Ever since Google announced it was buying Motorola, industry watchers have speculated if Google was going to make Android a closed source platform exclusively for Motorola’s devices. That will never happen and here’s why.The Financial Perspective: Revenues & Gross Margins
Google’s revenues from the mobile segment are currently derived from advertising, while Motorola’s are from device sales through carriers and retailers. So let’s compare how much money Google can possibly make over the next few years by following its open source strategy versus a Motorola-focused proprietary strategy.
For the purpose of this analysis, I have [...]
Linus Torvalds, the creator and supreme commander-in-chief of the Linux kernel, has released Linux 3.3, which, for the first time in several years, includes Android merges from Google. This marks the beginning-of-the-end of the process to bring the Android kernel back into the main Linux source tree. Since Linux (and Android) are open source projects, the source code is published for anyone and everyone to see and use. The kernel (the core of an operating system) used in Android is based on the Linux kernel, but, due to disagreement between developers from both projects, code from the Android project has not been merged back to the Linux repositories since 2009.
One danger [...]
Twitter, a micro-blogging super site, has recently released a newly acquired security software for its Android platform. The new software is an open source platform that allows people to freely use, share and expand their thoughts on the site. The software, TextSecure, was developed by Whisper Systems. The new software works by encrypting each text message before they are sent to their respective recipients, thus adding an extra layer of protection for its users. Considering the fact that Twitter is among the widely used social networking sites in the world, it will sure give its users the confidence they need that their tweets will not be accessed by the wrong [...]
Android is on the warpath and it looks they’re getting a bit unstoppable. Last Monday revealed that Google managed to corner 47.1 percent of the UK smartphone market in August. This is more than double of 22.9 percent this time last year. This joins the US stats released last month that placed Android at 52 percent in the second quarter of 2011. This definitely shows that Google’s operating system has got the chops to hold its own.
Android’s rapid growth can be contrasted with the weak performance of the iOS, which is down 20.8 percent from 28 percent in 2010. This can be blamed on the fact that no iPhone has been released recently. Apple’s [...]
Andrew Greig, CEO of Koolu, has just informed us that his company is offering the Openmoko Neo FreeRunner for $100 off of the regular $399 price tag for a limited time. The FreeRunner is an open platform smartphone that can be used with a number of different operating systems, including a beta version port of the Android OS.
While the Android OS doesn’t come pre-loaded onto the FreeRunners, the ported source is a free download. This isn’t a project for general end users, but would probably be interesting and worthwhile for the more technical Android fans out there.
You can find the Openmoko FreeRunner at the Koolu shop website.
The source code for Android 1.0 is now available in a weighty 2.1 gig download from http://source.android.com. Anyone with the brains and manpower is now free to edit, add, modify, use and distribute Android in anyway they see fit at absolutely no cost.
This is pretty significant as it opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities for the platform and mobile computing in general. Android can now be easily ported to anything, from phones to GPS receivers, to in-car entertainment systems as well as other funky things nobody has thought of yet. It also allows companies to stop re-inventing the OS wheel and focus on building better hardware.
As long as Google can keep the [...]
Karl Rosaen over at the Android Developers Blog has posted about a new game he recently wrote and added to the open source apps-for-android project. Called Divide and Conquer, the game is based on the same premise as the old JezzBall game you might have played when you were younger: you navigate/draw a line to separate a bunch of bouncing balls without letting a ball touch the line as it is being drawn.
It’s no first person shooter or anything, but the source code might provide budding developers with some insight. You can download the source from the apps-for-android project here.
The guys over at the Android Developers Blog have posted a new open source sample application for would-be Android developers to examine. Called Photostream, the application is basically a client for viewing pictures from the Flickr.com photo site.
The sample application source code demonstrates some basic programming methods for adding shortcuts to an Android smartphone’s home screen, the use of themes, and how to use the HttpClient class to connect to remote web servers, as well as demonstrating the use of animations and basic image manipulation.
The Apps for Android project doesn’t actually provide a link to the Photostream [...]
It appears that Google’s Android will have a new, and quite formidable, open source competitor in the near future. Today Nokia announced that it was purchasing the remainder of Symbian Limited, the company that makes the Symbian OS, and that it would be turning over the OS and its own S60 user interface to a new non-profit group called the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation will make the OS available royalty free and plans on turning it all into open source over the course of the next two years. Sony Ericsson and Motorola threw all of their UIQ assets into the mix, and NTT DoCoMo added its MOAP(S) platform as well.
So at least part of the edge in cost that [...]
CNET has posted a lengthy look at how Google is dealing with the open source aspects of the Android platform, and how some open source advocates are less than pleased with Google’s actions so far. Google’s approach seems to be to develop everything in-house first, under controlled conditions, and then to release much of the code to the open source community once it is ready.
Andy Rubin, Google’s man heading the Android development project, said that about 8.6 million of 11 million total lines of code that make up Android will be made open source. CNET points out that the current Linux kernel [...]