Ever since Google introduced the Android mobile
OS to the world in the fall of 2008, the company has advocated an open-source
approach to its development and implementation. On one hand, this attitude
helped fuel Android's
auspicious growth. On the other hand, it also resulted in a
fragmented OS. Now, Google is beginning to rein in the rampant tweaking of
the software, in an effort aimed at uniformity.
BusinessWeek reports that Google over the last few months has sent this message to the
major carriers and device manufacturers that support Android: Playtime is over.
Google, particularly Android head Andy Rubin, will have oversight of any future
Android partnerships, and anyone who wants early access to the latest iteration
of the software will need to seek permission from Rubin himself.
Google that once welcomed all comers to help get its mobile software off the
ground has become far more discriminating—especially for companies that want to
include Google services such as search and maps on their hardware," Bloomberg reports.
Rubin predicted the fragmentation that would follow a platform as open as
Android. That's why the company chooses a chipmaker and device manufacturer
when it launches a new product, to show off what it can accomplish. In the
past, it was Qualcomm and HTC -- both companies have made huge market gains as
to several sources for Bloomberg's report,
Google has demanded that Android licensees abide by "non-fragmentation
clauses" that grant Google the final word on customization matters. It
also means they need approval from Google to partner with others. John
Lagerlin, director of global Android partnerships, told Bloomberg that it's about quality control and
aiming towards a "common denominator" experience.
Rubin claims that a clause has always been part of the license, sources say
that Google has been clamping down in recent months. Facebook, which is trying
to launch its
own Android device, has reportedly been unhappy because of Google's
oversight. Google has also gotten involved with an upcoming Android phone from
Verizon that incorporates rival Microsoft's Bing search engine, holding up its
policy has reportedly resulted in complaints to the Justice Department. Google
declined to comment on this aspect.
addition, Google has also begun to withhold code from the public, which hurts
developers and smaller companies. According to Bloomberg, Google will not
release the source code for the tablet Honeycomb OS anytime in the near
premise of a true open software platform may be where Android started, but it's
not where Android is going," Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop told Bloomberg. Elop, a former
Microsoft executive, recently established a
"strategic partnership" with his former employer instead of Google because, he says, he
would be able to innovate more with Windows Phone 7 than Android.
often got criticized for treating all partners the same, whether they were
doing great work or mediocre work," Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg
"Google seems to have no problem with playing favorites."
bottom line from the report: "Despite grumblings, Google's Android mobile
operating system is still open—it's just getting more heavily policed."
quote: Totally agreed. Samsung TouchWiz on my friend's Galaxy S looks like some child's pet project.BTW, do all Androids have a lack of a battery percentage meter, or is it just Samsungs?
quote: They are not putting "Sense of the Phone" Its actually entrenched within the Android build they are providing. Its not some kind of special installation atop ASOP Android that they install before sending phones out.
quote: Either they should allow them, or they should not.. I really don't see any middle ground for them. Either that or extremely limit what they can do, for example limiting them to theme and launcher modifications and nothing low level.
quote: Google has demanded that Android licensees abide by "non-fragmentation clauses"
quote: 96% of Google's revenue comes from selling advertising, a product now over a decade old
quote: If Google didn’t act, it faced a draconian future where one man, one phone, one carrier were our choice. That’s a future we don’t want. […]So if you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android.
quote: 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.
quote: Microsoft is a three trick pony (all their revenue essentially comes from Windows, Office and the Server stack - note that two of those core products are over 20 years old)
quote: Playtime is over in Android Land. Over the last couple of months Google 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.
quote: Microsoft is definitely making money off the Xbox 360. Yes they lost a lot of money initially. Compounded by the $1 billion dollar charge for all the warranties on early 360s.
quote: Because those core products are sustainable. There will always be a need for those products, contrary to your consumer gadget takeover mantra.
quote: Why would they possibly lock any service exclusively to Android? Everything Google does is web based. They do everything web based because of their ads. It's how they make their money which you even admitted too. By putting services exclusively on Android they would be cutting into their very own revenues.Once all the iPad clones crash and burn? You were saying the same crap about Android against iOS and how did that turn out? We'll see how Samsung does with their 10.1 and 8.9 tablet's running Honeycomb at competitive prices. I expect them to do rather well. Not iPad well since Samsung doesn't have an RDF to herd the sheep, but in the end users prefer choice and openness of their devices. This is already seen with how quickly Android has grown and the failure of iPhone 4 on Verizon.
quote: Here, let's word this for you as simple as possible since you depend on apple products:Since day one, Android =! Google Phone.Android = openGoogle Apps = closedUse Android = open platformWant Google integration = closed platform.Stop trying to spread FUD with your bull sh it.
quote: (there was always secret clauses negotiated with Android handset makers - these remain secret)
quote: Open means anybody can use it. iOS isn't open. Android is open.If you would just drag your head out of the RDF for a minute you'd realize that Google doesn't want to go walled garden. They want to stop crap like this:http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=117...Hopefully they want to stop stupid stuff like Sense, Blur and Touchwiz as well because stuff like that causes tons of lag time in updating a phone to the latest Android version.Google also wants to stop stuff like what Samsung is doing to their customers. Keep promising updates but never actually updating squat. That's all Google wants to do because that will reel in the fragmentation. Any platform (your beloved Apple included) has some sort of fragmentation. The key to minimize it which is what Google is trying to do.Google wants Android to be relative untouched. Anything that gets added to it needs to be an installed package. HTC gives us Sense because its "pretty". The problem is not everybody likes Sense. I hate it. My Thunderbolt doesn't have it anymore thanks to rooting. Tmobile released an open source theme engine for Android. That's what Google wants. That way HTC can push out updates to its phones faster then they already do.
quote: Xbox is making money. The amount doesn't matter (no matter what you say) because the point is they are making profit.
quote: What do you mean Google blocks Bing from searching Youtube? I just pulled up 2 videos both going back to YouTube. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=super+bowl+201...
quote: There is a big difference between being "our best launch" and being successful. Sorry but even Verizon has said sales were below expectations. What happened to all those predictions of 11 million devices on Verizon sold?
quote: iPod dominance wasn't due to the device. It was due to iTunes and DRM forcing people into a platform. Joe Average doesn't know that they can burn those songs to a CD and rip back into MP3 which would be DRM free. They just know that if they don't keep using iTunes their music stops working.
quote: Nobody should love or be as obsessed with any company as Tony is with Apple.