Archos users celebrate Android app access
For as long as Google doesn‘t notice
Users of Android-based tablets from Archos can now get the Google applications the rest of the Android community takes for granted, and seem blissfully unaware of the illegality of doing so.
The apps include Gmail and Google Talk, though it‘s YouTube and the Android Marketplace client that most Archos users seem to want. They can now have these thanks to an anonymous pirate under the pseudonym m4rk3 who‘s provided a downloadable package containing all the necessary applications in the ArchosFans forums. Users don‘t seem to understand that these are just as legally protected as any other application/film/music.
Google might provide Android for free, but the search giant charges phone manufacturers for its applications including Google Maps and Gmail. Manufacturers are under no obligation to pay, and Google doesn‘t like to license its apps for tablet devices (such as those marketed by Archos) as it was hoping those would be based on the next version of the OS: code-named Gingerbread.
So Archos didn‘t pay up, or wasn‘t offered the option (neither company is saying which), and the Archos range of tablets don‘t have the Google apps on board - and Archos runs its own application store. Unless one installs the pirate software, that is.
Archos isn‘t alone in eschewing Google's closed-source applications - some Asian and Indian phone manufacturers are using part, or all, of Android and providing their own applications and store, but in the west Google has managed to get its commercial packages so closely associated with the free operating system that handset manufacturers are obliged to pay up - perhaps the revenue stream to which Eric Schmidt was referring when he said that Android development was already in profit.
And Google does care. When Augen Electronics left the Google applications installed on the launch version of the tablet the search giant was quick to respond, forcing Augen into a what the CEO described as a "constructive conversation with Google" about the devices already on the store shelves. How much money was exchanged we don‘t know, but the company promised to be more careful in future.
So the provision of Google‘s apps to Archos users is nothing more (or less) than software piracy, and as such would usually hardly warrant a mention in our pages. But given the number of Android users who don‘t seem to understand this, we thought it worth a mention.
As Google itself opines, without a trace of irony: “Unauthorized distribution... harms us just like it would any other business, even if it's done with the best of intentions.“ ®
"Users don‘t seem to understand that these are just as legally protected as any other application/film/music..."
Nope. "Users don‘t seem to CARE...." is closer to the truth.
Now all Archos needs to do is sort out the OS...
Shipping devices with Android 1.5 with continued failed promises to provide 2.X upgrades is just hopeless.
Unfortunately Archos have a very poor reputation for providing their paying customers with new firmware. Worse still, they make claims about future upgrades that they often renege on. For example, the tech spec page for the Archos 32 is just misleading. It currently ships with 1.5, which they don't mention at all. They list it as a Froyo device and then in the small print talk about October. With their track record don't hold your breath.
If archos users really are installing a (pirate) package containing android marketplace, and this is their main reason for doing so, I wonder how this can hurt google, as it only really earns them revenue from the apps sold there.
Revenue that they would not have otherwise.
Ok, perhaps Google are griping about missing the licensing fee that these users did not pay up. But how could they? AFAIK there is no option to buy marketplace (correct me if I am wrong).
If google are really upset about this, put up Android marketplace for sale and installation. Otherwise, I reckon, they should just shut up and collect on the revenue from marketplace.
Hey, we need an evil google icon.
Charbax by any chance...?
If you are the fabled Charbax from the Archos forums then enough said...
Still waiting for the numerous things you promised Archos would deliver to the non Android 5/7 sereies IMT's... strange they never materialised.
"Unfortunately Archos have a very poor reputation for providing their paying customers with new firmware.". Really?
Between Sept 2009 and Sept 2010, Archos issued 23 firmware updates for the A5 Android, including 3 versions which offered a choice of 2D or 3D. How many would they need to issue to get a "good reputation" in your definition?