Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google locking down Android Honeycomb

Last week, Google confirmed that they will not release the source code for Honeycomb, the new tablet-designed version of Android, to the public anytime soon. Personally, I'm outraged from a developer point of view! Android has had a long lasting reputation for being "open." Unfortunately, this confirmation by Google changes how I think about Android entirely!
Since the beginning of Android on devices, Android has been about choice (choice of devices, choice of apps, choice of customization) and about many options for developers.
However, if Google decides to make this a continuous pattern for Android, then developers and geeks (who are the biggest Android users) will lose faith in the platform.
Unlike Microsoft, Google can't make a quick "turn-around" with their mobile operating system. Google has established, over the past few years, a reputation for having an open source platform that makes it easy for developers and geeks, alike, to be able to customize their devices and publish their device configurations online so others could enjoy their hard work.
Sure, developers could still work on the operating system, and sure, this only applies to Honeycomb (version 3.0) for the time being, but this has set a possible, and dangerous, precedent.

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