility, albeit a limited one, that vendors may be pushed to licensing SailfishOS for their devices if they think the fees from licensing the proprietary bits combined with the patent licensing fees to Microsoft for things like exFAT compatibility are too much. I do however consider this to be a "the straw that broke the camel's back" kind of thing if any vendors chose to license SailfishOS because of this.

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Asked: 2018-10-17 08:34:08 +0300

Seen: 1,652 times

Last updated: Oct 20 '18