February has been a strong month for open source on mobile devices, including the release of the Symbian OS source code, an Android update and Linus giving a nod to the Nexus One.
Part 1: In Which Linus Buys a Cellphone
Linux creator, Linus Torvalds (See,
Linus on Linux: The Linus Torvalds Interview Part 1) picked up a Google Nexus One cellphone last week and wrote a blog post with his impressions. In short he says, “…the Nexus One is a winner.”
Notorious for his disdain of telephones, Linus goes on to say,
“I no longer feel like I’m dragging a phone with me “just in case” I would need to get in touch with somebody – now I’m having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead.”
One has to assume he is more serious about this than
his enthusiasm for the Windows 7 launch back in October.
Last year we asked you
if Android was the perfect mobile software. Perfect may be a bit of a stretch but a positive review from Linux’s creator is certainly a feather in Android’s cap.
Now that you know that Linus has one in his pocket, are you interested in writing an app for Android?
There’s a tag for that.
Part 2: In Which Android Gets an Update
While Linus is ignoring my calls to his Nexus One,
Motorola users will receive an over-the-air Android update this week.
The upgrade to version 2.1v1 (
possibily) brings a number of features to the Motorola Droid that had previously only been available on the Nexus One including, multitouch for the browser and Google’s remarkable Maps 3.4, Google Goggles, and support for Nexus’ news and weather widgets.
Part 3: In Which There is Still More Mobile News; Symbian Foundation Releases Symbian Platform as Open Source
A project in development for nearly two years (mentioned in last year’s
open source mobile device roundup), the Symbian Foundation has open sourced the Symbian 3 OS as the Symbian Platform. The foundation is calling it the biggest migration of a closed product to open source ever undertaken.
All told, 40 million lines of code in 108 packages are being released under a variety of open source licensces with the bulk falling under the Eclipse Public License.
As Chris Davidson, Project Manager with the Symbian Foundation, mentions in the video below this is the codebase that is running on over 250 million deployed devices.
So stick a fork in Symbian.
In a good way.