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Google's battle against Android Open Source

Oh, how far we've come... Just a few short years ago Google released Android, and with it a mission of Openness and year after year, the dream dies.

The famous tweet by Andy Rubin:

the definition of open: "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make"

has lost it's muster. Sure, you can do that, but just about any application you want to run will be crippled and any "standard" apps will not really be what you expect.

At this point nearly every essential app that was included in the Android Open Source Project has been replaced by closed source implementations relying on Google Services. This includes things that many people would take for granted... like dialer, camera, messenger, and email.

Up until recently, you could at least compile your own version of Android and install the closed source Google versions with relative ease, but Google has taken steps to ensure that others stop compiling their own versions of Android.

Enter Android Pay.

As Android Pay becomes integrated into more and more apps for purchases, it is becoming essential to add payment methods if you want to make convenient purchases. I relied heavily on Google Wallet for checkout in Android apps (as well as in stores), and the switch of apps over to Android Pay is troubling for one reason.

Android Pay refuses to add any payment methods on a device that has a custom version of Android. It must be a version shipped from an OEM. This means that users no longer can "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make" and then install their own "open" operating system and complete Android experience.

This is really eating away at all the reasons I switched to Android in the first place... I wonder how much longer I'll stay.

More reading about Google's shift to closed source:

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Sunset over the sugar beets. #America 

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It was a pleasure to organize the first ever #CMDevSummit2015! I think everyone had plenty of alcohol, fun, and we had some very productive sessions. Looking forward to a bright future for OSS.
We had a great weekend hosting +CyanogenMod contributors and discussing open source, community, and the future of CM. #CMDevSummit2015  
CM Dev Summit 2015
15 Photos - View album

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If you're not following Cyanogen on Instagram, check it out. We may be giving away some +CyanogenMod​ socks by popular demand :) 

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So next week the rest of the sweatshirts, stickers and bottle openers will get sent out. But here in the meantime, we have some really cool (I mean insanely awesome) tags we are going to give away just for following and sharing this post with the hashtag #SwagTag . Leave a comment here and tell us where you are placing the tag. Have fun and Monday I will pick winners.

Make sure to follow +CyanogenMod and feel free to share!

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Japanese train. Best train. The Shinkansen is one of those things where not living in Japan and having daily access to it I look at it as a modern day miracle. It is the epitome of the perfection, efficiency, and uniformity so valued in Japanese culture. 

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Cyanogen is hosting a community drink-up in Seattle! 

We want meet fellow developers, users, and enthusiasts to talk shop and get to know our community. Beers and appetizers will be on us.

Steve Kondik and a large number of Cyanogen and CyanogenMod team members will be present, including a number of contributors from out of town.

We'll be in the VIP area as you walk in on the right-hand side of the venue. Hope to see you there!

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It's a story of inevitability, one that is far from over. Over the last couple of years, a group of clever software developers have built an empire out of a free alternative to whatever version of Android came included on your phone. Many of those people have come together to form a… #android
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