Google’s Andy Rubin says Android is still open

Last week reports surfaced claiming that Google was clamping down on what its Android partners could and could not tweak in newer versions of the operating system. One report filed by Bloomberg Businessweek cited “dozens” of industry executives who said that Android partners will no longer be able to make “willy-nilly tweaks to the software” if they want early access to new builds. On Wednesday Google’s Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android, wrote a blog post in an effort to address concerns. “We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” Rubin wrote. “The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices – many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created. As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices. This enables device makers to support the unique and differentiating functionality of their products. If someone wishes to market a device as Android-compatible or include Google applications on the device, we do require the device to conform with some basic compatibility requirements.” Rubin said Android’s “anti-fragmentation” program has been in place since Android 1.0, and exists as an effort to help create some consistency for developers. He added that Google remains committed to keeping Android an open platform and confirmed Google’s coders are hard at work bringing Honeycomb features to phones.

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