Google?s Andy Rubin with PC Mag.com
By Ricky Mauch
- October 12, 2010
Let me first introduce about Andy Rubin who is the technology pioneer from Google and revered father of the Android. You are probably aware of Android?s huge success in the mobile market. Well, if the Android is to be considered as an army, then Andy Rubin must be the General.To know about Android PC Mag.com recently had an interview with him and maybe getting some insights from his words will enable us to appreciate Android more.The full interview that bas been taken by PC Mag.com is given following: On Versions and Customization PCMag.com: We have all these [Android] versions out there, people are still releasing phones on 1.6 ? how can you guys give developers and consumers a consistent experience when there are all of these different versions and different overlays going out there? Rubin: I think the OEMs seem to learn pretty quickly what sells and what doesn?t sell. I?m pretty happy with the pace at which we?re innovating. If we come out with a 2.3 or a 3.0, that?s going to be state of the art, because it?s going to have new functionality and new innovations that all the OEMs are going to want to adopt. The OEMs who don?t want to do the work to adopt the latest release are just going to see the impact on what consumers want. We?re actually in the middle of an interesting time because we?re actually seeing whether consumers recognize the value of each one of these releases. So far it looks like they do. So I think OEMs will adjust their strategies and their time to market for these new releases accordingly. So you guys aren?t slowing down the speed of mainline Android releases? We were at a feverish place post 1.0. 1.0 felt to me more like an 0.8 - it was pushed out for Christmas. We subsequently got it up to the spec that the industry expected it to be. We saw a rapid release cycle to basically catch up with the industry, and now I feel pretty much caught up. So any new releases aren?t going to be catch-up releases, they?re going to be releases that are focused on innovation. There?s no advantage to the OEM for using an older version of Android? There?s no advantage to the OEM of using an older version, and I?d say there?s a consumer disadvantage. On Consumers vs. Carriers People have been saying that the freedom of Android has basically meant that the carriers are free to screw the consumers. 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. 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. Every phone shouldn?t look like every other phone. If that was the case there would just be one SKU, right? The whole idea here is just to figure out what consumers want, build phones and tailor them to what consumers want. But you guys do have minimum standards for Android devices. So why not say you can?t build devices that don?t accept non-market applications? Where do you draw the line? Well, it?s tough to draw the line, and we think about that a lot. First of all, we don?t like drawing lines. We like making exceptions, and we learn a lot in the process. ? The point of being open is that I?ve given up control of what can be put on phones, and put it in the hands of everybody in the community. But when you say ?you?ve put it in the hands of the community,? what people in the U.S. frequently hear is ?you?ve put it in the hands of the wireless carriers.? Yes and no. It?s always going to be like that. I?m not trying to be a wireless carrier, I?m not trying to assert authority over the wireless operators, but I think it?s kind of like that 1.5 and 1.6 versus 2.2 scenario. I think over time they?ll learn what is good business and what is bad business. Google is a big believer in openness and openness means customization. There?s a difference between customization and personalization. Personalization is something the consumer does, customization is something an OEM or operator does. And they have to find the right balance there. Back in January, I had this really interesting talk with Erick Tseng about the Nexus One, which was supposed to offer an alternative retail model by which Americans could pick their phone and technology and carrier independently. But that doesn?t seem to have panned out. Making unlocked phones available in the U.S. is still a possibility. Whether that?s simply acquired only online or through traditional retail channels - that?s what got canceled. So we have to decide how to make unlocked phones available in the U.S. On The Best of Android What Android features are you personally most proud of? First of all, the strategy is a winning strategy. We?re talking about a platform where for the first time you can look at the code, you can inspect the code, you can see how it works. We got all sorts of valuable input from the community around security architecture and things like that. The security architecture is quite good. And it?s also a security architecture that?s updateable. We?ve been pretty good in designing the security architecture. When we architected it for multitasking and we built that into the UI, and we architected the notification manager very well so it becomes a gesture to be notified by these applications in the background. I think that all came out very well. Look, one of the things you have to do is you have to give users access to the information as it becomes available. Some competing operating systems put it all on the home screen and force you to always look at the information these applications are publishing, and we allow applications to run in the background. The notification manager is the thing that ties all of these applications together. Another cool architectural feature of the system is the blending of the Web and a native app. So we have this notion of mashups where a developer that develops an application for the phone can have the same freedom as developers that develop Web applications. And the thing that fascinated me about Web applications was the pace at which they iterate. You could develop a Web application and do six releases a day and the user wouldn?t even know. All he?d get is more stability, faster with more features during the day. Are you going to start integrating the Gizmo5 VOIP technology into Google Voice on Android soon? Well, it?s a good question. Today what Google Voice is, it?s a front end for your existing phone number, and it?s also an optimized voicemail system ? whether we actually become a voice service provider, that?s probably a question for the Google Voice team, but also I?d have to think carefully about what that means for the wireless operators, who are our partners. You wouldn?t expect us to be a voice service provider for wireless. What about video chat, though? We support video chat today, with Google Talk Video. It works on the desktop. Whether that can be repurposed and made appropriate for sipping bandwidth for mobile, it?s an exercise that?s underway. On Android 3.0, ?Gingerbread? What are some of the themes and ideas that are going into the next version of Android? More forms of communication. I think social media is a form of communication. I think you would just talk about general improvements to the platform and make it faster and more robust. I think gaming is an area that I think is underserved right now. We?re actually going through a reinvention of casual gaming. If you look at a console game like an XBOX or a PlayStation or a Nintendo, I think it?s very, ?sit down and try to get to the maximum level possible.? On cell phones and devices that are battery operated, I think there?s more kind of ?what do you do in between the times when you?re doing something?? It?s more about running a game to fill time rather than running a game to be a dedicated event. If we were to carefully look at what new features and functionalities in the platform that we would need to support all forms of gaming across the entire spectrum, I think that would probably be an interesting thing to pay attention to. I think that more blending of the Web and native is probably interesting. If you look at things like HTML5 support, more features, more functionality, our browser right now is probably one of the best performing browsers on a mobile phone. It?s the fastest, it?s the smallest. We?ll be adding more functionality to the browser to give it an updated user experience as well. Flash is an interesting issue because people have talked about it as a checkbox thing as something they really wanted. But now it?s here, and performance isn?t what you see on the desktop. Is it what people want in their mobile experience? There?s a breakthrough moment that you have when you go to a Web site and you can?t really go to the Web site without flash. So, no more Web sites with little boxes with question marks in them - that?s pretty cool. That?s pretty binary. So I would say I want Flash, period, because I want to see the full Web and not just a portion of it. And once you get the full Web there?s just some optimization that over months and years will just get better and better. I?m confident. It?s just code. On Android vs. Windows Phone On Monday, Microsoft is announcing their first Windows Phone 7 phones. What do you think of that platform as a competitor? I think the screen shots I?ve seen are interesting, but look, the world doesn?t need another platform. Android is free and open; I think the only reason you create another platform is for political reasons. Why doesn?t the whole world run with [Android]? They don?t like the people who developed, or ?not invented here,? but [Android] is a successful, complete, vertically integrated free platform. I encourage everybody to use it, but I?m also not under the impression that everybody will use it, which is a good thing, because competition is good for the consumer and if somebody has an an idea for a feature or a piece of functionality in their platform and Android doesn?t do it, great. I think it?s good to have the benefit of choice, but in the end I don?t think the world needs another platform. What Android is particularly good at that I think some of the other platforms lack, besides being open, is it?s really a platform that?s enabling a bunch of services. When we talk about the Web and we talk about mashups, we?re really talking about cloud services. The back end part of that, the services that the actual cloud offers, Google has been in that business since day zero. Search was the first thing, and then Gmail, and YouTube, and Google Talk and everything else. So those cloud-enabled services actually give the device a better experience because the cloud is doing the heavy lifting. The cloud is humming away with unlimited bandwidth, acting on your behalf. ial; font: normal normal normal 12px/20px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; ?>The back end part of that, the services that the actual cloud offers, Google has been in that business since day zero. Search was the first thing, and then Gmail, and YouTube, and Google Talk and everything else. So those cloud-enabled services actually give the device a better experience because the cloud is doing the heavy lifting. The cloud is humming away with unlimited bandwidth, acting on your behalf. So read carefully and think about it.
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