A “gratis” redistributable binary doesn’t say anything about being FLOSS or not. Play-services is a non-free, proprietary library that is only available in binary form. They have to be included at build time for chromium to build — at least as far as I had a look at it. The resulting binary APK file is thus non-free, but gratis. Some people still call it free/floss just like some Linux distributions do use proprietary stuff and some don’t. Call it tainted or whatever. The point: We cannot build apps requiring play-services. If someone strips this dependency and provides a pure-floss build instruction, things might change…
Thanks for explaining that. One other question I have is that even if google play services were stripped, doesn’t the resulting binary still contain Google trademarks? Are Chromium and the Chromium logo trademarks of Google?
If I understood the following article correctly (see [update] section), the play services are not required, but just need to be present. If so, can we not make a dummy app or patch the code to skip this check?
Been annoyed with this same problem, I made an open source app that installs the most recent good chromium build.
Works from API 19+ with or without gApps, just turn off the notification saying that it isn’t going to work.