Google updates Android SDK license terms to stop platform fragmentation
Google has updated its SDK license terms for the first time since 2009.
The company has modified its legal agreement with developers working on Android apps to specifically prohibit them from any action that could contribute to further fragmentation of the mobile platform.
The anti-fragmentation clause was recently added to the Android SDK licensing terms and conditions, which developers must accept in order to build Android apps.
Here’s the full clause in question:
This change is in response solely to the perceived “fragmentation” problem that has plagued Android’s image for so long, putting the onus on developers, rather than handset manufacturers and wireless carriers.
Google, in the updated license, is essentially saying that if you use the SDK to make something that isn’t fully real, fully compatible Android, your rights to it will be revoked.
The TOS change has little to do with individual developers, and is more focused on stamping out the development of incompatible Android clones. Google wants to make sure that those using the SDK are not using its components to build their own derivative SDK or pumping out broken platforms based on Android, thereby fragmenting the overall environment.