The “is Android open?” question is one that constantly fades in and out of focus on blogs and in the tech media. The latest snippet that will undoubtedly reinvigorate the argument was revealed this past weekend, and this time it’s not a pretty one for Google. As part of Skyhook Wireless’ lawsuit against Google, which alleges that the company interfered with a contract that placed its services on Android phones sold by Motorola, several internal emails have been made public by a Massachusetts state court. Collectively, the emails provide various insights into the business strategies employed by Google’s Android team. One email in particular, however, is attracting a great deal of attention. In it, Android Open-Source & Compatibility Program Manager Dan Morrill writes, “we are using compatibility as a club to make them do things we want.” In other words, we’re brought right back to the earlier revelation that Android partners can do whatever they want with the platform, but only those that play ball with Google’s compatibility requirements get preferential treatment, such as early access to new Android builds. Of course this time, the sentiment comes straight from the horse’s mouth in a relatively gruff manner, which doesn’t exactly do a service to Google’s repeated “open” claims. More →
Well, at least the significance of the Symbian Duck’s giant robotic feet is clear now — they’re going to walk all over developers! Oh come on. We kid… We kid… Truth be told, there’s no one as happy as we are to learn that Symbian^4 will finally break app compatibility. This obvious-turned-revelatory tidbit was covered in a recent interview with Symbian Foundation Catalyst and Futurist David Wood where he discusses the death of Avkon and the birth of Qt where UI elements are concerned. While we’re insanely pro-developer here at BGR, we must be clear in stating that this is awesome, awesome news. Why? Because it confirms what we already knew and what we’ve been dreaming about for what seems like an eternity — Symbian will actually find itself wrapped in a (hopefully) fresh new UI sometime in the not-so-distant future. Think late 2010ish/early 2011ish where consumers are concerned. As for what this means to developers, yes there will be some work involved in order to update the current crop of apps. That is most definitely not a bad thing, however. Come on guys, S60 3rd launched in what, 1924? We’ve been compatible for long enough. It’s time to freshen things up a bit and get rid of that stagnant look that should have been updated long ago. If that means a little more work for devs, we hope they embrace it with open arms.
[Via Engadget Mobile]