Google and the Open Handset Alliance have announced the availability of the Android platform source code to everyone, for free, under the new Android Open Source Project.
This move releases an open and fully featured mobile platform, which will enable people to create a mobile device without restrictions, build applications that run on Android-powered devices, and contribute to the core platform.
As an open source project, anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. That means that anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device. With an open source platform, developers, OEMs, carriers and code contributors are given the opportunity to build faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.
Android is a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Handset manufactures can access a complete, full featured mobile stack without any barriers and get a head-start on creating as contemporary a device that they want to build.
Developers can contribute code, with a full set of APIs that allows the platform to host applications written by third-party developers and carriers can offer faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.