Why can't we have a mobile operating system and applciation store that is independent of any country's current political views? It would be an alternative of Google's Android OS. Or if it exists, why is it not getting promoted to the forefront?

  • Yes,I meant developed by many people , and the underlying things independent of any country's political views. – Rafi Mar 9 '20 at 17:59
  • Because you haven't built it yet... – vonbrand Mar 12 '20 at 0:05

Why we cannot have a mobile operating system and application store independent of any country's current political views as an alternative for Google android OS

So you're presumably aware that there are many community rebuilds of Android. Nearly all of those leave out the Google core apps (the bits that identifiably tie you to Google, including the Play Store client). Some (/e/) provide their own cloud and app store as replacements for Google's, others (Paranoid Android) try to be as minimalist as possible. In all cases, development lags behind vendor-provided Android, as the code bases are sanitised; in some cases, the supported model list is so behind-the-times that it's almost impossible to buy a new phone to run the custom ROM.

There is also free infrastructure, such as the F-Droid app store, which provides only free software for Android. Sambler links to a list of many alternative app stores, each with its own pros and cons.

Aside from Android rebuilds, there have been very-open GSM smartphones in the past, such as the Openmoko FreeRunner, which I used for two years as my main phone. Apart from the usual corporate troubles, what killed the future of that was the absence of open 3G hardware. I can't lay my hands on it at the moment, but I have somewhere a post from the then-CEO explaining how nobody who made 3G modems was in the slightest bit interested in opening them up for a company that was only likely to order a few tens of thousands of chipsets; even at the time, if you weren't buying a million modems, you simply got handed a bunch of closed firmware blobs and proprietary API libraries, all stapled to a giant NDA, and told to get on with it. Most people aren't really concerned with openness and end-user privacy in their mobile phone operations, so the market is not geared to the few who are.

Or if it exist why are they not getting promoted to the forefront?

To the extent that they exist, they are not promoted (at least, not comparably well to vendor Android) because your privacy is not in anyone else's commercial interest. The major handset manufacturers believe that as long as they turn out a continuous stream of ooh shiny, most people will keep throwing money at them, end-user privacy and data security notwithstanding, and so far, it looks as if they're right.

Handset manufacturers can make more money selling you phones and selling your data than they can just selling you phones, so if you want privacy, you will have to work for it. This includes learning, experimentation, wasted time and money (I've very nearly bricked some very expensive brand-new phones in my time), and a frequently sub-par user experience. Do by all means hold out for your privacy, but don't be in the slightest bit surprised that large commercial organisations are not rushing up to serve it to you.


We don't have an alternative to Android OS because no one has made an alternative. There should be no reason it can't be done, it just hasn't been done.

I would expect at this point in time, given the market share of Android, that anyone would have a hard time getting a decent market share with an alternative OS. You would need to offer a strong incentive to choose it over Android.

If you only want an alternative to the Google Play store, there are many alternatives, this list would be the largest I have seen.

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