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Google delays delivering Android Honeycomb for open source

March 25, 2011 |  5:47 pm

HoneycombStatue

Those waiting for Android Honeycomb will have to wait some more.

Google announced that it will delay distribution of its newest Android source code, nicknamed Honeycomb, for the foreseeable future.

Designed to run on tablet computers, the Honeycomb operating system is already powering Motorola's Xoom tablet and is expected to appear in other devices. But Google said Honeycomb isn't quite ready for public release as open source software for people to tweak and customize for their own gadgets.

"Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization," Google said in a statement.

"While we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we've decided not to release Honeycomb to open source. We're committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it's ready."

Some critics point to this delay as a sign that Google, which has billed itself as a proponent of open source software against competitors like Research in Motion and Apple, is reluctant to continue in the same vein. Others say that the Honeycomb may simply not be ready to be put into smartphones and other non-tablet devices.

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— Shan Li

Photos: Screen shot from an Android Developers video shows Google's Honeycomb statue installed in front of Building 44 at the tech company's Mountain View headquarters. Credit: Google

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