open source

US Government claims that secure Android phones can be updated in just 2 weeks

Anybody who's bought an expensive Android phone in the last couple of years can probably commiserate with all those waiting months and months for an official update. Many times users root and install custom ROMs not out of any particular desire to mod, but just to get the features in the current version of Android. US Government officials made a bold claim on CNN this morning, saying that they can send out major software updates to their secure Android-based phones in just two weeks, side-stepping both manufacturers and carriers to deliver updated code based on Android's open-source releases.

Google CEO claims Android still doesn’t make much money

Despite objections from certain multi-national software conglomerates, Google claimed in its latest quarterly report that Android still isn't making much money - or at least not as much as it could. While Android is reaching towards 50% smartphone market share in nearly every world market, Google CEO Larry Page said that it still has a long way to go. " We are in the early stages of monetization for a number of our new products, and Android is one of those."

Dear Google: Android deserves a Nexus Certification Program

If Verizon's ridiculous handling of the Galaxy Nexus US launch has taught us anything, it's that the carriers are still firmly in control of the mobile world, at least in the United States. While there's no confirmation, strong evidence indicates that Verizon's desire for a carrier-controlled NFC payment system, which isn't even anywhere near launching, caused weeks and weeks of delays. Consumers in Google's own country stewed while seemingly everyone else in the world got a hold of the very first Android 4.0 hardware. All we could do was cry foul until the release, something that a few of Google's top brass must have been doing as well.

CyanogenMod for the HP TouchPad reaches Alpha 3.5, delivers better gaming performance

Most of the excitement in the custom ROM world is circling around Ice Cream Sandwich at the moment, but we haven't forgotten about the best tablet deal of the year. In the latest incremental update to the HP TouchPad version of popular custom ROM CyanogenMod 7.2, the team has focused on UI and gaming improvements, allowing the TouchPad to be at least as capable at 3D gaming as a modern mid-range Android smartphone. Alpha version 3.5 is available for download at RootzWiki now.

Android is the most closed open source OS, say analysts

Google gets a lot of praise for bringing open source to the masses with Android, and a lot of flack for some of its more closed-off activities. On a technical level the company complies with the fundamental principles of open source software, but not always in the way that FOSS proponents would like. A perfect example is Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which never saw an open source release until version 4 was already available. These tendencies and more technical details led VisionMobile to rank it the "most closed" open source OS among a field of the most popular examples.

HP going open source with WebOS

This isn't technically an Android story, but we know there's lots of Palm Pre and HP Touchpad users out there in the reading audience. After months of indecision over the future of WebOS, HP has decided to release open source code for the operating system, allowing anyone from hobbyists to manufacturers to create versions of WebOS for different devices. There won't be any more hardware from HP featuring WebOS, at least not in the immediate future.

First of many Ice Cream Sandwich tablets appears in China

You know the wave of Froyo and Gingerbread tablets that have been coming out of China for the last couple of years? You know the complete lack of Honeycomb tablets in the interim since the Motorola XOOM launched? That's because Honeycomb hadn't been open-sourced, so non-Google-sanctioned tablet makers had to make do with earlier versions. But now that the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich has been made available to one and all, cheap tablets running Android 4.0 will be coming in a torrent out of the east. GizChina has a look at the very first one.

Google engineer and security vendors spar over Android malware threat

With all the stories about Android malware as of late, it might be easy for a novice smartphone user to get nervous. Security software vendor McAfee agrees: they've sent out a much-publicized report claiming that threats for Android have increased by 37% in just three months, and they're predicting "75 million unique malware samples" across all mobile platforms by the end of the year. Juniper Networks is claiming a 472% increase since July. Google's Open Source Program Manager Chris DiBona had a pointed rebuttal to this and other Android malware news on his personal Google+ page, mostly (go figure) in defense of Android's open source nature.

Ice Cream Sandwich SDK ROMs already in the works

Ideally, ROM developers wait for the open-source, AOSP version of the latest Android release before building a new ROM. But there is something of a work-around: industrious programmers can take pieces of the SDK and cobble together a working phone or tablet ROM. A good example is the various community-authored versions of Honeycomb based on its Software Development Kit. Now preliminary versions of Ice Cream Sandwich based on the recently-released SDK are already making their way onto the Nexus S.
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