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Legal to side-load GBoard APK into device?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Jim Norton, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Jim Norton

    Jim Norton Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello all,

    Our company created a hardware device that runs AOSP 5.02 with some minor modifications.
    It isn't feasible for us to get our device/Android ROM Google Play certified.

    Is it legal or within Googles licensing terms to side-load a version of GBoard onto our devices?

    Note: I tried to contact Google directly, but of course I wasn't able to reach a human or find the correct magical email address. :-(

    Thanks for any help in advance!

    James Norton
     


    #1 Jim Norton, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  2. Steven58

    Moderator

    I'm guessing no, but I'm no expert, Jim. There are experts here, of which I am not one, but I am curious, as well. I am no expert, I'm just the comic relief. Welcome again!
     
    Jim Norton likes this.
  3. Jim Norton

    Jim Norton Lurker
    Thread Starter

  4. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Given the Gboard apk is freely available from various third-party sites like apkmirror.com, there doesn't appear to be any kind of lawsuit backlash happening anywhere. There are also nations where the Play Store is not even allowed and having the Gboard keyboard isn't a problem. So even though Google isn't explicitly stating it can or cannot be freely used (maybe it is with manufacturers or relevant developers but it would be nice to have a readily accessible public statement), it does appear to at least fudging the legality issue from a business viewpoint.
    https://www.apkmirror.com/?post_type=app_release&searchtype=apk&s=gboard
    https://www.computerworld.com/article/3048523/gboard-android-shortcuts.html

    A possible alternative you might find to be a worthy substitute is Hacker's Keyboard:
    https://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/21/hackers-keyboard-for-android/
    https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.pocketworkstation.pckeyboard/
     
  5. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert

    I'd go with the Hacker's Keyboard. It's open source and needs no extra permissions. both the above links also have very good descriptions of it.
     
  6. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    No. Not without Google's approval whatever the Chrome/Android division is called now.
     

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