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

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at guardianproject.info
Thu Sep 7 16:35:00 EDT 2017



Kevin Steen:
> 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...

Google does have control, but that does not mean we do not have some
leverage.

The lockdown of GCM and doze mode is indeed a threat.

The reason why ROM devs do not add features like adhoc wifi is that it
requires a lot of testing and integration work.  Few people like to do
that kind of work in their free time, so for that to happen, people have
to get paid.

.hc

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