Baidu ends support for Android platform

The Baidu Cloud OS represented the company's efforts to integrate more services with Android phones

Baidu's efforts to bring its own customized Android ROM to Chinese smartphones appears to be fizzling out as the company shifts resources away from the project.

On Wednesday, the team behind the Baidu Cloud OS, a suite of tools and interfaces designed for Android phones and incorporated into the company's Android ROM, announced it was saying goodbye to the platform.

"Because of a company business adjustment, we have no choice but to painfully decide to suspend updates and support to the Baidu Cloud OS," the team said in an official forum posting.

While the rest of Baidu's consumer cloud business will still be in operation, the Cloud OS and ROM design unit has been folded into a new company, the team added in another posting. It did not offer details about the new company.

The Baidu Cloud OS, launched in 2012, marked the Chinese search giant's attempt to bring more company services to smartphones.

Given that Baidu remains China's largest search engine, the company's search bar is already pre-installed on most Android phones sold in the country. In addition, it has a whole range of other company apps, relating to mapping, Internet browsing, security and more.

The Baidu Cloud OS, however, sought to take the integration a step further, in the form of a customized ROM loaded with company services. Based on Android, it was initially pre-installed on several smartphone models made by Baidu partners. But in the end, the platform failed to become widely adopted.

Android is by far the most popular mobile OS in the country, but due to its strained ties with the Chinese government, Google has yet to officially bring its popular mobile apps and services to China.

As a result, handset makers selling to China typically bundle their phones with local services from Baidu and other Internet giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent.

Baidu declined to comment further, except to point to the statements offered by its Cloud OS team. Despite the failure of the Baidu Cloud OS to gain traction, the company's mobile business has been growing. Last year, its mobile Internet traffic exceeded that of its PC Internet traffic, in a sign that more Chinese are relying on smartphones to surf the Web.

Outside of Baidu, e-commerce giant Alibaba has also been targeting mobile users, with its own Linux-based operating system called YunOS. Although the operating system has yet to take off, Alibaba has said it expects the software to pay off in the long-term.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Android OSconsumer electronicsbaiduAndroidsmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?