Android was first introduced by Google as the platform which will bring “freedom to the masses” via publicly available source code, but it may just have been a very broad marketing hype. Google today announced it will delay the release of Honeycomb’ source code for the foreseeable future, which puts in question when – or if – Google intends to publish it.
“After scrutinizing the nature of Google’s interaction with the open source software community on matters relating to Android over the past few years, the fact that they are declining to release source code now doesn’t seem like a change in direction.”
The availability of Android source code after each release is (or was) the only element that made the OS qualify as open-source, considering all the development is made behind open doors for a handful of companies. Google’s Andy Rubin however still insists Android is an open-source project, saying that Google delayed the release of the code because Honeycomb’s rushed development means that at this stage, widespread adoption would lead to negative user experience.
While Honeycomb may not be very favored by the open source community, it doesn’t seem to stop Acer. The manufacturer will release the Iconia Tab A500 and Iconia Tab A100 in Europe in a matter of a few months – both running Honeycomb. Moving over to the Smartphone area, Sony Ericsson is bringing some news to the internet giant, who’s OS is constantly expanding its turf throughout its updates. Sonny Ericsson announced that’s it flagship Smartphone, the Xperia X10, will receive an update upgrading it to Gingerbread 2.3 in the coming months.
Despite of wider and wider adoption, it’s not all good news for Android. In light of 37 patent infringement lawsuits targeting Google indirectly through its mobile manufacturing partners including Motorola, the latter is developing its own web-based mobile OS. Information Week broke the news, and Motorola has not denied it. Moreover, Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg even confirmed the rumored, already in development OS. If and when complete, this web-based OS will probably drive Motorola away from its dependency on Google.