One of the key reasons for Android’s wild popularity and fame is that it is good, free and well-supported by Google. However, this is not to say that Google does not earn anything in return for it. Rather, the search giant collects personal as well as other information from Android users to provide it to the advertisers who then devise their ads accordingly. Google reportedly made more than a Billion dollars from Android last year.
However, some see Google’s act of collecting data as a significant threat. Russia, for instance, seems to think that its national security can be adversely affected if this kind of data becomes available to the U.S. government. That’s particularly true when Android is used for governmental purposes.
To tackle this problem, Russia has come up with its own solution. It is called Russian Mobile Operating System (RoMOS) and looks a lot like Android. However, it essentially takes out the Google factor, making the OS secure from any data-gathering. In fact, the developers of RoMOS cite that their software is hack-proof… a rather bold claim, which is usually slippery.
RoMOS developers have also added support for Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) which is Russia’s alternative to GPS (this was already supported by Qualcomm on some Android devices, btw). Again, this has allegedly been done to counter the possibility of US government clamping down on the GPS service anytime in the future, by jamming the signal in certain region. The USA often does this in active theaters of operation to hinder adversaries.
RoMOS tablets are due to hit the shelves before the end of this year, and will be priced at $460, offering additional features such as shock-proof and water-proof body. The main consumer market for these tablets would be military personnel and government officials.