Chinese search giant Baidu has created a smartphone OS which borrows heavily from Android. Baidu Yi is a “fork”, or a customised Android derivative, designed to place its spotlight on the company’s range of mobile applications.
The smartphone OS operates in almost exactly the same manner as Android, using a single sign-in that links users to the search engine’s mapping, cloud synchronisation and music download services. Its web app platform is also mighty similar to Android’s despite being based on Baidu’s Internet Explorer wrapper rather than Google’s Chrome.
While Baidu harbour ambitions for expansion beyond China, where Google’s semi-exile in Hong Kong makes it difficult for them to operate, its hard to see Baidu Yi really taking off in foreign climates. Nevertheless, the fork is something of an annoyance for Larry Page and co as they seek to centralise the Android ecosystem for a simplified user experience.
Who’s damned idea was it to go for this open source malarkey eh?