∞ Google delays Honeycomb tablet OS; what if that was Apple

Google is delaying the release of its tablet operating system, Honeycomb, to the open source community because it took “shortcuts” in order to keep up with Apple’s iOS.

[ad#Google Adsense 300x250 in story]“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, in a Bloomberg article. “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.”

Rubin also said that if Google released Honeycomb now, it couldn’t stop companies from using it on phones “and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones.”

Wow. Google, the company that positions itself as being better than Apple because it is open, is closing down Honeycomb. For now, at least.

So the bottom line here is that in order to keep up with Apple, Google took shortcuts on the development of Honeycomb and now it’s come back to bite them in the ass.

Google deserves some kudos for not releasing a half-baked OS, but I don’t understand why more people aren’t up in arms about this. Open source executive Dave Rosenberg described Google’s delay “as an affront to hard-core open-source enthusiasts,” but that’s about all that was said.

Where are the mainstream press articles tearing Google up over this? While there are a few comments, many of the articles I’ve seen told Google’s story and stopped there.

Can you imagine if it were Apple delaying a software release. What would the press say if Apple admitted it took shortcuts with its OS to keep up with Google and now they couldn’t release it? The press would have a field day with that story.

The mainstream press already had a field day with rumors that Apple was going to delay the iPad 2. When all was said and done, they released it early.

Apple gets slammed all the time for supposedly delaying its hardware and software products, but the thing that nobody seems to mention in those articles is that Apple never announced a ship date. How can you possibly be late delivering a product when you haven’t said when you will ship it?

The simple answer is, you can’t. But that doesn’t seem to stop everyone from piling on.

Still, it seems strange that many of these same people are silent on Google’s delayed Honeycomb release. Seems like a clear double standard.



  • Anonymous

    Sounds like some well made points to me.

  • Guest

    Google must have a reality distortion field as well! :D

    • AAPLou

      Why “as well”? There is no reality distortion at Apple. Either you understand the potential of a new Apple product when launched, as in the revolutionary iPad, iPhone, iPod, or if you don’t you call it reality distortion. Returning PAYING customers is proof that there’s no distortion. How many people who never tried a Mac because of all the FUD, end up buying one because they are delighted with one of the iPxx product they bought.

  • http://twitter.com/danielhedlund Daniel Hedlund

    Honestly, anyone that stills believes Google and their “openness” is an complete idiot anyway. The open-source community (bless their fragile souls) got screwed once again by a big company and I really don’t think there’s anyone in that community that even cares anymore.

  • Zhicongyang

    it isn’t double standards. i’ve been reading news all over the place about the so-called conspiracy and how Google is turning it’s back on open source – “Google” & “Open sourced no more” came up very often. Has there been this much coverage over a non issue in Apple’s case? i don’t think so. And what of Steve Jobs’ infamous tirade against users not holding their iPhones properly? Or that Apple was stumped to discover that the signal strength in prior iOS versions were exaggerated? Did the press have a field day over these revelations? Again, no. Infact many journalist and hardware reviewers told consumers the claims were wildly exaggerated. Which was how i got myself an iPhone 4. To my utter dismay!

    • http://twitter.com/MeanKidneyDan Mean Kidney Dan

      Horse pucky. When those events transpired, i couldn’t seem to read about anything else. the “Holding it wrong” problem got so bad Consumer Reports got involved, if i remember correctly. Short memory, dude.

      • Anonymous

        Ah yes, the fabled cabal of “over-smug, Jobs-can-do-no-wrong fanatics.” Who, oddly, seem to be more in evidence as described in the unhinged frothing of Apple haters online everywhere all the time then actually speaking for themselves.

        My guess is that as this point the people willing to attack Apple’s users in borderline racial terms outnumber any Apple apologists about 10 to 1, and are way more irritating than Apple fans ever were.

    • http://twitter.com/coolfactor Ted Wood

      [quote]Steve Jobs’ infamous tirade[/quote]

      I think you’re suffering from your own reality distortion field. Steve Jobs doesn’t get angry with customers, just with incompetent engineers.

      • http://twitter.com/omegabit Mark McTernan

        Really? Because when somebody claims that a customer is “holding it wrong” I don’t think that’s directed at the engineer.

        • http://twitter.com/dazonic dazonic

          Actual quote, “Just avoid holding it that way”.

    • Steven Fisher

      Tirade?

      User launches into a tirade about how if he holds it a specific way, it doesn’t work.

      Steve’s reply, exactly: “Hold it some other way, then.”

      Do you even know what a tirade is? Here’s a fucking clue: This JUST became one.

    • Steven Fisher

      Tirade?

      User launches into a tirade about how if he holds it a specific way, it doesn’t work.

      Steve’s reply, exactly: “Hold it some other way, then.”

      Do you even know what a tirade is? Here’s a fucking clue: This JUST became one.

      • http://chidio.wordpress.com/ ChidiO

        Thanks!

    • Steven Fisher

      Tirade?

      User launches into a tirade about how if he holds it a specific way, it doesn’t work.

      Steve’s reply, exactly: “Hold it some other way, then.”

      Do you even know what a tirade is? Here’s a fucking clue: This JUST became one.

    • kibbles

      yeah dude, the media was all over the antennaegate thing, dunno where you were sleeping..

    • kibbles

      yeah dude, the media was all over the antennaegate thing, dunno where you were sleeping..

    • Anonymous

      Dude, you need to go back to your Fandroid echo chamber. The folks here actually know what happens with Apple, and we don’t suffer fools very well. You need to find another website where you can make up crap and people won’t call you on it because they are irrationally against Apple as you appear to be.

      The iPhone did have a minor problem, and it still has higher satisfaction rates amongst users. Not 100 percent, mind you. But then you knew that already.

    • Chesty McChesty

      What planet were you living on at the time?

    • His Shadow

      ” And what of Steve Jobs’ infamous tirade against users not holding their iPhones properly?”

      The one you just made up?

      CEO’s talk trash about the competition all the time. Yet whenever Steve Jobs talks trash about competitors, it’s a “screed” or a “tirade” or a “rant”.

      FYI: even if the email was authentic, a single sentence doesn’t qualify as a “tirade’ in any way, shape or form.

    • Anonymous

      Lame attempt to change the subject. If you aren’t aware that all phones have that same issue, you shouldn’t even be commenting on mobile.

      If you are dismayed with your iPhone you can take it back, or you can sell it for enough money to cover the price you paid at retail and your early termination fee. You are not trapped in any way.

    • mhikl

      Zhicongyang? Get real Envyboy. Apple is the King and the one to get the criticism. It seems human nature to go after the winner looking for flaws. When Apple was not king, the same thing happened because their stuff was still more user friendly. M$ products were cheap to purchase but expensive, had high failure rates and expensive to maintain so a lot of money was made or pride was earned by technogeeks and entrepreneurs. Not a lot was to be made off Apple products which actually worked well, for the most part. (I could go on about the 6400 which was a dog and other problem wares Apple had, but for the most part, their stuff worked and work well.)

      I am an Applefan because Apple’s products work so well and their support is usually to be envied. I am also very critical when I see errors and problems with their products and I find that most Applefans are the same. The only time I see Envyboys complaining about Droid products is safely on their Droid sites where they whine about their product and are begging for help searching for solutions. On open sites like this or Apple specific sites you come as trolls to stir the pot with envy and scrambled facts. Enjoy your problem infected devices and the lucky ones that actually work well enough.

      Namaste, mhikl

  • Anonymous

    The main reason the general public tend to make a bigger deal out of Apple mistakes is down to that vocal minority of over-smug, Jobs-can-do-no-wrong fanatics who cannot deal with the fact that different people have different tastes.

    When Apple makes a mistake, the rest of us react by highlighting the mistake to put the fanboys back in their respective boxes.

    Another reason is simply that Apple are the market leader and the underdogs are given a break because of this. When Microsoft was on top, the press rallied to ensure people knew the bad side of them too.

    I also think that this article may have been written with the Apple blinkers on. Apple and Steve are media darlings at the moment. I can’t remember a credible article being written ‘slamming’ them for not shipping a product. OK, we all have the odd chuckle about the white iPhone 4 but I really don’t see this as a ‘slam.’

    If anything RIM, Google, Nokia and Microsoft are the ones being constantly taken apart by the press for not keeping up with Apple.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      RIM et al. get taken apart for not keeping up with their own promises.

    • kibbles

      really? i completely disagree — the MSM were all over “antenneagate” to the point that my non-techy senior citizen father asked me if it was safe to buy one. see Consumer Reports. (i explained to my dad that neither i nor anyone i know using an iphone4 ever had a problem w/ the so-called death grip, that i was largely an exaggerated problem designed to take down the top player, apple).

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/qJDryvoEhIjGtA2dj4aHrLkq7FQfZ16q0g--#47896 The Cappy

      I dunno. The phrase “over-smug” seems to apply to your attitude more than anything else.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_35HF7MTZ3JKGYZHIBJRLSQE5XQ bmovie

    Question. Will Samsung update those early 7 inch Tab to Honeycomb or will they forever be using the phone version of Android?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MTOVXVHLHKBFT6RJLETMJUZ2G4 Cameron Scott

    GOOGLE GOOGLE SHORTCUTS ARE BAD android is all ways half Finnish and that is why I don’t get android

    • Anonymous

      No, Google is an American company. You’re getting them confused with Nokia… ;)

  • Anonymous

    This is perhaps the dumbest post I’ve ever read.

    Google didn’t delay releasing anything as far as anyone outside of Google is concerned, they released it when they wanted to on what they wanted to. Just like Apple does. Just like any software company does. Google is delaying this to the open source community because it’s their software and they can do what they want with it, when they want to — and keep in mind, just because a company doesn’t commit all of their code to an open source repo seconds after releasing it with a product doesn’t mean they’ve “turned their back on open source.” It’s Google’s choice to commit to open source (from a philosophical level) just as much as its their choice not to. And if you’re some sort of open source nut and you want good tablet code then do what any self-respecting open sourcer would do and write the stupid thing yourself and make it available to everyone or close your mouth.

    Not putting the code in an open source repo immediately only means the standards you have for code you release as part of a single product and code you make generally available are different (in terms of design and generality, as it should be). Cisco does the same thing when modifying Linux and releasing code back into the open source repo. Apple does the same thing internally when devices like the Verizon iPhone end up on different forks from the main version and don’t get 4.3 at the same time as the ATT version. And they do the same thing externally when safari (mobile or desktop) has more/better code then the open source version. Software diverges and sometimes features make it back in open source repos and sometimes they don’t and sometimes they don’t make it on the nutty and artificial schedule you seem to have in mind for Google. That’s just reality of software and software development and it’s nothing to get all pissy about, and it’s especially nothing to get pissy about the “mainstream” media getting pissy about (seriously, what is wrong with you people).

    And no, the mainstream media is not complaining about Google’s commitment to open source because a) no one cares and b) it’s 100000x better then what Apple does with open source. The only double standard is this blog.

    • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

      GOOGLE IS OPEN AND EVERYTHING GOOGLE DOES IS GOOD, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS! APPLE IS NOT OPEN AND EVERYTHING APPLE DOES IS BAD, NO MATTER WHAT IS IS!

      There, see? I was able to restate your two points in two sentences. I helped, because that’s what I do. I’m a helper.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, I think your two sentences just falls into the “seriously, what is wrong with you people” part of my post.

        I didn’t say Google was good in everything they do and everything they do is open. I said they’re the ones writing the code (and spending the money to do it) so they can do what they want with it on their schedule. That’s just business and it’s exactly what Apple does (and yes, in a much more closed fashion), so it makes absolutely no sense why Apple fanbois are going nuts over Google’s openness (or delayed openness as the case may be) when Apple has released jack-squatt iOS code to the open source community. That’s your double standard.

        Seriously people, at least find something real to bitch about.

        • Anonymous

          You’re absolutely right. Google can be as open as they want to be, without having to be open at all.

        • Nick Norman

          Webkit??

        • http://ckd.livejournal.com/ ckd

          “Apple has released jack-squatt iOS code to the open source community. That’s your double standard.”

          Let me know when Apple’s VP of engineering tweets about how their code is “open” because you can check it out from the repository, then. The standard being held to here is Google’s own; the standard not being lived up to is exactly what Rubin claimed as the definition of “open”.

          • Newposition

            mate have you ever heard of webkit – ever wonder where that came from or contributes?

        • Guest

          «I didn’t say Google was good in everything they do and everything they do is open. I said they’re the ones writing the code (and spending the money to do it) so they can do what they want with it on their schedule.»

          Most of Android is licensed under the Apache Software License, 2.0 (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0). Go and read section 4, redistribution.

          The kernel modifications in Android (Linux kernel) are GPLv2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html). It goes without saying that you can’t “do what you want on your schedule” with GPL code, but go ahead and read section 3 of the terms and conditions.

          There’s a reason that companies very carefully calibrate their reliance upon and interaction with open source code, siloing GPL’d stuff away from their proprietary stuff and, as much as possible, keeping “viral” licenses out of critical release paths. Apple is happy to contribute to and support WebKit (KHTML fork) and Clang/LLVM, but neither of those are critical to Darwin or a release of OS X or iOS. This allows them to release their OSes truly on their schedule, doing what they want with their code.

          You don’t get to do what you want with GPL code.

          You don’t get to do what you want with ASL code.

          Unless Honeycomb includes no third party Apache-licensed code, Google can not distribute Android 3.0 without releasing those sources. Have you performed an audit of 2.3 and earlier to ensure there are no external source code dependencies? I can’t say one way or another, but I’m not going to rush to claim that the code is Google’s and they can “do what they want” with it.

        • Anonymous (a different one)

          Oh. So I guess http://www.opensource.apple.com/release/ios-42/ doesn’t actually exist? You know, seeing as they haven’t released any code and all.

        • Andy R.

          It’s about practicing what you preach. Google preaches “open always wins” but doesn’t practice it. Apple doesn’t preach openness, but they still contribute sometimes anyway.

        • Anonymous

          I agree, When Google say something’s not evil, it’s not evil. When they say something’s not closed, it’s not closed.

          Totally agree,

        • Bear

          “Apple has released jack-squatt iOS code to the open source community. That’s your double standard.”

          Jack-squat iOS? O RLY?

          http://opensource.apple.com/release/ios-42/

          … or maybe you prefer some open source from OS X …

          http://opensource.apple.com/release/mac-os-x-1067/

        • Anonymous

          First, I’m not an Android fanboy. I don’t even own anything Android. I own multiple macs, an iphone, and an Apple TV.

          That said, I’m also not an idiot.

          Second, you guys are nuts. The only “shortcut” Google took is deploying a specific software version on a specific hardware product (which does in fact happen to be a shortcut for them because they also provide a generic and open-source Android code base that’s available to everyone) and because they deployed a specific software version that’s currently customized for a specific product they’re delaying the generic and open-source public release, which will be suitable to be customized for any tablet, hence the term “shortcut.”

          However, this is the EXACT SAME shortcut that Apple takes with EVERY SINGLE ONE of their products, that is: deploying specific software customized for specific hardware and Apple does not release it as generic and customizable open source software for all. So how a bunch of Apple fans are outraged by Google’s alleged “shortcut” and can go around claiming that the world would be beside itself if Apple did the same thing, well, it completely blows my mind. You guys are crazy.

          And, webkit? Really? That’s your defense of Apple’s open-source efforts? I know they have a few more minor projects too… but come on.

          Yes, webkit is great. I use Chrome. But, seriously people:

          Android IS open. I can download it, scrutinize it, and redeploy it on my own hardware, just not the latest hot stuff that they haven’t released, yet (OMG! NO WAY! eye roll)

          Google sponsors the summer of code “that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects.” And there are a ton of projects sponsored.

          Guido van Rossum works for Google and spends “half my time on Python, no strings attached!” (http://www.python.org/~guido/)

          Andrew Morton, one of the lead developers of Linux, also works for Google on their Linux development team. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Morton_(computer_programmer))

          … and they’re not the only big-wig open-source techie working for Google that get lots of room to work on their own projects… but I’ll only go so far to appease trolls.

          Google has dumped millions (if not hundreds) into Mozilla over the past decade…

          …I could go on, but I don’t really see the point.

          You guys seem to think that Google needs to be 100% open in everything that they do in order for them to say that they support “open” products. Well, that’s great. Then Google is wrong. But that’s not how normal people — not Richard Stallman — would define open (hell, even Linus Torvalds doesn’t agree with Stallman on that topic), and that’s not how Google defines it either:

          http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/meaning-of-open.html

          /rant

        • http://twitter.com/prometheas John Lianoglou

          Regarding this bit:

          “Apple has released jack-squatt iOS code to the open source community”

          I send you here: http://www.apple.com/opensource/

          • Erik

            @ John

            That’s not open source code that Apple has released.

            That’s open source code produced by other people that apple uses. Apple can’t close source their versions of the code they took from other people, because the terms of the open source licences that allow Apple to use other people’s open source code, mostly also prevent apple from closing up the code.

            Apple has released jack-squatt iOS code to the open source community. They have used the open source community’s code in iOS.

            Webkit is quite a nice contribution from Apple. We note that they were obliged to open source webkit, because it was a fork of khtml with some features added… …khtml is an open source html rendering library… …and so on and so forth. That’s probably Apple’s biggest contribution that I can think of.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KHTML

        • Anonymous

          I posted a response a couple hours ago, but it’s still waiting on moderation (because I included links to the texts of the ASL and GPLv2). The gist:

          The bulk of Android is licensed as Apache Software License, 2.0. Section 4 of this license places restrictions on distribution that require release of source code, so unless Google owns 100% of this source – I make no assertions either way – then it is in violation of ASL by withholding Honeycomb source. If any kernel modifications have been made between Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.0 (Honeycomb), distribution of Honeycomb is further a violation of GPLv2, which covers the Linux kernel sources and also precludes distribution without source code release (section 3, I believe).

          Google is the one who trumpets its open source credentials. It’s more than fair to take Google to task for not living up to them. As for Apple, it leverages open source heavily but consistently selects codebases that are permissively licensed: FreeBSD for Darwin, the FreeBSD license merely requiring a copyright notice in derived source and binaries; KTHML for WebKit, licensed under a combination of LGPL and BSD; Clang/LLVM, University of Illinois Open Source License, a BSD-style license.

          Apple releases its fair share of open source code via these projects, which the competition is more than welcome to leverage – Windows Phone 7 alone, of current smartphone platforms, does not ship with a WebKit-based browser. It simply appears that Apple is patient enough to package its derivatives off of released code, such that the Clang 2.0 that recently shipped with Xcode 4 is based off the 2.9 branch in LLVM SVN.

          This is a relatively minor issue, overall, but rightfully embarrassing for Google. For one, it has to admit that it is rushing products out the door to keep/catch up with Apple. For another, it has to backtrack, even if just temporarily, on its own promises. There’s egg on the Google doodle.

        • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

          hardly. Google talks about how open they are, and how that makes them better. not in a technical sense, but in a MORAL sense. Yet, time and time again, they actively work to screw over the people who buy into their crapola, and people like you show just how desparate the fandroid community is. You’re justifying everything google does, yet anything Apple does is wrong.

          That’s the double standard.

    • Anonymous

      This is -at least- as dumb as anything else you’ll read this week: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/03/29/idc-android-global-market-share-at-40-in-2011/

      The IDC “methodology” was to assume 100% of Nokia’s 2011 users will adopt WinPhone 7 by 2015. And the worst this got called was “wacky” or “a guessing game”.

    • kibbles

      anonymous fail. google’s fandroids constantly tout its awesomeness due to being “open” (echo effect: “open open open….”). google’s VP Rubin even tweeted about how awesome their open (“open open open…” product is because anybody an load it up.

      for them to break that is, in itself, completely newsworthy.

      “it’s 100000x better then what Apple does with open source” huh? what are you talking about? i think the web world is pretty happy w/ Apple’s open Webkit (yes i know where they forked it from), so i cant follow your point.

    • Anonymous

      “It’s Google’s choice to commit to open source (from a philosophical level) just as much as its their choice not to.”

      Nobody disagrees with this. Well, I would hope they don’t. What I personally disagree with is that all you ever hear about is Google’s commitment to openness. It frames every single discussion of Android versus iOS – features and capabilities and other key information are always secondary to this. And that’s top down from Google execs to developers to users.

      The point of the original post appears to be that Apple gets a disproportionate amount of flak for its mistakes compared to Google. As a reader of many company-agnostic tech blogs and forums, I would say that’s a fair assessment.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      “…it’s their software and they can do what they want with it, when they want to…”

      Does this principle only apply to Google? Or does it only apply to the company you’ve chosen to defend because you dislike the other one?

    • Anonymous

      BS. Google is holding onto the source. That is a fact. Compare to Apple WebKit (which Google also uses): there is a new daily version of WebKit every day which Apple, Google, HP, RIM, Nokia, Adobe, Roku, and other WebKit users all have equal access to. Apple cannot hold onto it because it is a true open source project where the source is gasp out in the open.

      Rationalize all you like. You just show your lack of integrity. You just show how far up Google’s butt your nose is.

    • Anonymous

      that’s where you’re blindly defending Google.

      If Google were like any other company that’s primarily closed, and release source code at their own leisure, that’s fine.

      But it’s the pure hypocrisy of Google constantly hampering on the “open” word – Android, Chrome browser, webm/VP8…. etc then all of sudden saying “i’m closing it off because we’re too embarrassed to share it now.”

      Double standard here. Trying to use the “open” buzzword to rally support then close it off whenever it’s convenient for themselves.

      And Steve Jobs was right – it’s all about fragmentation. Even Rubin himself admitted of “shortcuts” to get Honeycomb out the gate, and now would give a yucky experience if attempted to be ported over to phones. I’ll see how long the unification would take between Gingerbread and Honeycomb – if ever.

      Meanwhile, Apple has already moved on and is already gradually unifying iOS with Mac OS X, so they’ll have a single OS all the way from iPods to iPhones to iPads to Apple TV to laptops to desktops to servers – using a different subset of the available features, while having an optimized UI for each device.

    • Scruff

      Being open source, if I were to go and buy a Motorola Xoom I should be able to go and get the sources by now. Isn’t the open source ethos that if you have purchased or acquired a product based on or using open source code, the manufacturer should provide at least a link to where I can download the code?

      Didn’t TiVo and some router manufacturers recently get creamed for this in the open-source community? when in fact, they could have just said “we don’t want to release the source yet, as we’re concerned that it will affect customer’s judgement on the device. Don’t worry, we are going to release it soon”. The EFF smacked them, as they should with the Goog.

    • Anonymous

      Bits of your argument might have more merit if Google hadn’t spent the last couple years milking “open” for every last drop of good PR they could get. What did Andy Rubin say just a few months ago when confronted with the issue of carrier tweaks to Android? “That’s the nature of open.” Well, it would seem to me that manufacturers using Honeycomb on devices it’s not designed for should also qualify as “the nature of open”. Google is trying to have its cake and eat it, too.

      This “open” nonsense is extremely important to Google’s brand – so important that they’re willing to admit they cut corners in their software. I mean seriously! They admit they took shortcuts! Companies only ever do that when their backs are against the wall.

  • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido
    1. The company that designed Gmail is now concerned about “creating a really bad user experience.” Tell me more.

    2. “Open!”

    • Jack Slavkovic

      huh? gmail?

      the one web experience millions of users actually prefer to any native email client?

      really?

      • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

        Yes, really.

        Gmail is a remarkably useful tool whose user interface was poorly designed by engineers in committees, who debated details and reached group consensus about column territory and button colors without very much thought given to overall usability. Gmail’s UI is embarrassingly bad. Even Microsoft could do better at this point.

        Really.

        • http://twitter.com/omegabit Mark McTernan

          Steve Jobs is an unsupervised engineer. What a strange designation for the initiative that has spawned truly great contributions that millions find new uses for every day.

          • Coat Danvers

            I think you are confusing ‘good deaign’ with utility. Windows 95 was one that ‘millions’ found uses for, independent of that fact, was that it was ugly and poorly designed.

          • Coat Danvers

            I think you are confusing ‘good deaign’ with utility. Windows 95 was one that ‘millions’ found uses for, independent of that fact, was that it was ugly and poorly designed.

          • Jack Slavkovic

            the original quote was about “user experience” and not “good design”, which is just a (small?) part of it.

            also, comparison to windows (in 1995) is not very interesting, as most people didn’t have a choice of OS at that time (it came with the PC, or they needed it for work, or they couldn’t pay for apple premium, or..). today, you have a very wide choice of email clients, and millions of people prefer it to any native client (best mail experience on my ipad).

      • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

        No one loves Gmail’s UI.

        They love the price, and the storage space they get for that price. But the UI is shit.

        • darkwarrior

          Gmail is simple. In my opinion, simple is good. Simple is enough. So gmail = better than the rest.

          • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

            Gmail is simpler than what? it is absolutely not simple.

  • Anonymous

    @Jim

    You said “Google deserves some kudos for not releasing a half-baked OS”. Umm, from everything I’ve heard it sounds like that’s exactly what Honeycomb is. A half baked OS. That’s one of the many problems with the Xoom. It’s half-baked hardware running on half-baked software. Two half-baked pieces doesn’t make a quality product.

    • Anonymous

      My experience with the Xoom (WiFI) is the opposite. OS is smooth, reliable, and all my favorite apps work fine. Flash 10.2 works great on the Tegra 2 based Xoom as it does on the Tegra 2 based eLocity 7. I can live without microSD support until it is released. Hardware overall seems solid, well built, with powerful speakers for a tablet. Respect your opinion, but have a different opinion.

      Also have the Verizon Tab which is the device I take every day when I go out. The 7″ form factor is ideal for my mobile needs, and Froyo works great on it. Don’t care if it is ever upgraded to 3.0, or even 2.3. I have 2.3 on the S, it is fine, but not an earth shattering upgrade from 2.2.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D2ZFRO2JD4I2YVVLOHTAIZY7AI Barry

        The review of Beta Flash 10.2 from Engadget would seem to disagree with your “Flash 10.2 works great” statement — but maybe you are more forgiving. Mind you, I am sure Flash works better on the Xoom than on my iPad, but I don’t think “great” would be the word I would use to describe it on the Xoom (maybe “adequately”). My best Flash experience on iPad is through the iSwifter app which serves me for the few times I feel I would like to view some flash content.

        I agree with you that people harp on features that many folks don’t even feel they need. For example, I never missed a camera on my iPad and now that I have the iPad 2, I may never use its camera. Xoom’s camera is far superior, but “better camera” will never be a selling point since I find it really awkward to us a tablet as a camera — only makes sense to me for video chat (and I don’t care to do that very often either).

        I feel that Motorola will have the only viable Honeycomb tablet in 2011, and is the one to watch for future Android tablets. I think that Samsung does not know how to deliver a tablet because they are too busy trying to copy off Apple rather than do their own innovation — their latest vaporware ultra-thin tablet announcement with the fake testimonials is just another example of how “smooth” the Samsung tablets are likely to sell.

        My only knock on Motorola is that they claimed all these differentiating factors from Apple iPad to appeal to those for whom an iPad does not fit their needs, but then those features are all delayed or not yet fully functional: - Flash is beta weeks after the tablet releases with more promises from Adobe - 4G is coming, but will require that you send the device back to Motorola for a week - SD Card support is non-functional

        I think the early adopters will enjoy their Xooms because they expect some early-adoption pain. But I think the mainstream should not jump on an Android tablet until Motorola’s next revision or at least until the Xoom’s promised features are all functional. My brother in law is an early adopter of the Xoom and loves it, but he admits that the Honeycomb apps are slow coming.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for the comment; however I do disagree with you, and Engadget. I have been using Flash on a Tegra 2 based Android eLocity A7 tablet since Christmas, and it does work great for my uses. My main use of Flash is for watching videos, and for that purpose, Flash on Tegra 2 has been as good as on my PC. Flash videos play fine even when mirroring via HDMI on the A7, and works fine on the Xoom based on my use since purchasing it. I have iSwifter on the my iPad. The Flash videos were much jerkier in iSwifter than native Flash on either my A7, or Xoom. It has been awhile since I read the Engadget review, but if I remember correctly, they evaluated a beta build, and had no problem with video playback performance, their problem was with other Flash performance. Also, I take every Engadget review on products with a grain of salt; they need a bit more objectivity in their reviews IMO. It has been awhile, so maybe I am mixing up the Engadget review with a review from a different site which was not harsh on Flash, and Engadget dissed Flash video playback. Whether Engadget dissed video playback or not is immaterial, Flash playback performance on all my Android devices has been good, and move up to great on the dual core devices I have used.

          Since my Xoom is WiFi only, 4G is not a factor for me. However, the fact that a 3G device will receive a free hardware upgrade to 4G unlike the iPad is a huge plus in my book. Again, Flash works fine for my use, maybe other uses are not perfect, but for my use, I stick with my Flash works great opinion while respecting other opinions. The lack of SD card support as I indicated in original post, is not a problem for me, I know it will be coming, and having the slot is nice. I wish the iPad had the SD slot. I have used the camera connector dongle, and it is very limited in what you can do with a SD Card on the iPad due to the lack of file access.

          Bottom line is the Xoom does what I want a tablet to do, the iPad does not. In fact, all the Android tablets I own accomplish the tasks I need unlike the iPad. Your needs may be different, and the iPad may be the perfect device for you.

          IMO, this lack of tablet app mantra is blown way out of proportion. I am sure there are some fantastic tablet only iOS apps, but most the of iPad optimized apps I have purchased were either just a higher resolution copy identical in features to the original phone app, or they just included another screen’s worth of info that is a separate screen in the phone app. Nice, but not revolutionary by any means. In fact, because some of the extra screen info cannot be closed by the user, I sometimes find some of the extra details more annoying than helpful. Already, I am seeing some of my Android third party apps are adding more info in their update to take advantage of the extra screen area. Not saying more info isn’t nice, it is. However, for me, it is not critical for my enjoyment of the device, and no where as important as the Apple centric sites, and iPad fans state. Again, respect other opinions.

    • Anonymous

      I had to read the same sentence a couple of times too to understand what was being said. The point is that Honeycomb is half-baked, and the kudos to Google are for realizing that. I’d re-phrase it like so:

      “Google deserves some kudos for not releasing an OS that’s only half-baked”

      • Anonymous

        Ahhh. Gotcha. In that sentence when he says “releasing” he’s talking about releasing the source code. I was thinking “releasing” the OS on tablets, like the Xoom.

        You’re right, he’s saying the Honeycomb is currently half-baked. Agreed!

        I for one wish Google the best of luck with Android. Asian manufacturers are already using Gingerbread for their own profit, and not licensing any of Google’s services, including search. Amazon now has their own Appstore, and seems primed to release their own tablet in the near future. Amazon already has enough of their own ecosystem they wouldn’t need to license Google’s core services, eliminating any benefit to Google.

        So far the tablet market definitely seems to be playing out like the iPod/mp3 player market. Why buy a knockoff when you can get the real thing (for less)?

        • Steven Fisher

          All of that is the nature of “open”. Remember when Google said the future of the phone was too important to leave in one company’s hands? We all heard the silent “other than us, of course,” and now Google has shown the rest of the world this.

          So what if it’s half baked? If it’s “open”, someone can fix it.

  • Anonymous

    “Seems like a clear double standard.”

    Yes, there is definitely a double standard going on. Just look at Walt Mossberg’s iPad 2 review. He’s trying his darndest to be as nit-picky as possible, so people don’t label his an Apple Fanboi.

    Walt (and most of the media) hold Apple to a higher standard. This seems unfair, but if you think about it, it’s just an incredibly huge compliment to Apple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703848523 Harvey Lubin

    I’m not an Android fan (I definitely prefer iOS), but to be fair to Google the “shortcut” that Rubin talks about is ““We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones.”

    Let’s be honest, Apple took the same “shortcut” with iOS for the iPad.

    The version number of iOS for the iPad may be the same as for the iPhone/iPod Touch, but it is designed specifically for the iPad and can ONLY run on the iPad. You can’t run apps written for the iPad on an iPhone, but you can run iPhone apps on the iPad (although they don’t look very good).

    This is the same with Honeycomb. It’s written specifically for tablets, won’t run on Android phones, but Android phone apps will run on Honeycomb tablets.

    Honeycomb is rough around the edges, but it’s a first release. Remember the first release for the iPhone OS in 2007? It didn’t have things like copy-&-paste or multitasking… but Honeycomb does have these features in its first release, so it’s really not doing too bad at all.

    Again, I’d much rather have an iPad than an Android tablet any day! But I think this article is unjustifiably harsh on Google.

    • Tulse

      “The version number of iOS for the iPad may be the same as for the iPhone/iPod Touch, but it is designed specifically for the iPad and can ONLY run on the iPad.”

      That’s not at all correct — the current version of iOS is iOS 4.3.1, and iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch all use it. There are not different versions for the different devices. (Of course, the OS works slightly differently depending on what device it is on, but then again, so does OS X.)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D2ZFRO2JD4I2YVVLOHTAIZY7AI Barry

        Yes, but when iPad originally released, iPad ran version 3.2 which did not work on the iPhone or iPod Touch. They did not unify the operating systems into one until about 6 or 7 months after the original iPad released. So he does have a good point.

        The problem I have with Google on this which I think that Jim Dalrymple misses is that “taking shortcuts” is not the problem here. Google has tauted “open is best” for quite some time now. Even when it is nothing more than a guise for their real motives (like WebM being pushed as a replacement to H.264 because they really want to proliferate Adobe Flash to maintain a differentiating factor from iOS for Android).

        Google touts “open” and one of the tenants of “open” is that community development will lead to a better end result than development in an ivory tower (the Cathedral and the Bazaar). But by holding Honeycomb back from the open source community, Google has said “we believe that our Ivory Tower can get this code into the proper shape faster than the community can”. Personally, I think they are correct, but I also think this is just more evidence that their cries of “open” are really just a guise for their actual intentions. Other evidence is that they so fully support Adobe Flash when there is absolutely nothing open about it.

        When it comes down to it, Google is a corporation serving its own needs — just like Apple. Google wants you to believe it they are giving things away for free and everything is open and they are never evil, but its a load of crap. Apple is more up-front about their intentions about trying to get what they feel is their fair share — although I do remember when Steve Jobs said they were doing iAd because Apple “loved their developers” and wanted to help them monetize their apps — that too was crap. iAd may help their developers easily get advertising dollars, but that clearly was not Apple’s motivation.

    • Fag

      Phone versions can be run on the ipad because their uis can be easily scaled up and remain usable, if you tried to scale down an iPad app to phone size it would be unusable and look like shit, not to mention the different aspect ratio. Troll somewhere else.

    • Anonymous

      Let’s be honest, Apple took the same “shortcut” with iOS for the iPad.

      Sure, problem is that Apple never said everywhere, anyone, everytime it loves open or wants to hook up with open community. Apple is consistent. Maybe criticizable, but consistent. That’s the difference.

    • Anonymous

      To be fair to Apple, their OS is closed source, and this has been a known fact since day one. Android is open source, and is frequently hailed as such. Nobody sane disputes Google’s reasons for closing it off – it makes absolute sense in every way – but it does jar with their message of openness.

      Also, comparing Honeycomb – version 3.0 of an operating system, even if it is the first specifically for tablets – to the 2007 iPhone OS – version 1.0 – doesn’t make sense. Version 3.2 was the first specifically for tablets, and that had features that I think are still missing from Android (animated GIF support in the default browser and in-app payments).

      • http://twitter.com/aegisdesign Shaun Murray

        Most of iOS is closed source although some significant parts are open, notably as JohnDoey keeps banging on about, WebKit, but also the kernel XNU. Apple only publishes the XNU kernel source as part of Mac OSX though.

        I don’t know if you can build an iOS kernel from the Mac OS X source.

        Google however seem to be even less forthcoming than Apple with source for Honeycomb.

    • Anonymous

      That is not an accurate comparison. iOS is not open source and only Apple uses iOS. The accurate comparison is Apple WebKit, a part of OS X which is an open source project that is more broadly used on mobiles than Android. The source ships daily, it is open. Apple, Google, RIM, HP, Adobe, and many others all have equal access to it.

      We are talking about the irony of Google’s open source project holding onto its source inside Google, while Apple’s open source projects continue to ship source daily. When you consider that Apple WebKit runs on more phones than Google Android (and WebKit also runs on PC’s as well) there is a pretty good argument that Apple is more open than Google. Apple’s open source is used by their competitors, while Google’s open source (when they even open it) is only used by their partners.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_35HF7MTZ3JKGYZHIBJRLSQE5XQ bmovie

    Windows Mobile Phones still can’t do “cut” and “paste”. No hue and cry about that either! I’m still contemplating the promise of “seven virgins” when I die. Why not ten?

    • Anonymous

      And why must they be virgins? How did they get up there? And wouldn’t they be all clumsy or not know how to cook? And do they all have engineering degrees or can I mix and match?

      • Peter

        Who says the virgins are women?

    • Anonymous

      Actually, there’s been plenty of complaining about the NoDo delay, most of it coming from Windows evangelists. My experience is that we all live in little echo chambers, leading to the conclusion that the good guys don’t get praised enough and the bad guys don’t get criticized. In reality, there’s plenty of sniping to go around. Besides, a successful Android ecosystem is an iOS user’s best friend. iOS will be better for it if there’s competition. I don’t understand why Apple pundits want Google to fail.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, there’s been plenty of complaining about the NoDo delay, most of it coming from Windows evangelists. My experience is that we all live in little echo chambers, leading to the conclusion that the good guys don’t get praised enough and the bad guys don’t get criticized. In reality, there’s plenty of sniping to go around. Besides, a successful Android ecosystem is an iOS user’s best friend. iOS will be better for it if there’s competition. I don’t understand why Apple pundits want Google to fail.

  • Anonymous

    The definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make” – Andy Rubin

    Sometimes your words can come back to haunt you.

  • Elisavæt

    “…people are silent on Google’s delayed Honeycomb release. Seems like a clear double standard.”


    Double standard? Seriously? Don’t you have to be comparing like items to declare a double standard?

    “Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Miller)

    Honeycomb HAS been released. I’ve seen it running on tablets at Best Buy. Really. I promise. It certainly isn’t as refined as is iOS, but it’s a first release. Additionally, Android runs on non-specified hardware where iOS gets to run ONLY on hardware that has been solely designed to run iOS.

    What apparently is the issue is simply that Google isn’t yet releasing the SOURCE CODE quite yet. I’m sorry but perhaps I missed when Apple released the source for iOS for either the phone or tablet. Maybe an astute reader can point me to the source code on Apples site? No? Sourceforge? No?

    In fact, iOS is NOT open source and (unless hell freezes over) it will almost certainly never ever be released. What Google has done is, in my opinion as a software architect, quite commendable. They admitted they took shortcuts that would preclude the OS from working on devices THAT IT WAS NEITHER DESIGNED NOR INTENDED TO RUN ON, and they are working to “productionalize” (http://www3.merriam-webster.com/opendictionary/newword_search.php?word=productionalize) the code so that it can safely be used on other devices.

    Beating up Google for not releasing to the public source to code that is not yet ready is asinine at best. If Google DID release the code at this point, THEN you would begin to see mainstream articles beating them up for releasing shoddy code.


    “So the bottom line here is that in order to keep up with Apple, Google took shortcuts on the development of Honeycomb and now it’s come back to bite them in the ass.”


    Not really. Anytime you design and build anything new, software or otherwise, you make decisions about features to include on the pilot, initial release, etc. What Google has done is the same as any other company in a competitive environment throughout recorded history (those that succeeded to some degree anyway). They got out a product that meets initial requirements and can be marketed, sold, and supported successfully, and now they are adding features to keep the product competitive and to expand it into other markets.

    Read again what Rubin actually said. Google is taking a responsible approach to providing software to the community that meets functionality and to providing source that allows that functionality to be extended. What they are NOT doing is providing source that is not ready yet for 3rd party modifications.

    If Android were an open source project like Linux (for example; and I’ll admit I’m stepping into unfamiliar territory here to make the point), then the development of ALL source would be done in the open and checked in for a nightly build so everyone could see and use it. That is fine when you as a company are not RESPONSIBLE for the software, but Google is in a different spot. They are responsible for Android. Period. If open source Linux breaks (not IBM, Sun, or Oracle’s builds of Linux), no one starts bitching about IBM or Sun or Oracle. But if open source Android breaks, ALL FINGERS POINT TO GOOGLE.

    I don’t think there’s any question that Google is actually going to release the source. They’ve got a pretty good track record here. They are simply acting as a responsible software architect should, and in fact as I have and have many many other software architects over the last five or six decades. You may build something and release it as a product, but before you release the source to your support group or to vendors or customers, you like to make sure you’ve cleaned up your trash.

    I think perhaps somebody needs to find something else to complain about.

    “…of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”

  • http://twitter.com/Kosmatos Odi Kosmatos

    “How can you possibly be late delivering a product when you haven’t said when you will ship it?”

    Easy. You label your upcoming conference (where a product normally is released, like iPhone) “Come and see the future of iOS and Mac OS X”.

    • Anonymous

      You missed the word ‘DEVELOPER’. It’s a developer conference, “Come and see the future of our software (iOS and Mac OS X). It is not a hardware event.

    • Anonymous

      You missed the word ‘DEVELOPER’. It’s a developer conference, “Come and see the future of our software (iOS and Mac OS X). It is not a hardware event.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAYVCDYPGUUO3U57YYVZFMABZQ Capn

      I didn’t realize that “Come and see demos of what we will be shipping” was functionally equivalent to “We’re shipping!”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAYVCDYPGUUO3U57YYVZFMABZQ Capn

      I didn’t realize that “Come and see demos of what we will be shipping” was functionally equivalent to “We’re shipping!”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAYVCDYPGUUO3U57YYVZFMABZQ Capn

      I didn’t realize that “Come and see demos of what we will be shipping” was functionally equivalent to “We’re shipping!”

    • Jarrod

      Really?

      Where is the release date in that statement?

    • kibbles

      fail. thats not a release date for a consumer device. thats a preview of a future OS platform, for devs. in no universe are they equal.

      a pattern is a pattern until it isnt.

    • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

      let us clarify: the people MAKING the widget have to announce an actual DATE to be late. The date you have in your head, created by the voices, doesn’t actually count.

  • http://twitter.com/mcroft mcroft

    Interesting.

    How much of the android base they built off of is under the GPL (v2 or v3), and wouldn’t this put them in violation of that license? Any word on whether FSF or any of the authors will attempt to act on the (presumed) license violation?

  • http://twitter.com/mcroft mcroft

    Interesting.

    How much of the android base they built off of is under the GPL (v2 or v3), and wouldn’t this put them in violation of that license? Any word on whether FSF or any of the authors will attempt to act on the (presumed) license violation?

    • Uesty

      Only if they modified a GPL program to which they don’t hold copyright, and then shipped it. This might apply to the Linux kernel, but that’s probably about it.

  • Matt

    You’re not really criticising their lack of openness, though. Only their inability to work fast enough to meet their own product schedule. Skipping a source release to avoid fragmentation is in everyone’s interest. This is their first scheduling mistake, and you can bet they won’t make it again. They’ll simply re-allocate resources, or be less direct about their schedule.

    • Anonymous

      BS. Open source projects have their source in the open. PERIOD. You can always get the latest version of Apple WebKit at WebKit.org. Apple does not ship the product of that source in iPad like Google did in XOOM and yet the source is not available.

      Motorola has Android v3 because Google gave it to them. Other manufacturers who use Android cannot get it because it is not open.

      I mean, we are talking about the dictionary definitions of words here. You are not making rational sense. If it is open, I can get TODAY’s version. Period. The source is in the open. It’s not just occasionally opened if Google feels like it. That is not open source!

  • Matt

    You’re not really criticising their lack of openness, though. Only their inability to work fast enough to meet their own product schedule. Skipping a source release to avoid fragmentation is in everyone’s interest. This is their first scheduling mistake, and you can bet they won’t make it again. They’ll simply re-allocate resources, or be less direct about their schedule.

  • Fandango

    You have a funny definition of “normally.” “Normally” doesn’t mean “the future will always be the same as the past.”

    If the conference had ever been labeled “Come see the future of iOS Hardware” and there was no new hardware shown, then you’d be right. But it never has been, and you’re not.

  • http://twitter.com/encabler Scott Cable

    Why aren’t more people bitching about this? For two reasons: 1) People don’t understand the complex dev cycle and branching that is going on inside Google and have long since given up holding Google to a dev standard, and 2) The same people aren’t as attentive to most other OS release cycles like they are to iOS, simply because there is nothing specific to be up in arms about.

    Android offers great features, and certainly improves with each version, but the software isn’t marketed like iOS in the least (so people have [little] to look forward to). And why should it be?

  • http://twitter.com/encabler Scott Cable

    Why aren’t more people bitching about this? For two reasons: 1) People don’t understand the complex dev cycle and branching that is going on inside Google and have long since given up holding Google to a dev standard, and 2) The same people aren’t as attentive to most other OS release cycles like they are to iOS, simply because there is nothing specific to be up in arms about.

    Android offers great features, and certainly improves with each version, but the software isn’t marketed like iOS in the least (so people have [little] to look forward to). And why should it be?

  • http://twitter.com/encabler Scott Cable

    Why aren’t more people bitching about this? For two reasons: 1) People don’t understand the complex dev cycle and branching that is going on inside Google and have long since given up holding Google to a dev standard, and 2) The same people aren’t as attentive to most other OS release cycles like they are to iOS, simply because there is nothing specific to be up in arms about.

    Android offers great features, and certainly improves with each version, but the software isn’t marketed like iOS in the least (so people have [little] to look forward to). And why should it be?

  • Anonymous

    «Seems like a clear double standard.»

    It’s not a double standard. Apple has built a reputation for delivering quality releases and compelling products and updates. It is the market leader (in revenues and profits if not in shipping units) and reaps the rewards – and gets the scrutiny. Google is a challenger. The silence on this is an indication that the public really doesn’t care about open source, and a warning to Android vendors about the risks of letting Google control the pace of innovation in their products.

  • http://blog.insightvr.com John Harrison

    This is a shocking bit of misdirection from what is a usually insightful source. Google has released Honeycomb in the same sense that Apple has released iOS 4.3. Complaints that Google hasn’t released the source code to Honeycomb are fair game, but to compare that to Apple is a case of apples and oranges as Apple does not release the source code to iOS.

    In the past there have been some minor battles over Apple’s behavior in the open source community, specifically involving KHTML and WebKit but eventually those were smoothed over. But Apple has delayed open sourcing code that was shipping in production products for various reasons over the years. All without the press going nuts.

    Finally, Apple has missed announced ship dates. Two words: White iPhone.

    • http://chidio.wordpress.com/ ChidiO

      …that said, the difference between iOS 4 and 4.3 is nothing like the canyon between Froyo/Gingerbread and Honeycomb.

    • Lee

      I don’t think it’s misdirection, it’s just that the “apples to oranges” comparison is not what you’re claiming.

      This issue isn’t about “Apple doesn’t make iOS open-source, either, so Google is not any worse.” It’s about company identity, and the value proposition that each is making.

      Apple sells to consumers and their claim is that the value they are offering is a finished product that works well, that works intuitively. Perhaps Apple also claims to offer a certain feeling, a certain satisfaction or “joy” when using their products. I get the impression that they do offer that up; it occurs to me that even if they don’t specifically say it, they don’t prevent it from being said, lol. They don’t sell the idea that the code will be open-source or will be made available to the public. In fact they sort of sell the opposite: that Apple is taking responsibility to ensure that the product is polished and refined, and that they are a gatekeeper preventing malware.

      Apple DOES have another market: developers. And Apple promises different things to them: the SDK, a submission process, hosting, payment processing, marketplace, and all that.

      Google, though, has a different value proposition with Android. They are not promising an end product to users (except for when they are in complete control of the outcome of the product, like the Nexus phones). They are offering an OS starting point to vendors. It’s the vendors that offer that up to users. Google doesn’t offer the consumer “Android” in that sense…Verizon does. And AT&T does. Etcetera. And each puts its own spin on the final product (the carriers are the actual beneficiaries of the openness of the platform, rather than the consumers).

      Google does trumpet their openness though, so they roll that up into what they are portraying as their value. I would expect that a very very small number of people would write code and contribute to the code base (at least compared to a population like, say, all smartphone users), but their efforts bring more functionality to the end consumer. And Google does blow the “open source” trumpet loudly: to me, they are clearly offering that up as part of their total value proposition.

      So that’s what should be compared: not comparing which company does “open source” better, but rather which one is better following through on what they are offering. Apple has taken some dings for their part, mostly from developers, and Google has taken some dings as well, but perhaps misdirected (Google is not promising software to the end user, that’s the carriers. I would also claim that the fragmentation problem is the carriers’ fault and not fundamentally Google’s).

      This, however, is a direct negative to Google. They are very much so doing a disservice to their customers: in this case, as has been pointed out elsewhere in comments, to other carriers that perhaps were waiting expectantly for Honeycomb, who might be steamed that Motorola was allowed to use it but they aren’t. That’s the real promise of open source, isn’t it? That for better or worse, it’s available for everyone to do whatever they want to, at the same time?

      (It was John Harrison’s post that inspired me to reply, but in looking back over this comment I clearly went off in a different direction. Sorry, John, it’s not directed at you.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Hassler/526348941 Justin Hassler

      You are missing the point – Apple didn’t publicly make snide remarks about how “open” they are.

      • http://blog.insightvr.com John Harrison

        I think that you are missing my point. Holding Google to a higher standard because they’ve claimed to be open while all along proclaiming that closed is better is just silly. If a device ships with the code then it is released in the same sense that Apple code is released.

        Personally I’m a huge Apple fan. I’m typing this on a MBP and hope to buy another one in the next week or so. I’ve written games that are in the app store. I have no Android devices and little interest in the platform. But the lack of logic in this post is a bit silly.

        If the point of the post was, “Look! Android is behind schedule!” then I acknowledge that is true and say, “Big deal!” Most software ships late. Apple avoids this by being coy about target shipping dates, but I assure you that they ship stuff later than they want to as well.

        • unhinged

          Respectfully, I disagree. Holding Google to their word is no different from holding Apple to their word or from holding me to my word or you to yours. When people or companies claim one thing and then do another they should rightfully be called on it. Apple gets called on it by the mainstream press, Microsoft is now being subject to the same rules, and it appears Google is not.

          Now, this could be because people are familiar with the concept of not releasing something until it’s ready – I hope it is, but my experience tells me it is not. I think for the vast majority of people, if something is shipping then it’s ready for public consumption – and if it’s ready for public consumption by end users, why is it not ready for software developers who are arguably more conversant with the nuances of the situation? Software developers are both more forgiving and less forgiving of mistakes in software, especially open source software where they can see more of the picture and have a better chance of understanding why a particular choice was made.

          What I think the lack of media attention points to is something outlined by other commenters: that the mainstream don’t see “open” as a feature. This is bad news for Android and, ultimately, Google because Android will be linked with the ultra-cheap devices and thus advertisers will shun the platform. Perhaps that will not be an issue so long as Android users only ever browse the web, but I honestly don’t know how likely that is.

          Essentially, there is no hue and cry over Android 3.0 because the only people interested are the ones who have a vested interest in Android succeeding or who understand that beta software sometimes ships as an early release. It’s the ones with the vested interest who are being hypocrites – but at least this time it seems to be largely because of ideology rather than MS money.

          • http://blog.insightvr.com John Harrison

            Seriously? “Holding them to their word?” I realize that because open source is involved the discussion quickly devolves to questions of honor and whatnot but the project is late. Talk of holding them to their word makes sense if they never release or commit serious license violations. Talk of holding Apple to their word is also silly in that they rarely pre-announce anything and when they do they have a habit of canceling promised features and products. 64 bit Carbon anyone? Mac will be the premiere Java platform? ZFS? XServe?

            This is a blow to the Android platform, yes, but 99% of phone and tablet buyers don’t know and don’t care about this. This isn’t a PR nightmare, just a run of the mill software issue.

        • Steven Fisher

          I disagree. If I promised to ship source code and I didn’t, you’d have every right to point it out. That’s what we’re doing here: Google’s made a promise and hasn’t met it.

          “Open” has set of attributes; many of them Google is already failing. But one that they hadn’t so far failed was releasing source code to the public.

          • http://blog.insightvr.com John Harrison

            I agree that people can point out that Google didn’t open the code on schedule. People should debate that issue on its own merits.

            My point is that there is a world of difference between not shipping a product on schedule and not opening the source on schedule. To ask what would happen if Apple did this with a tablet is disingenuous because 1) the situations are different and a Honeycomb tablet has shipped and 2) Apple has done exactly this with WebKit and KHTML in the past. This is like complaining that Apple is treated differently because they’re on top.

      • Uesty

        What are you talking about? Apple has been bragging about how “open” they are for the past 10 years, ever since they switched to OS X!

        Here’s OS X 10.4: http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20070315022026/http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/

        The banner image across the top of the page says: “Mac OS X Server 10.4: Open source made easy”

    • Anonymous

      iOS runs on OS X, and WebKit is a big chunk of OS X that runs on more mobiles than Android. The source for the latest WebKit is always available. Apple cannot sit on that code for its own reasons. It is a true open source project, and one of the most successful ever. Google has shown that Android is not a true open source project. They release the code if and when it suits them.

      • Brian

        The only reason Webkit is considered to be “Apple’s” open source project is because they worked on their own branch of KHTML for so long without making it public that it couldn’t be merged back into the main project when they finally made their changes public, and claiming webkit as their own. They did a good job with it, as seen by the fact that it’s in high use, but to claim it as their own is arrogant in my opinion.

        The only reason I mention this when it’s going off topic, is that lots of people are using the webkit analogy on here as an example of how Apple could be considered more open than google. That’s hilarious if you know the history of the webkit project … Google it :P

      • http://blog.insightvr.com John Harrison

        JohnDoey,

        Go look up the history of the WebKit/KHTML spat and then come back once you know what you’re talking about. The WebKit example is very similar to what Google is doing here, except that Google is communicating what their intentions are. Blowing either incident out of proportion, as this post attempts to do, is a mistake.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a big Apple fanboi, but this isn’t really equivalent. Apple controls its hardware and doesn’t release its source code. If Apple took shortcuts, we’d never really know about it. Apple releases a public API, but might be doing a bunch of stuff in the background that’s not pubic. “Shortcuts” so to speak. They test them out, rewrite them, and maybe even remove them. That’s why they’re private APIs.

    After all, iOS 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 was only released on the iPad and the iPad didn’t get iOS 4.x until iOS 4.2. Releasing an OS on multiple platforms is hard work, and you really have to test against each one to make sure it works.

    Where I’d knock Google is claiming to be “open source”, but having full ability to release or not release source code at their call. What they end up doing is picking winners and losers. Motorola gets to release a true Android tablet, but not Samsung who also has a 9″ tablet. Samsung will have to wait three or four months until Google is ready. If Honeycomb isn’t ready for phones, no one will use it for phones. But, maybe Samsung would like to use it for the Galaxy Tab. If Honeycomb isn’t released until June, the Galaxy Tab can’t get upgraded until July or August giving Motorola a five month head start. Manufacturers are only going to put up with this for so long.

    • Anonymous

      The latest Apple WebKit source is always available. That is a big part of iOS and it runs on more mobiles than Android. The latest Google Android source is not always available. At the very least, Google loses its “we’re more open” BS. Google themselves use the latest WebKit in both Chrome and Android. They owe much more to Apple’s open source efforts than Apple owes to Google. All mobile makers owe more to Apple’s open source efforts than they do to Google’s. WebKit is part of not just Android but also RIM, HP, Nokia, Adobe AIR, and many other products. And on the desktop it is in Chrome, Adobe AIR and Creative Suite, KDE Linux, and others. WebKit is in Roku and other set-tops.

  • Steve!

    I get why they do this and thus why people aren’t exactly concerned about this. Just releasing something as open source when it’s not usable by anyone isn’t a great idea. I’m sure they’ll release the source as usual but I’m guessing they’re cleaning up the mess before release. You know people/companies are going to use it whether it’s a good idea or not and that wouldn’t reflect well on Android/Google.

    Now the fact is that a lot of companies in the open source business do this. I don’t know the current state of open source releases but I know that Apple did this as well; maybe they’re still doing it now. In the past, they’ve delay kernel sources and were openly criticized by KHTML developers for not being good open source citizens. I know they improved towards KHTML a lot so criticizing is good, whether is’t towards Google or Apple.

    Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t meant to talk bad about Apple; they’re just an example I happen to know about but this happens a lot. HTC hasn’t always played nice either. Apple probably has/had good reasons and probably so does Google. So don’t make a big deal about it when it’s not. If Google doesn’t release Honeycomb in the coming months a shitstorm is well deserved but at this point they’re probably doing the right thing.

    • Anonymous

      The latest WebKit source is always available. Google uses it in the Android they have not released the source for.

      KHTML uses WebKit also, for some years now.

      You’re trying really hard to say Apple does this too but you are failing. WebKit source is not only available every day, it runs on way more mobiles than Android, from way more manufacturers, many of which are Apple competitors.

  • http://twitter.com/transverberate Ben

    Open, adj. A system in which the OS developer doesn’t provide up-to-date source code, certain essential apps like Maps, Marketplace or carrier customisations are closed, proprietary and non-redistributable, where your carrier can stop you from installing apps or receiving updated software, and your phone manufacturer can stop you from installing custom ROMs. (See also: Closed.)

  • Anonymous

    The mainstream press aren’t open source neckbeards.

    Some of them, are left handed though. Explains a lot.

  • Fanbo1

    In the tablet space, Apple are years ahead of the competition, but the media can’t report this because it doesn’t sell papers/clicks/eyeballs whatever…so they need to drum up this Apple vs Google fight…only it’s not a fight cos Google are just fighting for 2nd place…so the media need to bash Apple and not criticize Google…cos there all about ‘open’ and they ‘do no evil’…what a joke

  • Anonymous

    Wait, you all do realize that this is an Apple based site, right?

    I came across this site during a random recommendation search in my reader. The first thing you notice is everything Apple. Not really a good source for anything non-Apple. I think “The Loop” should stick to what it think it knows, Apple.

    • http://chidio.wordpress.com/ ChidiO

      What kind of tin foil hat are you wearing? Not every site is busy with the ersatz Apple-Android World War. Objective opinion is not really all that difficult.

      • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.ley Gregory Ley

        People object to objective opinion when that opinion disagrees with their own, at which point your opinion ceases to be an opinion, and becomes fanboy/biased brainwash propaganda. Meanwhile, their own objective opinion is to be taken as fact.

  • Jubi

    Google has alien technology in the source, hence why it cannot be released to us humans.

  • Reality

    Have you thought about changing the name of your site to the Fruit Loop? You Apple fan boys sure are fun to watch though.

    • Anonymous

      Content-free post. You have no argument to make I guess.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like the moneysink (cost to keep up with Apple without the revenue to cover it) that’s Android is starting to be felt…

    Also – why isn’t anyone up in arms about Google subjecting consumers to a Beta version of half-baked OS? I pitty those Android users that are not Geeks.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I have a couple of non-geek friends who were sold Android phones described as being “just like an iPhone, but better,” by the carrier salesman, and they literally struggle to make calls. The things are always crashing or running out of juice mysteriously within an hour. These are not consumer devices.

  • http://www.gothcandy.com/ Alice Bevan-McGregor

    Apple had an incompatible fork of iOS for the original iPad; a version of iOS not installable on phones. Anyone remember 3.2? Apple, OTOH, shipped a hugely successful product running the fork and merged the device-specific codebases in 4.0. Were they criticized for having two (at the time) parallel versions of the OS? Of course not, or at least, not seriously; because that would be stupid.

    Google not releasing the source for a fork? OK. Likely the end result will be substantially better because of the delay. Sucks that they’ll continue to lose /possible/ market share to the now well entrenched iPad and iPad 2.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Hassler/526348941 Justin Hassler

      Who cares if Apple has incompatible forks? Or even Google for that matter? I mean, the fragmentation of Android is enough to complain about in that realm. Now, the irony of Google and its supposed openness…it’s newsworthy, even if it means nothing. We’ve seen much less important criteria become bigger news with Apple.

    • Anonymous

      The source for the WebKit engine from iOS v3.1, v3.2, v4.0 was always available to the entire world, no matter what Apple was doing. Google used it in Android, including the version of Android for which the source is not available.

      So, no, you haven’t convinced me that Android v3 is open source by talking about forking for bigger devices. The Android source is not open. Period. All of Apple’s open source projects always have their source open. HP’s upcoming TouchPad will ship with the latest version of Apple WebKit and Apple Bonjour. RIM’s upcoming PlayBook will do the same. Right now, there are tablet makers who cannot get their hands on the latest Google Android and will have to use an old version. That is not open source. Rationalize all you like. Words have meanings.

      • http://www.gothcandy.com/ Alice Bevan-McGregor

        That isn’t actually what I was trying to convince you of. I was trying to persuade people to lay off the stupid comments about Google not /immediately/ releasing the code to a work-in-progress. Apparently being a moderate (not a fan-girl, or boy, of either side) online won’t get you many friends; but I already knew that.

        As much as the haters would like to argue, Google is right; the result of companies prematurely utilizing the codebase on unintended devices would be a disaster. My other point from my original post remains valid: that non-universally compatible operating system releases for mobile devices are not unheard of, nor do they cause any legitimate long-term problems if well managed. Well managed meaning an upgrade path for early device adopters.

        Now, regarding Apple’s open-source initiatives, there’s WebKit, Bonjour, CUPS (the Common UNIX Printing System), the FaceTime hybrid protocol, their work on ZFS and LLVM (epic stuff), Grand Central Dispatch, and AirPrint, amongst other technologies such as the iCal CalDAV server, etc., etc.

        In fact, Apple have a rather extensive site for access to their contributions: http://www.opensource.apple.com/

        Google, too, have made massive contributions to open source, not the least of which are Linux kernel patches for stability and scalability, numerous contributions to the Python language, amongst others, and sponsoring of the Google Summer of Code.

        Really; why is anyone bitterly complaining about a business decision that is, gasp, in the best interest of consumers?

      • http://www.gothcandy.com/ Alice Bevan-McGregor

        One quick note while I’m waiting for my other (far more lengthy) reply to be moderator–approved:

        Apple, in fact, doesn’t keep all of their projects and contributions “available at all times”. You may notice on the Apple Open Source site that their contributions are sorted by Apple release. In many cases, good luck getting access to the “live” repository that Apple is using. Like any corporation, contributions back to the community require review and redaction. Note the distinct lack of Lion- or iOS 5-related technologies on that site.

  • Anonymous

    Criticizing Google for not releasing the source for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is one thing, but knocking them because the SW is ‘delayed’ for phones is dumb. Android 3.0 is for a tablet OS. So what if Google doesn’t release it for phones now? I don’t ever remember Google saying 3.0 was for phones. In fact, I specifically remember them saying that earlier versions of the Android OS were NOT for tablets.

    Also, Apple delaying a SW release? Oh, you mean like how they’re pushing back the next preview of iOS to WWDC in June vs their typical Spring affair? Gimme a break, all these companies do the same things and claim they’re special. Being a fanboy of either side involves some pretty good blinders IMHO.

    • http://twitter.com/danielnicholls Daniel Nicholls

      Apple didn’t push back the next preview of iOS. ‘Typical spring affair’ is an intelligent guess and nothing more. This preview wasn’t ever announced for then, therefore, not pushed back.

    • Anonymous

      Nobody is knocking them for the software being delayed for phones. Google is being knocked for not releasing the source which they have falsely described as open.

      With open source, a phone maker should be able to take the latest tablet Android source and make their own modifications to get it running on phones.

      Compare to Apple WebKit, the source is always available. WebKit is not a “set-top browser engine” yet Roku runs it on their set-top. Roku did not have to wait for Apple to bless WebKit for set-tops and then deign to release the code.

      Stop excusifying for Google. So lame. They did a we-are-holier-than-Apple-because-we-are-open and yet Apple WebKit source is always available and runs on more mobiles than Android. The most successful mobile open source project is WebKit, not Android.

  • Jack Slavkovic

    you keep saying Google is “delaying” Honeycomb, while they are releasing products (with partners) that have it. what they are “delaying” is releasing source code to everyone, and thus are preventing others (non partners) from releasing phones with a shitty UX.

    the difference with Apple is that, if they had a similar situation, they would just release a phone with iOS 4.0, and delay releasing it on a tablet until it is ready (and delay releasing the source code until never).

    see.. not the same at all.. in fact, it’s just the opposite..

    such double standards..

    • unhinged

      And would Apple ever claim they were “open” and better because of that “openness”?

      What Google is doing goes against the layman’s definition of “open” and the mainstream press is pretty much always taking the layman’s approach to everything. But they’re not doing that here. Why not? Is it:

      (a) Nobody cares or (b) Google is getting a free ride ?

      • http://www.gothcandy.com/ Alice Bevan-McGregor

        Strange, one definition of open involves communication and clear intentions, such as “open government”. That’s exactly what Google is demonstrating by announcing delays in releasing the source code. Jack Slavkovic is right on both of his major points.

      • Jack Slavkovic

        and if the title of the original article was about “google closing open source of honeycomb”, I would discuss that with you.

        I was responding to all the talk (see page title) about “delaying” the honeycomb OS, while products are actually shipping.

        also, I was comparing the situation to the not-at-all similar one with 4.0 for ipad, and (no?) press reaction to that “delay” (which apple did in fact announce, and later delayed, contrary to what the article says about them not announcing products/features before they are ready).

        also also, apple did in fact proclaim “we are open” in the same press release about limiting the choice for the development of iOS apps (flash apps in the appstore?)

        i think that’s 3 for 3.

    • Anonymous

      That is such BS. You are acting as a Google shill, taking their marketing as truth instead of looking at the truth.

      Apple WebKit is a major part of iOS and one of the most successful open source projects ever and today’s WebKit source is always available. It is used not just by Apple partners, but also by almost all of their competitors, including Google, RIM, HP, Nokia. In fact, it is the most broadly-used open source project on mobiles, greatly exceeding Android, even if we continue to pretend Android is open source. Apple Bonjour may also be more broadly-used than Android.

      Apple does not delay the release of source for their open source projects. Only Google is doing that.

      The most fundamental rule of open source is open source. DUH. Your excusifying for Google is lame. Do some reading. Learn what is going on. Don’t just drink Google’s Kool-Aid “we are open, everybody else s closed.” Google made you look like an idiot.

      • http://www.gothcandy.com/ Alice Bevan-McGregor

        As I commented previously:

        Apple, in fact, doesn’t keep all of their projects and contributions “available at all times”. You may notice on the Apple Open Source site that their contributions are sorted by Apple release. In many cases, good luck getting access to the “live” repository that Apple is using. Like any corporation, contributions back to the community require review and redaction. Note the distinct lack of Lion- or iOS 5-related technologies on that site.

        • http://twitter.com/aegisdesign Shaun Murray

          You don’t have to release the source till after you’ve released a product with that source in it so Apple have the sources for XNU (The Darwin Kernel) up there for 10.6.7 but not for 10.7.

          That’s no different from Google modifying Linux as they do and not releasing the source till they ship a product containing that source. The difference with Honeycomb is they’re not doing that.

          It’s not always been so timely a release though. Around the Intel switch Apple held on to the XNU source for quite some time.

          JohnDoey’s analogy that it’s Webkit v Android is pretty silly though comparing a browser with an entire OS. Google’s reasoning is sound, the problem is they’re riding roughshod over the Open Source community and the licences that the source code is under, just as Apple did with Darwin XNU.

          • Uesty

            Apple and XNU is different from Google and Linux in that Apple owns the copyright to XNU. They can decide to stop shipping the source code ever and it’s their choice. Google can only use Linux under the terms it was provided to them: the GPL2.

          • Erik

            @85d0f0d38202f4590b2dffd6934b468e:disqus You said Apple own the copyright to Darwin. You know that Darwin is a bastardisation of the BSD unix kernel, don’t you?

            You might want to just have a quick think about why Darwin is open source under a BSD licence…

            …it’s not out of the goodness of Apple’s heart. Apple don’t do goodness of their heart.

      • Jack Slavkovic

        are you talking to me? (it says so in the head of your post)

        where did I talk about open source, or anything of the sort?

        I was just replying to the original article, and about “delays” to products/OSes (when there are none), and comparing to apple “delays” of backporting 4.0 to ipad.

  • http://twitter.com/prometheas John Lianoglou

    I don’t think this piece quite manages to compare Apple to apples… ;-)

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, apples to apples would be comparing Google Android and Apple WebKit:

      • Apple WebKit is the most broadly-used mobile open source project and the latest source is open and always available
      • Google Android is used mostly by Google partners and the latest source is closed and unavailable.

      Pretty bad comparison for Google considering they use “open” as a major marketing point.

  • http://gtfoblog.blogspot.com the fuj.

    Of course, no one is mentioning Android is updated about 5 times more often than iOS is update in a year…

    • Rdswes

      Ironic then that almost none of the Android devices get their systems update while all of Apples iOS do.

    • unhinged

      Because that’s part of the open source methodology. Iterate as quickly as possible, release a collection of stuff that works and see who improves on it. Your chances of getting improvement under this sort of ad hoc arrangement will increase proportionally to the number of eyeballs involved. Of course, so do your chances of going off on a number of tangents that don’t fit with the general goals of the project maintainer, who has to spend an ever-increasing amount of effort to manage (and sometimes merge) the various forks.

      The closed source methodology (usually) works to a plan and iterates on execution until the software is provably functional and meets the plan, then issues a release. Feedback is analysed, the plan is changed and a new version is released. Management effort is generally constant.

      There are benefits to both approaches. Closed source, however, with infrequent releases, tends to appeal more to those who are ignorant of coding, and these days such people make up the vast majority of users/customers.

    • Anonymous

      No one is mentioning that because it is not true. iOS does about double the releases in any given time period, and they are distributed more quickly to the majority of users as well. You can compare the iOS and Android Wikipedia pages that have release histories to see this is true. But even just from January 2010 on, it is something like this:

      • Android 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.0 • iOS 3.2, 3.2.1, 4.0, 4.0.1, 4.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.5, 4.3, 4.3.1

      Further, Apple WebKit is updated every day, and the source is always available. Google uses it, they know. So does RIM, HP, Nokia, and others. The number and frequency of iOS releases never stops Google and others from having the latest WebKit code.

      So no, there is no excuse for Google hiding the Android 3 source. I know it is tempting to treat Google like a special needs child, but they are highly intelligent grown-ups. Hold them to the same open source standards as Apple and others. Open source has to be open or it is not open source.

    • Anonymous

      Well, as long as your phone is blessed to get the updates.

      You know, the fragmentation thing and all.

  • Simon Hibbs

    The original iPad OS version was iPad only and would not run on iPhones. Google doesn’t want it’s Tablet OS to be installed on Phones because it won’t work that way. Maybe not ideal, I think they should release it anyway and make it clear it won’t run on phones, but they are making the same design tradeoff Apple made. It took about six months before Apple converged the tablet and phone versions of iOS.

  • James

    “Apple gets slammed all the time for supposedly delaying its hardware and software products, but the thing that nobody seems to mention in those articles is that Apple never announced a ship date. How can you possibly be late delivering a product when you haven’t said when you will ship it?

    The simple answer is, you can’t. But that doesn’t seem to stop everyone from piling on.”

    Absolutely, and it’s happening again now with rumors that the iPhone 5 has been “delayed” to the fall. Yes, historically, Apple releases new iPhones in June or July – but they never publicly announced or promised that there would always be a new model on that schedule.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.ley Gregory Ley

      It’s a double-edged sword. The only reason Apple gets so much attention in the mainstream press is because, frankly, Apple is the only company people care about. More people click links to read about Apple than Google or Palm. More casual viewers watching the 6 o’clock news are interested in an Apple story than an Android story. I literally have people at work with Blackberries (smartphones, mind you) who ask, “what’s an Android?”

  • markalanthomas

    So far as I can tell, these people (Fandroids?) who incessantly bag on Apple are just radicalized ex-Windows users who, for various reasons, no longer like Windows but still despise Apple, perhaps more so than before. They’re the Teabaggers of computerdom.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.ley Gregory Ley

      succinctly put (except for the teabagger part) !

    • Anonymous

      Teabaggers is exactly right. They are all about an antiquated totalitarian dogma. They fear change and want to roll time back to when the board was tilted in their favor instead of a level playing field.

      It is bizarre in 2011 to see nerds actually arguing that doctors and landscape architects should have to learn Computer Science to work a phone! My roommate is an artist who does not know what “malware” is, but he needs a phone with apps. The idea that he should have to audit each software vendor in Android Market because Google doesn’t want to is completely ridiculous.

  • Wilbuw Wabbit Dont Waff Dammit

    Of course its a double standard. A minor detail if you’ve already cast your lot with the crowd whose motto should read, “Pretty good is good enough.”

  • http://twitter.com/phopkins Pete Hopkins

    This doesn’t seem substantially different from the first iPad release (3.2?) not running on the iPhone, and the iPhone not getting those features until 4.0. In both cases the code was forked to accommodate the tablet, and later releases will reconcile the two.

    • Lee

      There is a difference based on the customers being served. Apple creates the end product that the consumer purchases. They do not depend on any other vendor for the OS, they control it in-house. So that the code was forked was of no matter: the consumer was still getting what he wanted to buy (an iPad or an iPhone). iOS was a part of the product but was not in and of itself the end product.

      Google creates Android, and its consumers are (for the most part) device manufacturers, who are dependent upon Google for that key piece of their product.

      So forking the code at Apple has no effect on the end consumer: if he wants/wanted an iPad he could get one and the OS on it worked. If he wants/wanted an iPhone, he could get one and ditto. Google forking the code, on the other hand, has real repercussions for the end user, because it affects the device manufacturers’ ability to develop product.

    • His Shadow

      Really? You are going to compare the temporarily forked nature of iOS, eventually unified, to open and free Google suddenly deciding they are not so open and free with an entire OS/? Isn’t the point of the open and free source code of Android being available so the community can work to improve it?

      Oh, wait. There’s the rub, isn’t it? Google doesn’t give a shit what the community thinks.

    • Anonymous

      It is substantially different because the open source parts of iOS remained open throughout the transition to iPad. You could get the latest Apple WebKit at all times, and in fact that is what is used in the Android v3 that Google has closed down source access to.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking people have some point that this is really comparing Apples to lemons. But the fact of the matter remains, that this “open is good, closed is bad” simplicity does not serve the discussion much at all. It’s like the commercials on TV right now where the bank customer walks into the bank and asks for help, and all the tellers and bankers can say to her is, ‘Money, money, money…”

    Open is great. Apple does some significant opens source development themselves. Webkit, Bonjour, Facetime – all free things they’ve released to the public. Contributions to BSD. The list goes on. And yet, they are hammered upon because they have not drunk the Kool Aid (I almost wrote Kook Aid) that open source is good and any alternative to that is evil.

    Simplistic thinking leads to simplistic answers. And that is not good. It’s not open. It’s not what’s best for anyone.

  • Anonymous

    Apple did exactly the same thing in 2006: http://lists.apple.com/archives/Fed-talk/2006/May/msg00077.html

    Then they got around to releasing it, and everybody forgot all about it. The same thing will happen here. It’s a non-story.

    The story about Android (if you can even call it that) is about how it’s just not very good. We’ve been hearing that one forever.

  • Anonymous

    Apple have already done almost exactly this – remember the iPad 1 came out with iOS 3.2 while (some models of) the iPhone and iPod touch got upgraded to iOS 4.0? No m/t or folders for you new iPad owners, not for months and months until 4.1 finally arrived.

    Apple had to develop the iPad software alongside the developing hardware by forking the then-current iOS version (3.x) and ignoring all the new stuff the iOS 4.0 team were working on at the time while they hacked the 3.x codeline to handle a bunch of new iPad-specific stuff, then later when the iPad and iOS 4.0 had been released they had to reintegrate the two lines back into one more or less unified release.

    It’s very much the same situation with Android (aside from the open source aspects). iOS 3.2 was a shortcut release just like Android 3.0 except that Apple, being much more marketing savvy, than Google never called it that. Google are trying to stop Android becoming even more fragmented than it already is, and good on them I say.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Beaty/1554483983 John Beaty

      Yeah, all true, but the point was the open source aspect: Apple would have been crucified by the tech press for delaying the release of the OS portions of 3.2 (which it didn’t do) while working on 4.0. Which the tech press has not done with Google.

    • Anonymous

      The WebKit source from iOS 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, etc. was always available that whole time. It is used not only in Apple’s tablets and phones, but also Android tablets and phones, RIM (upcoming) tablets and phones, HP (upcoming) tablets and phones, and others.

      At no point has Apple closed down any of their open code. None of Google’s or RIM’s or HP’s or any other WebKit user’s work has been delayed by Apple keeping the latest code to themselves. Right now, Android users can’t get the latest code. That is not open.

  • Anonymous

    Apple have already done almost exactly this – remember the iPad 1 came out with iOS 3.2 while (some models of) the iPhone and iPod touch got upgraded to iOS 4.0? No m/t or folders for you new iPad owners, not for months and months until 4.1 finally arrived.

    Apple had to develop the iPad software alongside the developing hardware by forking the then-current iOS version (3.x) and ignoring all the new stuff the iOS 4.0 team were working on at the time while they hacked the 3.x codeline to handle a bunch of new iPad-specific stuff, then later when the iPad and iOS 4.0 had been released they had to reintegrate the two lines back into one more or less unified release.

    It’s very much the same situation with Android (aside from the open source aspects). iOS 3.2 was a shortcut release just like Android 3.0 except that Apple, being much more marketing savvy, than Google never called it that. Google are trying to stop Android becoming even more fragmented than it already is, and good on them I say.

  • JimH

    This is the big disadvantage of the sotware/hardware model of Google. Hardware companies wanted a cycle that had android tabs came out before Apple’s second version, with better processors and screen, because copying is best done quickly. To do that, Google short-circuited 3.0, making it as a favor to Motorola. So that’s why Moto showed a movie of what it would be, and wouldn’t allow people to touch it.

    See, if you’re being original, you can just put off release. But copying requires speed. Me too plus a bit more.

    If Google had integrated hardware and software, this wouldn’t happen. But then they wouldn’t be able to flood the market to “beat” Apple.

  • http://profiles.google.com/corinedwards Corin Edwards

    The premise of this article appears to be that the author is upset at the absence of an alarmist article with a sensationalist headline.

    What an odd thing to complain about.

    • Ravi

      It’s worse than that. There have been some alarmist articles with sensationalist headlines. The author is upset that there aren’t more of them.

    • His Shadow

      There is no lack whatsoever alarmist articles with sensationalist headlines. It’s just that such articles are invariably about some terrible thing Apple has supposedly done or will do, while actual actions taken by companies in seeming defiance of said companies principle don’t merit the same treatment.Much is made of Google’s mantra of “open”, yet neither Google’s search algorithms or Honeycomb is open. Reams of digital ink are spilled about “draconian Apple” and how wicked it is for Apple to have a kill switch, but Google is the one that used it, reaching into people’s phones and modifying them on a whim. Not to mention that Apple’s walled garden is portrayed as such an offensive entity supposedly harming consumer choice, but it’s open Google that had to reach in to customers phones strip it of offensive programs.

  • Brian

    What the? The whole premise of this article is comparing google releasing source code for honeycomb, vs Apple releasing an actual OS update? They’re completely different things.

    Google rushed Honeycomb out the door because Apple was getting further and further ahead in the tablet race, and Google knew they had a great product to challenge them, and didn’t want that lead to grow even bigger. So they took shortcuts to minimise time to market. Still a great OS, just they know people will try and put it on phones, which it’s not designed for. Give them a couple of months to do what they need and the source code will be available.

    When will the iOS source code be released? Never, because that’s not Apple’s business model. The article is comparing apples to oranges.

    • Anonymous

      The most broadly-used mobile open source project is not Google Android, it is Apple WebKit. The WebKit source is released daily.

      So you fell right into Google’s marketing trap.

  • Dr0idsuQ

    So what else did they take shortcuts in? Privacy? Security? Did they cut and paste more code that belongs to someone else and don’t want people to know?

    Android: We’re Open! (just not right now)

    • Brian

      They took a shortcut on tailoring the OS to tablet hardware. They’ve been pretty open about this. Why assume they took more shortcuts? Their reasons for not releasing the source code to the general public yet seem valid. Note that they have released it to the manufactures – Samsung, Moto, Lg etc. Just not the general public. Do you really think the manufacturers would be using it to make tablets if privacy/security were compromised. No, they would turn their back on it.

      Why the hate?

  • Anonymous

    The proper analogy is Apple WebKit, the open source Web browser engine that is used not only by Apple’s partners (which is generally the case with Google’s open source efforts) but by almost all of Apple’s competitors. So the RIM and HP tablets that are coming will feature the exact same WebKit as Apple uses, not some delayed version. Android itself uses the same Apple WebKit as Apple.

    Also, notice that Apple is not closed, they have many open source projects. They open what makes sense to open, and keep closed what makes sense to keep closed. Google’s position is the totalitarian “nothing should be closed” which they are now contradicting, which is what makes this even worse.

    Google has essentially proven Android is not open source. Where this will really hurt is OMS and Tapas, two systems that use the Android kernel, but build their own environment on top. They need the latest kernel to build on.

    I think, generally speaking, Android is in denial about itself. It’s primary purpose is not to open up phones, but rather to close down mobile advertising, to extend Google’s advertising monopoly onto mobiles. It’s an advertising platform masquerading as an open source operating system in the manner of a Trojan Horse. When you have that many elephants in the room, you have to keep your eyes closed and mouth shut. Android has such low quality that it can’t stand any criticism at all. And there is this weird thing where you are invited to show your Apple brand disloyalty by suffering through whatever garbage Google stamps their little trash can logo onto. So you’re supposed to pretend at all costs that it is better than an iPhone and more open than an iPhone.

    Another example of this hypocrisy was Apple being criticized in 2007 and early 2008 for not opening up access to the iPhone native C API, limiting 3rd party development to sandboxed apps. People complained Apple was making C apps and 3rd parties only got to make baby apps. Well, Google has still not opened the Android native C API after 2 years. Google makes C apps, 3rd parties make sandboxed baby apps. There are a few C calls apps can make, but a 3rd party developer cannot make a native Android app. It’s looked at like Java is native to Android. It is not.

  • Vamsmack

    It is a clear double standard and this isn’t the whole Apple vs The World situation it’s showing clear hypocrisy.

    When Apple was rumoured to have delayed a product they hadn’t released or announced the date for the mainstream media and the tech press piled on like a predator on a wounded animal however when Google actually delays an OS which they have announced dates for everyone is suspiciously silent. It reminds me of when Google reached in and deleted apps off peoples phones without their consent, think about that they went into your phone and deleted the app and they were praised for it! Think about the headlines if Apple did it.

    I whole heartedly agree with what Jim is saying, Apple isn’t the posterchild of all that is good and pure in this world but cmon take off the rose coloured sunglasses and take a long hard look at Google and be critical. They cocked it up, they are delaying a shipping product why not rake them over the coals as the mainstream media and tech pundits love to do to Apple?

  • Anonymous

    Right, but I think it’s fair to compare Apple to an A-list celebrity here. Apple puts effort into courting mainstream press attention. They do it with far more efficiency and clarity than any other company their size, but they do aim for maximum press attention, like an A-list celebrity, because it helps them sell the maximum number of units.

    As such, given the nature of the media, you can’t really object when they run weak “Apple’s late!” stories on slow news days, just like your A-lister can’t moan about being photographed when getting a latte in their sweatpants on Sunday morning. That’s the game. Overall, it’s worth it.

    Google don’t get the same treatment from the mainstream press when they actually ship late, but they don’t get front page space when they release a new phone either.

    (I’m only referring to the blighted world of the mainstream press here, of course. Any credible tech specialist should be held to higher standards.)

  • Anonymous

    At the end of the day, Google just doesn’t care. As long as they are generating ad revenue, who cares about the experience.

    Google has no grip on the carriers or the device makers. Buy a phone and there is no guarantee you will get the next major version of Android.

    Motorola Xoom customers must really feel good right now.

    Of course, a large portion of Xoom sales were by Apple haters so even this is a non trivial issue compared to owning an Apple product.

  • Christinme7890

    Amen. No one is up in arms bc google hardware and OS suck. People expect that. They expect google to tuck it’s tail and run. Not to mention, even google knows it’s not better than apple. That is HUGE.

    Apple plays it smart and never promises until they know they can keep a promise. People expect that from Apple. Google is merely producing toys for fanboys to tinker with. Apple produces machines that have everyday practical use (and still for play)

  • Mmajere

    Do you folks not realize that 99% of consumers do not give one steaming heaping nutty brown turd about anything you have all written above? Joe Worker goes into Bestbuy to look at phones (or tablets, whatever). This one is this big, fast, etc. that one is white, or black, does it run this, or that. can i easily check email, can i connect to my server… okay I choose this one.

    end of story.

    Open? not open?

    I am not saying this oit of ignorance, but that is the reality of the market. If it runs fast enough, smooth enough, and that is all most people need or want. no one gives a shit if its open enough philosophically or otherwise, jeesus.

    • Vamsmack

      No Shit. It’s the same for most people and their iPhones.

      The problem isn’t those people it is the neck beards bellowing OPEN while lambasting Apple for being closed and draconian in their ways.

  • BoldOperator

    I’m sorry, I find this article biased and perhaps deliberately ignorant of many facts.

    First of all, Google made no claim that they made shortcuts with Honeycomb to “keep up with iOS”. Those are your words, not their’s. Google states that short cuts were made to meet deadlines. Secondly, what they are expected to deliver and what Apple is expected to deliver are completely different. Apple’s unified hardware allows them to be much lazier coders, as does their closed source. Google needs to release software which can be run on a wide variety of hardware, which demands efficiency, and they are releasing source code. Meticulously documented source code. They have already delivered a working product, by which I mean, a tablet OS which works on a tablet. At this point, Apple would be shipping. Now, Google needs to consider the fact that people are going to take their software an put it on hardware for which it was not intended. They need to optimize and squeeze every last bit of efficacy out of their code, or their product will be mocked by such blogs as this. Google needs to bring much more to the table than Apple. We can all lament delays, and regret cut corners taken, but all things considered, they don’t deserve your spite.

    • Vamsmack

      You’re mistaking lazy for smart.

      Apple controls their own hardware and can code specifically for that platform it doesn’t make them lazy. Google releases software which has to run on a million different kinds of hardware which is of their own making, they chose to go down this road which means that while Apple can focus on their 6 devices(4 iPhone and 2 iPad models) while Google has to cater for every frankenstein phone out there. They made their bed now they’re laying in it.

      Android is going to become the Windows of the mobile phone market.

  • http://twitter.com/harkirat Harkirat Singh

    Quote: “Can you imagine if it were Apple delaying a software release. What would the press say if Apple admitted it took shortcuts with its OS to keep up with Google and now they couldn’t release it? The press would have a field day with that story.”

    well… what do you have to say about Apple launching unfinished products and marketing them as the greatest thing since bread came sliced??? seriously… you couldn’t even record videos on the first iPhone and it was supposed to be the best multimedia phone ever created!!!

    Anyone in his right mind would have waited till iPhone 3GS to purchase a complete phone, and not an unfinished product.

    They launch iPad without a camera, and simply make a laptop sized screen work with a phone OS, without widgets, and yet some argue that there is no distortion field… I disagree…

    And if you have any foresight and spend on gadgets wisely, you will wait till iPad 3 to buy one… but then I guess buying incomplete apple products to keep up with Joneses is the accepted consumer behavior in USA

    the fact is that Google gets Panned for launching working products as Beta products, while Apple gets acclaimed for launching beta products as working products.

    Google holding back a tablet OS to ensure that manufacturers do not put it onto a phone, is the death of open source… maybe… but then there are so many manufacturers putting in the bare minimum RAM and Memory just to get an Android phone out, they will definitely try to put Honeycomb on a phone… it’s a business decision to save reputation, one that no one outside the techie blogosphere will not even hear let alone criticize…

  • Erik

    …what if apple delayed the open sourcing of an operating system release, because they wanted to polish it more before letting the universe loose on their code? OH MY!! You have no clue. APPLE HAVE NEVER RELEASED THE SOURCE FOR A COMPLETE OPERATING SYSTEM RELEASE EVER. NEVER EVER. They have smeared a thin veneer of proprietary polish on an open source kernel made by someone else before. That’s not open sourcing an OS release. If Apple EVER released the source to one of their operating system, then THAT would be news.

    Clueless deluded fan boys. Let’s be clear. The bulk of an Android system is not the Android GUI & libraries. That’s what we’re talking about here. The GUI & GUI libraries. Google not releasing the code for their GUI with the OS release is rather sad. They own the OS IP. They can do that if they like. Looking at some of the mutilated Android-fork abortions foisted on under-specked hardware by dodgy hardware manufacturers like Motorola… …you can kind of see why they might want to do a little more engineering before letting the world at it.

    What they are intending to achieve is quite difficult. A single source tree that builds to run smoothly on both phone and tablet, with options to tailor it to both hardware platforms…