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.
There’s a loud voice out there which rails against the fact that Android’s openness allows carriers to mess around with the operating system and “add value” by installing useless applications and by disabling features like mobile hotspot and tethering. Rubin is clear about this – open is open, also for carriers.
“If I were to release an operating system that I claimed was open and that forced everybody to make [phones] all look the same and all support very narrow features and functionality, the platform wouldn’t win,” he said, “It wouldn’t win because the OEMs have a lot of value to bring and the carriers have a lot of value to bring, and they need a vehicle by which to put their interesting differentiating features on these things.”
His stance is that customers will eventually decide what phones to buy, and if consumers don’t want crapware, outdated versions of Android or if they want faster updates, carriers and OEMs will eventually adapt and offer these features. I’d like to add to that that nobody is forcing anyone to buy a phone through a contract – nobody is stopping you from buying the phone outright (you know, like you buy other stuff) and flip the carrier the bird.
Another interesting subject is the imminent release of Windows Phone 7, a competitor to Android. Rubin believes the world doesn’t need another platform – something us OSNews geeks will probably disagree with. The more the merrier – competition is good.
“I think the screen shots I’ve seen are interesting, but look, the world doesn’t need another platform,” he states, “Android is free and open; I think the only reason you create another platform is for political reasons. […] I think it’s good to have the benefit of choice, but in the end I don’t think the world needs another platform.”
As said, it’s a bit sad that PC Magazine didn’t take this wonderful opportunity to ask about Google’s apparent lack of interest in standing by its Android OEMs in these dark times of patent trolling by companies like Microsoft and Apple. I really wish modern technology media were a little less afraid to ask the real questions, but alas.