Google licenses each version of Android according to a license agreement that is posted on the web when the OS is made available.
Yes, and that license is the standard open-source Apache license. Amazon used the Android OS, stripped out all the Google apps they didn't want, added their own in, and not only was it legal but Google said that the freedom for others to do with the OS what they wanted was precisely why they made it open-source in the first place.
I develop apps on the platform for a living, both for their monetised PlayStore and for projects Google will not (& cannot) make money from ever
. It's not like I'm new to this subject.
Each vendor locks down their phone in various ways...
So you have a problem with the actions of phone vendors
, not Google.
Removing standard functions that way is supposedly a violation that terminates the license to use the OS, and no one seems to know how or why it is being done in the US market and only in the US market. But, it is being done. Google of course has no comment on the matter, and no way to ask about it unless you mail them a letter.
I suggest you look into the license again. The Apache license in no way prohibits people from changing or removing functionality. The ability to alter it any way you want by definition
includes removing things you don't want. In giving everyone that freedom, it includes giving that freedom to vendors who want to make more money from their phones.
Just as one shouldn't mistake what Compaq, Dell, or Hewlett Packard package into their computers for being Microsoft's responsibility, one shouldn't be blaming Google for the fact the Verizon, Sony, etc package things onto their phones.
They're also less than transparent about other policy matters. If you want to back up your Google Contacts so you can use them offline on a PC? There's no mention of how to do that.
No mention is not the same as not being able to or, as you are implying, being forbidden from doing so for free. More importantly, Google cannot tell you how to do this on all phones because vendors can (& do) add their own contacts management applications to the device.
When the service/application is purely Google's (such as GMail), they freely provide the information you desire
. When the service/application is from a different vendor, it's up to them (not Google) to provide the information. I have a variety of devices on my desk here and the only ones that have the exact same Contacts application are the ones from the same phone vendor
Oh yeah, and the devices that Google itself makes/markets directly? They clearly tell you how to import, export, and share your contacts
But if you discuss that topic on gmail accounts, you'll mysteriously get a message inviting you to use Google TakeAway (TakeOut? whatever they are calling it) which allows for local archiving of all your Google online data, usually the next day!
You mean the free services that you were using were searched in accordance to the license agreement you voluntarily accepted in order to use them? Shock!
Of course you'd never need to store your contacts locally on a PC...but I found the online contacts were not available for a while the other day, the page could not be reached.
See my link earlier. If the contacts were stored solely in Google's GMail database or are on a device Google makes/markets - you have access to them. If they are stored in some other vendor
's application, you might want to complain to them about it... or just use one of the hundreds of free apps that can get it from the phone for you.
The "do no evil" guys have their own secret agendas. Ignore the man behind the curtain, at your own peril.
Absolutely. Of course, just because you believe someone to have a particular secret agenda doesn't mean they have it either.
More accurate to say it is ONE VENDOR'S IMPLEMENTATION of that technology, and that one vendor has a reputation for monetizing the hell out of everything they offer.
Yup, and that vendor has released a few devices now that don't popup advertisements in the middle of using applications you paid for. I use the NAVIONICS chart app on the Google Nexus. Guess what hasn't happened once
in the time I've been using it? That's right, no pop-up advertisements.
If they don't monetize this one, it can only mean ...no wait, it can't happen that way. If Mother Teresa and Saint George physically bound and gagged Sergei and beat him with rubber truncheons, he'd still find a way to monetize it.
You know how most companies monetize devices they sell? They make you pay for them at the time of purchase
. It's how Google monetizes their existing devices (though they do hope for, though cannot force, your use their monetized services). Do you think there is a chance they might do so with new ones... you know, just to shake things up?
I'm not saying Google are making Glass devices for the good of mankind or that they don't expect that selling it will drive people to use the services that they DO advertise through. What I'm saying is that the advertising that pays for the free services
you use is not a compulsory aspect of using Glass itself anymore than it is compulsory to see advertising on your PC just because you have an Internet connection.
If you choose
to use free services then, yeah, you'll probably get advertising as a consequence. If, like I have with NAVIONICS charts, you choose to use a purchased product, Google isn't going to be overlaying their advertising on that paid-for app. They don't now and, to my knowledge, I haven't seen an Android device that does.
The open-source Android OS for Glass is already available for folks to play with. Just like the open-source alternatives to the vendor Android distributions, there will be free versions for Glass as well.