Consider using AOSP mobile devices for business tasks

March 18th, 2019.

 

Android is the world-leader mobile operating system with more than 2 billion users, and Google is thrilled about it. This enormous number of users results in a tremendous amount of data collected by the Silicon Valley giant. The majority of Android users are based on the Open Handset Alliance version, and most people, especially companies, don’t consider the power of the open source version of Android OS (AOSP) for their business sake.

 

There are two Android families.

 

The first one is the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), also known as Google-certified version of the Android operating system where manufacturers need to follow Google’s terms & conditions. The second one is the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is the open source version of Android that does not include Google Mobile Services, and anyone can fork it as they want, freely.

 

OHA vs AOSP

 

The power of data in Android OHA

 

The OHA version is the main version of Android found in consumer smartphones. Handset manufacturers have to comply with numerous rules from Google’s terms and conditions to deliver their products. From the compatibility document, manufacturers will have to provide products with Google Search as the default search engine and several apps of the Google Mobile Services such as Search, Play Store, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, etc.*. The reason behind these terms & conditions is quite apparent, data.

 

When a consumer is using its Android phone, Google collects data from the user’s interaction with its services. The key gateway of data collection is the Google account of the user, which will authorize Google to collect information to improve its services. The list of data collection is long and can be frightening, and Google is completely transparent about it.

 

Google privacy

Screenshot from Google Safety Center page

 

“You don’t necessarily want your business data to be sent to GAFA’s server.”

 

Besides OHA is AOSP, where anyone can limitlessly fork, customize and use the source code of Android. Any forked-Android OS is AOSP based, and Google Mobile Services is not part of it. Thus, there will be no Google Play Store, no notification push, no location data retrieval, no Apps using Google Services, resulting in no data sent to Google. However, a user can still run Google Apps on the AOSP version, but he won’t be able to login into their apps, which underly that Google’s server will not receive any data from the mobile.

 

This is where it becomes interesting for companies. When corporations deploy OHA Android-based smartphones or professional handheld devices to execute specific business tasks (mobile payment acceptance, logistics scanning & picking, finding goods in retail shops, taking orders in restaurants, ID verification for customers enrollment…), data will be sent to Google’s server.

 

The weight of data collection

 

According to Digital Content Next latest report, an OHA Android phone sends over 90 requests per hour to Google’s server, resulting in 3600 requests & 176 MB over a 40 hours week. That’s why you don’t necessarily want your business data to be sent to GAFA’s server, and to become the owner of your data.

 

Famoco delivers Famoco OS, an Android Open Source Project version of Android, which is a forked-Android OS made for business only. Famoco OS comes without Google Mobile Services and many business-oriented features, and drastically reduce the amount of metadata send to Google’s servers, resulting in enhancing business digital assets security.

 

Schedule a call if you have any interests or questions. We’d love to hear from you.

 

*The Google app and Chrome are not included in GMS for devices shipped in the EEA. Inquire for a separate license.

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