Android Leadership

Get a bunch of execs on stage -- Micrososoft, Google, Apple, whomever -- and people are going to try and cause trouble. Same goes for the Android team at Google IO. Asked to compare the Android "tactics and maneuvers" to the Mac-PC wars of the 1980s and '90s, we get another beautiful line from Andy Rubin (seen here at left).

"From my perspective, we're lovers, not fighters. So it's hard to describe it as a war. And you know the lover's munition? Open source."

Indeed. Look: From a business perspective, you have to consider your competitors. And Google does that better than many. But to think for a second that a major company continues to develop its entire mobile strategy in response to the iPhone is just ridiculous. (BlackBerry Storm notwithstanding, of course.) The iPhone woke up a lot of people, but it's not what keeps them up at night any more.

Check it out after the break.


Reader comments

Comparing Android-iPhone to Mac-PC wars: 'We're lovers, not fighters'


This post, and the video, really reflects a totally different mindset in the Android community.

Readers here would do well to surf on over to The Iphone Blog and read the sour grapes post by the editor on May 20th, and compare it to the whole tone of AndroidCentral and the above video.

The jealousy fear and hate that Rene displays of anything Android is just sad. It really is time for Smartphone Experts to start looking for a new editor for TiPb. You never see that level of hate on AC or Crackberry.

Lol I saW that. I know iPhone fans want to strongly believe the iPhone will always be the best, but the fact of the matter is that all good things come to an end. He'll, there was a year when Motorola was selling 100,000,000 razrs and now look, the droid saved them from potential extinction. The iPhone was revolutionary no doubt, but now the iPhone has some major catching up to do. All the iPhone really has over any platform these days is apps... Hardly an argument when you can get almost all of those same apps on every other platform.

Let the war rage on, I am excited to see microsoft and palm (now with hp) get back into this mess.

I fear that the iPhone will never be able to catch up with Android again in terms of Operating System and hardware. The sole reason for this is Steve Jobs and his megalomania. IF the iPhone were to open up like Android and allow devs to have at it then it would be a different story. Unfortunately that is not the case and assuming Steve Jobs continues with his stranglehold on everything "i" the iPhone will slowly become a footnote in the world of smartphones and mobile computing.

As for MS I would like to see WP7 come out and see how it works. Hopefully they will offer the competition that iPhone currently cannot to Android and further the innovation and development of both the Operating Systems and applications. WebOS? I don't see HP dropping a phone anytime soon. I think WebOS will be relegated to tablets, netbooks and printers.

"I don't see HP dropping a phone anytime soon. I think WebOS will be relegated to tablets, netbooks and printers."

Completely agree. I think the WebOS phone is pretty much dead.

" can get almost all of those same apps on every other platform."

Dude, I don't know...have you *seen* the incredible variety of fart apps you can get at the App Store? The Android Market just can't compare.

LOL yeah no kidding. ;-)

But he's right, most of the best apps are on at least two of the three major platforms now (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone). Apple ones tend to be the best written, but give them time and devs will get the other platforms up to the same level.

He really did sound like a complete iFool. How exactly do you open source an ad network? Fact is Google offers quite a bit of open source code. For instance thats why you now have Android running on the iPhone 3G. But they open source much more beyond Android. If you're in Java development you'll know some of their work.

And he even tries to project the closed mindedness of Jobs and his iPhone platform onto Android. Google does not stop Microsoft from putting Silverlight on Android. Its not there because they haven't ported it though they have said they might. And currently a group has worked to put the Mono/Moonlight open source version of Silverlight on Android and Google hasn't stopped them either though I wish they would.

He should really shut up and take a back seat along with his iPhone. Android has moved ahead never to look back.

I agree how do you opensource an ad network. The person pays to show their ad you show their ad? You do give developers the api's to be able to put ads into their apps, which is open sourced....what an idiot. It amazes me to see the hatred that comes from the Apple end of these things.

"Let the war rage on, I am excited to see microsoft and palm (now with hp) get back into this mess."

Exactly. I don't wish apple ill. My iPhone was the slickest thing since snot on a gold tooth when I got it. An awesome device.

But I moved on. I got tired of two things. iTunes (the software, not the store), and Steve Jobs.

Still I hope the iPhone HD (or whatever they call it) pushes the bar higher yet.

He also refers to Phil Nickinson as "General Grievous of the Android Central army."

I found that comical.

If you read his various editorials and comments on Twitter you will see that Rene is the worst kind of Apple fanboy. He is so blinded by the crApple Koolaid that he can't even accept that other platforms have different -- and perfectly valid -- ways of doing things.

Apple is all about the WOW factor and jumping in adding a few new features that just work (though not always the best implementations) and don't worry about important core features being left out because if they don't want to do them the absolute best they think they can (again in their view) because there is always next year to add more features. This is why it took 3 versions to give us copy and paste and MMS, why they STILL don't have a flash on their camera, which hasn't really changed since 1.0. Why they totally ignored the fact that AT&T was launching a 3G network and left that functionality out of the 1.0 devices to drive sales of the 2.0 devices. They market the crap out of their products and make you believe that they are that much better than the competition, even when they aren't necessarily.

Blackberry on the other hand is the exact opposite. They have been tweaking and perfecting the BB OS since 1999 when the Blackberry was a pager and email device. Now many have criticized them for their slow development (and rightly so to a degree), but the numbers don't lie. They are the number 2 smartphone worldwide in sales and number 1 in the US. Yes they have lost some of their market share but that is natural as new platforms have entered the arena (WebOS, Android, etc.) They have never been worried about the wow factor or even the glitz and polish of their OS (they leave that to theme makers) and instead concentrate on the fact that their devices are functional and just work. For example, the primaru thing that they have done in the last few years that was revolutionary is the SurePress screen which was the antithesis of what all other touch screens were, and because it was different (from Apple) it was widely criticized. Some of that was valid with the first version of the Storm but has since been refined and no longer has the functionality problems it once did. Does this mean they are done with it? Not by any means. The SurePress screen will continue to be refined with Storm 3, 4, and who knows how far into the future. To many with the Apple mindset this whole thing is maddening, but to the BlackBerry enthusiasts, we like to see continued development and refinement of our devices, I could give other examples of this but you get the idea. Blackberry is about EVOLUTION not REVOLUTION. That's their business model, and that's perfectly acceptable.

Then there is Android. Android is actually a cross between the two. Android started small and focused on slowly building a new platform from the ground up but by the time they reached 1.5 (doughnut) they had adopted a new model. One version would wow the users (1.5) then the next (1.6) would improve on the platform laid out refinement things. They did the same thing with Eclair 2.0 and 2.1, and if Froyo is any indication they will do the same with 2.2 and 2.3. They wisely -- and this is debatable -- chose to allow third parties (HTC, Motorola, Samsing, LG) as well as individual developers to concentrate on the glitz while they focused on usability and functionality. This has had both positive and negative -- I wont get into the whole fragmentation argument -- aspects to it bug Google is dealing with them.

To Rene, and a lot of other fanboys, Appple's way of doing things is the only way of doing things that is acceptable and anything else is just junk, be it Android, BB, PC, etc. He's deeply entrenched in the iPhone/iPod/iPad/Mac mythology and has blinders on to anything else, although he will occasionally let readers believe otherwise, and call Apple out on something that is just bad. This is a large reason why I am finding myself reading that site less and less.

In this editorial he clearly showed a lot of "sour grapes" that's true but more than that I saw a real fear. Rene had been playing with the beta 4.0 OS and we all know what the new iPhone looks like (yes there will probably be some changes before the final release) and overall he can see the same thing that the rest of us. Apple who has always been about "revolutionary" upgrades and the "WOW" factor isn't really bringing anything wowing to the table that Android isn't this year, add to that that for the first time not only is there a mobile platform with the potential to compete with iPhone, but the writing is on the wall that unless Apple does some major catckup Android will have overtaken them within a year if not less. That's gotta be a sobering experience for him. This has been apparent for a while now, but this week at Google I/O let's face it GOOGLE OWNED APPLE, that is like a really cold splash of water across the face.

Grumpy Phil was a like a field of butterflies throughout the live blog. As compared to other launches. IPad Windows 7 palm etc. It's weird liking your phone and being excited about what is coming next. Coming from the dark world of RIM.

This war (oh yes, it is a war) isnt really about Apple IMO. It is about open source (freedom) vs closed system. Its about how much choice we should have on a given platform, and whether or not ultra-smooth operation is worth sacrificing choice.

I think choice will win in the end. This war has already been fought by the Mac and the PC, and we all know how that turned out.

"Its about how much choice we should have on a given platform, and whether or not ultra-smooth operation is worth sacrificing choice."

Um, have you used an Incredible (or EVO) yet? You can have BOTH :-)

I am in total agreement with everyone here that feels open source will win in the end, and not for lack of apple's ability. I think if we're all being honest we can say that when it came out the iphone was one of the most beautiful pieces of gadgetry ever invented. The reason open source will win is that developers will inevitably see the benefits of a system where every decision isn't preceded by "by your leave my majesty."

That being said, good for apple if their business model continues to be successful for them. Even though Windows dominates the market, we can all probably agree that doesn't make macs "failures" and that in fact they do quite well with them. It's just that it's not really an issue of comparing PCs to Macs anymore; there isn't really one. In a few years it will be that way with iphones too, and then it's simply different classes of phone, much in the same way there are people who use unix and linux, but comparing it to windows as an OS doesn't serve much point for most people.

Googles constant anti-apple comments during the conference are unprofessional and pathetic. It's pretty obvious they feel inferior. It is also not smart to constantly mention your competitor as any marketing expert will tell you. People start wondering why you feel the need to do this.

I find that Android users are every bit and maybe more dogmatic as Apple users.

Comparing this to the Mac PC "wars" makes no sense at all.

Right... and Steve Jobs calling android the platform of porn were the remarks of a mature sophisticated individual, obviously proving a superior platform.

Give me a break.

Android and iPhone OS are just platforms, they just happen to have completely different design philosophies. I personally think the iphone design philosophy is disappointing because it treats developers poorly and in many cases punishes them for innovating, but it isn't really a reason to go all fanatical, just keeps me from wanting to write apps for the iPhone.