When Google announced the Android operating system and established the Open Handset Alliance to support it, the plan was always to release the mobile operating system as open-source code. Today, on the eve of the first Android phone hitting the market, it finally did that. Developers can find the entire codebase for Android here. That includes the linux kernel, the application platform, the system library, graphics and speech-recognition libraries, a media codex, and applications such as the browser, dialer, and contacts manager. Google’s Rich Miner, who helps head up the Android team there, tells me:
This is probably the largest repository of open source code that has been released at any one time. We have worked on the things we thought were important. But there is still a lot of work to do in all aspects of the platform, from tying it into different carrier networks. multimedia, speech recognition, and the graphic subsystems.
Android is already an extremely powerful mobile operating system. Now that it is open-source, Google hopes to spark an entire movement around it. As exciting as all the apps and features of Android are already, we haven’t seen nothing yet.
Here’s a video explaining what is being made available that asks: What would you do with Android? Tell us in comments.