Android has always been known as the open mobile platform, but a new report claims that Google may be making things slightly less so for anyone looking to get in on the fun. According to reports from around a dozen execs at "key companies in the Android ecosystem" like LG and Samsung, Google is working to lessen the amount of customizations made to its software and forcing manufacturers to get their plans approved by Andy Rubin if they want early access to fresh Android builds.
Additionally, Google has been making some companies sign "non-fragmentation clauses," which Rubin says have always been part of the Android license, that would allow the big G to approve or deny any tweaks made to Android. One example of this is Facebook, which Bloomberg Businessweek says has been crafting its own version of Android. The social network giant is reportedly not thrilled with the fact that Google gets to control what makes it into their Android variant, which wouldn't be surprising since I'm sure Facebook isn't accustomed with having to report to another company. The report also alleges that Google has even gone so far as to hold up the launch of some of Verizon's Android phones that come with Bing pre-installed. All of this has prompted some companies to issue complaints with the Department of Justice, says Bloomberg's sources.
The fragmentation issue is one that's been with Android almost since its inception and, although things have gotten much better as of late, I'm sure any CLIQ XT, Charm, or Flipout owners will tell you that it's still a lingering problem. Even high-end devices are coming to market with bleeding edge hardware powering older versions of Android, making them outdated the second that they hit the shelves. Sure, that's not as bad as being stuck on Cupcake for eternity, but it's still pretty frustrating. That's why, while most manufacturers and carriers are probably unhappy with Google's moves, customers should be pretty excited. What do you all think of Google's actions? Are they doing what's necessary to regain control of Android or are they simply going too far?