Google: Android is still open source

Big G hits back at claims it's "locking down" Android

Google says it doesn't, "…believe in one size fits all solution".

Google has taken to its own Android Developers Blog to vigorously defend itself against recent accusations that it was “locking down” Android. The claims arose after it was discovered Google was only releasing the source code for Android Honeycomb to its main partners.

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This led to suggestions that Google was looking to stop “fragmentation” of its mobile OS by taking a more hardline approach with mobile makers. The failure to openly release the code to the general public has been seen as a move to stop Honeycomb winding up on mobile phones when currently it only works on tablets.

However, Google says nothing could be further from the truth. In its blog post, the Big G said, “The Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones. As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy.”

It added that all members of the Open Handset Alliance agreed not to fragment the OS when it was first announced back in 2007 and that nothing’s changed. Google said that it doesn’t believe in a “one size fits all” OS, in a clear swipe at Apple and iOS software, while reiterating that device makers remained free to customise Android as they pleased.

It’s hard to believe that Google hasn’t tightened up its strategy to stop fragmentation, especially with so many different devices now using different versions of the OS. While mobile makers can still use code as they please, it seems clear that reports of Google’s more proactive approach have hit a nerve.

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Link: Android Developers