Apparently, Android Is the Least Open of the Open Source Platforms

Illustration for article titled Apparently, Android Is the Least Open of the Open Source Platforms

Sorry Android. You get by with having this reputation of being open but in reality you're the least open/most closed "open platform" around. In a study with eight other platforms, Android finished dead last. And it wasn't even close.


The study, done by market research firm, VisionMobile took a look at Android, Eclipse, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Firefox, Qt, Symbian and WebKit and focused on their open governance, inclusiveness, transparency, and ease of access to source code. In the "open governance index", Android finished with a measly 23 percent. It was far and away the lowest score, Android was the only open source project to score less than 58 percent (the best score was Eclipse at 84 percent).

VisionMobile cited reasons such as Google's "unilateral Android project decision-making processes" and "closed contributions process model" along with:

"Visibility to the roadmap is limited, as there is no Android roadmap publicly available. In fact, development of the Android private branch and the roadmap is controlled by Google, with little input from external parties or the Open Handset Alliance members. When launched, the Open Handset Alliance served the purpose of a public industry endorsement for Android. Today, however, the OHA serves little purpose besides a stamp of approval for OHA members; there is no formal legal entity, no communication processes for members nor frequent member meetings."

And a ton more reasons. It's just one report by one research firm but their explanations make a whole lot o' sense (and are things we've heard before). Remember, calling Android not open doesn't make it any less good. Just be careful when you use the word 'open' because clearly, it's not as open as it could be. [VisionMobile via Ars Technica]

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Cheese Addict

Out of utter curiosity, what's the cheapest fully-functional Android phone on the market? I've never owned a smartphone, and I can't bring myself to buy an iPhone because I think it's too expensive.

I'd mostly use it for games, anyways, so it's probably a good thing I don't have one.