Andy Rubin, VP of Android Engineering, has spoken about the future of the ridiculously popular operating system, addressing the issue of the platform remaining truly "open source”.
Fragmentation has become an increasingly pressing concern with Android since its launch in October 2008, with a recent survey showing that 86% of developers feel that it’s a problem. In a bid to address those concerns, Android recently announced controversial changes, meaning companies will have to seek approval from Google before making tweaks, however some have claimed that Android is effectively becoming less open source.
In a statement published on Android Developers, Andy explains the logic behind the changes: “We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” solution. As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices. This enables device makers to support the unique and differentiating functionality of their products.”
He adds: “If someone wishes to market a device as Android-compatible or include Google applications on the device, we do require the device to conform with some basic compatibility requirements. (After all, it would not be realistic to expect Google applications – or any applications for that matter – to operate flawlessly across incompatible devices).”
With regards to the delays in releasing the code that will make new Honeycomb features compatible with phones, Andy said: “As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. 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.”