Google delays Honeycomb indefinitely

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by *LTD*, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. *LTD*, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #1
    As usual, DED has the right perspective on the matter.

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    http://www.appleinsider.com/article...omb_source_to_prevent_use_on_smartphones.html

    Google closes Android 3.0 Honeycomb source to prevent use on smartphones

    By Daniel Eran Dilger
    Published: 09:00 PM EST


    Google redefines open source as closed

    Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform was designed exclusively for tablet devices, running initially on Motorola's Xoom and later this summer on Samsung's redesigned Galaxy Tab and similar offerings from Toshiba and Acer. New Honeycomb tablets compete not just against Apple's iPad 2 but also RIM's Playbook and HP's webOS TouchPad.

    Honeycomb tablets' key advantage over the iPad 2, Playbook and TouchPad is often cited to be the "openness" of Android, yet Google has decided to suspend open access to Android 3.0 source code for "the foreseeable future," explaining that it "is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones," according to a report by BusinessWeek.

    Google's Andy Rubin still maintains that "Android is an open-source project," saying, "we have not changed our strategy," while also saying that the company "took a shortcut" in deciding that it should prevent developers from putting the software on phones "and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones."

    Of course, the primary allure of open source is that other companies can do things that the vendor has "no idea" about, such as when Apple took the KHTML source and created the Safari browser, or when Nokia, RIM and Google took Apple's resulting WebKit browser engine and created subsequent, unanticipated new products based on it.

    Google closes open source as needed

    Google has regularly taken the leading edge of Android development offline to work exclusively with select partners, leaving the larger community to wait until after a release to observe or contribute to the project. This was done at the original release of Android, again with the release of Android 2.0 (in conjunction with Motorola), and at the release of Android 3.0, which surprised the "community" with software that was developed internally, not in the manner of an community led open source project like Mozilla or Linux.

    Apple has similarly delayed releases to its Darwin open source kernel project as it prepares major reference releases of Mac OS X, but Apple doesn't pretend that Darwin is a collaborative, community driven project. Instead, Apple is largely sharing its code with developers so they can better understand how it works and provide feedback.

    At the same time, Apple also runs more collaborative open source projects such as the aforementioned WebKit, CUPS, and its Address Book, Calendar and Wiki Severs, which are all openly maintained by a development community larger than Apple itself. Apple does not close down WebKit development to prevent the community from doing things whenever it has "no idea if it will even work."

    Rubin's "definition of open" doesn't apply to Android 3.0

    Rubin's defense of taking the "open source" Android 3.0 offline is particularly comical given his previous definition of "open," a tweet directed at Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs that said "the definition of open: 'mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make' meaning that "open" explicitly meant being able to download the source code and freely do anything with it.

    Jobs had pointed out that "Google loves to characterize Android as 'open' and iOS and iPhone as 'closed.' We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches."

    He added that "many Android OEMs, including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user's left to figure it all out. Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same."

    Jobs also described various Android app stores as "a mess for both users and developers" and noted that "many Android apps work only on selected handsets, or selected Android versions," alluding to the fact that most Android phones still run an OS release roughly a year old, and often can't be updated for 3 to 6 months after Google makes an update available.

    Honeycomb tablets shut off before opening up

    The flagship Honeycomb tablet, Motorola's Xoom, hasn't generated much interest in the premise of Android 3.0 being open, instead being ridiculed for its price, incomplete software and missing features it was advertised to have.

    The company is reported to be sharply reducing manufacturing orders for the new tablet, with sources blaming its tapered off production on "the unclear market status of iPad-like tablet PCs."

    Meanwhile, Motorola is also reported to be working on its own Android OS alternative, motivated by problems related to Android's platform fragmentation, issues with product differentiation and "issues related to Google's support for its partners."

    Samsung has delayed its own plans to release a Honeycomb tablet after deciding that its original design was "inadequate" compared to the new iPad 2. It hopes to have its thinner models available by June.

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  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #2
    Openness fail. Too bad droning fandroids will still claim it's open.

    They are right though. It's an open wasteland.
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #3
    ....and? They stated the reason why not. Give them time. I am sure Google will put out a nice OS. They have certainly made Apple quick to adopt new things and be competitive. Otherwise we'd still be at 128 MB RAM and basic App Store integration.

    After all, it was the iPhone Dev Team along with the original Installer developers who gave life to the iPhone back in the 1.1.x days. Apple just killed off that in order to have control of it. Ironically, the App Store icon looks remarkably similar to the old Installer icon.
     
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #4
    It'll be on tablets by big manufacturers just not small ones and devs won't have access to it yet.

    They're holding it back because they haven't put any effort into developing it for phones and they don't want to give "the user a bad experience" by releasing the code and having phone makers jerry rig it.
     
  5. Consultant, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #5
    LOL. Maybe you didn't realize Android is just a blackberry knockoff before Apple introduced the iPhone.

    Surely it's Android, not Apple's innovations, that is pushing Apple forward. :rolleyes:
     
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #6
    Dude, Apple has not innovated with the iPhone OS in recent years. Sure it was new back in 2007, but in 2008, 2.0 iPhone OS was just the adoption of the jailbreak calling on 93% of the OS. 2009 just brought along iPhone OS 3.0 which just added copy/paste some enhancements like Tethering; however, overall another jailbreak calling response.

    iPhone 4.0 is sorta new taking on features from other platforms. Multitasking is one. Also, please don't say Apple's multitask is real, because its not.

    The only innovation Apple does is on the hardware side on adding functionality to the device. However on power of hardware goes, they are really slow to adopt faster tech and phase out older tech quite quickly: see iPhone vs iPhone 3G, same device (except GPS + 3G on one) yet one gets updates the other one doesn't.
     
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #7
    "Google delays Honeycomb indefinitely"

    So, if that's the case, why are there devices with Honeycomb installed on sale in stores?
     
  8. X2468 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2011
    #8
    Quite the contrary.

    Open source has a very important, proven role in computing and other areas of the tech sector.

    As it applies to smartphones, tablets and the like, it's usefulness & flexibility are well established. Worldwide demand is strong, as is the long successful history that comes with open source.

    Android, Googles version, has already proven it's current & future value. Google has made a wise temporary decision that will serve them well.

    This is excellent news.
     
  9. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    #9
    For me true open source software is developed in the open as well. Like Apple Webkit.

    Android isn't.
     
  10. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #10
    Wait, so a "closed" system provides better actual experience?
     
  11. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #11
    I was thinking the exact same thing. My mate has one. It's a nifty little tablet, nice thing to play around with.
     
  12. Littleodie914, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    #12
    Yea, the OP really contradicted the article with a pretty misleading title.

    Google isn't delaying Honeycomb, it's readily available on a number of retail tablets. What they're delaying is the release of the source code, essentially disallowing 3rd-party developers from producing apps that leverage the Honeycomb features. (Can apps written for 2.x run on Honeycomb?) Edit: This isn't quite right either. See below.
     
  13. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #13
    It isn't even that. Google simply are not releasing the source code for honeycomb. It can still be developed for. Just no changing the source code to suit your certain device.

    But yes, very misleading title. Not really much of a story in it when you look into it. Makes me think... who really cares?
     
  14. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    #14
    Ah interesting, thanks for the clarification. So this doesn't even affect developers, correct? Just manufacturers of the devices themselves, who would want to customize portions of the OS?
     
  15. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #15
    Pretty much.
     
  16. *LTD*, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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  17. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a

    SevenInchScrew

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    #17
    You see who the OP is, right? A misleading title with a cherry-picked quote making the opposing team look bad seems par for the course.
    The Honeycomb SDK was released a couple months ago. Software developers can (and already have) develop apps for 3.0 devices. Like roadbloc says, this is mostly just to keep hardware makers from putting a tablet-centric OS on a phone.

    When the SDK was released, some people hacked together a build of that and got it running on phones. Yes, it worked, but pretty poorly. Google doesn't want that to happen, so they are holding it back until the software is fully ready to be run on more than just tablets.
     
  18. X2468 macrumors regular

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    #18
    It depends on what type of experience one is looking for.

    A simple experience with few choices is the typical experience of a closed system.

    A more flexible, customizable, experience is the usual result of an open system.

    Arguing that Android is not open, is an argument that could apply to many distributions of open source code operating systems. It's a technicality at best with no merit.

    At the end of the day the OS one chooses is a personal preference, which negates the argument anyway.

    I happen to own, use & enjoy both. It's that simple.
     
  19. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #19
    Never mind, I changed the OP.

    DED's take is spot-on, as usual. Really worth a read.

    Enjoy.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #20
    read threw it. Seems to me just like standard Apple Fanboy post trying to twist the truth from what it really is.
    Suggest you link to an article that is not trying to hide behind that fact.
    Reminded me yet again that i should of just left you on my ignore list. Back you go.
     
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #21
    I laughed when I saw this post. Good one dear friend.
     
  22. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.3; en-gb; Blade Build/FRG83) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    I will say I'm disappointed in this news.

    It's thanks to the Android source code that I have a fully functioning ZTE Blade running Gingerbread which is still on Android 2.1 in the UK.

    A cheap Android tablet device with a custom ROM which was compiled and optimised from the honeycomb source code rather than hacking the SDK Emulator port (available on the Nook) would have been great.

    One question I would like to ask is why are there so many Android articles on AppleInsider? The news and articles in MacRumors seems far more relevant without the regular bashing of the competition that AI writers insist on posting.
     
  23. secondhandloser macrumors member

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    #23
    Makes sense. A temporary close is sometimes necessary to complete development.
     
  24. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #24
    Instead of his usual looking for a problem that doesn't exist, the writer of Roughly Drafted could've simply quoted the Android website:

    I would suspect that the paid members of the OHA are part of the hidden version. The source is still available to the general public when core changes are finished and upcoming devices are ready to be marketed.

    The final effect on users is a good one, not negative.
     
  25. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    #25
    Which all neatly misses the point. Google have gone back on their word.

    The final effect on users is almost all Apple ever thinks about as well, that doesn't meant they don't (sometimes rightly) come in for criticism from time to time.
     

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