The Macalope Daily: Mmm, that's good open!

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Where do you think Android is right now? What do you think Android is thinking about? Do you think Android is thinking about me? I hope so. Android’s sooo dreamy.

On Wednesday, we talked about how Android is winning. Today let’s talk about how it’s open.

Because it is, you know. It is as open as the day is long.

Let’s start with a basic contradiction. Even though it’s open source and free to modify, Google keeps Android’s development tightly under wraps until the company is ready to show it to the world.

Well, OK, not “open,” open. More like “fopen,” which would be faux open. Or “mopen,” which would be “maybe open.” Or “oopen” which is “occasionally open.”

In the case of Honeycomb, Google even held on to the source code powering devices already in the market.

Well, look, you can’t make an open omelette without breaking a few open eggs.

No, the Macalope’s not sure what that’s supposed to mean.

Anyway, at least Google’s got that fragmentation problem licked, right?

Right at this moment, we have brand-new, state-of-the-art, highly evolved mobile and portable devices in a range of form factors that are based on at least three different major releases of Android. Support for updating existing devices to the newest version of Android is all over the map, even for devices made by the same manufacturer, like Samsung’s Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets.

Wait, does that include...

Tablets with fully skinned, proprietary operating systems like Amazon’s Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color/Nook Tablet only amplify the diversity that was already present in the smartphone market.

Oh, so, no, it does not include them.

Still, though, even with all these troubles, the definition of open as coined by Google’s Andy Rubin still stands.

the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”

See, you can compile Android and...


That link doesn’t work anymore?

Ooooooh. That may be because Rubin has apparently deleted it.*


That’s probably not indicative of anything.

* Correction: The post was apparently not deleted but had been lost by Twitter and has since been restored. The Macalope regrets the error.

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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