Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 9th Oct 2010 10:09 UTC
Google Google's big Android chief Andy Rubin has given an interview to PC Magazine, in which he touches on some interesting topics. Sadly, PC Magazine didn't ask about the patent situation and why Google is seemingly letting its OEMs fend for themselves, but there's still a lot of other interesting stuff in there.
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WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

He is talking about the Android platform NOT Google's applications, that could be easily ripped out. The platform itself is fully open source, you or anyone with the expertise can examine, modify, enhance, change the code! In fact, this is exactly what's happening.


Yeah, but it's the Google apps that gives the most value to Android. For example, without Google Voice and the Maps application, I wouldn't have much use for Android.

As for its openness and the carriers/OEMs 'adding value', oh... they'll add value alright. But it'll be added value to their pocketbooks, and rarely for the consumer, just like PC OEMs loading down your machine with trialware and other such nonsense in order to increase their bottom line. When you have custom ROMs being released to remove all of the crap that people don't want from the stock OTA ROMs, something is wrong.

And then there's the issue with incompatibility - you take something like HTC Sense... oh, it's great and the widgets are beautiful and all that, and then you try and load Angry Birds (and a host of other apps) on your Droid Incredible and realize that it's FUBAR. Whatever safeguards Google has in place to make sure the same apps work across different phones is not doing the job. Fragmentation, fragmentation, fragmentation.

As for consumer choice, when was the last time somebody released a high-end 'vanilla' Android phone since the original Droid/Nexus One came out late last year? AFAIK, the only decent Android phone that wasn't locked down by the OEM was the Nexus One, and that never worked with Verizon, so it's irrelevant to me.

Edited 2010-10-10 01:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I agree with almost everything you say - we all have the same gripes with Android phones. I wasn't saying Android is perfect, or that carriers add value. They add crap. Bought unlocked Nexus One close to a month ago for that reason (Korean version). I was responding to Neolander's post, which is a different issue. The fact that it's so hard to find a handset that has vanilla Android supports what I said - although Google has control over how Android is developed, it has no control over how it's used. It does not preclude anyone from forking the whole stuff actually.

And yes, Android isn't that much without Google's apps, but I wouldn't blame Google. You almost sound like you are blaming them for the usefulness of their apps ;) ) And there are alternatives for some of them.

And don't even start me on Neolander's clone remark... Android a clone of iOS? WTF? I guess you can say that Win7 is a clone of OS X in similar vain... Except there are more differences between Android and iOS than between Windows 7 and Mac OS X. Really, I don't understand where that remark comes from. For instance, it was only recently that iOS added the capability of changing the wallpaper. In Android, you can configure every aspect of the system. Out of the box, they look and behave very differently. Android mandates the presence of the back, home, search and settings button, iOS has home (and reaches different options by tapping it once, twice, et). Their multitasking implementation is significantly different. The languages used for app development are different. From the UI concepts down to the core of the OS the differences are significant. Android is as much a clone of iOS as iOS is a clone of Symbian.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

And don't even start me on Neolander's clone remark... Android a clone of iOS? WTF? I guess you can say that Win7 is a clone of OS X in similar vain... Except there are more differences between Android and iOS than between Windows 7 and Mac OS X. Really, I don't understand where that remark comes from. For instance, it was only recently that iOS added the capability of changing the wallpaper. In Android, you can configure every aspect of the system. Out of the box, they look and behave very differently. Android mandates the presence of the back, home, search and settings button, iOS has home (and reaches different options by tapping it once, twice, et). Their multitasking implementation is significantly different. The languages used for app development are different. From the UI concepts down to the core of the OS the differences are significant. Android is as much a clone of iOS as iOS is a clone of Symbian.

Yeah, that's what I called the "nice stuff". But I think that Android does not go far enough. It's still an attempt to stick a desktop kernel in a mobile OS and the application menu is still a messy stack of applications (I laughed so hard when Apple announced that one of iOS 4's greatest features would be the inclusion of folders...), multitasking still feels a bit crippled (killing a task is not as friendly as it should be, and I'm not sure you can open the same app several times in a comfortable fashion but maybe someone can confirm or infirm this). The home screen, though better than the iPhone's, still has some serious room for improvement (see Symbian or WP7 for an example of a good home screen : gives fast access to information at a glance, no screen estate lost), the phone still feels incomplete out of the box due to lack of very useful bundled applications, UI is quite inconsistent between applications like on iOS...

What I'm trying to say is that Android tried to address some of iOS' design horrors, but they still copied some.

Edited 2010-10-10 06:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2