Google VP Andy Rubin says Android 'openness' hasn't changed

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In response to recent reports that have portrayed Google Android as being closed, Android boss Andy Rubin spoke out Wednesday in a blog post defending the platform, asserting that the company's approach to openness remains the same.



Last week, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that Google had begun to restrict its partners in order to deal with the growing issue of fragmentation on the Android platform.



Rubin, who is Google's vice president of engineering and a former Apple engineer, hinted that the news was merely a method of spreading 'fear, uncertainty and doubt' by titling the blog post "I think I?m having a Gene Amdahl moment," a reference to the former IBM employee who coined the phrase.



"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," Rubin wrote.



Throughout impressive growth over the past two and a half years, Google has "remained committed to fostering the development of an open platform for the mobile industry and beyond, " said Rubin.



He asserted that device makers are still free to modify Android to customize "any range of features" for their devices, while adding that manufacturers looking to market their devices as Android-compatible or include Google applications must conform with "some basic compatibility requirements."



According to Rubin, Google's "anti-fragmentation" program has been in place since Android 1.0 and remains a priority for the company. Each of the Open Handset Alliance members agreed not to fragment Android when it was first announced, he noted.



A recent survey from Baird Research indicated that 87 percent of Android developers view fragmentation as a problem for the Android platform. Developers expressed concerns over both device fragmentation and store fragmentation.



"Our approach remains unchanged: there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs," he continued. "There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture."



Responding to claims that Google's closing of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb source code meant the platform was no longer open source, Rubin promised that the code would be released once the Android team finished bringing features from the tablet-focused Honeycomb to smartphones.



"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," he said.



Apple and Google are locked in a fierce battle over control of both the smartphone and tablet market. Last October, Nielsen revealed that Android had overtaken iOS as the top-selling smartphone platform. According to one analytics firm, however, spectacular growth by the iPad has resulted in a iOS having a larger share of web visits than Android when all devices are taken into consideration.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,432member
    It's always been an indescribable mess, just like everything else from Google.
  • Reply 2 of 84
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    We've always been at war with Eastasia.
  • Reply 3 of 84
    Can he retweet the definition of OPEN again? I forgot.. really.
  • Reply 4 of 84
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by makingdots View Post


    Can he retweet the definition of OPEN again? I forgot.. really.



    He forgot too.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadash View Post


    We've always been at war with Eastasia.



    No, Eastasia (Microsoft) is our ally and has always been our ally. Westasia (Google) is our enemy and has always been our enemy. I expect all of your best efforts and cooperation to go to war against Westasia and see our victory through to the end!
  • Reply 6 of 84
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Someone should make a small Android toy that speak "I'm open, I'm open, I'm open, I'm open..." all day. It will sell well.
  • Reply 7 of 84
    qualiaqualia Posts: 73member
    I don't fault Google for preaching openness while being, as one might say, DRACONIAN. They're a business whose primary interest is to make money, and if they want to take advantage of the people who blindly believe that Google's a humanitarian charity and not a for-profit business, then kudos to them. It's the fanboys who swallow the drivel who annoy me. And people think Apple fans are deluded. I don't think even the most rabid Apple fanboy pretends that people at Apple make awesome products just out of the goodness of their hearts.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    If Google is so open like they say Android is, then they would have put dissenting viewpoints on their "global warming" members. They selected every single member on that based on their belief that global warming is real. Yeah, that's open right there.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Qualia View Post


    I don't think even the most rabid Apple fanboy pretends that people at Apple make awesome products just out of the goodness of their hearts.



    You obviously don't read AI comments that often.
  • Reply 10 of 84
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by His Dudeness View Post


    If Google is so open like they say Android is, then they would have put dissenting viewpoints on their "global warming" members. They selected every single member on that based on their belief that global warming is real. Yeah, that's open right there.



    What are you talking about?



    Open =! "Fairness"
  • Reply 11 of 84
    This proves what I've been talking about. "Don't be evil" quickly turns into "We're morally better than everyone else" which quickly turns into "We can do no evil". Rubin believes in Google's own BS. The bottom line is: they want people to call their closed cake "open".
  • Reply 12 of 84
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Closed is the new Open.



    Also, I thought 3.0 was never meant for smartphones? Now they will be re-engineering it back for smartphones? So... then it will be open source again? Maybe?



    If I were a handset or tablet maker if I wasn't sh*tting my pants right about now I should be.
  • Reply 13 of 84
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by makingdots View Post


    Can he retweet the definition of OPEN again? I forgot.. really.



    if (Google feels like it at the time)

    {

    mkdir android ;

    cd android ;

    repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ;

    repo sync ;

    make

    }



    else

    {

    your_company=f**ked;

    }
  • Reply 14 of 84
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    He must be thinking that people are stupid.
  • Reply 15 of 84
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,012member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    if (Google feels like it at the time)

    {

    mkdir android ;

    cd android ;

    repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ;

    repo sync ;

    make

    }



    else

    {

    your_company=f**ked;

    }



    Looks like you've mixed java and shell there. Btw, local variable your_company is never read.
  • Reply 16 of 84
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    This article explains things in simplistic terms. How can anyone not understand them.



    Android is open. If you doubt that go to Android site at http://source.android.com/index.html where you can download the source code or learn how to port android to your own devices. Seems pretty open to me. You can also read the licensing details.



    What is not open are things like the google market, google navigation, google earth, google translate etc. These never were open source so nothing has changed here. If you want these you need to fall in line with some google standards.



    It could not be easier to understand.



    Quote:

    Apple and Google are locked in a fierce battle over control of both the smartphone and tablet market.



    Smartphone market – yes. Tablet market – no. The biggest threat to iPad so far is Xoom which has sales in the vicinity of 100,000 compared to iPad 300,000 in three days. Not much of a battle here yet.
  • Reply 17 of 84
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    That's the source code to the current version of the OS.



    The policy that is being debated is one where Google will release the newest source code (3.0) to select partners. Then to everyone else at some later time. That is not open.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post


    This article explains things in simplistic terms. How can anyone not understand them.



    Android is open. If you doubt that go to Android site at http://source.android.com/index.html where you can download the source code or learn how to port android to your own devices. Seems pretty open to me. You can also read the licensing details.



  • Reply 18 of 84
    galaxytabgalaxytab Posts: 122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Closed is the new Open.



    Also, I thought 3.0 was never meant for smartphones? Now they will be re-engineering it back for smartphones? So... then it will be open source again? Maybe?



    If I were a handset or tablet maker if I wasn't sh*tting my pants right about now I should be.



    Google must be crazy for doing a Tablet and Smartphone OS seperatly mustn't they? What sort of idiotic company would put out two OS's with the intention of merging them into a single release at a latter date? Oh, hang on Apple already did that with the release of iOS 4.3 on iPhone and iPad. Mustbe good then!



    The next revision of Android will be merging both the tablet optimized version and the smartphone version into a single release fyi. As someone proclaiming that handset and tablet manufacturers should be "sh*ting their pants", you sure know little about Android or the release schedule of it.



    Anyhow, I bet the likes of HTC are really afraid, especially as they've just taken over the market cap of both Nokia and RIM.



    It really does surprise me the amonunt of attention Android gets on Apple related sites.
  • Reply 19 of 84
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,199member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Qualia View Post


    I don't fault Google for preaching openness while being, as one might say, DRACONIAN. They're a business whose primary interest is to make money, and if they want to take advantage of the people who blindly believe that Google's a humanitarian charity and not a for-profit business, then kudos to them. It's the fanboys who swallow the drivel who annoy me. And people think Apple fans are deluded. I don't think even the most rabid Apple fanboy pretends that people at Apple make awesome products just out of the goodness of their hearts.



    I'm not going to defend Google on their Open Source initiative, but you make yourself look like an ass talking out of it as if you know jack about Atmospheric Physics and Geological Physics. Keep talking. Please. Just ignore my comments.



    Keep spreadin' the faith that Global Warmin' [no longer even called that as it's Climate Change, or as a Mechanical Engineer I call it Global Heat Redistribution in a Nonlinear Dynamics Model creating pockets of deltas beyond traditional tolerances to such an extreme it's impacting trade winds and seasonal averages well founded since we've become an Industrial World] Faith because I find it ironic that people actually think this Atmospheric Regulated System has some infinite amount of tolerance for subterranean byproducts without damaging the basic cycle of healthy Photosynthesis, etc.
  • Reply 20 of 84
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Relevant portion from a recent article: Hi! We're Google and we're pretty not evil.



    "The point is, that other software, the open source software, that stuff should be open. It should be free and open for anyone to change and inspect and use how they wish. We need to trust our users to do the right thing. And our users need to be able to trust us.



    Manufacturers, however, are sneaky bastards, and can't be trusted at all. That's why we're withholding the Honeycomb source from our trusted users and partners and manufacturers.



    You'll just screw it up, and then everyone will blame us.



    It's for your own good really."



    http://www.isights.org/2011/04/hi-we...ot-evil-1.html
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