Reply To: Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary
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I look at the AOSP kind of like Sound Bytes’ IRC transition from EFnet to Dalnet. People were free to come join us on Dalnet, or still convene on EFnet if they wanted. The difference is, when Nick was still logging onto IRC, he would be on EFnet. People will follow the most significant person(s). Despite Dalnet offering a few technical advantages, unless you can convince the leader to migrate, most people will stick with the leader for many practical reasons. So too, you can load/run CyanogenMod, PAC-ROM, Paranoid Android, Omnirom, and so on. There are some projects, such as OpenGApps.org, to try and fill some of the gaps (relative to AOSP) in the alternate ROMs. But of course, using one of these altROMs will having you lagging features and fixes found in AOSP, as well as probably having to do more to keep your system up-to-date.
What I find interesting is that the trend for iOS is only very slightly trending upwards, whereas Android has such a steeply increasing share.