Google to delay Android ‘Honeycomb’ distribution; can’t run on phones

“Google says it will delay the distribution of its newest Android source code, dubbed Honeycomb, at least for the foreseeable future. The search giant says the software, which is tailored specifically for tablet computers that compete against Apple’s iPad, is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones,” Ashlee Vance and Brad Stone report for Businessweek.

“In the past, Google has given device makers early access to versions of Android so they could work on their products,” Vance and Stone report. “It would then typically release the source code to the masses a few months later, letting all comers do what they want with the code.”

MacDailyNews Take: Fragmandroid.

Vance and Stone report, “It’s the throngs of smaller hardware makers and software developers that will now have to wait for the software. The delay will probably be several months. ‘To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,’ says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. ‘We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.'”

MacDailyNews Take: So, who’s going to line up around the block for pretend iPads running an OS that features design tradeoffs and shortcuts?

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple doesn’t take shortcuts.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “chew” for the heads up.]


    1. It’s only open if you can pick an arbitrary point in it and surround that point with a sphere of radius epsilon that stays totally within the boundary.

  1. Did you see Steve Jobs’ keynote when he presented the iPad 2 to the world at the Yerba Buena center a couple of weeks ago.

    There was a telling statistic that he flashed up in the big screen. That was the number of apps developed for the respective tablet platforms.

    First he showed the number of apps developed specifically for the iPad available on the iTunes App Store: 65,000. 

    Then he flashed a bee logo up onscreen with the number of apps at 00,0100. 

    That tells you right there why Google had to withhold the Honeycomb source code. Not only is the number of apps developed for Honeycomb a pathetic 100, the number of apps capable of running on Honeycomb phones would approximate to the number of brain cells in Eric Schmidt’s brain: 4.

    1. Well, not quite. I’m an Apple cheerleader as much as the next MDN reader, but what you said is not exactly correct.

      The number of Android apps Jobs referred to was for those that were FORMATTED to specifically work on a TABLET device; not necessarily specifically for Honeycomb.

      When Honeycomb does come out on a phone, it is more than likely that not all 200,000 (or whatever) Android apps will work on it, but significantly more than 100 or so definitely will work fine.

  2. If a shortcut takes longer, it’s not really a shortcut.

    What google did was get off the trail and get lost in the woods. Now they think that since they found an old set of rail road tracks all they have to do is follow them back to civilization.

    Best of lick to them.

  3. Total failure Google. Total failure. Stop coasting on Linux and Java so much and add some REAL tech to the party. Do some REAL programming on your own. FYI projects with no income and where you are sued by Oracle for Java will likely end up being delayed INDEFINITELY.

  4. it does not even run well on the xoom, which is why moto is going the browser base route ( which the disingenuous call web os).

    Bet you samsung delays their launch even further.

  5. Even though Eric Schmidt was in on details early on Apple’s Board of Directors, Google over 4-5 years later is STILL behind.

    That does not make Google look competent in any way on Android development.

    1. Well, it is not like the Apple board of directors is made up of engineers who design and develop iPad; they don’t really get to see much of details that go into the design and development.

  6. I think Google’s explanation is partial b.s.

    people are taking android and changing it like OMS in China which does not run Google services like search or android apps (OMS runs a few hundred private apps). So Google makes nothing. Google wants to stop this hijacking of it’s OS (so much for openness). As China is one of the biggest growth zones of Android if you minus things like OMS (which is counted in Android market share) Android isn’t making as much for google as droideks think.

    google made about a billion bucks on all non PC platforms last YEAR (about half of that actually from Apple iOS) so it’s not making a lot from Android (in comparison Apple made $10.47 billion from iPhone alone last QUARTER before apps, iAds etc). Apple will make 50 billion or more from mobile a year.

    I think Google wants to protect it’s intellectual property before it loses money doing Android (that one billion a year counts all mobile ad revenues etc before expenses. google spent $700 m just buying ad mob and hundreds of millions on r&d).

    Google doesn’t care about fragmentation (as long as the devices run its ads) but it DOES care when fragmentation stops it from making money.

    weird that if you read droideks comments they all say they are willing to suffer android’s problems like malware, lack of finish, bugs, no carrier updates etc vs iOS because they are supporting ‘open’. Dudes google is interested in making Ad Money – end of story. lol.

    1. Hmm, an astute observation – Google would be fools if they weren’t concerned about their work being used against them, so strategically withholding their code would make a lot of business sense.

      It seems more and more clear to me that Google’s “openness” is mostly posturing, which they use to claim the moral high ground (particularly among the hardcore open-source crowd), while at the same time thumbing their noses at the GPL, and otherwise doing whatever they think the can get away with.

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