VK, Yandex, Sberbank and Rostelecom will jointly establish a new company that will develop a Russian mobile platform based on the Android codebase.
It is mentioned that about the project, the using Android as a base will allow compatibility to be maintained with a large number of applications already released. The platform will be designed for the consumer segment, while the Aurora operating system already being developed by Rostelecom on the Sailfish code base will be intended for use in government agencies and corporations.
The development of a new operating system by one group does not contradict Rostelecom's plans to develop a mobile ecosystem based on the Aurora operating system, which, according to a Kommersant source in the government, will be used in the public and corporate sector." to work with sensitive data”: “The new operating system will target the consumer segment.
In December, the government included the Rostelecom project to create a national mobile ecosystem based on the Aurora operating system by 2030 in the overall new system software roadmap. The cost of the project, which includes the production of 70 million devices, was estimated by the operator at 480 billion rubles until 2030.
The Russian authorities, having decided to support the development of a new operating system based on Android, actually are going the way of Huawei. When the company lost its partnership with Google in 2018, falling under US sanctions, it began developing the open Android-based Harmony operating system, the AppGallery app store, and the Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) platform. In 2021, the number of AppGallery users reached 580 million, overall 730 million people use HMS services and 5 million developers are involved in its creation
For the platform, plan to develop analogues of proprietary applications and services of the Google Mobile Services Suite (GMS), which will allow you to break the link with Google's services and infrastructure.
For example, you can implement your own services for update delivery, software distribution, location, time synchronization, DNS, backup storage and file synchronization, as well as analogues for applications such as Google Search, Chrome, YouTube, Google Play, Google Drive, Gmail. ., Google Maps, Google Photos, Google TV and YouTube Music. It is worth noting that a similar task of creating editions of Android that are not tied to Google services and applications is already being solved by open projects such as microG, CalyxOS ,/e/OS and LineageOS for microG.
Launch a mobile services platform for an open Android based operating system it will be easier than for Aurora OS, says one of Kommersant's sources. Most of the apps from Russian developers have already been ported for Android, and porting them to Aurora will require time and investment:
“Therefore, for the consumer segment of smartphones and tablets, it was decided to make an operating system on Android, especially since the main plugin, namely the RuStore application store, VK has already been released. How the government is exploring the potential of mobile operating systems in the absence of the outside
The development of an ecosystem based on open Android will cost several times cheaper than the Rostelecom project
"Said operating system will be able to receive security updates from Android, such as Huawei, they are available for free on the Google website, like the system itself. In his opinion, it would be even easier to negotiate with Huawei over the use of its mobile development libraries in the RuStore. A Kommersant source in the Russian e-market adds that it won't take more than a year to develop an operating system based on Android: "This is a doable task if the companies combine experience."
Nikolai Komlev, director of the Association of Computer and Information Technology Companies, sees the idea of developing different mobile operating systems for the consumer market and the public sector as successful:
"The platform running Aurora OS can be deployed in institutions where there are high requirements for data security, for example, in law enforcement agencies and state corporations." In this sense, the harmonization of Aurora with devices on domestic processors would be appropriate, adds the expert.
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