open source

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.

LibreOffice team working on a free Android version

If you're a Linux user, odds are you've already heard of LibreOffice, a fork of the popular open-source suite OpenOffice. The project has been gaining steam in the last year, and now the developers say they're targeting platforms other than desktops, namely Android, iOS and a web app. That's great news for anyone who isn't satisfied with the Google Docs app and doesn't want to shell out $15 or $20 for QuickOffice.

AT&T Galaxy S II kernel source code released already by Samsung

Let the hacking, modding and overclocking begin once this device is finally able to be purchased. Samsung has already released the kernel source code for the AT&T version of the Galaxy S II, even though the phone isn't even out yet. We sure wish other companies would do the same (hint HTC). While Samsung released the code for the Epic 4G Touch on launch day, they've gone a step further here and it's already available before the phone itself.

Google App Inventor Discontinued, Will Become Open Source Instead

Many of you may not know much about App Inventor. This was a tool that was very exciting when it was first announced by Google Labs and it was made available to the public last December in a beta test. Basically Google created a program that would help users with zero coding skills or knowledge of any sort to build Android applications using the App Inventor tool. This was one of many great things that came from Google Labs.

Samsung Galaxy S II source code released: Hacks ahoy!

Samsung has released the source code for the Galaxy S II, opening the door for developers to craft more complex apps and modify Samsung's customized Android 2.3.3 build. The GT-I9100 open-source repo will allow for ROMs that further overclock the GSII's 1.2GHz processor, among other things. Samsung has been criticized in the past for its attitude toward updates for its existing Android phones While this isn't necessarily a sign that the firm is upping its game overall, it's a welcome release. You'll need to be a developer to make the most of the download - which you can find here - but users should likely expect the fruits of dev's efforts in the not too distant future. More on the Galaxy S II in our full review.
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