The Android With No Brain


You sometimes have to wonder about Google:

Third-party Android application developers, who have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of SDK updates, were shocked to discover that Google has been secretly making new versions of the Android SDK available to the Android Developer Challenge (ADC) finalists under non-disclosure agreements.

Aside from the Google brand, the main thing going for the Linux-based Android mobile phone platform is that is open source, with all that that implies in terms of working together as partners in a larger ecosystem. Particularly in the wake of Nokia's decision to open-source the Symbian operating system, Google cannot afford to cheese off key fauna in that ecosystem: developers.

So this discovery that there is some kind of Android inner circle with secret squirrel handshakes in the form of NDAs makes the company look rather foolish, because it is the antithesis of the egalitarianism and openness that lies at the heart of open source. Since it is hard to believe that the massed Google geniuses don't understand this particular point, it also suggests that Google's use of open source is more a matter of hard-headed convenience than heartfelt conviction.

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