[guardian-dev] ask Google to allow "Unknown Sources" on ChromeOS

Kevin Steen mayfirstorg at kevinsteen.net
Fri Sep 1 18:52:41 EDT 2017

On 01/09/17 14:00, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> ChromeOS (the OS for Chromebooks) now has a complete Android runtime.
> There are also persistent rumors that Google is merging ChromeOS and
> AndroidOS into a single system.  The scary thing is that ChromeOS's
> Android runtime does not allow users to install apps outside of Google Play.
> "Unknown Sources" is essential to a lot of the things that we do:
> * nearby app sharing like F-Droid, Zapya, Share-It, etc.
> * alternative app stores like F-Droid and all those companies
> * easy testing via direct APK install, Hockeyapp, etc.
> * self-updating apps like Zom, Signal, etc.
> Anyone with a google account and an interest in keeping ChromeOS as open
> as Android, please star this issue:
> https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=761329
> .hc

I think Google is already well into using its monopoly to strangle out
competitors and they're not going to reverse on that. Things like Doze
mode and having to use Google Cloud Messaging to get any kind of
usability are only marketed as benefiting users - the main beneficiary
is Google. Non-Google apps are being pushed into second-class citizen
status by making them appear unreliable.

What I don't understand is why the alternate ROM suppliers don't seem to
want to fix these shortcomings, either. I stand to be corrected, but I
don't think CyanogenMod ever got around to providing the Ad-hoc Wifi API
which Google refuses to provide, either.

I think if we want to create freedom-preserving apps, we're going to
have to encourage alternate ROMS and tell people to only buy phones
which can be freed from Google's control. Then we still have to tackle
the control from the baseband processor...


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