Motorola has now released the source code for its Motorola Droid X handset on Verizon Wireless. Despite running the open-source Android operating system, Motorola has also implemented an eFuse security system to prevent unauthorized ROMs from being loaded onto the handset. Since it’s release, developers have been able to root the device and we’ll have to see what developers can come up with by examining and poking around with the source code.
If you’re interested, you can head over to Motorola to view the code.
As part of the Apache license, manufacturers are often required to make their code available to the developer community, as it relates to the core Android operating system:
With the exception of brief update periods, Android has been available as open source since 21 October 2008. Google opened the entire source code (including network and telephony stacks) under an Apache License.
The requirement to make code available does not compel OEMs and manufacturers to also open-source customizations. This means that the custom widgets on the Droid X would still be copyrighted, proprietary code owned by Motorola, as would HTC Sense be owned by rival HTC.
According to the the Open Source Project at Android, the reason for source codes to be made available to the public is to reduce, if not eliminate, fragmentation, and to ensure the greatest amount of compatibility between different builds and devices: “Uncontrolled customization can, of course, lead to incompatible implementations. To prevent this, the AOSP also maintains the Android Compatibility Program, which spells out what it means to be “Android compatible”, and what is required of device builders to achieve that status. Anyone can (and will!) use the Android source code for any purpose, and we welcome all such uses. However, in order to take part in the shared ecosystem of applications that we are building around Android, device builders must participate in the Compatibility Program.”