Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,978
19,825



152050-android_honeycomb_icon.jpg


One of the major talking points long used by Google in support of its Android smartphone operating system over iOS is its "open" nature that has allowed handset manufacturers and others to tweak and customize the software for their needs. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has argued that the "open" nature would more accurately be described as "fragmented" in justifying why he believes that Apple's "closed" or "integrated" iOS is a better platform for consumers.

Google executive Andy Rubin responded to Jobs' comments last October by using his first ever Tweet to define "open" as the code needed to get the Android source code installed and ready for use by anyone interested in it.

But as Android's popularity has taken off and the number of manufacturers and devices utilizing it has exploded, Google has begun tightening its control over the operating system, perhaps recognizing that a purely open system might in fact not be best for consumers and looking to exert its influence over how Android is presented to and behaves for users.

Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Google has decided to hold back from releasing the source code for its new "Honeycomb" version of Android to the public, claiming that the code is not yet ready for public tweaking given corners that needed to be cut to bring it to market to compete with the iPad.
"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."

Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now, as it has with other versions of Android at similar periods in their development, it couldn't 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."
Still, Rubin argued that Google has not changed its philosophy about Android being an open source project.

Bloomberg Businessweek continued digging into the situation, however, and yesterday published a report outlining how Google has in fact been taking new steps to crack down on how Android is being deployed, moves that have angered some hardware manufacturers.
Playtime is over in Android Land. Over the last couple of months Google (GOOG) has reached out to the major carriers and device makers backing its mobile operating system with a message: There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software. No more partnerships formed outside of Google's purview. From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google's most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google's Android group.
According to the report, Google has been increasing enforcement of "non-fragmentation clauses" in recent months, requiring partners to submit their plans to Google for final say on their implementation. The policies have ruffled some feathers in the industry, including at Facebook and Verizon, where tweaked versions of Android have been under development. Google's actions have sparked a few complaints to the U.S. Department of Justice, although it is unclear whether there is any momentum for a coordinated push back from manufacturers or regulators.

Article Link: Google Tightening Control Over Android as Fragmentation Increases
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,122
428
John Gruber's take:

DaringFireball said:
So here’s the Android bait-and-switch laid bare. Android was “open” only until it became popular and handset makers dependent upon it. Now that Google has the handset makers by the balls, Android is no longer open and Google starts asserting control.

Andy Rubin, Vic Gundotra, Eric Schmidt: shameless, lying hypocrites, all of them.

Can't say I disagree.
 

SuperMatt

Suspended
Mar 28, 2002
1,569
8,281
The biggest advantage always given for Android over iOS is that it's "open source." Well, clearly that's not the case anymore. So, I can't think of any other reason to use Android over iOS, or even Windows 7. It looks like junk, and it's just a cheap ripoff of iOS.
 

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
The biggest advantage always given for Android over iOS is that it's "open source." Well, clearly that's not the case anymore. So, I can't think of any other reason to use Android over iOS, or even Windows 7. It looks like junk, and it's just a cheap ripoff of iOS.

Thats not at all what this article is saying. The Android project is still going to be "open source".
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,851
1
How could you not see this coming. Even the most active anti-apple android fanboy/cheerleader could see that eventually it wouldn't work. Too many cooks in 'teh' kitchen trying to one up the competition whilst ruining the experience for the user.
 

addicted44

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2005
533
168
This brings up the question of how willing manufacturers are going to be to replace their Android phones with WP7 phones.
 

bazaarsoft

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2005
27
13
Fragmentation is a made-up problem

At least, that's what the Fandroids wanted us to believe when Android fragmentation started being tossed around as a problem. Where are those guys now that Google is actually acknowledging that it's a problem? :eek:
 

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
How could you not see this coming. Even the most active anti-apple android fanboy/cheerleader could see that eventually it wouldn't work. Too many cooks in 'teh' kitchen trying to one up the competition whilst ruining the experience for the user.

I think everyone saw it. The question is what will Google do when they do publish the source code? All of these people pointing and laughing didn't read the article.

At least, that's what the Fandroids wanted us to believe when Android fragmentation started being tossed around as a problem. Where are those guys now that Google is actually acknowledging that it's a problem? :eek:

Not a problem for me. HTC does a great job keeping phones updated.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,122
428
This is a smart move. It had to happen sooner or later.



John Gruber would eat Steve Job's ***** if he could. His opinion is extremely biased.

I don't disagree that it was a smart move, either. It WAS a bait and switch though. Most of us realized that making the OS open would result in a ton of forks with horrible UI and poor casual user experience- look at Linux on the desktop.

I think Google is doing the right thing to give Android a better product. However, that doesn't make it not hypocritical, or the exact opposite of everything they promised their clients (the manufacturers).

Google finally figured out that they need to exert control to keep the OS consistent and the user experience good. Problem is, doing that also means going against everything they spent the last three years preaching against.


Also, it's extremely important to note that the criticisms being leveled against Google is that they're showing favoritism and imposing addition restrictions on competitors such as Facebook, if you read the articles.
 

iliketyla

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2011
105
0
Phoenix, AZ
Let the Apple fanboys begin patting each other on the back, and taking something and running wild with it.

By the end of this thread, it'll be impossible to decipher what the original story was about.
 

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
Lol, the fragmentation that "doesnt exist".

I knew it would bite them in the ass someday.

It was bound to happen. Apple makes the hardware and the phone and distributes it to providers.

Google makes the software, distributes it to manufacturers, who than distribute to providers.

Its a different model and Apples model works best however, the super closed ecosystem will always present some sort of issues amongst users. Either way you slice it Android isn't going anywhere and neither is iOS. Both are great platforms and the people that bash either without acknowledging that are uninformed fanboys/fandroids.
 

LanPhantom

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2007
125
0
Hooper, UT
Buy one Get One

The biggest advantage always given for Android over iOS is that it's "open source." Well, clearly that's not the case anymore. So, I can't think of any other reason to use Android over iOS, or even Windows 7. It looks like junk, and it's just a cheap ripoff of iOS.

I've been wanting to say this for a very long time. Google's OS has no advantage over iOS. You could even say it has a disadvantage. Having to create a vanilla code base that needs to function on multiple pieces of hardware is complex, more complexity creates weaker system.

But here's my point. The ONLY ONLY reason why Android market share is anywhere near what it is today is because of the Buy One Get One options at most phone retailers. iOS has NEVER done that and hopefully never will. If you didn't care about the phone or service but needed two "Newer Smart Phones" one for you and one for your wife, why not go with the "Blah Blah" model from Verizon where if I buy one today I get the second for free (two year agreement and activation fees required).

Market share means nothing. This platform is doomed unless Google reins it in and get control over it. If they do, providers will be less willing to work with them, if they don't, by by Android.

My Two Cents.
-LanPhantom
 

dgree03

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,177
0
This wont end androids openness. It will make is so that there is more of a consistent experience amung all android devices.

We will still be able to install from "unknown sources" for example.

Relaz macrumors.. not as big as deal as you are making it.
 

kenypowa

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2008
698
26
somewhere
Lol, the fragmentation that "doesnt exist".

I knew it would bite them in the ass someday.

Please, enlighten us, how does fragmentation bite Android's ass when it is the #1 smartphone OS. Regardless what you think, Android and iOS are by far the most successful OS in the last 5 years.
 

ikir

macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2007
1,889
1,717
I have 2 friends with android, one with an HTC and one with Samsung Galaxy S.

They have different OS versions since they aren't able to update it, they get crap bugs and error in almost every software they use. I say to one of them to update to lastest version, he told me he can't because he need to do it from "root"... i don't know, but at least i was able to install WhatsApp on their phones, the only thing i care :p Naturally they are using their device at minimum, few software and one of them neither have 3G connection. When we are at pub, they all use my iPhone for browsing and gaming (sigh) as always has been.
 

infidel69

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2011
202
0
Lol, the fragmentation that "doesnt exist".

I knew it would bite them in the ass someday.

How is it biting them in the ass? Android is the fastest growing OS with a larger share than IOS. I think it's been a very succesfull strategy.
 

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
I've been wanting to say this for a very long time. Google's OS has no advantage over iOS. You could even say it has a disadvantage. Having to create a vanilla code base that needs to function on multiple pieces of hardware is complex, more complexity creates weaker system.

But here's my point. The ONLY ONLY reason why Android market share is anywhere near what it is today is because of the Buy One Get One options at most phone retailers. iOS has NEVER done that and hopefully never will. If you didn't care about the phone or service but needed two "Newer Smart Phones" one for you and one for your wife, why not go with the "Blah Blah" model from Verizon where if I buy one today I get the second for free (two year agreement and activation fees required).

Market share means nothing. This platform is doomed unless Google reins it in and get control over it. If they do, providers will be less willing to work with them, if they don't, by by Android.

My Two Cents.
-LanPhantom

You could say the same thing about Apple though. The Apple fad will go away and the extremely closed ecosystem which seems to not be really developing much in terms of UI or having an actual roadmap could end iOS.

I don't understand why people can't just see the pros and cons of both and accept both are great platforms. Its always a WAR with Apple fans. Apple against EVERYONE!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.