Android under fire for not releasing code, violating patents

Android has been under assault the past day or so following a series of announcements which caused its competitors to claim that it is doubling back on many of its previous claims.

First of all, yesterday Google announced that the latest version of Android, Honeycomb 3.0, will not be released to the world as open-source software any time soon. Google claim that this is to prevent hardware vendors using Honeycomb – an operating system designed specifically for iPad-competitive tablets – on anything other than its target hardware. Competitors and Apple fanboys are taking advantage of the situation to claim that Google is doubling back on its promise to keep Android an open platform from when it first launched. It looks like, as previously thought, the code that currently makes up Honeycomb will be released when the 2.x and 3.x Android branches are merged to form one “super-release” for both tablet and phone devices.

As if the news could not get any worse for Android, Microsoft have announced legal action against Barns & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec, claiming that they violate Microsoft patents by using Android in the Nook Color device.

There is, however, some good news: Android developers who have been working hard to build great apps will soon be able to use them on the Blackberry Playbook. It has been confirmed by RIM, the Playbook’s manufacturer, that it will be able to run Java and Android applications when it (finally) launches. The developer community is mostly claiming that this is due to the extremely poor development experience that exists for native Playbook applications.

Meanwhile, iOS 4.3.1 hit the streets today, bringing a range of bug fixes to iOS since its major recent 4.3 release. Let’s hope they got the summer time changes right this time, eh?

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