Re: Sympathy for The Beast?
"Didn't they try to have an alternative Android stack to the Google stuff at one point? Didn't they have a good map application?"
Not really. While you could use OpenStreetMap and so on, no one has the sheer manpower Google does. Remember, they had real live people driving real live cars around the world to get their own internal map data. They have their own private fiber network and so on. IOW, Google is completely in control of a lot of private resources here, all acquired legally through their own hands. And with work on AOSP a pale shell of what it once was, it's rapidly becoming a Hobson's Choice: Take It Or Leave It, understanding that there's not much left should you leave.
What would you do if bending over was the only way to keep yourself (and likely your family) from starving?