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From fragmentation to open-source access limitations, Android’s still climbing uphill. In unifying its mobile platform, Google (GOOG) has had to up its regulatory tactics in order to manage things like malware and disparate user experiences. The backlash for Google’s delayed release of Honeycomb’s source code, among other recent rule-enforcement developments, has finally prompted a response from Android lead developer Andy Rubin.
Responding to last week’s Bloomberg story about Google strong-arming Android developers and manufacturers, Rubin defends his team’s position in a blog post, saying they’re “committed to fostering the development of an open platform for the mobile industry and beyond.” Rubin went on to say that Google does not forbid companies from modifying Android with their own interfaces, though an overarching goal for Google is a less-fragmented Android experience.
Android access, developer success
The method by which Google ultimately consolidates the Android smartphone and tablet experience continue to reveal itself, though a number of questions around its open development still arise. CNET outlines one such concern from a developer perspective, noting it as a matter of access.
Having access is certainly an advantage for developers, as early access to Android releases result in Market leads. As Springpad CEO Jeff Janer notes, “Discoverability on Android is better. Because we’ve been working with Android closely, they’re giving us early access to features, and they sometimes feature us at events. That makes a huge difference.” Springpad could even learn a thing or two from Google’s developer community management, good, bad or otherwise. The productivity and bookmarking app released their API this week, inviting other developers to create apps around the Springpad product.