Google March 24 said it was delaying its launch of Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" operating system tablets to open source. The company wants to tweak the platform to work on other devices.
roiling the open-source waters by declining to release its Android 3.0
"Honeycomb" operating system to independent developers so it can
polish the code.
modus operandi is to seed Android device makers with source code to build
products, and then release the code to open source for developers to play with
a few months later.
Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics have already used Honeycomb for
tablets. Motorola's Xoom has been on the market for a month. Samsung just showed
9-inch and 10-inch Honeycomb slates at the CTIA Wireless show.
followed the trend of Google's Android 2.x builds for smartphones, Google TV
and other devices, it should have released the code around the timeframe the
special version of Android tailored for tablets and other devices with larger
screen sizes, is a different animal. BusinessWeek reported
Google will delay the release of Honeycomb to open source for several months
because it requires more work before it can be ported to devices other than
Android creator and the vice-president for engineering at Google," told
our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs. "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."
experience on smartphones and other devices, he added, could be poor, damaging
the Android brand.
Why did Google
need to rush Honeycomb to market? To get some skin in the game versus Apple's
iPad. Google wanted to make sure Honeycomb was available on tablets before
Apple launched its iPad
March 11. Apple's first iPad shipped 15 million units through 2010.
the move to eWEEK in an email March 24, noting that Honeycomb's widgets, multi-tasking,
browsing, notifications and customization set it apart from the Android 2.x
line created for smartphones and other machines.
we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work
to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones,"
the Google spokesperson said.
then, we've decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We're committed to
providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish
the source as soon as it's ready."