Google has announced that it will release the source code for the next Android platform, also known as “Ice Cream Sandwich” by the end of 2011. Google will open up Honeycomb around the same time.
Honeycomb made its debut with the Motorola Xoom tablet earlier this year, and it did not take the press long to realize that Google had no immediate intentions to release the OS source code.
Instead, the company is following its usual path of developing the new platform behind closed doors, before finally unveiling it to open source developers.
"Open source is different than a community-driven project,..We're building a platform. We're not building an app.” Google’s Android head Andy Rubin said at the recent I/O developer’s conference, The Register reports.
"[The Ice Cream Sandwich] is the remerging of the tablet and phone and television source code. So Ice Cream will be the next open source release and that will be towards the end of the year."
Google was concerned that making the tablet OS open source too soon would cause people to use it on smartphones, which it wasn't ready for, damaging consumer experience and hurting the platform's reputation. ICS will bring google's smartphone and tablet operating systems back together.