How does an open source system move towards closed source behind the “Android outage”

Not long ago, Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, publicly said that Huawei’s mobile phones were running out of chips. Recently, the United States “blackmailed” Huawei’s 38 subsidiaries to cut off Huawei’s channels for outsourcing chips. < p > < p > after Huawei was listed in the “entity list” by the United States last year, it could no longer use a series of Google services and applications. Although the temporary general license has been extended several times since then, it has also expired this month. < / P > < p > although Huawei responded that it would continue to update its mobile phone system even without Google play, it was still a sword of Damocles hanging over Huawei’s head, and Hongmeng system was once again highly anticipated. < / P > < p > in fact, “Android outage” is not a completely accurate statement. Because Android is open source, the U.S. government has no right to interfere, but Huawei will still be affected by Google’s restrictions. < / P > < p > this is because Google has been hollowing out the open source part of Android for many years, making this world’s largest mobile phone operating system step by step from open source to closed source. In 2007, two things happened, bringing smartphones into a new era. One is Apple’s release of the iPhone, and the other is the birth of Android. < p > < p > Google’s move is actually to combat the closed-source IOS system and use open-source systems to rapidly expand the scale of Android. Moreover, most of Android’s APIs support IOS system, which is very attractive to developers. < / P > < p > if Google doesn’t, we will have to accept a very terrible future, a world with no choice: the same person, one company, one mobile phone, one operator. < / P > < p > thanks to the open source strategy, the market share of Android system in 2010 has surpassed that of Nokia Symbian, which has dominated the mobile phone market for more than a decade, and has become the world’s largest smartphone operating system. However, the open source of Android is no longer an engine driving growth for Google, but a risk that cannot be ignored. < / P > < p > because of the open source license based on Android, other manufacturers can develop a new system based on Android source code to replace Android. Such examples are not rare in the open source world. < / P > < p > in addition, if Android follows the GPL license of the Linux kernel, it means that all changes to the source code must be open-source, which will make the hardware manufacturers who adopt Android have to disclose the source code of hardware drivers and applications, which is equivalent to making their core technology public. < / P > < p > so Google adopted another open source license, ASL, to circumvent this problem, because the ASL license stipulates that third parties can use source code freely and do not have to open source. < / P > < p > part of it is an Android open source project, which provides the basic framework code of Android. All manufacturers can obtain the above open source code for free. < / P > < p > the other part is Google mobile application service, which includes a series of applications and APIs including “Google three pieces”, while GMS is closed source. < / P > < p > If a mobile phone manufacturer wants to use GMS, in addition to passing Google’s hardware compatibility test, each mobile phone will also pay Google $0.75 license fee. < / P > < p > although AOSP does not belong to Google, and no one can remove a set of open-source systems from the shelves, Google can stop updating a large number of applications and APIs in AOSP, and transfer the upgraded version to the closed source GMS. < / P > < p > from search, music to SMS applications, Google gradually hollowed out the applications and APIs in AOSP and replaced them with those in GMS. The old version of AOSP applications and APIs will no longer be upgraded. After several versions, they will gradually look like chicken ribs. < / P > < p > in this way, although AOSP is still open-source, there is only one bottom shell left, and the core competitive parts are all in GMS. Google can also firmly control android with monopoly functions and maintain its influence on hardware manufacturers and developers. < / P > < p > originally, we thought Android was Linux in the mobile phone industry, but in fact, it is a windows that allows everyone to see the code, some people can modify the branch code, and only Google can modify the mainline code. < / P > < p > as mentioned above, only using AOSP and GMS at the same time is the full version of Android. If you use a castrated version of Android, what will happen? < / P > < p > for mobile phone manufacturers, this means the decline of product competitiveness. For example, if the iPhone cannot use wechat, its sales in China will be greatly affected. In Europe and the United States, if the mobile phone does not support youtube, Gmail, Google maps and other applications, most consumers can not accept it. < p > < p > since the United States announced Huawei’s ban on Google’s GMS service last year, Huawei’s overseas mobile phone sales have been falling. According to canalys, the overseas shipment of Huawei’s mobile phones fell by 27% in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. Yu Chengdong also once said: < / P > < p > due to the outage of Google GMS Android system, there are indeed loopholes in the consumer business mainly based on Huawei mobile phones. < / P > < p > of course, for most Chinese users, they have long been used to the Android system without Google services, and “Google family bucket” has also been replaced in China. But will our user experience not be affected by the lack of GMS? < / P > < p > for a long time in the past, Android phones in China have been criticized for being stuck and hot. A large part of the reason is that they can’t use GMS’s message push service. < / P > < p > no matter IOS or native Android system, there is a set of system specific message push service. The third-party software can push messages to users without starting, and the application does not need to run in the background for a long time, so the system will be more smooth. < / P > < p > however, the push platform of Android system in China basically depends on various manufacturers, because different manufacturers have different standards for system and application authority management. If you want to ensure that messages are pushed in a timely manner, the number of applications staying in the background will increase, which greatly increases the pressure of operation and storage. < / P > < p > the result is that it is easy to get stuck and consumes fast power. This is why some domestic mobile phones have increased their storage capacity to 8GB, but their fluency may not be as good as that of foreign 4GB Android phones. < / P > < p > in order to solve this problem, the Ministry of industry and information technology took the lead in establishing a unified push alliance to establish a unified standard for Android message push service in China. Huawei, Xiaomi, oppo, vivo, Samsung and other mainstream Android mobile phone manufacturers have joined in and gradually completed the adaptation. Recently, the unified push alliance tested the system level unified push channel on oppo find x2 pro, and the results showed that the standby time of mobile phones increased by 43%. < / P > < p > although the unified push standard in China has not yet been fully popularized, and there is still a certain gap between the experience and the native Android system, the experience of domestic android ecosystem may be greatly improved in the future. < p > < p > in order to deal with the crisis of Android’s supply cut-off, Huawei launched Huawei’s mobile service to replace GMS. Yu Chengdong also said that Hongmeng can be used on mobile phones at any time, and the migration can be completed in one or two days. < / P > < p > although Amazon’s kindle fire still uses the Android framework, it also introduces a set of services and applications to replace GMS, carrying its own products, including app stores, browsers and cloud storage applications. However, when Amazon tried to apply the same idea to mobile phones, it failed. In the end, Amazon had to cut off the fire phone business, and the $170 million investment was wasted. < / P > < p > in addition, OEM manufacturers cooperating with Google cannot produce devices that are not compatible with Android. Otherwise, Google has the right to revoke the manufacturer’s license to manufacture any Android device. < / P > < p > in 2012, when Acer cooperated with Alibaba to launch a smart phone equipped with alicloud OS, it received a warning from Google that if Acer uses the alicloud OS operating system, Google will terminate its cooperation and technical license with Android products, and the final press conference will be cancelled. This can be seen from the operating system tzen jointly developed by Samsung and Intel. It was originally expected by Samsung to “focus on the high-end mobile phone market”, but it has been difficult to attract developers to develop applications for this ecological environment. Now, tizen is mainly used in low-cost models occupied by Samsung in emerging markets, as well as smart watches, smart TVs and other devices. The difficulties encountered by these self-developed operating systems are also the problems that Hongmeng and other domestic operating systems will face in the future. Liu Peng, vice chairman and Secretary General of China open source software promotion alliance, once said that it may be more difficult to develop our own operating system than to build one. < p > < p > in 1985, Richard Stallman, a programmer in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of MIT, proposed the concept of free software. To develop a set of operating system, compiler GCC and other well-known open-source tools, such as GCC, which can be used freely, were created by Richard Stallman. < / P > < p > the open source movement is of great significance to the Internet. As Huo Ju said, if there is no open source movement, there may not be Linux, Android, browser The whole Internet may not exist. < / P > < p > the open source movement can be regarded as one of the greatest miracles in human history. People from all over the world, in different countries and different systems, use different languages to create a pile of tools that belong to all mankind and can be freely used by all people. However, the freedom of open source has been eroded a little bit today. In addition to Android moving towards closed source, GitHub, the world’s largest open source code hosting platform, began to ban developers’ accounts in some countries and regions last year, in order to comply with the trade sanctions of the United States. < / P > < p > this has caused concerns of many developers, especially Chinese developers. At present, there are more than 40 million developers on GitHub, among which the contribution of Chinese developers to the repository is second only to that of the United States. < / P > < p > a few days ago, the Ministry of industry and information technology announced that gitee was chosen to build an independent, open source code hosting platform for China. In spite of the challenges faced by the open source world, open source software was born to break all kinds of shackles and restrictions. Today, large technology companies, no matter Apple Google, Tencent, Alibaba and Huawei, have established a large number of open source projects. < / P > < p > in the technology fields leading the next era such as artificial intelligence, open source will exist as an accelerator. The open source deep learning framework can lower the threshold of AI technology and accelerate the landing of related products. Cui Baoqiu, chief architect of Xiaomi, once mentioned: “can Android be bred in China, where the open source ecology is not yet mature?” Such a world-class large open source project is still unknown, but this will undoubtedly be the goal of Chinese developers. Continue Reading865 optimization is different? These mobile phones should teach you a lesson!