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We were surprised to read Alibaba Group's chief strategy officer Zeng Ming's quote "We want to be the Android of China" when in fact the Aliyun OS incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android.  

Based on our analysis of the apps available at http://apps.aliyun.com, the platform tries to, but does not succeed in being compatible.

It's easy to be Android compatible, the OHA supplies all the tools and details on how to do it.  Check out this blog post that explains how we think about compatibility and how it relates to the ecosystem we worked hard to build:

http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/
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138 comments
 
So I guess Samsung won't be forking anytime soon
 
And this is the reason I think the Android name should be enforced with the trademark, the same way Firefox its trademarked but still open-source. If a device doesn't pass the test suite it shouldn't be called Android
 
Unexpected turn of events. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long term.
 
As a Chinese, I don't support Aliyun OS.
 
+Morrison Chang yes I know but I don't see references about the need to pass the test suite in order to be able to use the trademark
 
There's a lot of copycats in China. Good luck spreading Android there without getting forked, you'll need it.
 
Goofucius say ... It's not that one forks but how far one forks will determine their destiny ...
 
Most American companies that go to China seem to get forked.
 
I've seen a lot of FUD over this issue, thanks for making things clear.
 
As a Chinese,I will never buy that Ali-shit !
 
Amazon is not part of OHA and is using Android without any Google services. Would be interesting to know what's Google official stance on that? Long live unadulterated Google Android!!!
 
True. Nexus 7 is awesome and probably the first pure Google device which has caught consumer attention. It would be great if Google could also get nexus phones to be popular with consumers besides the more tech savvy users. If everyone used nexus devices they would have an even better Android experience but I guess Android is all about openness.
 
Forks are a natural part of an ecosystem and open source projects better be prepared to handle them. In this case obviously Google has thought about the controls in needed to avoid "dangerous" forks. However since this is the first time we publicly see such a reaction from Google, this leads me to believe there is more to this story than what we're told. What makes Aliyun more dangerous than Ophone, or Amazon, or Barnes and Noble ?
 
+Gaurav Kumar I'm hoping that Google could partner up with HTC for the next Nexus device. It could really save the company. Or, partnering up with Sony would be great too since their designers are really talented on the other side of the Apple gate. Since the Nexus One, the Nexus series proved itself to be more than phones for nerds.
 
I think Android's potential in China and India is huge...
 
That's true. In US where Google is selling unlocked nexus of which I am a proud owner has limited reach due to carriers being too powerful. Google should sell unlocked devices in other countries as well to see better results with nexus phones.
 
+Gaurav Kumar If you're not in the OHA, then do whatever you want with +Android (like +Amazon.com does w/ the Fire) as long as you don't pretend it's Android©.

+Robert Marcano the use of the Android© trademark does require +Google approval and every single device sold with the Android© trademark has passed the compatibility test suite.
 
"Open" and "closed" seem to be relative terms. 
 
This is awesome Andy. Thanks for clearing this up. Android is awesome! (A Google fanboi since Jan 12 2010 and proud owner of a Galaxy Nexus.)
 
+Mathieu Méa I guess being Open Sourced has some disadvantages as well that companies like Amazon can just take it without giving due credit. I wonder how free licensing for careers instead of open source would have been for +Android 
 
I'm glad to hear an official statement and that's what makes Google/Android awesome, you do care for us. This is precisely why I follow +Andy Rubin for. And I agree, for an OHA partner to back a fork of this nature is not ok. But I guess they got the message since they did pull out.
 
+Gaurav Kumar Google is making money from ads when you're browsing on the web: it doesn't matter what operating system you're using.
 
Amazon did not Fork Android.. They are using ICS on their latest products. They have stripped out the Google services and put their own Skin (UI) on top of ICS. 
 
+Tau-Mu Yi yes, obviously only OHA partners would be elligible for building a Nexus, but I don't think that's an indication of Acer being the one. To address +Jim Avila as well, for Acer to lose OHA member status is a hard choice. Surely they can choose to back Alibaba but knowing that it'd cost them so much?
 
+Mathieu Méa its true Google makes money of adds but its also true that now they are very much focused on the entire Android platform from the play store to user experience. It would not hurt them to make money of hardware as well which they should especially now that they have Motorola.
 
+Mike Minor since you seem knowledgeable on the matter, stripping google apps doesn't make the device a non licensed Android? I was under the impression that it did.
 
I think +Tsz Ming Wong 's comment makes sense. Look at his link - that's not the real Angry Birds - it might be pirated! I think Mr. Rubin was being politely diplomatic when he said "Based on our analysis of the apps ... the platform tries to, but does not succeed in being compatible." I wish someone would do a more detailed analysis of Aliyun's OS and its App Store, I smell something really fishy going on there.
 
+Gaurav Kumar wouldn't it also be interesting to see them licensing actual physical "Play Stores"? ;)
 
+Fabian Pineda No it does not. The Android OS is a Mobile Linux Kernel. It is my understanding that Google specific services are not critical or directly tied into the Kernel as such, they are add-ons and apps, which can be separated from the ASOP. If you do not get Android license (certification) from Google, for certain hardware and app compliance, then any device made using a not compliant Android OS based distribution may not access the Google Play Store at all.

That is the extent of the Control that Google can wield here over the use of the OS. Amazon said fine, because they built  their own closed eco-system and services. The problem for Google here, is that they are shut out of the Ad space on these devices. (i.e. no ad revenues can be made by Google). Google's response, was to build their own competitive device for that market space. 

Tthe Android Linux Kernel can not (should not) be forked, as there is no Open Source license to allow anyone to do that, that I am aware of. Google strictly controls that for obvious reasons. And the Linux Foundation frowns on any Linux kernel forks, just ask Google!  (Android itself was a Linux Kernel fork, for a while and it was pretty ugly going there!  All is well now though)
 
Yeah... a version of Android that isn't compatible with Android apps is the last thing we need.

I think this was a good step for Android as a whole. Next step: get the Play Store into China.
 
+Simon Pasieka The Kindle OS and Nook OS still run Android Apps, right? From the post it sounds like the Aliyun was not compatible
 
Thanks for the clarification +Mike Minor I appreciate it! So basically, anyone can make an Android device so long as they don't fork but in order to access Play and Gapps they have to get a sort of clearance from Google. Right? Did I get it?
 
Goophone I5 really got everyone stirred up didn't they!
 
Google already forked the Linux kernel and with this move they look like dictators. No one will mess up with SystemClock.sleep(), what's the big deal?

Why is Google the only one who can fork other's projects?
 
I always call my android as andy:)
 
Thank you for explaining it to the illiterate duck. Damn you autocorrect.
 
Big deal... Android is derived from Linux if I'm not mistaken.
 
+Fabian Pineda and +Mike Minor, that reasoning is flawed. Amazon's latest FireOS is an ICS fork in and of itself. Android is the linux distrubution around the current Linux kernel used inside Android. Android is not the kernel.

Also, anyone can fork the kernel.
 
There are dozens of so called "third-party Android app stores" in China, most of which are full of those kind of apps we see in +Tsz Ming Wong 's comment. Many of these apps are even malicious. The absence of official Google Play store in China contributes a great deal to this chaos of piracy and even cellphone virus in the Android ecosystem in China.
 
but Aliyun is not "derived from Android" - it's just Linux-based, so it's not a valid argument for apparently pressuring Acer not to launch this phone.

Also, where does this leave China's Baidu, which has its own fork of Android? Will you now lean on Baidu's hardware partners, such as Dell (see: http://www.techinasia.com/dell-baidu-yi/), to stop the Baidu-Dell phones?

[edited: 1 typo]
 
+Steven Millward did you even read Andy's actual post? It seems AliyunOS is actually derived from Android. Which makes it a fork.
 
+Renaud Lepage remember Android is not a linux distro. Android runs atop the dalvik layer which runs on top of the linux layer. That said, I'm not really sure about what dev path amazon took so I cannot refute that other part.
 
+Fabian Pineda technically, Android is a distribution, as Debian is. What differs between distributions is the "tooling", what the user can actually use. Dalvik is a system on top of the Linux kernel, and major blocks of Android are running under Dalvik, which makes the User Interface itself nothing more than one tool amongst others, with bits and pieces coded outside of dalvik; daemons, little service programs that always run, come to mind.

In the end, Android is one distribution amongst many. A very novel and different distribution, maybe, but a distribution nonetheless.
 
+Renaud Lepage but it's compatible with Android apps. I assume it's a fork in the sense that it does away with Google play, maps, YouTube etc. Surely not more than this?
 
+Franklin Nwankwo sadly, it is more than this. Amazon has modified bits and pieces of the Core Android, changed dalvik, and (deities) knows what else in the tooling. The new FireOS is a full fork. One line of code changed in the DalvikVM can make it a fork, if it's in a really bad place.

And it's probably not compatible with all Android apps. It's got a totally different App Store, how long before apps that use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces, the stuff that makes the system do things for your app) that are unique to FireOS?
 
You answer yourself with that link: "We have a large dedicated team that customizes Android and that’s what you see on the Kindle Fire." No one save for Amazon knows how extensively they modified the "Base OS layer". I cannot give any proof because I don't have access to the actual code of FireOS, unlike Android.
 
amazon is brilliant!They will be the only one successful with Android Fork 
 
Amazon ecosystem has as much fan base as google has....
So Google will never attempt  to ire people
 
I don't believe Amazon can last long competing with other 7" tabs. Specially not if the so rumored smaller apple tablet comes out and with newer Nexus Tablets
 
+Renaud Lepage Android is a modification to the base Linux Kernel, specifically for Mobile devices. It is a Kernel it'self AND the wrappers needed to complete the OS as an OS. 

I see that the definition of a "Fork" is being loosely applied, were it comes to the Amazon implementation of Android Versus the Google implementation of the ASOP. So I seek to draw a distinction and clarification.  

From what I have seen and read, as long as the Android "enhanced" Linux kernel is not directly modified (Forked) for distribution, then licensees are in compliance with the GNU and the Apache Open Source licenses for Android. Any actual Linux Kernel changes (not the Android modified Linux Kernel) are to be submitted back to the Linux Foundation for standardization and potential inclusion into the next possible distribution, the source of which must be published as Open Source, this being similar to the OHA that Google set up. This OHA is the Google official method that OEMs have to submit their changes or enhancements to the Android Linux Kernel and to the final Google approved ASOP distribution.  

To simply take and modify device drivers and/or strip out the Google specific APIs and APKs, is what most OEMs do today.  Is that really a "Fork" of the Android OS itself? Not in my book. No more than any distribution of Linux out there is a "Fork" of Foundation's Kernel.

 I think that we may be splitting hairs, on the use of the work Fork here. By your definition, every implementation of ICS or JB, by a given OEM, is a Fork of the released Google ASOP. That is not to be confused with a "Fork" of the Android Linux Kernel itself, to which I see as the only real "Forking" going on, in this particular case with Alibaba.  
 
+Franklin Nwankwo it includes it, because the Dalvik VM is a core part of the system. What's unknown is how extensively they might have modified it (or maybe not even modified it, who knows?) to suit the needs of their ecosystem and their style and optimisations. Perhaps they just modified the app framework? Or the User Interface layer? Or how the VM manages Garbage Collection? No one save Amazon knows right now.
 
To extend on my previous post. A 3G data capable Nexus 7 would extinguish Amazon to a level not dissimilar to what they did to RIM.
 
Amazon's ICS implementation runs standard Android apps, just the ones that they are hosting and have allegedly certified. I do not believe that the Dalvik VM has been changed at all on their current Android ICS based distribution. If so, there could be some app performance or compatibility issues.  
 
+Mike Minor I am so sorry, but there's errors in your interpretation.

1) Android is the complete system in and of itself. In "olden" times (relative to Android's age), there was a patch set that had to be applied to the Linux kernel, but that's being folded back. Android is not only the patchset, nor is it all in the kernel. Linux is only the kernel, whereas RedHat, Slackware, Debian, Ubuntu and, evidently (under my reasoning), Android, are groups of tools around the Kernel.

2) A "fork" in and of itself happens when one takes some working code and splits it off into "his" application/structure/OS, without wanting links to the "parent project". Anyone can actually fork the Linux kernel. To an extent, Android had effectively "forked" the Linux Kernel until the re-acceptance process began.

3) Technically, yes, all the major OEM Android "readaptations" are forks in and of themselves. What separates those "forks" from Aliyun's Fork is that they pass the Acceptance tests, and are labled as Android versions instead of forks. Like Ubuntu being a Debian derivative, Kubuntu being a Ubuntu derivative, Xubuntu a Ubuntu derivative also, and so forth.
 
+Mike Minor who knows if there aren't compatibility issues? Who knows if the incompatible APKs are being kept off the Amazon Appstore? Who knows if Amazon is readying an SDK with ways to use the system that are not in Mainline Android (the original, Google-developed branch)? Amazon CAN, and inevitably will, do that.
 
1) Semantics, as any distribution of Linux is considered to be a Linux Kernel and it's associated wrappers + drivers+APIs, etc., which provide specific functionality, for that specific OS distribution. Android is it's specific OS distribution of that core Linux Kernel. Some parts of what the Android team have developed have been put into the general Linux distribution as well. Thus the De-Forking of the Linux Kernel when that agreed to happen. One Kernel for All  - ;-)

2) Agreed on the base definition of "fork". Primarily, we are discussing the definition of "fork" as it is applied here, not so much the various OEM distributions of the Android OS, which apparently was at deeper level than just at the API, UI and Device Driver/levels. This is where some get confused.

A kernel that is not modified, at the Kernel level, has not actually been forked despite whatever cosmetic changes are done by end users, on top of that Kernel. To call the entire distribution a "fork" does not fit the definitions, that I am familiar with. Core functionality would/should not change. The collective whole Kernel + APIs, wrappers/drivers/etc. is what I refer as the OS distribution. Effectively the same engine, different seats, interior and exterior body work. In the analogy, it is not a "Fork" of a base car to me. It is a different model with different features but the same engine and drive train. 

3) As I said, I think that we are spitting hairs, because I see the Kernel as The System not the various OS distributions. So as long as core remains the same then the core functionality of the distributions will be the same and will function consistently across all compliant distributions. The basis for any good OS that expects to have a wide distribution base and supportive application developers.

Gonna have to agree to disagree on the use of the term "fork" in these contexts. I am old school, and Kernels are sacred to me. I am certain that Linus feels the same.
 
+Renaud Lepage Amazon knows...  They also know know the Android developer community. They know that they can not really expect to push them too far to develop for Base Android (2.x & 4.x), Potentially iOS and WP8 and now Amazon (Android based) OS.. Why do that? I see no need to take thing further then they have already.

Amazon is not a "Software company," they are a merchant and a re-seller, who is leveraging Android to help (only) them tailor their products to sell various content, good and services, though their estore fronts. Does this mean that they need to effectively build a ground up system or can they just take a ready made system (Android ICS in this case), strip it down to its functional base and slap a new eco-system specific UI on top with hardware specific drivers, (all on the cheap BTW), and get to market very quickly and stay within the Apache License guidelines? 
 
+Andy Rubin What about the version of Android that Amazon use for their Kindle? Surely that's also incompatible?
 
Im surprised no one mentions MIUI in regards to this discussion. It is a fork of android developed to improve the experience of Chinese users.

MIUI is currently based off CyanogenMod 9, which to me is a fork of Android 4.x. MIUI is built by Xiaomi, which also builds their own hardware.

I'm curious to hear a stance from Google on projects like this, which I see as beneficial to the Android ecosystem. Should a company like Acer come along and start building phones and installing MIUI as the base OS, for the Chinese market, what would Google choose to do in that particular case.
 
阿里太无耻了,Google做得好
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Shame on Alibaba, just cooperate with Acer to pre-install your apps then voila, why want to mess with Android =.=''
 
+Renaud Lepage but on whose evidence is that the case? Andy gives no proof of Android source code in Aliyun, and Alibaba insists it's a from scratch OS that they worked on for years before it launched last summer. I want to see some evidence. without it, it might appear that Google is just bitching about the fact that it can run some Android apps non-natively, and that its app store is full of Android apps. but that doesn't make it a "non-compatible" fork.
 
Dont mess with android...or end up with  google plus's  trend list just like apple!
 
Who wants miui to open its source..if they are using a linux kernel they need to send these source to aosp
 
A really big man will neigther crush a worm, nor will he bow before a king. Just let them create whatever they want, or act like Microsoft in the 90s and sue them....
 
mutiny will not be tolerated ..
 
Alibaba should be ashamed of what they did. But, when will Google allow developers from China to register as Android developer? Some of us don't deserve to be kept away from Google Play.
 
I don't know why those people keep talking about miui. Miui doesn't ruin android ecosystem :/
The problem is about compatibility and ecosystem, not the os that derived from android open source itself, isn't it?
Even though it is not one of OHA, it is no problem to make and sell devices with its own version android and doesn't have to make its source open, under the apache license.

 
It surprised me that Acer as an OHA member didn't realize this compatibility issue. Either that or they just want to grab that huge Chinese's market quickly out of greediness. They should first consult OHA or Google and pressure Alibaba for compatibility. Alibaba fork is a bad path for android and should not be encouraged or allowed at all cost.
 
Users (and developers) will immediately benefit from the single app store (Play store). Otherwise, Every single developer has to tinker apps for each store. As a developer, I believe its painful to push android apps separately to amazon, Play store. I dont want another.
Ridiculous why they want to go away from a well built system.
 
In China you can't buy or even see any paid app in Google Play store. It's Google not GFW blocked the IP address. Blocking the comsumers who wants to pay is your strategy of ecosystem? As long as your suck Google Play store doesn't support China Market to pay Aliyun OS will WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 
Well, even then I look on amazon I think you should make system sunction for OS to restore vanila Androd in any device. It can be usefull even for users who bought SGSIII but dont likes TouchViz, for examle. 
 
+Yunbo wei
that's totally bullshit coz if u want create a brand new market in china, u need to deal with the fucking Chinese government.
in addition, as a result of google quit from China,for some shit policy. google actually can not sell things to China without governments permission.

so that's why google block Chinas market.do not blame google, go fuck the chinese government if u want 
 
and Aliyun OS is also based on android system,or like they said, it based on linux, so where is the source code?

 
+Raistlin Kpp  Maybe u r right, but what about Google don't allow ALL developers from China to register as Android developers? That's unreasonable cause I do follow the rule of Android ecosystem just as developers from other countries. And Apple actually can do these in China. Don't get it wrong, I definitely prefer Android over iOS, but I can't upload apps to contribute also to make a living, that drives me crazy.
 
what about Haier?
they are Handset Manufacturers in the OHA
and have the zing handset with alibaba aliyun os?
what is different?
 
+Andy Rubin Wth a name like Alibaba .. it is expected.. There are also 40 more associates to worry about like Amazon and others. Certain services should be "unremovable" in Android and thereby making those services delivered without compromise. Use you cloud and servers to deliver constant experiential upgrades only possible if devices have standard set of service enablers installed.. Surely Google has a fix for this..
 
LOL Chinese are joke when it comes to tech
 
"It's easy to be Android compatible, the OHA supplies all the tools and details on how to do it." Oracle also provided the tools, remember the trial Andy? This so bloody ironic, it's funny.
 
+João Sousa you either grossly misunderstand the issues you're referring to or you're trolling on purpose. Hard to tell.
 
Google isn't preventing anyone from forking Android. They are just enforcing the rules of being in the Open Handset Alliance, which states that members can't release devices that are based on Android but not Google certified. Note that Amazon is not a member so it is ok for them to release a non certified Android based OS. Members are not banned from supporting other OSes that are not trying to be Android compatible (ie WP8). All Google was telling Acer was that they needed to choose if they wanted to remain in the OHA by following the rules or drop out by supporting the non-compatible Alibaba Android fork. It is Acer's decision.
 
Something that might help Android in China is to allow for Chinese language listing details in Google Play's developer console.  Right now it has Taiwanese Mandarin, which less than 20 million people speak, but not Standard Chinese, which about 700 million people in the PRC can speak.  I know a version 2 console is coming soon, hopefully it will have that functionality.
 
The big question in my mind that I cannot seem to find a straight answer on is whether or not they actually used any Android, AOSP or porting/compatibility toolkit code in the development of their OS.  If they did, this makes total sense.  If they didn't, I don't see how it's much different from the "clean room" implementation of Java that appears in Android itself.  It seems the people on the Google side insinuate but do not declare unequivocally that Aliyun contains AOSP/Android code.  The people on the Alibaba side declare unequivocally that Aliyun does not contain any Android code, but curiously make no mention of a true "clean room" implementation.  All of that aside, if someone builds a "clean room" Android emulation layer for WP8 or Meego, are OHA members prohibited from selling devices based on those OSes?  Does it have more to do with the name "Android", binary compatibility or use of Android source in other products?  The whole issue seems quite murky and I suspect some clarification (which is probably on the way) might be helpful. 
 
Hi Andy;  I've put up a longer comment about this (https://plus.google.com/u/0/103363032720099694411/posts/dbLKa87x4zz);  that by choosing to use the Apache license you sent out a clear signal that this was okay.   The OHA thing seems to me a red herring since any large piece software developed nowadays will share some but not all code with Android.  Do you have a clear open definition of what you mean by a compatible OS that you want to limit?
 
Wouldn't Acer become an "accessory to the crime" of copyright violations if it put Aliyun OS on its smartphone and if Aliyun's app store was indeed hosting pirated apps (which the Android Police article provides proof of?) IANAL, just asking.
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Isn't this the same issue as android creating their own java fork?
 
The issue isn't with the Android (non-compatible) forking done by Aliyun or anyone else, it's the fact that Acer is a signatory to the OHA which means they can't partner with anyone who uses a "fragmented" version of android that isn't compatible with existing android apps and ecosystem. The Googler OP above tested the apps found on the Aliyun store and found them to be incompatible with official Android distributions.

Anyone can build a phone to use Android, they just can't slap the "Android" name on it. Which is what Amazon did and is still free to do.
 
forking is a normal part of open source life. I would like to know what Aliyun strategy and goals are. If they want to do things their way, why not? Acer does have a right to enter deals to create smartphones for other platforms. They build smartphones using Windows mobile. Anyone has a right to fork Android as long as it's license is GPL. I have serious doubts about why Google is doing what it is doing, which is forcing Acer to cancel a launch event of a smartphone using the Aliyun  platform.
 
+Don Crowley You obviously have not gotten the full facts in the entire deal. Most (if not all) of the major Android smartphone makers are signatories to the OHA with Google, they've legally bound themselves to not use "fragmented" Android forks. It's legally binding. They all signed the agreement. 

Aliyun, while based on Android, is not compatible with apps from Google Play and vice versa with mainstream Android and Aliyun apps. This creates a huge potential issue, because users think they're getting the official Android when they're actually getting a subpar OS clone that isn't compatible with the apps that they've already bought.
This, along with the legally binding agreement Acer agreed to, is the reason why Google is blocking Acer from using Aliyun.

They're not preventing anyone from using rival OS software for their smartphones (Windows Phone for example, which Samsung is already doing). They're just legally obligated to refrain from using forks that fragment the system further BECAUSE they're part of the OHA which exists to manage and prevent Android fragmentation. They could do this, but it would mean the loss of early access to future versions of Android,  Android name usage, and access to the Google Play store.

Anyone who isn't part of the OHA is free to fork whatever Android version they want. That's the beauty of it. That's why Amazon is free to create their own fork of Android 4.0 for the new Kindle Fires.
 
I'm not trying to be racist here (I'm part Chinese fyi) but judging from how Aliyun flip-flopped on their claims (their OS was not based on Android, but their own batch derived from Linux when apparently it's identical to Android itself and "reportedly runs Android apps or clones of them".

C'mon let's face the facts here. The Chinese from China aren't exactly known for originality. They've even got an iPhone 5 clone floating around along with clones of all the major smartphones. How about all the Twitter and Facebook clones? If you can't beat them, just block access to them and create your own homegrown ones. That's the Chinese business ethic.
 
if they can't use forks of Android then Android is not GPL imo and then Android has issues with the open source community
 
As I understand it, Android is whatever Google certifies as being Android. to be certified a device has to pass the Android test suite. As far as I know, all devices which have passed the Android test suite have used an operating system derived from the AOSP release (this is the publicly available release that you can download from the net). It would be interesting to see what Google would do if a company wrote an operating system from scratch to pass the Android test suite. I imagine Google wouldn't have a problem with it.

Getting certified as Android gives the device access to the Google play store and the Google applications.

Everybody is quite free to fork Android but if the resulting fork is not compatible, the device will not have access to Google Play nor will it officially have the Google applications.

If a manufacturer becomes a member of the OHA (open handset alliance) they get certain benefits. These appear to be early access to Android code and assistance and support, though I imagine the exact terms differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. One of the conditions of being a member of the OHA is that a manufacturer may not release devices using a version of Android which does not pass the compatibility tests. Penalty can include ejection from the OHA.

It is unclear if a manufacturer who is not a member of the OHA can have compatible devices certified by Google while also manufacturing incompatible devices. As far as I know, this has never happened.

The above is my understanding of the current situation and is quite possibly hopelessly wrong.
 
For what's it's worth, Google Play is not available in China.  Google choose to mostly retreat out of the Chinese market after the 2010 clash between the censors and Google, and that included that Google Play is not available.

So Chinese handset and tablet makers usually chose to make their own shop.  They don't always have the experience and know-how to make this perfect, and they don't bother about copyrights and trademarks, because these things are mostly unenforceable in China (even when there is a law).  That's just how it is in China.

And +Andy Rubin is actually wrong that OHA members really "comply" - not in the way I as customer/programmer like them to provide compatibility with Android.  IMHO, their constant failure to upgrade the software on a particular device does no good to the Android platform.  Android is not only fragmented into lots of devices with different hardware capabilities (that's what you expect from an open system), it is also fragmented by different versions and users being unable to upgrade.

So my suggestion is:

a) force OHA members to upgrade regularly or take their Android certificate away

b) develop new Android versions "in the open" so that handset makers  actually can make upgrades timely (following the Open Source mantra: release early, release often)

c) Stop bitching around about China's censorship.  China's censorship is to be solved by the Chinese people themselves, not by an US company.  I'm all for power to the people, but they have to stand up for their rights themselves.
 
Nomen est omen:
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
 
+Bernd Paysan I don't really think it's because they don't want to upgrade their older devices, it's just that their hardware is outdated and can't handle the newer derivatives of Android. 256mb ram isn't going to be enough for ICS let alone Jelly Bean. I don't think any of the older (6+ months) lower end Android phones are ever going past Honeycomb.
 
As a developer, I often wonder if the test suite is good enough to avoid incompatibility. I've run into several incompatibilities with devices from about every major manufacturer. Settings that can't be saved, Apps that can't be installed or updated, media channel becoming louder(!) when notifications were played, themes that override app settings (background=... is ignored) or let it crash (on Sony devices, the image ressource id of the big scroll handle conflicts with apps with many ressources), AudioEffects only working randomly or causing stutter, MediaPlayer.play() resetting the position, and so on. And with my comparatively simple music player I'm just scratching the surface. I wonder what incompatibilites companies like Gameloft have to struggle with...
Maybe it'd be better if some code parts just aren't to be modified for the initial ROMs (it's a different thing for Custom ROMs the user installs - they know there can be issues). And as a side effect, maybe fixing security holes with partial updates directly from Google (similar to the Play Store updates) might become possible...
 
Stop weeping Andy
Android is still fucked up shit!
Example? I can't comment on maps flaws...
As with many Google "apps"

All is still in a "geek" state, but not what ordinary people would use.
Can't rename downloaded maps.

I start to be upset.
 
认真看了Andy Rubin的文章,作为曾经的Google技术和精神的粉丝,我和我身边的同事们深表遗憾和难过。在这里我们看到了一个不同的Google。那个当年坚持不作恶,坚持开放和自由竞争的Google变了!
在Andy Rubin的文章里,曾经开放的Android Open Source Project (AOSP)安卓已被Google重新定义成了需要Google许可的Google OS。
从Linux社区的贡献开始,安卓是全球无数技术自愿者共同努力开发的开放平台和心血。今天AOSP的安卓, 被Google变成了完全为自身利益服务的Google OS。
我们感谢Google当年创建了Android Open Source Project (AOSP),让开放的Android得到了快速的发展,可是谷歌却越来越把AOSP往封闭的方向带。OHA(开放手机联盟)变成了Google制约厂家创新的工具。
阿里云作为安卓开放技术的支持者和热爱者,我们不愿意也决不会破坏开放安卓的生态系统,我们更是要捍卫开放安卓生态系统的开放性和自由竞争的初衷。我们为此做出了大量努力,希望能为安卓的开发者们提供更多的展示平台。
我们有责任和义务和开发者一起努力去完善开放的安卓,但我们没有责任和义务去保障Google OS现有的和未来的利益。
我们也希望这世界多一个与Google OS不同的操作系统,让用户多些选择。
很遗憾,在未来的发展方向上,阿里云操作系统与Google OS会有竞争和冲突,但这正是我们所有坚持开放思想的奋斗者努力的方向和结果。我们一定还会坚持。
王坚
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剽窃了dalvik源码加入自己虚拟机,还硬说自己跟android没关系,阿里巴巴与四十大盗火拼后,自己也沦为大盗;既想依附于android生态系统,又不想自己跟android撤上关系,这可能吗;想多一个os不是这样干的,除非完全和android撇清关系,但事实上撇清关系后,你的os就是废品一个
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阿里巴巴的馬雲很是囂張,其實他只是被中國保護下的土霸子,遊不出世界的
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+Yen-Siang Huang what do you mean? you don't think Aliyun will be used outside China? Or Jack Ma cannot be be a global figure?
 
+Andy Rubin here are some pretty good insights for the kind of mistakes you guys made with Android tablets. You wasted 2 years in the tablet market, no taking it very seriously, when you could've established a much stronger foothold to deflect Microsoft's entrance in the tablet market. You always seem to be 2-3 steps behind in the tablet market. You need to seriously start encouraging developers to make tablet apps, and not just by laying the design guide out there. And you also need to start thinking more ahead. So far your tablet moves have been very reactive, and like a year after the fact. It's time to get forward thinking, or you'll lose the tablet market forever, and it might start affecting you in the phone market, too. If I were you I would also consider a tablet UI overhaul.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/14/androids-tablet-troubles
 
If they can provide the 18 months of updates that Android users were promised, then I'd gladly jump ship. Google's very own #MotoFAIL apparently can't even support devices for a year, let alone 18 months. 
 
Zeng might think it's good to have an android of China, but I don't like the idea.
 
In China, we have access to foreign sites via VPN proxy, and VPN settings but also set a password really cumbersome
 
UBuntu is claiming they'll have zero fragmentation on their mobile OS while Google's takeover of Motorola left me stranded on Gingerbread. 
ky z
 
you are right.and one year has passed, almost all of us are using android os,you are outstanding person
 
I saw the piece on PBS last night. I don't know how you program those computers to respond to the unexpected, but I know how learning capable animals do it. It's homeostasis. No we're not born knowing everything; we learn homeostats with behaviour controlled by triggers and a feedback system. Check with me if interested. Dave
 
 thank you for your heartfelt words, I wish you good luck
 
我国的确在这方面落后于西方国家,但我国不缺乏研发这方面的
决心和技术。相信我国能够自主研发出os。
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