Google has decided to keep the Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet-centric OS out of the hands of third-party developers, claiming that it isn't yet ready for the open-source arena.

Honeycomb has appeared on tablets like the Motorola Xoom, but Android boss Andy Rubin says he doesn't want developers using it on mobile phones "and creating a really bad user experience."

Rubin claims that his team "doesn't even know whether it would work on mobile phones" and that making it open-source immediately runs the risk of tarnishing Android's reputation.

Rubin's revelation raises questions about Android's status as an open platform and could be the first indication that Google is moving towards a more closed model. Is Android about to go all iOS on us?

Optimised

Rubin retains that "Android is is an open-source project. We have not changed our strategy." and a Google statement says 3.0 will reach developers when it becomes ready for use on a range of devices.

The official line says: "Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization.

"While we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we've decided not to release Honeycomb to open source.

"We're committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it's ready."

"For the time being it looks like Honeycomb will only be appearing on tablets that have been heavily vetted by Google."

Source: Business Week