Bye bye to “open” Android?


Google seems to be hestitating its stand with the open nature of Android. Perhaps Google has realized that the “open” software might not be the best for its customers and seems to want to control how Android is presented to its users by device manufacturers.

According to Bloomberg Business Week, Google has decided to holdback from releasing Honeycomb to the public.

Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now, as it has with other versions of Android at similar periods in their development, it couldn’t prevent developers from putting the software on phones “and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones.”

Bloomberg furthered that Google has angered phone manufacturers by forcing them to seek approval from Google before tweaking the software.

The open source crusader seems to have taken Steve Jobs message about Android’s fragmented ecosystem and maybe Andy Rubin can now reword his twitter response on the definition of openness
“mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// platform/ manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”

Google decided to hold back the release of Honeycomb to the public, but do you know why?

According to Andy Rubin, “To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs…We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.”

That sounds to me that Google is trying to tweak Honeycomb so that it runs smoothly on either a tablet or a phone before it releases it to the masses. A delay in release does not mean it’s not open source.

I”ll leave you with another quote from Andy Rubin, “Android is an open-source project…We have not changed our strategy.”


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