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Who’s really in charge of Android Development?

0.0By James F. Koopmann November 07, 2009 05:59 PM

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Who’s really in charge of Android Development?

Recently a Google spokeswoman has said that “Because Android is open source, all software updates we release are available for carriers and handset makers to take and update their current or future Android-powered devices.” Remembering that open source is the vehicle that enables developers (carriers) to more effectively create and modify, one would hope that this is truly the case. But for many, the open source initiative doesn’t seem to play well as they have charged Google as being much more in charge of Android development then what the open source label would suggest.

Are there good reasons for Google to have a majority control of the development? I personally think there is as it is often the loose control of the open source label that limits things from being done. I also don’t think we would have had Android 2.0 as quickly. Said Bill Maggs, head of developer and partner content and services at Sony Ericsson. "Google is largely at this point definitely driving the framework."

For Eric Chu, group manager of Android mobile platform at Google, he has confirmed that while Android is open source it is also not completely accurate to say the initiative is completely controlled by Google. On the flip-side, Chu also recognizes that Google must still satisfy customer demand to produce a product that can be used commercially—saying “We think it's very important for Android to have a strong commercial focus. There are a lot of open source projects out there, but what the world cares about is open source projects that will result in commercial products."

So like it or not Google is probably controlling some of the development but allowing for the development to work as closely to the open source initiative as possible. This is a good thing as without Google the Droids would not have landed successfully.



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By l3v5y November 07, 2009 06:47 PM

Almost all the OS development is done by Google, you wouldn't have Android without Google, and it wouldn't advance without them so it makes a lot of sense for them to remain in control.
Lots of things are open source with development mostly done by a small group who then release source code, and this is no different.

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