Honeycomb in lockdown

We're all waiting for Google to finally release the open-source code for Android 3.0.1 (Honeycomb), but if we're to believe Bloomberg (and usually you should), it's not going to happen in the "foreseeable future" -- and possibly never.  I'll pause and allow the nerd-rage to subside for a moment, because I'm feeling it too -- hard.  When we've all composed ourselves a bit, join me after the break. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

The normal release cycle dissected

Let's go over the usual process of Android development cycles, using the original SuperPhone (sorry Phil) --the Nexus One -- as an example. 

Nexus One

Sometime in the fall of 2009 (if not sooner), HTC and Google got together and engineered the hardware we call the Nexus One.  We don't know exactly when the Android developers started writing Android 2.1 (Eclair), but it was probably in an advanced testing stage when the hardware was decided upon and development begun.  Google provided this software to HTC for in-house testing, and HTC provided hardware to Google for the same.  As bugs were found, or enhancements were thought up, the Android developers made these changes and forwarded the software along to the testers.  Google and others call this "dogfooding," most companies call it R&D.

Once things reach a fairly stable state, this software is shared with other hardware vendors and partners.  Motorola, Samsung, and other lesser-known partners like Nuance all have access to the source code while it's still in development.  Unfortunately, you and I don't, but there's not much we can do about that.  In fact, I won't even complain (too much) about it because Google's release cycle is too rapid (and the user base too big) to be fooling with community-driven patches, no matter how well done and innovative they may be.  The important thing is that the people who are building phones all had access to Android 2.1 while they were building their products, and they should.  All is well so far.

Come that special day in January 2010, and Google announces the Nexus One as a product available for sale to consumers.  Once the first Nexus One is sold, the Linux kernel source must be made available as a condition of its software license -- the GPL. 

Android itself is covered under the Apache 2.0 license.  It's a more liberal license, and choosing it makes sense when you realize that companies like Motorola or Samsung can't just give away some of their code.  The reasons why and the "legality" of not releasing the full source code for Apache 2.0 projects is argued to death daily by neckbeards and hippies, so I'm not going to get into it. But let it be said that it happens.  People use Apache 2.0-licensed code to build software and do not release the source code.  For the Nexus One (and all other releases so far) Google hasn't done this -- they publish the code at release or shortly thereafter. 

So we have the phone, we have the new version of Android, and we have the source code.  CyanogenMod and other custom ROMs soon follow, everyone is happy, and work begins on the next version.

Now is where things take a turn for the worse.  Andy Rubin teased us with the Xoom, Vic Gundotra teased us with the Honeycomb OS, and we all wanted.  We badly wanted.  When the release day for the Xoom came around, Google released the patched Linux kernel source and development began.  We were happy for a while, because we had custom kernels to play with, but everyone with a Xoom wanted the Android 3.0 source so "real work" can begin.  We all started to complain a little, but when we heard that Android 3.0.1 was coming, we were fine because we knew that Google would wait and publish the 3.0.1 AOSP (Android Open Source Project) code along with the update.  No sense doing it twice, right?  Right?

The new Honeycomb way

Moto Xoom

Now fast forward back to today -- March 24, 2011.  If what Bloomberg is reporting is correct, and my money says it is, we're not getting our source code any time soon, and maybe never.  Google's reasoning behind this is that they don't want smaller development teams ruining the Honeycomb experience.  Here's a quote from the Bloomberg article:

It's the throngs of smaller hardware makers and software developers that will now have to wait for the software. The delay will probably be several months. "To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs," says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. "We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut."

Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now, as it has with other versions of Android at similar periods in their development, it couldn't prevent developers from putting the software on phones "and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones."

While it's easy to blame the huge run of Android Christmas craplets for this one, I think it goes a bit deeper and also targets individual developers, who would (and could) put Honeycomb on our current crop of Android phones.  Google has decided that the biggest and best draw for many of us is a good reason to hold back on the code -- they don't want us to hack it onto devices it wasn't designed for.

That pisses me off, and the realization that I can't do anything about it only makes it worse. What good is the unlocked bootloader on the Xoom if you can't build custom ROMs for the damn thing?  Andy Rubin goes on to tell Bloomberg "Android is an open-source project. We have not changed our strategy."  You could have fooled me, Andy.

It gets worse.  Bloomberg says Google executives have told manufacturing partners that Google will not release the source code, and instead the next open-source version of Android will be the "I" version.  This in essence kills all third-party development for tablets running Honeycomb.  No easy way to add things that Google left out, unless you're Samsung or LG.  That sucks, because I like some of the work that comes from people like rodigezstyle or eViL D: much better than I like the work that comes from LG or Samsung, and I'm not alone.  And Google in its infinite wisdom has decided that I won't be getting it.

I love Android because of its openness, not because it offers me a bug-free experience that I can't get elsewhere.  With that in mind, I have decided I won't be getting any of the new Honeycomb tablets.  There are other well-designed, closed source tablets out there, made by companies who never claimed to be open, and I'll look to them if I find a need for a tablet. 

-- A heartbroken Android evangelist

 
There are 139 comments

NickAVV says:

I find this disappointing, but fairly reasonable. To get traction as a tablet operating system Google had to make Android run really well on tablets. In doing so in a timely fashion they had to put the new phone interface on hold.
Manufacturers would undoubtedly put Honeycomb on a phone if given the source code, and I think that we can agree that the tablet optimized OS on a phone is a bad combination, right? Except that as Android becomes more mainstream people are going to pick up this abomination of a device and see that it runs Android. They will associate Android with Google and misdirect the blame. These people probably don't know the definition of open source.
So that is why this move is done in the benefit of Android as a platform, besides, the 'I' version of Android is probably only a few months down the road, and I'm pretty confident that almost all, if not all, Honeycomb tablets available will be upgradable to it.

RickB says:

The manufacturers have the source code. It's the hacking community that Google is intending to keep at bay until "Icecream" is released and both the tablet and smartphone Android development lines are merged.

Shooti says:

Reading the article, it's inferred that it's the smaller OEMS that they're worried about. Any one of them could release a phone to the Market with Honeycomb, and "No Market or Google apps" won't do anything to deter them. Not to mention Rubin admits that they took shortcuts to get Honeycomb out in time. Maybe they're just not entirely happy with the effort?

I'm not sure why the writer of this article/people are taking it personally. It's entirely reasonable.

perhaps they want to ensure a more successful year of android tablet sales by making honeycomb tablets only. Since it differentiates tablets more from all other android phones/devices, and creates more appeal.

Already, Froyo does 95% of what Honeycomb does, but if all android devices had the latest and greatest OS, then all the tablet is, is just a bigger screen.

TheBronze says:

Which, when you remove the phone radio, is exactly what a tablet is... I still don't see the appeal. This development from Google is a bit disappointing though.

The problem isn't one about PHONES. It is about devs being able to put out "fully baked" (i.e. optimized, debugged, Market access for tablet apps, etc.) versions of Honeycomb on TABLETS!

The Samsung Galaxy Tab and Nook Color are just two examples of tablets that may not get a fully baked version of Honeycomb, much less CyanogenMod, etc. ROMs.

I personally, don't have any desire to put Honeycomb on my phone. It's interface just doesn't seem like it would work well there (size issues aside).

The real fear is that, as has been noted, that Google is misinterpreting the reasons for the success of Android phones. Techies are the people who started promoting Android because of its openness to being "customized" vs. the locked down system in iOS (iPhone/iPad, no launchers, no live backgrounds, no widgets, no keyboards, etc. because they affect the "iOS experience"). We recommend products to our friends. I, personally, have been directly responsible for at least 10 Android phone/tablet purchases (vs. Blackberry or iPhone). And these people have told their friends, etc. IMO, THAT is what is driving Android's current success.

Our family has 4 Android devices (DroidX, 2x Fascinate, Nook Color) and will add one more as soon as there is a choice of dual core phones on Verizon. I got them BECAUSE of their openness, NOT because of the "experience". BECAUSE of their openness, I can create/refine the experience *I* want through Launcher Pro and other apps. The same with my family. They can make it work the way that works best for THEM. Not be limited to what Steve Jobs and Co. think things should work (yes, their stuff does work well, but it isn't MINE).

My read on what Google is saying is, "We're thinking of locking things down because the carriers want us to to better lock their customers into their services and view of how a phone should work AND because we're jonesing for some iPhone $'s. So we are doing this to see if there will be that much outrage (i.e. we can get away with it)."

Already it is taking WAY too long for the manufacturers/carriers to put out updated versions of Android on phones/tablets that easily have the hardware to handle them (e.g. Verizon: Droid, DroidX, Droid 2, Droid Incredible, Fascinate, etc.). With this move, I can only see things getting worse.

Frankly, at this point, if I can get an unlocked boot loader, I would happily pay $15 or so (preferably a one time fee or I MIGHT consider a lower annual fee) to get access to timely (within, say, 2 months of release AND fully baked) OS updates for the two years (OK, 20 mo. before I'm eligible for upgrade on Verizon, 2 yrs before I can leave) I'm contractually obligated to my current phone. With the kind of model I'm thinking of, even if there were some flaws in the OS updates, the devs would get those worked out in short order and fixed quickly.

As Google has gotten bigger and more powerful, they are forgetting their roots AND the reason they have been successful. They are making a good bit of money and having a lot of success because of their openness. I hope they don't go down that path and let "absolute power corrupt absolutely".

PLEASE Google, reconsider!

trenen says:

If you think that the millions of Android devices that have been sold around the world is the result of a small handfull of nerds on a website touting to the online world 'openness', 'ROMs', and 'customizable' you're sorely mistaken. The success of Android is because of a few key phrases outlined in commercials and other advertisements... "with Google", "Google experience", and "full Google integration". The world knows who/what Google is. The world knows about Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. The world doesn't know (or care) about "ROMs", "Open-Source", "UI Customization", or "CyanogenMod". This decision on Google's Android OS is commendable and will have no ill-effect on the success of Android. If Android Central and other Android "geek-swarm" websites didn't exist - millions of people would still be using Android. Sucks for you guys, but the rest of the world will still 'get it'.

Yes, Android has it's momentum now. However, in the days of Android 1.x, primarily the techies were using Android. This was even so when Eclair was first released. Eclair was the first version that was good enough for non-techies to use and techies started letting their non-techy friends know about it.

Regardless of how you want to attribute Android's growth, it is still the customizability and apps of Android that attracts users. This is primarily the difference between Android and the iPhone and why someone would choose Android.

Most non-techies do not know anything about Google other than they search for stuff on it. "Google experience", etc. have no meaning for them (other than it means something related to Google, the huge search engine company.

I disagree that places like Android Central are only of interest to techies. The fact is that, IMO, if someone is looking at a smartphone rather than a "dumbphone", then they are at least somewhat technically inclined (or Mac fans looking for a phone/ipod/ipad combo). Just take a look at the spread between high-end and low-end Android phone sales. There isn't a comparison, even though they nominally provide the same experience.

Perhaps we will just have to agree to disagree?

DaEXfactoR says:

The manufacturers already have access to the source code., It seems like Google wants to make Honeycomb their "baby". Mark my words, this is only the beginning. It seems they want to follow in the path of a certain crazily popular tablet that begins with an i. I believe this is how they think they can duplicate that success, by controlling the "experience". We have accepted the long over due updates on Android. We have endured the wild wild west feeling of the Android Marketplace. We deal with these things because we love Android and it's openness. So we are willing to live with the risks and inconsistencies that come with an open platform. So, if this is how it's gonna be, I don't want to have to wait 6 months for the latest version of the OS. I don't want to have to worry about an app store, where I have to worry about downloading a malicious app that shows up at the top of the list in a search in the marketplace. Google, you can not have it both ways. Okay, I will stop with my rant. I said in an earlier post, that these companies have no personal loyalty to us...But man, I hope Google does the right thing here and return some of the loyalty their faithful have shown them over the last few years, that is responsible for skyrocketing them to the throne...PEACE!!!!

Visual360 says:

Well there goes my dream of having Honeycomb on my wooted Gtab. LOL.

ak110707 says:

I agree, the whole goal of buying a G-Tablet was to establish ownership of a product that had a future through rooting. Its a shame but at least its part of Cyanogen(Mod) development.

ts0cha0tik says:

I say that this could be a good test to see if it will be more successful closed source then maybe later release the code to see if it helps the platform or the reason developers don't make quality apps like they do the iPhone.

original00 says:

That excuse is BS!!!What manufacturer has ever been proactive and released an android version before it was ready and fully baked....that's right none. I agree that if google is going to change the change the ability to customize android and make it open to community and developers, why get it over ios??

I can just see it now..Samsung releases Honeycomb on the galaxy s 2 phones not sanctioned by google...Yea right

SharonW says:

Uh, wasn't it Samsung that released a tablet with Android 2.2 when Google said that Froyo wasn't optimized for tablets and SHOULD NOT be used as such? And you don't think they'd try to shoe-horn Honeycomb into a phone?

I say good for Google for finally putting its foot down on something instead of allowing all forms of bastardization. I don't think the open source community of developers will be left out in the cold forever.

toddjy says:

They put Froyo on a tablet because they wanted to get into the tablet market and Windows on tablets was and is a total flop. No one in their right mind would try to put Honeycomb on a phone. It needs a big screen, and there are plenty of other versions of Android to put on phones.

On the other hand, there are a lot of OEMs that would put it on crappy tablets. Maybe that's why Google is holding out.

It sucks, though. I was thinking I might hack it on my Galaxy Tab, because that's probably the only way the Tab is getting tablet apps.

ls377 says:

Preach it Jerry! This is utter crap. Makes AT&T's "4G" look good.

Exstatica says:

Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. While we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we've decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We're committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it's ready.

To me that says it will happen, its just not ready yet.

ls377 says:

If it's ready enough for a commercially available device, it's ready to be released.

trenen says:

A commercially available device with a lot of issues (hardware and software wise, which, some hardware is because of the software [ie, SD cards]) doesn't mean something is ready to be released - it means it was rushed and obviously had the bottom $$ in mind and not the user-experience.

EggoEspada says:

Let them do what they have to do. I understand your side Jerry completely, but I understand where Google is coming from as well. I'm guessing we wont see the AOSP till 3.1 drops, which is fine if it's refined and supports smartphones. This is Google's attempt at keeping things under control.

We all want the AOSP just to tweak; I want it too. But it's quite obvious that Google is thinking about the average consumer and wants to keep the experience better, not buggy. The Xoom was pretty much to get their foot in the door; even a developer's device. Everything after they probably want working much smoother and want to translate the experience to their smartphones.

deferom says:

I'm with you all the way. Wanted a Xoom, was probably going to get a Xoom. Now, I'm getting an iPad or Playbook.

irish22022 says:

good riddance.

anyone who thinks that closed iOS is better then closed android should be ashamed of themselves. you won't buy an ipad, you're just whining because you didn't get your way. same with the author of this article - it's really really pathetic if you ask me. it'll be opened eventually, you'll just have to wait, sorry babies.

Telperion says:

I like open source too, but they have a point. Huawai Ascend is a good example, that thing can't even run 2.2, but it was launched with it and it's a horrible user experience.

IMO, and to paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Crap is as crap does." I find it hard to believe that Google really is all that concerned that manufacturers of, frankly, pretty poor quality hardware that apparently only sells online because its user experience is, as you noted, poor. I can't imagine that they account for more than 1% of total sales and are probably much less.

Reputable manufacturers aren't making that mistake. Sure, while Froyo (or Eclair, for that matter) wasn't optimized for tablets, that didn't stop the reputable manufacturers from producing tablets that, IMO, have provided a nice user experience (Galaxy Tab, Nook Color, etc.).

At best, I think it is a specious argument. At worst, they are hiding their true intentions as this article (and others here) has pointed out.

RickB says:

I understand what you're saying but is the average consumer going to be flashing hacking community honeycomb ROMs on their unsupported phones? Let the advanced user community do what they want while the 95% of the population that makes up the "average consumer" not even know that the source has been released or what a custom ROM even is.

miniZ says:

I still plan on buying some tablet. Sometime down the road. Disappointed to see this thought emerging in the mind of Android developers, but man.. those tablets look reaaallly nice.

fwdixon says:

engadget's coverage of the same article with another google exerpt:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/24/google-keeping-honeycomb-source-code-...

Damn you Catpcha! Everything I post is not SPAM!

Ya know, I was looking forward to picking up one of the Wi Fi Xoom tabs when they go on sale, but I think I'll have to pass after this. The whole incentive for buying it is gone. Same thing for any others than run Honeycomb-no longer want them.

Google's motto: Do No Evil

Blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah,blah (google). New source probably is not full java. Considering law suits. Time to let the Sun shine OUT... lol

dunya says:

I agree with Jerry, I love linux & I love open source. The day that Google decided to go closed source, I'm OUT! Open source has great value to me I am much happier with my CyanogenMod 7 HTC Hero that with the 2.1 Android that it got stuck at, which I understand. I don't expect HTC to update the phone forever, that's business. Android started out open sourced and it better stay that way otherwise my choice becomes; Closed source Android vs. Apple vs. WebOS.

Also, I tried the Xoom at Best Buy and it was nice but with very little app support I am not running out to get one. So, as far as I am concerned Google can keep that. I will continue to love my CM7 Nook Color tethered to my CM7 Hero.

Stay on em Jerry!

Meister_Li says:

While I can understand Google's stance on this somewhat - there have been more than enough examples of badly implemented Android in the past - even from the "big" ones like Samsung or Motorola - this isn't really sitting well with me. Especially because it gives the big and powerful - Samsung, LG, Motorola a clear advantage over smaller upstarting companies like Notion Ink, who're screwed if they can't provide the new and shiny Honeycomb on their tablets as well.

pDoG says:

:(

pDoG says:

Its alright. Im getting a Flyer.

rgray331975 says:

What about the small devs that make the user experience BETTER????????

noalear says:

I have a feeling a leak will bust this dam wide open soon enough- regardless of Google's desires.

Hooters#AC says:

Jerry Hildenbrand,

Get the fuck off this site. Go back to Slashdot with the rest of the 15 year olds screaming about "possible GPL violation!!!" and "release teh source!!!".

"A heartbroken Android evangelist"

Oh god...what a fucking joke.

I think I'll stay. I can tell you're a fan, who should I make this 8x10 out to?

Hooters#AC says:

"I think I'll stay."

I'll told you TO GET THE FUCK OFF THIS SITE you dimwitted little punk.

Go post your idiotic crap on Slashdot.

HAAS599 says:

Anybody that isn't upset by this should get off this site.

There is something you can do Jerry. Don't buy a Honeycomb tablet. Looks like Ice Cream is where the fun is.

alexnaoumi says:

@Hooters: hey, here is a good idea asshole. dont talk shit. simple as that.

-WINNNING WINNNNNINNNNG!

J T M says:

Jerry,

In all seriousness, i loved your comeback.

P.S...It's always a pleasure to read your posts and watch your videos. Much appreciation for all of your work and contributions on here.

Thanks.

crxssi says:

You know, the GPL is not a joke. Many thousands of people have contributed millions of hours of their time making GPL'ed code that Google gets to use for free and it is very much the authors' right to insist that the license is obeyed.

So yes, there are legit issues with GPL compliance if Google does not release certain Android source code. There are, however, parts that they are entitled to not release- and that would make life difficult for those who want to "port" Android Linux releases to different devices.

Personally, I think it would be a HUGE mistake for Google to go down the "let's start closing as much as we can" path.

Google would not exist without Linux and other GPL'ed software (it runs most of their hundreds of thousands of servers, for free, and enabled them to be competitive and innovative).

Android would not exist without Linux and other GPL'ed software.

trenen says:

Ummm...Apple exists, doesn't it?

lexs says:

if(apple != google)you=idiot;

Andy in Indy says:

While Apple might exist without open source software, OS-X and iOS would not exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system)

-Andy in indy

MowDownJoe says:

LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID, GOOGLE! You made Jerry cry...

Blakegrp says:

I find Google's reasoning incoherent: 'no code because developers will try to put it on a phone and create a bad user experience'. What developer creates a ROM for a bad user experience? The only reasons developers tinker are for fun, and to try to IMPROVE the user experience.

If Google loudly and clearly states that HC is for tablet only,why should they care if some bonehead ignores them and creates a Frakenphone?!? Are they really concerned about the dozen guys that may do this? No; there is clearly something else going on here IMO.

Agreed...the average Android user will not know how to put Honeycomb on their device. And those that do, know what to expect. Google made a bad decision here...o well...life...goes...on...

nofrillz#CB says:

i'm an average user readin this article. if this move means apps on a par with the ipad then great. i have a tab and i am waiting for honeycomb to arrive. if this move kills the tab and stifles the possibilities of android tablets in general then as soon as apple release a smaller version of the ipad (which will happen sooner or later) then i'm defecting. hurry up honeycomb for the tab!

dacp283 says:

Normally I'd play the Devils advocate but on this one I gotta ride the band wagon. Given the amount of crap apps that flood android and ever constant change and fragmentation why in gods name would I choose Google over apple when it comes to my tablet purchase? If I can't root it and put on a custom ROM I would rather have a stable, proprietary platform that is hugely supported by quality developers with a larger market for accessories and applications. Google if you are reading these if you are gonna go closed source than make a GOOGLE TABLET and cut out these companies like moto or Samsung all together. At least that way I don't have to deal with the crap they add to the OS and not be able to remove/ change to get the OS's true potential.

franky0707 says:

I wouldn't mind seeing something like a 7" Chrome OS tab to be a portable tie in with the CR-48 Chrome Notebook

rtdakota39 says:

It probably makes sense that Google do this to keep other 'lesser' tablet manufacturers at bay but at the same time it kind of makes me wish that I hadn't actually purchased a Xoom.... That's the first time I've ever said that...
I'm sure the AOSP will be released sometime in the future and in the mean time I'm still loving stock HC. We will just have to see how long that feeling lasts

HAAS599 says:

Not a good move Google. All I can do is not buy the honeycomb tablet I was going to buy this summer. If I wanted to be treated like a stupid child that can't make an intelligent decision on the products I buy and needs to be spoon fed, I would buy Apple products. Let the crap products get made and the people that buy them deserve what they get.

shingi_70 says:

So the flyer won't be getting honerycomb?

Meh. I wasn't planning to buy a tablet until Xmas anyway. By then we should have a decent selection of reasonably priced Android tablets to choose from, maybe even running IceCream. If not, there's always the iSad2.

DrizzyGadget says:

I really could care less about tablets, but my fear is that this happens on the mobile phone platform too. I wonder what "I"ce-cream will be like on the EVO 3D?

Gspot82 says:

Honestly, the opposition to this is ridiculous. To me it is perfectly logical. They rushed it out for the tablet but haven't updated the software or SDK to work well with phones yet. I mean, it's not like your tablet won't be updated to "I" which will have the source code released. The only reason that phones are on gingerbread and tablets on honeycomb is because they had to run separate development paths to maintain a deadline. Google does not want to have two separate operating systems long term, they will eventually make it so the os reformats itself depending on the screen size. At that point, it will be released as a good user experience is more likely when put on random devices.

SharonW says:

Couldn't agree with you more. Lord, the android community is sooo freakin' quick to throw stomp-their-feet, storm-outta-the-room, slam-the-door, hissy fits. And they'll even do it without complete information or on mere rumors.

Guys, I luv ya, but get a grip!

Wookie Claws says:

I think I understand: Manufacturers have taken an OS that's NOT meant for tablets and used them on phones with lack luster results.

I used a Dell Streak 5 and a Galaxy Tab. Both units were laggy and painful to use. My friend who owned the Streak 5 (got it as a demo from Dell) is a huge iPhone supporter. His whole perception of Android was based on the Dell's performance (he was amazed at how fast my MT4G was, and see's Android in a better light).

So Google has a valid concern about someone putting HC on a phone and destroying the image Android is building, and the reputation it's gaining in the market. Google has to be looking at the big picture here. No where did I read that they would NEVER release the source for future OS's.. they just took a short cut (not merging the phone and Tab OS's) and don't want to muddy the waters too much yet.

I get it, but look forward to seeing the source released for the masses to tinker as Google intended.

bjordan says:

Wow that's pretty terrible news if it's true.

If Google doesn't want Android to be open then so be it but don't not release source and then say you're completely committed to keeping Android an open source project.

I was really looking forward to see what the community of developers were going to put together for the Nook Color when they got their hands on the source. Considering what they've already done with the SDK preview it's pretty impressive. Looks like we're all going to have to stick with SDK hack/ports.

dvader says:

I was going to pick up a tab. but if Google is going to go down this road, then I'll just keep my money.

Other companies thank you Google for my money!

freeoscar says:

I understand that they were upset when manufacturers put Froyo on Tablets, as it was optimized for phones. But since phones are sold through carriers, couldn't they just work something out with the carriers to not offer/support phones with Honeycomb? Its not like anyone is buying a phone w/out a network.
I realize that the developer/mod community might still do it, but they hardly need protecting from Google.

GuyverV says:

if they really cared about the user experience, they wouldn't allow OEM skins...

rmiddle says:

What this likely means is that apps are going to continue to suck as access to the source helps fix thing like this.

Thanks
Robert

bbman911#AC says:

To summarize this whiny post: Boo hoo, I just learned that Android is a product created by a business with users other than me and now my pride is so hurt, I'm only going to buy products from another company that is worse but hasn't yet hurt my feelings...

ssethv says:

Say what you will about me, after reading this disappointing news, I am not getting a honeycomb tablet... I will wait and get the HP webOS tablet, and possibly the Pre3 (if and when they ever come out)... I have an incredible (rooted with CM7)AND LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT, BUT, I am not going to a from a company that claims to be open sourced and now when it comes to the bottom line (MONEY MONEY MONEY) they cave and close up shop... I will at least stick with my phone (even though they are slowly becoming locked up too) :(

siczek.p says:

I understand the nerd rage that is precipitating here, but I do not understand why it's lingering. If you cannot understand that Google is in fact a business and not your neckbeard friend that writes code in his basement you need a wake up call. What Google is doing makes sense. Their share price will suffer if there is an explosion of inferior Android builds, no matter the publisher. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and wait a year and see what happens. If you can't be mature enough to give them time to prove their convictions you may as well get an Apple product because you'll never have to worry about your clearly fragile emotional state again. Come on guys, we're all intelligent people. Let your intelligence take charge, not some silly, fragile idealism that is impossible to maintain in it's "pure" form. I love my Cyanogen Hero. I love the idea that Android is open source, but I also respect the fact that Google needs to protect itself as well. Let's give this a a chance. If in 6 months to a year it appears it was a sham, so be it, I'm on board with the boycott. You can quote me.

But will Honeycomb tablets ever get Ice Cream? Is Honeycomb a dead-end OS? I'm trying to understand what this means for my summer tablet purchase...should I just stay away from anything Honeycomb?

please tell me your not this dumb

No, not so dumb that I don't know the difference between "your" and "you're." Anything else, genius? ;)

sookster54 says:

This is bad news, closed source on an open source OS? Google, you should've picked a different OS if you wanted to go down this road, don't turn into what Motorola has become. Looks like the number of alternative launchers would shrink.

I've played with Honeycomb, what a buggy and laggy piece of software, it was released too early and it looks like not much is being done to it.

Once you own one then you can comment on laggy and buggy til then be quiet

romma says:

"neckbeards and hippies"? Sorry but that comment cannot go by without mention... As sad as this article is, that is some funny shit... I like your writing style Jerry.

TheANARCHY says:

Maybe a first step in Google telling hardware vendors to get on the same page? In other words no more fragmentation between phones on multiple carriers with different software builds and skins on top of that to further 'diffrentiate' their 'exclusive' features. I'll take that trade if it means we have to wait a little while for source code. Hell Galaxy S owners still have no consistent Android builds. If Google gets it right with the tablets what's the harm in waiting for the source code to be released?

Robez says:

such a disappointment. yeah i'll agree with you on not getting a 3.0 tablet now...was definitely planning on getting one once some ROMs and stuff were released.

papa54 says:

I'm on board with my fascinate and have no intentions to jump ship.
i am completely satisfied with my update fascinate by way of this site. if google wont do what they started out to do , so what theres plenty out there who can and will write good source codes, ROM's themes etc.i waited as long as i intended to for Verizon to cough up 2.2 but they are still dragging their feet and soon will not offer the unlimited plans to any new buyers.. so i'll hang in with the unlimited package and make them all wish i had jumped ship.
it appears Verizon wont be the only carrier to stop unlimited access.
so all can jump ship, but i am here untill forced out or not interested anymore. besides, has anyone here tried to connect to google online..they are so over whelmed I cannot connect to them and i doubt many of you have. thats my story and i am stickin to it..

Lithoss says:

Crappy news. But I'm not seeing the doom and gloom here. So google reserved 3.0 for early Tablets. 3.1 will be here soon enough. If 3.1 isn't open source then it's time to think of jumping ship.

somatherapy says:

"With that in mind, I have decided I won't be getting any of the new Honeycomb tablets. There are other well-designed, closed source tablets out there, made by companies who never claimed to be open, and I'll look to them if I find a need for a tablet."

This doesn't make any sense, unless you're just trying to prove that you're throwing a hissy fit. Even without the openness that other releases of Android have enjoyed, the tablet experience will be better on an Android device than on a non-Android device.

Or I take issue with a company that uses open-source as a bullet point, calls their OS an open source project, has high level management that smugly tweets out software build commands, then doesn't release their source code.

In my article, replace every instance of the word Google with Apple, and the crowd would go wild. There's nothing wrong with being skeptical and taking the stance of a watchdog when dealing with any company, Google included.

But if you feel it's a hissy fit, so be it. I'm not here to change your mind, only to speak mine.

somatherapy says:

Definitely, I completely agree with you. The article itself made perfect sense... until the last bit, where you vow to buy a tablet from a competitor.

Ultimately we're talking about a luxury item here. In my opinion, buying an iPad instead of an Android tablet is shooting yourself in the foot. We're not voting for political parties, choosing to go with a competitor's product only hurts one person.

I know, "but if everyone does it...", but they won't. Even if they lock-down Honeycomb, odds are infinitely higher that the next release of Android will be back to its usual, developer-friendly self than seeing the same kind of openness to development from a competitor.

.46caliber says:

Jerry, I'm a bit surprised by your approach. When the first iteration of Android for PHONES hit, there wasn't a mass of small, independent developers ready to start porting.

Remember, we've just gotten our first Google built, purposed for TABLETS, version of Android. That huge development group, Cyanogen, has just now started working with tablets. It's like we're at square one with a new type of hardware, the only difference is we already have a fan base. I have no doubt that at some point, Honeycomb will go open source. Maybe not 3.0, but maybe 3.1.

Many are saying the Xoom feels like a rushed device. Let's give Google time to get a great Android build for tablets established. If you were Andy Rubin and the engineers of Android, wouldn't you want the time to build your baby the best you could before giving it to the world to scrutinize and pick apart?

If the first major release of Android wasn't as good as they could have possibly made it at that time, would it have caught on like it did? They've made it huge in the big boy smartphone game. I'm sure they want to make it even bigger in the big boy tablet game, and they have their work cut out for 'em.

CeluGeek says:

This move doesn't surprise me, as I already came to the conclusion that Android isn't truly open. Google has already given manufacturers the power to lock us out of the OS, and now Google is taking on the lockdown job themselves.

I'm still hoping for a day where a smartphone is truly a mobile computer and just like I'm free to install whatever OS I want on my computer as long as it supports my PC's architecture, one day I want the freeedom to decide what OS I install on my smartphone. Until that day, smartphones remain on partial or full lockdown.

Now there are companies advertising their tablets as the "evolution of the computer" even if they are in the same lockdown state as smartphones! That's why I'll never, EVER buy any of the current tablets regardless of the OS. I'm not giving up the freedom I have acquired with computers to be locked down to whatever OS Google and others think it's OK for me to have.

trenen says:

But...isn't part of the whole 'Root' and 'Jailbreak' movement the fact that you can install whatever OS you want? I've seen Android on iPhone, Ubuntu on iPhone and Android phones...your 'future' is already here, really. In fact, the PC market is really not as 'free and open' as you lay claim. When you go to a store, the PC is already loaded with an OS - unless you go to some custom shop, which most people don't do. While you don't have to 'hack' the computer to install a completely different OS, work still has to be done...and more work than most people aren't gonna want to do, or even know how to do. I don't see there ever being a 'blank' smartphone out there with no OS installed.

DaEXfactoR says:

Another thing, I thought Matias said something implying that Honeycomb would be coming to phones...

mdmitchell13 says:

Don't see big deal.... so we wait a few months...... so what. By summer icecream should be out with source and everyones happy. Its not like we will never ever see a source code ever again. By patient and everythings going to be ok. Google isn't steve jobs. Google is full of people like us who like customization. Do u actually think all google devs run stock? Everything will be fine when its ready for the limelight of our wonderful developement community in a few months.

Jerry, I understand that as someone with a technical affinity for Android that it is frustrating that you can't crack into the code and see the goodies. But I really don't see this temporary setback as the beginning of the end. It will probably be released sooner than anyone expects. I see this as a good thing, it looks like Google is trying to establish Honeycomb as a brand for the most part. The only thing that I don't understand is that they are letting Samsung run touchwiz on their tablet. Seems to go against Google's statement about Honeycomb.

bobaka says:

quit your whining, it's gonna be for the best in the long run

Wesley1 says:

This really does stink...Google you suck! And I am talking from a perspective that they are keeping honeycomb for big manufacturers only. I am all for honeycomb being available for tablets. If someone really wanted to put it on a phone, they could, but it wasn't designed with a smaller screen and buttons in mind.

In any event, in my opinion, honeycomb is really nothing special compared to 2.2 and 2.3 on a good tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab and HTC Flyer come to mind as the best examples). Only the new widgets and some new layout for apps like gmail are decent, but Samsung and HTC can and have done just as well with their added extras.

P.S. if you didn't get it already...you suck Google, especially your main man Andy Rubin!

P.S.(2) If honeycomb were not for phones, then why does it still say "about phone" in the setting menu???

fwdixon says:

Ok, since nobody actually reads the source materials anymore, let me post an excerpt:

"Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. While we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we've decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We're committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it's ready."

In other words, Android will still be Open Source, and even HC may see an AOSP release. So move on....

mdmitchell13 says:

Wow, Great find! There is nothing to worry about....... Android still rocks on

Thank you; that does shed a different light on this news.

Clak says:

Well I guess that means I won't be seeing the full version of Honeycomb on my Nook Color. Screw you google, just keep spurning your biggest defenders. And that excerpt proves nothing, they still may never release it as open source.

chrisharmful says:

I think this is Google's way of damage control. If they let this out it will be just another slew of Walgreen tablets that the media and critic will jump all over and blame Google for the crap quality of the "android experience". As nice as I think Honeycomb is and as much as I enjoy it, I realize that maybe some things just aren't finished. Same thing happened with Gingerbread and the Nexus S, if it were finished, Nexus One owners would have got it a hell of a lot sooner than they did. I say let them finish it first before everyone breaks out the pitchforks and torches and storms Mountain View. If I paid 800 bucks to be a beta tester, so be it cause I'm having fun doing it.

ndboost says:

I'll put it this way... I run mac os x at home and on my HP Mini netbook... my phone is android because i love how its open source.. If the next line of android updates are closed-source i will be unfortunately going to i* simply because if i had to choose between two closed-source options i'd take the one thats compatible with my hackintoshes at home :) SHAME ON GOOGLE!!!

Aw, my poor Nook Color. It was really looking forward to a proper version of Honeycomb, but now you made it cry.

Biffer says:

More locked bootloaders. No open source code. Android is going to crap. I'm getting an iPad, will tether it to my Evo, then see what kind of crap HTC and Google are trying to pull when I'm in the market for a new phone.

Pimp Lucious says:

Didn't figure Jerry for the whiny type. Google won't release the source code so I will buy another tablet even though there will be no source code released for it either. Seriously?

808dee says:

How can the users make android a bad experience the oems(ie samsung) and carriers(ie verizon) already do that. If I could not get the bloatware off my phone then it be full off crap. My carrier didnt want to support my phone passed 2.1 and the hacker community got me to 2.3 now that is a good user experience if you ask me. Now is Rubin becoming detached from what the user want ( like Ballmer ) or think that we would like the tablets the way he wants it ( like Jobbs ) NOPE he just doesnt want the user to do what they couldnt get 3.0 to work on phone.

E_man says:

I just want to say I'm shocked. I usually find this site (and Jerry in particular) a voice of reason in the rumor storm. 3.0 was a rushed release. 3.0.1 was not much better. If they still haven't released the source code after the thing is actually done (full phone support, SD card support, etc), then I think we can complain. I honestly expect to see source start dropping in around May to June.

Nowhere in this article did I see anything Rubin said to be "Source may never be released, Muahahahahahahaha." I read someone who takes pride in their work not want it to be released till it's up to standards he's willing to accept. Frankly, I'm stunned AC made the leaps they did from what the article actually said, and rather disappointed.

To back up my point:
"Google says it will delay the distribution of its newest Android source code"
"is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones."
"Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now"
"Android is an open-source project," he adds. "We have not changed our strategy."

In those quotes, I see words like "yet", "delay", and "Android is still Open Source". I do not see words like "Never published"

I always thought AC was above sensationalism, so I really hope you guys can provide details aside from this article where you got "Never".

FrasierCrane says:

It's obviously disappointing that Honeycomb source won't be released, but if you read between the lines, the reason is clear: the source code is just turrible. I suspect that "design shortcuts" is a euphemism for code so spaghetterific and/or poorly commented that Google is genuinely afraid of what will happen if people start messing with it.

thecarline says:

Ease up there nerd-rage posters. Honestly speaking; is there any abilities Honeycomb provides that you can not currently get in Gingerbread? Look at the feature list; honestly Honeycomb wasn't something amazing; Gingerbread is a good step to go towards your devices. Take the HTC Flyer; I made up my mind already that I would take that device over the Xoom; even before the no-honeycomb statements. Honeycomb doesn't matter; what matters is the user-experience and API's to take advantage of video streaming and a lighter-based code scheme.

If you truly feel Google has deceived you; neat, go become a fanboy somewhere else while I enjoy a great user experience. I played with the Xoom; while its a beautiful device, Honeycomb doesn't offer any "elite" features with the exception of Google Body; which I would assume will shortly be ported to other devices.

Google's bottom line is to maintain the integrity of their products/brand name. If they believe a company will take their product and port a operating system that will provide a sour experience; why would Google allow that to continue? Open source is a great concept; but if you are running a business behind it; you need to make sure the business comes first.

Aren't neckbeards just a subset of hippies?

hybrid86 says:

If honeycomb is closed, why not just get a bloody iPad? It's cheaper than the Xoom, and I never have to worry about blur being snuck onto it. I mean, what's the point of android if it's not open?

You have made a grave error, google.

Blur being snuck on to it? please never post again you must be really dumb think before you post

Spdy says:

Wow jerry impatience much? I mean come on they never stated that they wouldn't EVER release the code..just that the way it is right now (MOTO xoom) they don't want to release it till its nice and polished..but look now you have several people saying..oh no time to jump ship to Apple iPad or just win phone 7(yea way to show loyalty and maturity guys) but anyway next time you might want to leave the rant asidefor yourself or else people tend to take sides and "war" very quickly...oh and yea..Id rather have a polished version of sense or blur that worked right off the bat instead of a crappy glitchy one that still wasn't even completely finished at the time of launch.

rippley05 says:

Couple this with the way companies are locking their phones down, and the Android goodness is fading fast.

I don't have a problem in the world jumping ship to a different OS if they take away the most important reason for me to use Android.

What a bunch of crybabies in here... get over it and no one cares that your not buying an android tablet anymore...this isn't even an article and am disappointed with this site for allowing the author to publish this. A good author weighs the pros and cons not rant because he had his feelings hurt. I think this'is good for android for the time being so they can get the xoom fully optimized for its potential. I am not worry one bit the rooting crowd ks what 0.01% of the community. I would much rather have better apps and a stable os

robnaj says:

Can anyone join the OHA because if you want the code so much just join the OHA and get it. I am sure that when Samsung and HTC release their overlays them that is the time for the public release. Also I am quite sure that the XOOM is running the public preview, Google does this with all their stuff they releas it in beta and keep it in beta for a long time Android 3.0 is a beta release and the number of problems the XOOM has makes me think the development of that is not to fare off.

Here is my question Google Chrome is Open scores yet no one allowed to make anther version of Google Chrome they can make Chromium but not Android why can't the same rules aplie to Android you have Google Android or Androidium or something that solves everything you have your polished Google Android and your custom hackery Android with all the buggs and cutting edge tech and quick updates, Google gets all the eyeball so everyone wines. I don't get it Google Chrome Google Chrome OS and Android all open score but Android gets treated differently.

By the MeeGo is open scorse too come and get one of those Tablets

toddjy says:

You sure you aren't really an iPhone/iPad lover Jerry. Because if this is all it takes to get you to put your wrists in Steve's shackles, you really weren't a lover of freedom to begin with.

Xoom forever!

currentweb says:

Sucks, but it's not the end of the world. Rubin gave a decent answer, I would have liked a slightly better reason, but his is relevant. Manufacturers could (and would) but 3.0 on phones, and ruin the Android experience for people looking at the platform for the first time. So, while I really want to tinker with the source code, I'm happy with what I have. I theme, so I have all that I really need (sdcard slot would be helpful though, I have no idea how to get clockwork and flash an update.zip with no sdcard).

OpenMitko says:

I'm completely with you, Jerry!!!

TMO_KOTOR says:

Google says "You can't handle the truth!"

Asterisk says:

Honeycomb is a "lab mouse" OS. Ice cream will be a new universal optimized breed of Android OS. Forget Honeycomb, concentrate on IC.

commonplace says:

Jerry, what is the best way to contact Google -- calmly and rationally! -- to express our dissatisfaction (to say the least) with this decision?

/Kevin

JSquared534 says:

If Google is worried about the user experience...why hasn't Motorola been smacked for releasing the Cliq, CliqXT, & Backflip with 1.5, with a promise on their website to upgrade within the first quarter of 2010, only to NEVER upgrade it.

Why hasn't Samsung been smacked for releasing four Galaxy S phones with GPS systems that weren't even functional? (and, yes, it is a feature of the phone, because it's advertised by the phone AND by Google as an intricate part of the OS) Also, why haven't they been smacked for promising a "timely" release of updates to those same phones, only to drag their feet while releasing IDENTICAL hardware with updated OS, but not updating the old phones?

Craptastic tablets running Android are already everywhere. Google can't unring that bell. But, they can't use that as an excuse for not releasing Honeycomb. Those tablet makers may put Honeycomb into some awful tablets...but, let's be realistic. There is almost NO chance they are going to port Honeycomb to a cell phone. When was the last time you saw a PHONE released by one of the knock off manufacturers? And, no, despite everyone's snobbish thoughts, Kyocera & the like are not "Knock Off" manufacturers. Their phones are VERY appealing to lower income people who frequent carriers like Cricket. And despite what everyone thinks, their build quality is not that bad for the price. I have tried the Apad & Epad, in the like...those are AWFUL implementations of Android. the Stuff Kyocera does is CHEAP implementation of Android. Big difference.

XDA ports Android for fun. They give phone owners enjoyment, and I'm assuming they give the devs enjoyment. Sure, they release some real dumpster fire ROMs sometimes, but, way more often, they greatly improve the user experience of the phone and the OS. They are not going to release unusable ROMs over and over again. And, besides that, the people who are porting Honeycomb to phones over at XDA are simply tinkering. They, largely, have no intentions of actually running Honeycomb on a phone. And, they are wise enough to realize the Honeycomb OS is not supposed to be on a phone, so it's not going to hurt their view of Android in the least.

This is about MONEY. Google knows that Motorola, Samsung & HTC are releasing Honeycomb tablets, with every intention of charging "Apple" pricing. They also know that a large chunk of XDA inclined customers are going to say "screw that" and spend half the money on a Nook Color or a GTablet, and just flash Honeycomb onto it. And, despite what you might think...there are more people who are at least aware of the ability to hack these devices. So Google is removing that option until after the release.

These manufacturers are fighting a losing battle. People who are "in the know" are not going to pay these outrageous prices for tablets when they know cheaper alternatives can be modded, despite Google's insistence on not releasing source code. And, the common consumer who doesn't know anything about modding is going to look at the Motorola Xoom, or the Galaxy Tabs, and compare them to the Ipad, and they are going to buy an Ipad. If the price is even remotely close, they will continue to choose the Ipad. Yes, I know that the Android tablets will have more options, more powerful hardware, expandable memory...but that's the problem they run into. The people who CARE about expandable memory & more powerful hardware are the people that know they can modify cheaper tablets. Common consumers are going to see and Ipad against an imitation...and they are going to buy the Ipad. Especially when the people who have been touting Android's advantages since the beginning get pissed off and move on to another company that doesn't toss them to the side as soon as they achieve a modicum of mainstream success.

storm14k says:

I think everybody bitching and moaning have totally missed something here. They simply aren't going to release HONEYCOMB!!!. Ice Cream will be the merge of the tablet branch and phone branch and THAT will be released. Now this may be a bit of a knee-jerk reaction but look at what happened with Android and tablets. Some tablet makers rushed off and used it anyway and Android tablets got a bad name right off the jump. I guarantee some phone maker would toss Honeycomb onto a phone just to say "Look we have the latest on a phone that no one else has".

So just calm it down folks. They just want to keep Android in the wild unified. Remember Google didn't even want to use Android on tablets but the OEM's forced them into it and they rushed something out. So let them get the thing figured out and THEN release it. Its not like they are going closed source on the project. Honeycomb just amounts to an internal release.

shrestha says:

With all the threats of lawsuit over Google's use of Linux and Java, a plausible future scenario could be as follows:

1. Google replaces Linux with a BSD flavor. I could be wrong here, but 98% of the Apps would run just fine, since they are coded in 100% Java. Even among the ones using native code, most would probably just need a recompile. I don't know the state of device drivers for OpenBSD/FreeBSD, but I am assuming Linux has far greater support for devices, so much work needs to be done here.

2. Getting rid of Java on Android is near impossible. Thus, Google buys Java from Oracle for a few Billion dollars. Google then releases Java with an Apache license.

storm14k says:

There is no threat of a Linux lawsuit. This was complete and utter FUD.
The creator of Linux himself has cleared this up.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/linus-torvalds-android-copyri...

I've tipped this to two different Android sites. I wish they would run the story and end this mess.

jnl813 says:

I agree with Google... lets focus on Quality and not let this get out of hand and make a mess with it. And if Google was to treat Honeycomb like the iOS thats fine by me, that just means that theres going to be a Google music store as well. I want Ice cream and not Honeycomb on my phone. If you guys want honeycomb so bad, get a xoom, and get over it, it will never come to your phone!

c0ldburn3r says:

Wow... This is an Apple move for sure. I'm with him on this one, never will purchase a honeycomb tablet; Hence why I have an NC.

jnl813 says:

and honestly I LOVE Android and what all it can do, but come on, if Google wants to head in the right direction and proceed to build quality software, there's a point where you say "ok this is our baby and your not touching it" kind of like the Nexus ( my next phone on Sprint BTW). Google needs to concentrate on updating their talets FAST and make it more user friendly because if I was to choose right now.. I would get an iPad over Honeycomb. And thats coming from a hardcore Android fan.

rocket321 says:

If this is true, I think a lot of hackers/enthusiasts will flip over to the HP/Palm Pad, or just pass on tablets until Ice Cream source drops. Bad move Google!

You all are the biggest bunch of chicken-littles (including the author) I have ever seen.

He never says it's never going to be released, just that they are going to wait and clean it up first. Which is a good thing. Who cares if Moto got it first - the point is that the copy they got isn't the final version and google will give everyone the final version when it's ready. They just wanted to get the Xoom out. And since I have a Xoom I can tell you...they just barely got it finished.

Stop acting like your world is falling apart. For gods sake, the GB ROMS are not even ready yet. Even if The HC source was released now you wouldn't see stable ROMS for a month or so.

So STFU - if you have a Xoom you're already running software that is as bleeding edge as it gets. If you're pissed because you have some nook or G-tab that you wanted to load Honeycomb on then you'll just have to wait...The GB ROMS will be out soon...you'll get your precious update.

gspeed says:

couldn't agree more. These people won't even give Google a chance. $100 says not even 10% of them are developers or even have a full understanding of what this actually means. Less then 5% actually gave a crap about open source a year ago. But now, OMG the sky is falling. "Google said we might have to wait 6 months to get the OpenSource, which I'm not even sure what it does. Isn't there a movie called the source code, the source must be extremely important". Get some prozac people. If you were recently introduced to Android then I can understand your hysteria, you just don't understand how things work, ie newb. If you've been around for a while, at least give Google the benefit of the doubt. Until this point, have they screwed you? For a platform that has given you so much, why on earth would you throw a hissy fit when you know you just have to wait. Again when has Google screwed you? I would hate to have parented you. For all the good things I provided as a parent, you would turn on me in a minute. No loyalty around these parts. Kind of depressing since you would assume this is where the most loyal android fans congregate.

--Disappointed Android Fan.

storm14k says:

Thats a huge part of the problem right there. You have a ton of people that had never even heard of open source before Android now trying to chime in on how open source works and how things should be released. And they have all looked over the fact that Google simply said they may not release THIS version and just release the next one where the phone and tablet branches are merged. But again you have folks that don't understand the first thing about code doing all the complaining.

jwcarroll01 says:

Well said, I would rather have the final code and a finished product. So what if it take a few more months, hell i would love for my sd card to work on my XOOM

gspeed says:

Jerry, quit the teenage beauty queen fan drama. If you want an ipad2 go get one, no one is stopping you. If you think the side is greener then please go. I'd prefer more journalistic integrity for this site. I don't want to wake one morning to find you throwing a hissy fit because you were told to wait. At least be professional. You must not love Android that much. Even if Android was permanently closed, I would still choose it over another product. Google has never given me a reason to doubt them. I'd much rather this ecosystem then anyother. Android4Life.

--Would rather light myself on fire then leave Android.

JSquared534 says:

And, it's this exact kind of sentiment that these damned companies count on. "Would rather light myself on fire than leave Android"?

Don't get pissed off because some people are able to think for themselves and don't feel the need to be told when these updates are ready for us. I'll decide what I put on my own phone and my own computer, thank you very much. Google spouts off about how open they are, and then locks it down at the first moment it's convenient for them.

Like it or not, most of the people that follow Android enough for them to even be discussing this issue ARE pissed off by this. It's a slap in the face of the development community that has supported Android from the beginning. And, you know what? I'd trust the XDA development community a hell of a lot more than I would Motorola, HTC or Samsung to implement Honeycomb on anything.

It's people who blindly follow these corporations, and go around making excuses or apologizing for their screw ups & lies that allow these companies to continue to treat consumers like crap.

As for the crowd saying "trust Google, or be loyal to Google", to hell with that. This is not the first time Google has pulled shit like this. Anyone remember their little trick they pulled with Verizon regarding net neutrality? Whatever they can do to put more money on their books, they will do.

And don't give me the whole "capitalism" argument either. I understand how business works. But you people need to understand how common fucking courtesy works. If you are going to preach about "do no evil" and how you're on the side of "net neutrality", you DON'T make deals with another huge company to carve up the internet as you see fit. If you're going to brag about how open you are, you DON'T just decide not to release your source code because it helps you sell a few more "Google sanctioned" tablets.

Don't piss on my leg and tell me its raining. At least Apple has the common courtesy to say "We're in charge of our product, and we will do it as we see fit" right from the beginning. At least AT&T slaps a cap on their internet and says "We are capping this, so deal with it". They may be ran by a bunch of douchebags, but at least you know where you stand with companies like that.

Questioning the motives and actions of a company does mean that you prefer something else over it. It just means that you would rather not see it become something it was not supposed to become.

lexs says:

come on man don't be like that. Google WILL release the source code of honeycomb and other android versions to come, they just don't want to release a mostly unfinished source code of Honeycomb to developers with no ties to Google (for Q&A). Don't be like a little inpatient girl that wines around because it doesn't get her ice-cream immediately (no pun intended)
have patients and yes trust in google, they are very open about their strategy (when you actually read their statements...)

JSquared534 says:

If the code is not ready, they should not have released a product running the code.

And, reading a company's "statement" doesn't mean a damned thing. It's PR talk, and it always will be. The reasoning they are giving behind not releasing the source is because they don't want Honeycomb on phones. The shitty little companies that make the shitty little tablets COULD NOT release a phone with Honeycomb. Hell, with exception of Apple, every manufacturer on the planet has to jump through a dozen hoops to get their phones on a carrier. Do you think Verizon would really carry a phone equivalent of an Epad?

Just be up front, and admit they are not releasing the code because they want the first batches of Honeycomb tablets to sell better. Stop insulting everyone's intelligence.

And lose the "impatient girl" comments. It's sexist, and stupid.

gspeed says:

Oh lord. How will this effect you going forward? How will you be effected by not having Honeycomb opensourced? Even if you are inconvenienced by Honeycomb being closed, Google has said Icecream will be open sourced. Why get butthurt over waiting few months? Why make a spectacle when all their asking you to do is wait? Chances are you won't be effected much. All Honeycomb apps still rely on the same sdk, which is available. Developers have access to those api's and can already build tablet apps. I fail to see how you are effected. Even in the worst case scenario, you are extremely effected, you will still get the next version of the OS, ice cream, open sourced. Why cry now?

I have full faith in Google. I never made any commitment to the manufacturers. You may feel as though Google has done you wrong in the past, I do not. You need to understand Larry and Sergey, co founders of Google to understand their DNA and what makes them tick. Google is a big proponent of open source, across the board in various technological platforms. They have no incentive to start using closed off systems. Would be a 180 degree turn from their company motto that Open Source is better. All they are asking you to is wait for the next version of the OS. What's the big deal.

JSquared534 says:

Butthurt? Grow up.

This is a discussion about the direction Google is taking the Android OS. Not having Honeycomb DOES affect me. If I want to own an Android Tablet, I have to either:

A. Spend $800 on a half assed tablet.
B. Spend $250-$350 on a tablet that could have easily had Honeycomb hacked onto it, but won't now, because Google is taking their ball and going home.

Normally, I can be plenty patient for releases of new software. But, there is a problem this time. Google has released Honeycomb APIs, and has the developers writing apps meant to only run on Honeycomb Tablets. Which means, if I have a Galaxy Tab (Froyo), I do not get to use those applications, because you know damned well Samsung isn't updating THAT anytime soon. So, I would have an oversized cell phone, because developers aren't going to write Tablet sized apps for a tablet running Froyo. And, that's assuming I've purchased a Galaxy Tab. Take the Gtablet for another example. Same processor as the Xoom. Could get the same experience for half the price, unless you want a camera. Can't use Tablet apps on that one either. The Nook Color would benefit more than any of these devices because it doesn't have hard buttons. The soft buttons on Honeycombs would take the user experience to a whole new level.

And, the point of all that rambling is this: The Android community who is up in arms about this has been given the expectation that it would receive source code for the new releases. When Google pulls that ability, they have every right to be pissed off about it.

The funny thing is, I don't even want have, nor want, a tablet. I've tried a few of them, and they don't fit what I need to do. Why this irritates me, is the fact that I DO enjoy spending my hard earned money on Android phones with the EXPECTATION that I can update them to my hearts content. It may not be a term of the purchase, but like it or not, Google has made it an EXPECTATION of the OS. Stopping that now, even for one update version, is sad. It could also be a warning sign of things to come.

gspeed says:

Thanks for your candor. I understand your argument better now. You are looking for a cheap tablet that can run honeycomb. In 2 days the Xoom will be $600 or less, and it is anything but half ass. The sense I get in the forums is that people who have the device are more then happy with their purchase, many of us who even paid $800 for it. Scores of others in the forum waiting to get the xoom wifi. I think the xoom with honeycomb is an incredible device.

To get back to the main argument, this is not a permanent state of Android. Rubin has no reason to lie. He's been very upfront with us before and seems like a genuine guy. He said Ice Cream will be open sourced. When that date comes and if Google has betrayed us, please strike me with all negative comments. Bookmark it and remember to come remind me how wrong I was. I on the other hand will not lose sleep over this, as I've stated I have full trust in Google's open source initiatives. Google has always delivered for me. I've rarely, if ever, found myself feeling as though Google has done me wrong. I value their company ethics and will continue to do so. You are free to choose your own direction.

gspeed says:

Also, either Honeycomb or Ice Cream will be open sourced at one point. One of Google's main initiatives with Android is to get the OS onto as many devices to as many people across the globe. They knew that building a free OS will make smartphone adaption occur much quicker, as the OEMs don't have to worry about sw and can concentrate on the hardware. Bottom line is Android is only successful if there is mass adoption. This spurs the rest of the ecosystem(apps) and hopefully brings back ad dollars for Google in the process. That's why they're in the game.

Google is just stating that for whatever reason they can not release Honeycomb at this very moment but intend to do so with ice Cream. In the end, Google and Android benefit from having Honeycomb and Ice cream on a variety of devices. I don't see google charging for the os, so mass adoption is their best way to make a profit. Wouldn't make longterm business sense to start using closed standards. Google knows what they are doing and will deliver within the next OS release.

Maikai.Guy says:

It's always the last paragraph that gets to me. So... other than the open sourced nature of Android, there are NO OTHER attractive qualities over other "closed source tablets out there, made by companies who never claimed to be open"?

... and you thought of yourself as an "Android evangelist"?! Really?

I've got some sad news for you my friend. If that's the only benefit you think Android brought to the party, you missed the past 18 months.

appswhat says:

This matters to about 0.0000000000001% of Android users - not hard to make the choice, since a slew of crap products might turn off a lot larger number of people.

And yes, open source - means you can play with it WHEN THEY RELEASE IT - not just when you want it.

Get over it.

4ekbrandon says:

This makes no sense to me...

IF a developer is to make a ui using honeycomb on a phone, and it performs horribly, it is the CONSUMERS decision to use or not use that UI.

The most amazing factor for android is that the consumer has CHOICE.