Is it the end of an era? Is Android's open source operating system becoming less open?
A group of a dozen executives at companies dealing with the Android OS say that's what exactly is happening, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and they will now have to seek approval from Google's head of mobile, Andy Rubin, for any plans.
One of the main problems seems to be the fragmentation going on in Android products. "Some are polished smartphones that used the 'Gingerbread' version of the software; others are clunky tablets," Businessweek explains.
The biggest cause of fragmentation is the sheer number of updates and versions of Android available and manufacturers struggling to keep up. So apparently Google is implementing "non-fragmentation clauses" so Google gets the final say on any Android product. It's quality control on a Google scale.
It's all for a "common denominator" experience benefiting the consumer, said John Lagerling, director of global Android partnerships at Google. "After that, the customization can begin."
Facebook reportedly chafed under the new regulations. And then suddently there were unnamed complaints to the U.S. Justice Department about the situation.
Geez, Android can't catch a break, can it? First, there's the infected apps that get into the Android Market and everyone complains that its regulations are too loose. Now, when Google wants to close up and regulate Android more, people act as if it's a dark overlord threatening to strangle genius in its cradle.
Apple has stringent regulation on its iOS which makes Google's tactics look tame in comparison. So a few executives boohooing they need Google's approval (yeah, that's you, Nokia's Stephen Elop!) before making a crappy product doesn't make my heart bleed. If anything, this means that Google's monitoring will be creating better and more productive Android devices for the consumer.
Executives are upset, consumers get better products. What's wrong with that picture?