Many of you might know that Android is, at its core, an Open Source operating system. Open Source software is quite simply described as code that is available to everyone to download, compile and do with as they wish. For Android, this is how Amazon can run a completely different version of Android on their devices without Google apps, as it’s built from the Android Open Source Project, often referred to as the AOSP, which allows people to do what they want with Android. Manufacturers and contributors from all over the world can contribute their own work to the AOSP, and some of this is accepted back in to make its way into further versions of Android. Sony is trying to bring back the Reboot option with their latest commits to the AOSP.
With Android 5.0 Lollipop and subsequent versions of Android, Google made the decision to completely remove the reboot or any other options in the Power Menu (accessed when you hold down the power button). Chances are that the device you’re using now, like my OnePlus Two, has these options in the menu because the manufacturer took it upon themselves to add it back in. It is now, however included in Android by default any more, and Nexus devices will see just the ‘Power Off’ option when holding down their power button. Sony has filed a couple of issues in the AOSP and proposed two commits that would add an option to turn on more options – like reboot and so on – in the Developer Options menu buried in the settings menu.
This is interesting to see, as it’s essentially Sony’s way of getting Google to change their mind on this issue, but they’re doing it in the correct way. Rather than complaining behind closed doors or throwing shade at Google in interviews, their developers are issuing changes to the Open Source heart of Android, and it’ll be interesting to see if these changes are accepted or if anyone from Google has something to say about this latest attempt to get more options back in the Power Menu.