Google to keep Honeycomb OS to itself, for now

Darren Allan

March 25, 2011

Google isn’t planning on making Android 3.0 open source any time soon.

While Android might be an open system by design, in the case of Honeycomb, it isn’t ready to be spilled out to the world just yet, according to Google’s Andy Rubin.

Rubin fears developers taking Android 3.0 and jamming it onto smartphones, which the OS isn’t really designed for, and could cause unpredictable results. Honeycomb is tailored specifically for a larger screen tablet experience.

Rubin told TechRadar that he didn’t want smartphone developers “creating a really bad user experience” and added that he “doesn’t even know whether it would work on mobile phones.”

The release will be coming, though, just not for a while yet. Exactly how long isn’t clear, but Google says that it remains committed to Android as an open source project. It’s just that this bit is going to be closed, temporarily.

It seems a fair enough move from Google’s point of view, as to have readied Honeycomb fully so it could potentially be deployed on smartphones too would have delayed the release of the current crop of Android 3.0 powered tablets.

And that would have given Apple even more grip on the market with the iPad 2.


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