I was thinking of operating systems, more specifically mobile operating systems, and a thought occurred to me. Let’s say I decided to make an operating system, mobile or otherwise, could I legally implement support for Android (.apk) applications? Could Windows suddenly decide on their touch devices they just want to make it easy and run Android apps?

I know Android is open source, but I don’t speak legaleze and am not sure exactly what we are and are not permitted to do. Could Apple suddenly decide to support the .apk package to allow cross-platform apps? If I build an OS could I legally hypothetically support the framework and package format.

I understand getting access to the Google Play store is a whole new story, since that involves licensing costs and more complex legal stuff ( since that is a service from Google not included with Android in the open-source ecosystem ).

I am not speaking in a technical sense with this question, otherwise I would’ve asked in StackOverflow. I understand the complexity of an project of this, because of the complexities of how such things work. I mean purely in a legal standpoint. If I were to invest the money into either writing my system from the start to support, or somebody like Windows rewriting and adding libraries and firmware to achieve this goal, could the company get in legal trouble?

  • Blackberry did what you're describing with no issues. Jul 6, 2019 at 15:23
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on opensource.stackexchange.com Jul 6, 2019 at 15:33
  • Ah. I didn’t know blackberry did this. @BlueDogRanch I wasn’t sure, but I figured it belonged here, since this was a question on the legality of the idea. Jul 6, 2019 at 18:05


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