Skip to main content

Google VP Andy Rubin defends Android’s openness

androidIn an attempt to tamp-down fears that Google was closing the open doors of Android to the development community, Google’s vice president of engineering Andy Rubin took to the Android Developers blog with a single message: Android will remain an open platform.

Rubin’s assurances that Android will remain the open-source mobile platform it’s been since the beginning follow a Bloomberg Businessweek report from last week that claimed Google has begun reigning in the “will-nilly tweaks to the software” made by the wide variety of handset makers and app developers that produce content for the mobile operating system.

Evidence of this came in the form of additional reports that showed Google has delayed releasing the source code of the Honeycomb version of Android, despite the fact that the OS has been available on the Motorola Xoom tablet since the end of February.

“Recently, there’s been a lot of misinformation in the press about Android and Google’s role in supporting the ecosystem. I’m writing in the spirit of transparency and in an attempt to set the record straight,” writes Rubin.

He added that Google does not “believe in a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” and praised the Android community at large for taking Android further than they believed possible, all while making sure “quality and consistency” remain “top priorities.”

After all, says Rubin, Google has always required mobile handsets “to conform with some basic compatibility requirements,” and has maintained an ‘”anti-fragmentation’ program” for apps since Android was first released. That said, Rubin assures device makers that they “are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices.”

“Finally, we continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready,” says Rubin. “As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones. As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy. We remain firmly committed to providing Android as an open source platform across many device types.”

As Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch points out, it is still possible that Google is beginning to increase control over Android, and keep it open source. Rather than make the latest source code available to everyone at the same time, however, Google can give certain development partners early preferential access, just as the Bloomberg Businessweek report suggests it will — a claim Rubin failed to deny.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
The 6 best tablets for kids in 2024
Fire HD 6 Kids Edition

Tablets, which cater to a wide range of purposes, are also excellent devices for children. Younger kids will be able to access educational and entertainment apps with a tactile experience because of the devices' touchscreens. while older kids can use them for their schoolwork and recreational activities. However, not all tablets in the market are designed for children, so to help you decide what to buy, we've rounded up the best tablets for kids of all ages.

There are no limitations to the learning and creativity of children, and a tablet will help them develop their knowledge and skills like no other gadget can. While it's still necessary for parents to guide their kids in maximizing the use of their tablets, it can't be denied that the device has the potential to be a useful tool for your children as they grow up. Buying them one of our recommended tablets below will make sure that they get an appropriate device for their age, as we took into consideration several factors that prioritize your kid's well-being above all else.
The best tablets for kids in 2024

Read more
Visible’s affordable 5G plans just got even cheaper
The Visible logo on a smartphone.

Visible has a new offer that can help you save significant money when switching to its service. Both Visible and Visible+ packages are now available for purchase upfront on an annual basis. These new annual plans are available for new Visible customers starting today, while existing customers will gain access to them this May.

With this new deal, the Visible+ plan costs $395 per year when paid upfront instead of $540 when paid in 12 monthly installments of $45 each. This means you can save $145, which is 26%. That's an incredible savings. When paying upfront for the regular Visible plan, it will cost $275 per year, saving you $25. If you pay for it monthly, the standard Visible plan costs $25 per month (or $300 per year).

Read more
iPhone SE 4: news, rumored price, release date, and more
The Apple iPhone SE (2022) and Apple iPhone SE (2020) together.

While the spotlight always seems to be on Apple’s mainline iPhones, the iPhone SE is a great pick for those who are on a budget. If you want an iPhone that doesn't break the bank, the SE is the way to go.

The original iPhone SE came out in 2016, and then Apple revamped it in 2020 and 2022 by giving it some more modern hardware. The iPhone SE tends to get updated every two or so years rather than annually like the traditional iPhone. This means  that we should see a new iPhone SE 4 this year, but it’s not so cut-and-dried with this particular model.

Read more