Delay to Honeycomb code release doesn't represent a change in open strategy, claims Android head Rubin

Same as it ever was

Delay to Honeycomb code release doesn't represent a change in open strategy, claims Android head Rubin
Google's decision to hold back the release of Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, had been taken by many as a significant change in approach by the company.

The suggestion was Google was looking to standardise the OS, ensuring all tablets offered developers largely the same feature set.

Android head Andy Rubin has hit out at such claims however, stating there's been no change in the firm's approach to the open nature of the OS, and pointing the finger squarely at the press for promoting "misinformation".

Open to all

"The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices – many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created," Rubin says in a post on the Android developers blog.

"Miraculously, we are seeing the platform take on new use cases, features and form factors as it’s being introduced in new categories and regions while still remaining consistent and compatible for third party applications."

Rubin's stance is that Honeycomb's code will, eventually, be made public, but that the Android team is "still hard at work" on the platform - despite Honeycomb having already made it onto the shop shelves via Motorola's Xoom.

"This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy," Rubin adds.

"We remain firmly committed to providing Android as an open source platform across many device types. As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customise any range of features for Android devices."

Opposing views

Rubin's claim that Google is not abandoning its open stance may displease many developers, however.

Epic Games' Tim Sweeney has recently stated that he believes the company needs to take a firmer hand with Android carriers and OEMs, bringing the OS together to offer studios a more standardised platform to work with.

The open nature of Android, he claims, leads many handsets to have their power sapped by carrier installs and custom UIs – factors that have blocked Epic from adding support for Android to Unreal Engine.

But Rubin's comments suggest Sweeney and co. will be left disappointed.

"Our approach remains unchanged: there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customising UIs," he concludes.

"There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardise the platform on any single chipset architecture."

[source: Google]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.