Android has come bottom in a study looking at how open mobile open source software really is. VisionMobile analyzed Android alongside Eclipse, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Firefox, Qt, Symbian and WebKit.
It ranked the platforms in an ‘open governance index’, awarding each a percentage score based on criteria including inclusiveness, transparency and ease of access to source code.
Android scored a fairly closed 23 per cent, while all of the other platforms came in at 58 per cent or higher.
Android’s key issue is Google – the company holds too much control over the decision making processes, software contributions and roadmap, and takes on very little input from external parties or Open Handset Alliance members.
In Google’s own words, “Android is an open-source software stack for mobile devices and a corresponding open-source project led by Google.”
But, as the report notes, “Google tightly controls the Android platform and its derivatives,” with compliance criteria remaining “undocumented and somewhat capricious.”
Still, it’s far more accessible to developers and other interested parties than its very much closed contemporaries, including Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, whose scores could edge into minus figures.