Nancy Gohring reports:
Google Inc. announced [Tuesday] that the source code for its Android mobile operating system is now available for anyone to use free of charge ... Google expects that by making the source code for the operating system open, a wide variety of applications will appear, as will cheaper and faster phones.
...Android will be released under the Apache license, which doesn't require developers to share their changes to the code back with the community ... Google says that ... will let manufacturers innovate on the platform and allow them to keep those innovations proprietary as a way to differentiate their offerings.
Cade Metz addz:
When Google calls Android an open mobile platform, it's no longer stretching the truth. This morning, a day before the debut of the inaugural Android phone, the world's largest ad broker finally released the platform's source code to world+dog.
Teaming up with a cavalcade of mobile industry players - including Qualcomm, Motorola, HTC, and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) - Google first announced its open platform in November of last year, but chose to keep it closed, privately developing Android without input from the open source community at large. This riled many old school open source types.
...Android product manager Andy Rubin ... [said] that many open source projects start out closed and that his closed open platform would one day be open. And now it is.
Android's Dave Bort crows:
Today is a big day for Android, the Open Handset Alliance, and the open-source community ... But one device is just the beginning.
Android is not a single piece of hardware; it's a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Everything is there, from the bootloader all the way up to the applications. And with an Android device already on the market, it has proven that it has what it takes to truly compete in the mobile arena.Even if you're not planning to ship a mobile device any time soon, Android has a lot to offer. Interested in working on a speech-recognition library? Looking to do some research on virtual machines? Need an out-of-the-box embedded Linux solution? All of these pieces are available, right now, as part of the Android Open Source Project, along with graphics libraries, media codecs, and some of the best development tools I've ever worked with.
Where next? Om Malik asks:
When it comes to its new mobile operating system, Android, Googles dreams go beyond just mobile phones. Indeed, the company is hoping that the open-source version of the software will eventually find its way into a panoply of devices.
Over the last few weeks I have learned that numerous companies are tinkering with Android in an attempt to get the OS to power a whole slew of gadgets everything from set-top boxes to navigation systems to mobile Internet devices to smart picture frames.
...Perfectly understandable. Its not just an operating system, but comes with middleware and key applications, making it a complete environment that can be modified for other users. It has a robust web browser (based on WebKit), the ability to handle 2D and 3D graphics, and is able to read all sorts of audio, video and image files. As a result it can be extended into any number of consumer electronic devices that needed a robust software system.
HTC is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, and they make a lot of popular carrier re-branded handsets. so you might be able to run Android on many of those devices.
Other HTC phones running on, either Texas Instrument's OMAP or Qualcomm's MSM line processors, should support Android as well. in fact, all HTC phones run on either TI, Qualcomm, Intel, or Samsung processors. and it just so happens that TI, Qualcomm, Intel, and Samsung are all members of the Open Handset Alliance. so i wouldn't be surprised if all HTC handsets eventually supported the Android platform.That's the power of having a strong cross-industry alliance supporting open standards.
But damn_registrars needs more:
Come on, I don't think this phone does enough yet. If they can't make a phone that can run SETI@Home while I play Duke Nukem Forever, then I'm not interested!And there's no word on its ability to make my dinner, either. What good is a cell phone if it can't deep fry?
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously in IT Blogwatch: