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[ZDnet] Google Android 3.0 "Honeycomb": Open source no more

post #1 of 44
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Quote:
In a disappointing move, Google has restricted access to the tablet-oriented version of Android, also known as Honeycomb. Version 3.0 of Android, which many have called a fork of the mobile OS (and now it looks like they were right), is now closed source, with access only going to OEMs and specific developers. While Google claims that they don’t want people experimenting with the OS on smartphones for which it wasn’t designed, one has to wonder if there aren’t other motivations for the move.

According to BusinessWeek,

…throngs of smaller hardware makers and software developers that will now have to wait for the software. The delay will probably be several months. “To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,†says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. “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.â€

A shortcut that certainly goes to the heart of whether Android truly is “open source.†In fact, it goes right to the heart of whether Android’s “openness†is a competitive advantage any longer when independent developers can’t get at the source code for Honeycomb and design the next great thing in the tablet space. I wouldn’t have to work too hard to argue that tablets are actually quite a bit more interesting in terms of potential use cases than phones, but those interesting use cases will require specialized software and interfaces. No open source, no brilliant new medical device, no drastically improved e-reader, no new approach to the legal pad, no whatever that requires developers to take a deeper dive than merely creating an App.
source
post #2 of 44
It really wasn't that open before anyway.

Google has always withheld the device driver code for Android. "Open source" my foot. What good is a supposedly open source kernel with no device drivers to use and talk to it from other *nix devices? Torvalds and the LKML gave up ever expecting Google to walk the walk over a year ago.
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post #3 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
It really wasn't that open before anyway.

Google has always withheld the device driver code for Android. "Open source" my foot. What good is a supposedly open source kernel with no device drivers to use and talk to it from other *nix devices? Torvalds and the LKML gave up ever expecting Google to walk the walk over a year ago.
As true as that might be it has enabled, frankly, better than original versions of android OS's to be made. I'm assuming that complete closure now means that mods will not get access to it at all. Shame really.

Eddie.
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post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
It really wasn't that open before anyway.

Google has always withheld the device driver code for Android. "Open source" my foot. What good is a supposedly open source kernel with no device drivers to use and talk to it from other *nix devices? Torvalds and the LKML gave up ever expecting Google to walk the walk over a year ago.
Is that why people need to cook roms, wait for the manufacturers to release OS upgrades and we can't get pure unadulterated android?
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post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Culverin View Post
Is that why people need to cook roms, wait for the manufacturers to release OS upgrades and we can't get pure unadulterated android?
It is part of it. Google et al want to make sure that to get the latest Android, you have to keep buying new phones. IMHO.

No device code keeps the hardware side locked down. Last I knew Tovalds/LKML cut the Android code from the Linux Kernel main-line after much attempted communication with Google. Their point was that what was the point of including the extra code with no device drivers.

Droid is a neat platform-but it never was open sourced. "Open source" was just a marketing term to make it hip.
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post #6 of 44
Glad I got an ipad 2 instead. This is a shame with the android tablet app market bare as is, this just makes it worse.
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post #7 of 44
=/ It sucks, but it seems reasonable to me. Honeycomb was INTENDED to be only on tablets. Smartphones will get their Ice Cream, don't sweat it. And yes, I do agree with this reasoning:

Quote:
Google claims they wanted to avoid having developers create a bad user experience
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post #8 of 44
Does this mean you can't install it on a Nook anymore?
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Pyros View Post
=/ It sucks, but it seems reasonable to me. Honeycomb was INTENDED to be only on tablets. Smartphones will get their Ice Cream, don't sweat it.
So? Since when were computers only appliances to be run only as a manufacturer explicitly delineated?

It is my phone, and blast it, I should be able to run GNU/HURD on it if I want to try. If I brick my phone trying, that is my problem.
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post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
So? Since when were computers only appliances to be run only as a manufacturer explicitly delineated?

It is my phone, and blast it, I should be able to run GNU/HURD on it if I want to try. If I brick my phone trying, that is my problem.
Sounds like the HTC HD2 is perfect for you. Runs a ton of OS'es not really intended to function on the device.
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