Undoubtedly the biggest advantage of Android over other systems today is the open code that characterizes it, that is, the complete and absolute freedom to be able to modify the system at will, the community or by yourself, getting the possibilities of Make your mobile unique are absolutely endless.
And although many do not know, there is an alternative Android project that unfortunately is increasingly abandoned that is based on a system that is 100% free, that is, composed of free code in all its aspects. This implies that if you are going to install apps, they are free code by a free market, etc. This project is called AOSP (Android Open Source Project) and includes no google service, including Google Play that has turned five years ago, by the way.
Knowing that this project exists, and the break in which it is, everything points to depend on Google services for our Android to work. How free is our device? And … Is it really important?
Android … free?
We have become more and more accustomed to the fragmentation of Android, and to the indifference towards its level of freedom. Google has been closing the system more and more to make it depend on its Google Apps, getting that without these, it is difficult to use our Android with ease. Because, more free or less, the convenience of having an app store where to download what we want and try the latest releases is absolutely indisputable.
Although it is necessary to make a nuance. While many users are blaming Google this move to cover more and take their piece of the cake that is Android, the reality is that the public that your device is more or less free. As long as the Android system keeps functions that make your user feel free, your apps carry a code or another does not matter, except to the most knowledgeable users, or who do need this code to work or use your device.
So, does it matter?
Personally I think the answer to this question depends a lot on the user who is affected. The closing of the total code would be a real disaster, because we would be facing another closed and exclusive iOS type system and many developers in the community would be outraged and their work truncated. But, as long as this freedom is maintained, no one will be affected, let alone the large majority, which, without offense, is not very wise in these matters.
I do not see anyone from the typical Android owners niche using a system without Google Play. They like it more or less, these options have made improvements in the system that make it much more comfortable and easy to use and take away that, it would be a loss of popularity to Android and I think these changes are not excessively bad as long as Google maintains the Limits of its clear and defined resources. If, as long as the code is not completely closed and Google is controlled, we can live peacefully enjoying our favorite operating system.
What version of Android do you use? Do you have a custom ROM?