January 04, 2013, 3:35 PM —
Photo by Dplanet:: on Flickr
Positioning yourself as the open alternative to Apple’s tightly controlled iOS environment for iPhones, iPads, and iPods can win you a lot of friends in the development community. Unfortunately for Google, some of those friends will suggest, on the first sign of change, that you’ve Gone Corporate and should just go ahead and move to a McMansion in the suburbs. Explaining why you’re making the change doesn’t do much good, either.
In this specific example, Google made some changes to the Terms and Conditions of their official Android software development kit (SDK). In particular, Google added this line in late 2012, according to PC World:
You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.
The response has been swift and relatively pointed on coder water cooler sites like Slashdot and Hacker News. A free and open version of Android and its SDK, Replicant, just updated itself to serve free-minded Android coders. There are, of course, trade-offs, such as not having access to the Android images released for developers by Google before each version actually launches.