Google holds back Android Honeycomb; Asus releases the source code

Control-freak accusations are unfair, Google's Android boss argues

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As if to back up the contention by Google's Android boss that the tablet version of Android isn't being penned in so Google can keep control, PC-maker Asus released part of the source code yesterday.

Asus posted a link on the product page for its Eee Pad Transformer tablet that lets readers download a 97MB file with the source code for v8.2.2.6 of the Android kernel.

Google released the software developers kit for Android v3 in February, but only to a few OEMs and selected other partners.

It reportedly shut down access to the SDK after a member of the XDA Developers forum installed Honeycomb on a smartphone and discovered an unannounced new app called Google Music and the unannounced cloud service Android Market that goes along with it.

Google said it wasn't holding back Honeycomb, it had just delayed release to finish adapting it to work well on smartphones, despite the more restrictive new approval process for new features or apps for the Android tablet OS that prompted complaints from developers.

Google got shelled by critics for what looks like a turn at Apple-like monomania and code control – anathema in open-source products.

Google has high hopes for Honeycomb, which finally gives it an OS that can really compete against the phone and tablet versions of iOS for both consumers and businesses. Among other additions, Honeycomb gets full-device encryption, better rendering and layout options designed to the larger screens of tablets, and the Renderscript graphics engine.

Google's Android boss, Andy Rubin argued in a blog last week that Google hasn't been trying to impose new controls over Android.

Photo Credit: 

Asus Transformer tablet PC

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