Google and the Open Handset Alliance have announced the free availability of the Android platform source code under the new Android Open Source Project. With this move, Google has made available an entire mobile software stack to potential mobile device designers in and open and equal manner.
The project's goal is to open the innovation to a world-wide community, which the company and organizations hopes will propel Android forward at a rate faster than any one company can do on its own. Now, the entire software stack is available for both third-party Android application developers, and mobile device and handset manufacturers alike. With the announcement, you can download the source, build it, contribute changes, and develop your own mobile device around it, free of charge (subject to the license agreement, of course).
Android is a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Having an open source mobile platform will dramatically reduce the time and resources required to bring mobile devices to market. Handset manufactures can access a complete, full featured mobile stack without any barriers and get a head-start in creating as contemporary a device that they want to build. Developers for the first time can contribute code, with a full set APIs that allows the platform to host applications written by third-party developers and carriers can offer faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.
As an open source project, anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. It means that anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device. With an open source platform, developers, OEMs, carriers and code contributors are given the opportunity to build faster, cheaper, and more innovative devices and services.
"Open source allows everyone and anyone equal access to the ideas and innovation that can make good products great," says Google's Andy Rubin. "An open sourced mobile platform, that's constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users.