If you’re not happy with your Android phone or tablet collecting your data and sending it to Google, you’re not alone. The Russian defense ministry announced a stripped-down and encrypted version of Google’s operating system, destined for government and military devices, will also be on sale to the public.
Google collects a considerable amount of information from Android users, including personal information and usage data in order for the company to serve ads. This is also one of the reasons Android is offered free to manufacturers. But Russia is wary of Google’s OS and fears this data collected could fall in the hands of the U.S. government and expose sensitive communications.
Russia’s answer to this problem is the Russian Mobile Operating System (RoMOS), unveiled in the sidelines of the IFA event in Berlin, according to reports. RoMOS has the look and feel of Android, but does not call home to send your data and is virtually hackproof, the developers claim. It also uses Russia’s own GPS alternative, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), in case the U.S. government shuts down the GPS system. The iPhone 4S also supports GLONASS.
The first 10-inch tablets running RoMOS will be available later this year, and are set to be shockproof and waterproof, with a price tag around $460. The tablets will be assembled in Russia, using mostly foreign-built components. The finished product will be mainly aimed at state officials and military personnel, but there will also be a consumer-grade version of the device, which will have slightly different features and prices.