I was browsing the web on my mobile, as one does, and came across a news item about the Open Handset Alliance, Google’s new initiative to foster a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices, codename Android. I clicked the link, but thought I’d mis-clicked, because this is what I got:
Puzzled, I checked out the site later on a PC. Everything was fine:
The problem is that Google automatically detects mobile browsers and redirects them to an “/m” version of the site. Which in this instance is completely useless. There is no obvious way round it – I tried amending the URL, but it bounced straight back to Google search. This is one of the reasons I dislike the mobile web.
Let me add that Google has done a mixed job on the “open” aspect, even if you visit with a supported browser. Most of the site doesn’t mention Google. It places itself modestly in alphabetical order under Software Companies, in the list of members.
So far so good, but then I hit the terms of service:
1.2 Your use of products, software, services and websites in connection with the Open Handset Alliance website (referred to collectively as the “Services” in this document) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Google.
4.3 As part of this continuing innovation, you acknowledge and agree that Google may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you.
5.5 Unless explicitly permitted to do so by Google, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose.
Ouch. Those pesky lawyers just don’t get this open thing, do they?