It’s nothing new that Google’s latest Android release for tablets, Honeycomb, was not exactly ready for a broad release. In fact Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android project has admitted as much in a recent interview with Business Week and Bloomberg. Following criticisms for holding onto the source code for the tablet OS, Rubin sat down with Business Week to explain the decision a bit.
“To make our schedule to ship the [Xoom] tablet we made some design tradeoffs. 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.”
He went on to say that Google realizes that if it were to release the Honeycomb code, individuals and companies would try to put it on phones and other devices and the resulting user experience would be a poor one. The Android team is now hard at work finalizing Honeycomb for release on a host of new tablets from makers like HTC, LG, Samsung, Asus, and others.
Also in the works is the latest handset version of Android, code-named Ice Cream, which will combine the best features of Android 2.3 Gingerbread with elements of Honeycomb to create an OS optimized for cell phones. And in regard to withholding the Honeycomb code, Rubin says “Android is an open-source project. We have not changed our strategy.”
All this means that we’ll certainly see much more Android sweets in the near future, and if we can all curb our impatience we’ll be treated to a much more stable user experience in the summer and fall months of 2011.
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