Google’s Android mobile operating system has emerged to become a dominant force in the smartphone landscape. Sitting at the core of Android is Linux as well as a long list of open-source technologies. Many people mistakenly think that Android itself is all open source, but the harsh reality is that from a usable handset perspective, it’s not always open source and an incident this week proved that fact beyond any shadow of a doubt.
You see, there is Google Android, the project that Google builds and shares with its handset partners, then there is the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The two are not exactly the same. One of them includes proprietary technologies that are not available as open source (guess which one?).
Jean-Baptiste Quéru, the maintainer of AOSP abruptly quit his post this week, throwing into question the viability of Android as an open-source effort.