Google has released the source code for Android version 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) quickly, avoiding the criticism it got for delaying the release of earlier Android versions.
Jelly Bean has been released as part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), according to a blog post by lead engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru, known as JBQ. Officially, Android is open source software, so source code should be released, but the release of the Honeycomb version last year was delayed, raising fears Google was setting up its own ‘walled garden’ around Android.
“We recommend that you create new clients, even if you’re working in the master branch. It’ll make your clients smaller and faster to sync,” Queru said. “Proprietary binaries are available for Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. Nexus S and Xoom will follow.”
Last year, Google hung on to the source code for Honeycomb, Android version 3.0, for six months, only releasing it with the Ice Cream Sandwich version 4.0.1 in November.
At the time, the delay was explained as being due to Google’s effort in producing two versions of Android – Honeycomb is optimised for tablets, while Ice Cream Sandwich is aimed at phones.
Jelly Bean is being put onto both phones and tablets. It is on Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, and will reportedly be available for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X phones.
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