Android Things, Terms of Service, and a Pulled Chapter

UPDATE 2017-11-06: I happened to look at the terms again, and they were updated three days ago, with the troublesome clause removed. I’ll restore the Android Things chapter to the book in Version 8.9.

My chapter on Android Things will be pulled in the forthcoming update to The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development.

I had fallen behind on dealing with Things since it went to 5, then 5.1, then 5.1.1, over the past couple of months. I went to start integrating some of those updates, only to find that it appears that you can no longer obtain Android Things images except by means of the Android Things Console. That, in turn, requires agreeing to the Android Things Console Terms of Service.

Of note, it is against the Terms of Service to discuss the Android Things Console (Section 2.2, “You will not… release or disclose the results of your use, development, or evaluation of the Services to any third party”, where “the Services” is defined as the Android Things Console).

My choices are:

  • Agree to the terms, and then be not allowed to explain to developers how to use the Android Things Console, or

  • Don’t agree to the terms, and then be unable to explain to developers how to use the Android Things Console (since I don’t know what it looks like, cannot produce screenshots, etc.)

There’s little value in my book having an out-of-date chapter with a massive hole in it. So, it’ll get pulled.

Perhaps someday Google will update these Terms of Service and fix this. In the meantime, I’ll work on other, um, things.

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