Last Updated: August 1st, 2012
People like Android because they like openness and because they like choice. The ability to boot a second, open-source operating system on your Android device is then a pretty compelling proposition. Following a flurry of activity around various fora, some progress has been made in booting the Linux-based Maemo 5 successor, MeeGo, on select Android devices. These devices, namely the Nexus One, Streak, and Desire are all based on the Snapdragon QSD8250 and it is that chipset the development community is focusing on.
Right now, it’s unclear exactly how functional the OS is, and, as usual, the development is suffering from issues with driver cross-compatibility and other similar obstacles.
Last Updated: August 1st, 2012
The popular, open-source media player firmware Rockbox has recently been made available for Android. Rather than run as an operating system, Rockbox operates as a standalone application that you can install as usual with an APK. Development is still on-going, but Rockbox dev kugel has a few pre-compiled APKs hosted for you to try out if you’re interested.
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These builds are unofficial and are purely for demonstrative purposes, but they seem to work pretty nicely. Currently the navigation/control interaction method is touchscreen only, and screen rotation is not supported - Rockbox will only run in Portrait orientation.
Last Updated: November 23rd, 2011
As part of the Android's open source Apache license, manufacturers are required to publicly release all of their own modifications and improvements made to the Android core. Today, both Samsung and Motorola decided it would be the perfect time to drop the Captivate and Droid X code to their respective open source sites.
This will allow ROM developers to figure out all those little quirks specific to the hardware and incorporate them into their releases.
Note, however, that the Android license doesn't cover proprietary extensions, such as custom vendor applications and widgets, and therefore does not require manufacturers to open source them:
With the exception of brief update periods, Android has been available as open source since 21 October 2008.
Last Updated: July 15th, 2010
An interesting chart published today by BusinessInsider reveals that mobile developers, or at least the 401 surveyed, more often have experience developing for Android than any other mobile operating system, including iOS. Given Android’s growing market share, it seems only natural that developers are flocking to the increasingly attractive (and large) customer base Android devices provide.
While Android’s lead over iOS in this regard isn’t massive, it certainly isn’t insignificant either. Nearly 60% of developers have experience developing on Android, while the number for iOS hovers around 50%. Meanwhile, Blackberry and Windows Mobile sit even lower at about 40%. While Apple’s App Store certainly offers developers greater upfront financial incentive in selling their applications, apps supported by Google Ads are clearly just as, if not even more, lucrative.