Google holds on to Honeycomb Source Code

March 25, 2011

Google has always been popular among developers. Since the beginning days of the Android OS, they have made the source code available to the public. Developers have been able to take the code and customize it to their own needs for use in phones and a variety of other devices.  Well, Google is putting a temporary halt to that with its newest OS “HoneyComb.”

Google has announced that it will delay distributing the Honeycomb source code, claiming that it’s not ready to be altered or customized for other devices yet. Honeycomb was designed specifically for tablets and Google thinks that if it’s unleashed to the masses, it would create a “bad user experience” for phones.

According to Andy Rubin, who is head of their Android group, “To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs.” He also went on to say, “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.”

All the big companies (tablet makers) already have the code, it’s just the little guys that are left out, with an expected delay of several months. The move will irritate developers and Android purists, and some will see it as the end of the “open-source era” at Google. Although, they do have a few good reasons for the move. Does anyone remember the “phone only” version of the OS being rushed onto the early tablets? That didn’t work out to well.

Android executives have also told companies that Google may wait to make another open-source distribution of Android software until it completes the next version of the OS, called Ice Cream. It looks as if developers will have to wait awhile before they can dig into the source code.

Do you agree with Google’s reasons behind the delay or think they are just protecting its own interests?

Via – Bloomberg

Comments