Conan Troutman · Aug 3, 2013 at 03:00 pm

The Free Software Foundation Wants to Create a Truly Open Source Mobile OS

Android is already open source though, right? Well technically yes, but also no. While it’s possible to compile AOSP from the readily available source code and get it running on a wide array of devices with relative ease, getting complete functionality is often impossible without some amount of proprietary, device, or OEM specific code. This is not to mention that many of the applications that make the core of the Android experience are closed source. While this may not pose a huge problem to the average user and can be worked around with a little time and effort, it’s simply not good enough for the folks over at the FSF. Thus, they have decided to set about creating a truly open sourced Android experience.

The project, named Replicant, is hoping to provide a distribution of Android that is free from both proprietary code within the OS itself and core applications. This, however, requires devices and devices cost. With support for ten devices currently achieved, including numerous Galaxy devices and the Nexus S, it’s fair to say that a lot of work has already gone into this project and it’s definitely something that appeals to many people. The project is pretty aptly summed up by one of its own developers, Paul Kocialkowski;

“For a long time, it wasn’t possible to operate a mobile phone using free software, even though that is one of the areas of computing where the most important issues are at stake. Replicant is a free Android derivative, while other Android versions usually require nonfree components to actually run on phones. We expect that having our project supported by the Free Software Foundation’s fundraising program will greatly help the project, particularly by enabling us to build support for more phones.”

Being able to offer a donation is far from the only way to help the project along. Any developers who might be interested in this can join the project’s IRC channel if they wish to contribute to discussions. And the average user with a compatible device can simply install Replicant and submit bug reports. Head on over to the FSF site for more information on Replicant and how you can help out.


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

Conan Troutman

Conan Troutman is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Senior Moderator, Newswriter, Recovering Meme Addict. View Conan Troutman's posts and articles here.
Emil Kako · Apr 17, 2015 at 01:22 pm · 3 comments

What Do You Do with All of Your Old Photos?

Smartphone cameras have advanced so tremendously over the past few years that they have almost completely replaced point and shoot digital cameras for the most of us. Furthermore, since our smartphones are always with us, the majority of us end up taking tons of photos throughout the lifespan of our devices. But what happens to all the old photos you take? Do you store them on an external hard-drive or keep them backed up to an online cloud service like Flickr? Let us know what your favorite way of storing old photos is and why.

DISCUSS
Faiz Malkani · Apr 17, 2015 at 01:04 pm · 1 comment

Diving into the April 2015 Material Design Update

Before the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the Holo Design guidelines served as the official reference for Android design, right from IceCream Sandwich to KitKat. However, updates to the guidelines were few and far between, leading to a lack of synchronization between Android design and current UI/UX trends. Google seems to have learned from their mistake the last time around, and earlier this week, a significant update was released for the Material Design guidelines, marking the second revision in less...

XDA NEWS
Mathew Brack · Apr 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm · 7 comments

New Cyanogen Partnerships Bring Privacy Concerns

New Privacy concerns have emerged regarding Cyanogen’s latest announcements, primarily the inclusion of email app Boxer and that of a multitude of Microsoft apps, including Bing services, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office. The concerns arise when you look at both announcements together. At face value they may appear to be the beginning of Cyanogen’s plan to “take Android away from Google,” however there is certainly something more nefarious occurring. Along side the partnership with Microsoft, Cyanogen also recently announced...

XDA NEWS
Share This