Andy Rubin leaving the Android team, Chrome boss Sundar Pichai to take over

Google has announced today that Android founder and longtime leader Andy Rubin will be leaving the Android team to explore a "new chapter at Google." Larry Page posted the announcement on Google's Official Blog, which delved into how much Android has grown since its inception and under Rubin. Google says that Sundar Pichai, who currently leads Chrome, will take over. Sundar will continue to work on Chrome as well as take on Android, so he will be taking on quite the workload.

It's a big deal when one of the original founders leaves Android and he will be missed. But it sounds like he has found other opportunities at Google that he would like to explore.

Where will Android go under Pichai? Leave us with your best idea in the comments!

Source: Official Google Blog

Sean Brunett
  • not sure how i feel about this. wondering if maybe he doesn't like the way android is heading?
  • Android has never been better, I am sure he is proud with what his 'son' has become!
  • No kidding. I'm sitting here with my GNex loaded up with 4.2.2 thinking "this thing feels like a premium device from this year ever since it got this upgrade!". It's probably not a bad idea to leave on such a high note. I'm sure the Android team will miss his direction, but if he could turn Android from 1.5 to 4.2 in just a few short years, I imagine he could do a lot with other properties of Google that have been a little ignored over the years. Though, to me, it'd seem more likely that they're working on something new and he wants to be part of it.
  • I agree. I'm also on 4.2.2 and there's nothing out there that I see that's better.
  • He is being "promoted" to a position at Google X Lab.
  • Mark it down, Rubin is going to their video content team! (just a guess).
  • People are going to read more into the Chrome OS boss taking over than Rubin leaving Android.
  • personally im not a fan of chrome at all.
  • I could probably get away with using Chrome OS at home. Work, however, is another story.
  • on my phone i use boat browser and on w7 & osx i use firefox. i just never got into chrome. not bashing it, just my personal preference.
  • It's great for people who use Chrome on Android.
    That's why I use Chrome on my MacBook :D
  • Thats funny because people at Google use pretty much nothing but Mac laptops.
  • That's true to a point, They use Macbooks with Linux or Windows running on them. Microsoft does the same thing, because it's policy to have all the laptops/desktops to be uniform. I work in IT and the place I work is anything but uniform as far as hardware and it's a nightmare.
  • I agree.
  • Chrome POS
  • They would be right.
  • Obviously he was a huge asset to the team as he spearheaded massive Android growth over the last 5 years. I'm actually viewing this as a good thing. If Andy Rubin is leaving the Android team but is not leaving Google, my guess is that something big is in the works and Andy is leading it... :)
  • Agreed. Whether he was tapped or volunteered, you can bet it'll be the Next Big Thing!
  • There was a reason behind Google hanging that Chrome Android figure outside of Building 45. Looks like we may find out the real reason why soon enough.
  • so are you trying to say they will be merging chrome and android?
  • That would seem to be the logical path. When, or if it happens is anybody's guess. It kind of makes too much sense not to.
  • Well, Microsoft is merging their desktop/notebook and phone/tablet operating systems.
    How's that merge stuff working out for them?
  • No, Chrome OS and Android.
  • I agree that it wasn't because of differences. If it was then he would probably be leaving the company entirely. My hope and vote is for him to take on the self driving car division!
  • Maybe he's going to take over the Glass project. Or maybe he's going spearhead the rollout of nationwide Google Fiber. AD based, internet and cable TV on the cheap nationwide! Cable companies would freak. Or maybe Google's going to get into the cell provider game .... Lots of possible answers. I guess we will find out in due time.
  • That was the first thought I had too...Google Glass.
  • Apple fanboys: GOOGLE IS COMING TO AN END!
  • haha
  • Here we go the first step for Chrome os and android to merge. This could possibly bring the android team and chrome team together to form one team and merge the two different os'. The question is how do they merge these two different os?
  • Eventually the ecosystems will have to come together. I want to run my Android apps I purchased on my laptop and vice versa.
  • My guess is the first step is getting them running on the same back-end for starters. Android's current kernel source version is VERY close to the Linux main branch.
  • The same goes for chrome the difference is that android runs in a java virtual machine.
  • The other question is why merge these two different os? These operating systems are both designed for completely different goals and it would be fairly pointless to merge them. Android already has a kernel and the Chrome web browser, what else can a merge add? The only way I can see Chrome OS being useful for Android is if it functions similar to Ubuntu for Android. It doesn't do anything till you plug your phone into a computer, at which point you get Chrome OS on the computer you are plugged into.
  • No, this is at least the second step. Getting the Chrome browser on Android was the first.
  • Dare I say it? Chroid or Androme!!! Take your pick.
  • He's taking over something called Skynet in their Cyberdyne dept.
  • LOL
  • Well played!
  • oh.. damn... grab your socks! and don't forget to bring a towel.
  • So long and thanks for all the fish.
  • Andy was supposedly crazy and hard to work for from what I have heard. Maybe this will be a good thing for android.
  • Not always a bad thing. Example: Like Apple or not(NOT), but I sure see the difference in quality after Steve passed. Sometimes you need that driving force to turn out a good product.
  • Maybe he was a jerk boss like The Verge talked about in one of their videos. Both Microsoft and Apple had one, and although Andy Rubin didn't exactly resign from Google itself, just from their Android team, I'm sure Google is no exception.
  • If they really do merge the the two chrome(the os) and android I could see him being in charge of the overall project. So, in a way he leaves the android team but will still be working with android quite heavily. I assume the term chrome os would disappear and the unified os will be called android or simple google OS since google seems to want to use their name in products rather than calling them android.
  • I doubt we are going to see any real change, Matias Duarte and Hugo Barra are still on the android team
  • There are just so many outcomes. Android ChromeOS are merging, Andy takes over Google Glass Project, or Andy pushes Google Fiber & TV into a great new direction. We can only speculate what's gong to happen or why it happened. Don't read to much into it and let the news tell itself.
  • its def gonna happen big year for google in 2013
  • Android has flourished under Rubin's vision... I am somewhat worried about what this change means for the future of Android. It just seemed to really be catching its stride with ICS and Jelly Bean. Also, I've seen much more innovation in Android than Chrome... granted, one is a browser and the other an OS, but I hope that Android continues to lead in the mobile OS arena.
  • I don't think we'll see too much of a difference. Android still has Duarte and Barra.
  • Chrome OS is an OS.
  • Others here have said it. ChromeOS and Android will merge into one product. It really is just that simple. Those Ubuntu guys who talked about "one platform for ALL devices" were on to something. Difference is, Google can actually pull it off.
  • A fully fledged PC based on android/chrome, to take on the macs, that would be awesome, me thinks.
  • He is maybe needing a new direction? Maybe he is burned out. My guess is he will be doing something completely different. Just my opinion but keep that chrome away from my Jellybeans cause it tastes terrible mixed!
  • I'm still mad that I saw Google now on an apple product
  • Why?
  • So it does look like Chrome OS and Android will be working together. I say Chrome OS becomes a little more popular and more friendly.
  • He's going to Motorola to spearhead the next generation of phones; true android experience with Motorola build and massive batteries :D
  • Actually, this makes the most sense to me. If I had to pick something that Google needs to turn around quickly before taking substantial loss, the Motorola issue would be it, and I would want my top "closer" on the mound. Good thought dcheungyt.
  • Android needs to expand in three directions. 1) To larger and more diverse devices 2) Off hardware and to the cloud 3) To education and enterprise. They all have roots in chromeOS.
  • 1) Android already runs on more diverse devices then Chrome OS.
    2) Mobile devices are often without internet access. I would like to keep Android functioning as much as possible without internet.
    3) The enterprise are loving Chrome OS? Any source for that? Chrome OS is a web browser straight on top of a kernel. Nothing more and nothing less.
  • Guess this means that Android and Chrome are merging.
  • As has been mentioned above it seems like Chrome and Android would merge into 1 OS. Matias Duarte said a while ago with 4.0 or 4.1 he was only 30% of where he wanted to be with Android. Some have speculated Google Now may be your home-screen someday. I like Android more than Chrome OS. And I trust Matias Duarte more so than anyone else at Google with the development of Android. We'll see what happens. I hope Duarte gets a larger role.
  • This is to accelerate the merging of Chrome with Android and Chrome is on top. But it will make for something closer to a real OS that can compete with other OS' on laptops and desktops.
  • Hopefully new blood can get this turd smelling good again. Can we get a good stable build with regular updates please?
  • Hmmmmm. Step 1 That big Chrome Android peers out of building 45 except that is
    not the building containing the Android development team. Step 2 The Chrome Pixel touch screen device is revealed. Such good hardware
    and display but it's only a web browser. Who wants to pay for this? Step 3 Jerry H from Android Central discovers Linux system components loaded
    on the Chrome Pixel---except it's only for web browsing. Step 4 Chrome OS is spotted with a message center and icons for Google
    Now...huh?..its a web browser Step 5 Andy Rubin manager of Android moving to more challenges, replaced
    with the manager of Chrome development
    ---------------- Step 6 Google I/O announces Android Version 5 with updated API's and SDK Step 7 Android Version 5.1 announced running on your phone and Chrome OS
    able to execute your phone apps by connecting your phone to your
    Pixel(sorry my bad). Step 8 Google and other OEMs develop devices with more storage and features
    able to store and run apps downloaded from the app store or your
    your phone or 3rd party vendors and voila you have everything
    wherever and however you need it, phone, tablet, Laptop, cloud, or
    local storage (my bad again)
  • Android has come a long way and currently is a capable OS. That said Chrome is complete, polished and wants for nothing so maybe its time for Android to get polished and mature. Less gimmicks and more finesse completeness.