back to article Google Android chief smacks Steve Jobs with Linux speak

Google Android chief Andy Rubin has responded to Steve Jobs's extended rant against Google's mobile OS, unloading a cagey tweet meant to defend claims of Android "openness." On Monday afternoon, during a surprise appearance on Apple's quarterly earnings call, Jobs took aim at Mountain View's repeated claims that Google is "open …

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Eh? Headline?

This is a great article - it's balanced, thoughtful and well composed, I reckon. Had to double take - good job Mr Metz, you only said cult once. And no fanboi?

Actually, in all seriousness, pointing out the difference in approach here says it all; a geek posts 140 characters pointing out how inaccessible to 99% of the population android's precious openness is, and steve jobs points out how closed the iphone is. Who's right? I'd rather walk away from the argument and work it out for myself... Keep reading product reviews.

It worries me that these expensive and powerful platforms are apparently only good for a few months on cutting edge though, according to this rubin fellow. Cmon, hold on tomyour phone for a bit, see a couple of OS upgrades, live with the damn thing and save then planet some strife. Or some junk.

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Yeah, it IS more balanced.

'...- good job Mr Metz, you only said 'cult' once.'

At time, Mr. Metz would say 'cult' so often, it would read as if he was describing the sound of a Harley idling on the street: cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult, cult...

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WTF?

Cult?

A Harley goes potato, potato, potato...

's a fact.

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Licences are still required

What use is open when you have to have a licence to use Google's app store?

What's the betting this licence is more or less what an OEM would pay for Windows Mobile?

So open just means freedom to ruin or water down Android for end users. Even when OEMs do create good Android customisations they don't share them, they would lose their USP.

So to summarise 'open' means grab Android code, play around with it. Stick a GUI on it, don't give anything back to Google. Unless you want to use the app store. Ordinary non-geeks aren't going to give a hoot about source code access.

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You don't need google's app store to run Android

Android OS runs fine without an app store, and you're not forced to use the Google one even if you use one. Indeed there are a number of alternatives such as appslib (http://www.appslib.com/) which demonstrate the point.

Google appear to be handing out the marketplace app to certified devices as a carrot for compliance. Make a compliant device and you're fully welcomed into the fold. If you don't pass compliance you don't get access to the marketplace. Problem at the moment is a lot of tablets aren't compliant and the compatibility definition document seriously needs to address this. It probably will when 3.0 rolls by but it's still a huge issue at the moment.

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Licenses are optional

Manufacturers do not depend on Google

LePhone by Lenovo doesn't have any Google Apps but it's still a compatible Android phone

Lenovo appstore:

http://www.lenovomm.com/appstore/

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Android for me

Got a HTC Desire recently. Didn't get an iPhone because I really didn't want to be locked in to Apples crazy world of insane control and bumped up prices. Same reason I never bought a Mac. And my HTC Desire "just works".

OK, I can see why people would like something that never has an issue with hardware compatibility, or whatever, but I'm personally much happier to be able to use the hardware I want, with the OS I want, and the software I want without a Big Brother standing over me telling me what I can and can't do with it.

Its mine. Back off.

As for the openess issue - Android = somewhat open. iOS = not open at all with crzy controls and locked in balls and cock and whatever. I'm sorry Apple but just sell me your stuff and then back off and stop trying to control everything I do.

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Linux

But there is a catch

I am not a big fan of apple, however, I do prefer comfort.

With android you have find an "itune equivalent app" to sync your multimedia content. Also games, apps, and other stuff is some what imporant to most of us -- time it takes to sync with itune is almost nothing compare to Blackberry, and other smart phone apps.

As for over price. Let's say you bought a PC notebook -- a good notebook would be around $750 (with matte screen). You have to spend another $100 - $150 ( a year) to keep your computer clean from viruses, malware, spyware, and other upcoming threats (not counting waste of time. OSX is based on UNIX therefore way better for the masses. Let's say you decided to keep you laptop for 3 years, the money you'd spend on keeping it clean would be almost equivalent to Mac -- not to mention the frustration.

When I was a student I couldn't buy Apple laptop so I learn to use Linux. I don't regret that for a minute. However, most of the people don't want to invest lot of time in computer, and that is why mac sales are going up -- it's already #3 in US.

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Sort of

Your commentary about protecting Windows machines is not accurate.

There is a plethora of software out there which is both free or/and open source which can be freely obtained for the protection of Windows machines.

I don't use Windows but I do provide support to those who do and continually suggest these as options to people.

Additionally debates about 'comparisons' between machines is replete with confusion, I'd suggest this:

http://www.amitbhawani.com/blog/dell-laptops-vs-apple-macbook-price-features-comparison/

as an example of the price difference.

The issue, for me, about Macs and OSX and Apple in general is that you have your dad telling you what you can do with a machine you bought - the iPhone being the worst example.

You may have bought it, but you don't own or have control over it.

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Linux

which part of

"free" as in "AVG free" you fail to understand?

also MS was supposed to release a free tool for this??

granted relying on the generosity of a single supplier is not an ideal situation, however in the given scenario you are are wrong.

now if you need to spend money to protect yourself from your own stupidity then that is *your* money to spend. and mac /ms users apparently have lots of it. and steve/steve apparently wants lots of it. a marriage made in heaven me thinks.

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Only on IOS

On OSX I can install what I want when I want and do what I want. No different to Windows or Linux (fact is I can build most linux apps from source and have them work if required)

On IOS however, well you know how that one ends.

I am hoping this current idea for mobile and desktop OSs to meet in the middle doesn't happen, they are 2 OSs for 2 very different things. That said there is room for features to swap between the 2 in places.

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Grenade

sync

"With android you have find an "itune equivalent app" to sync your multimedia content."

Come again. This is the main reason I love android.

Copy files to memory card. Check

Copy files via usb as a standard drive / mount point. Check.

Copy files over wi-fi as ftp / scp / cifs - check.

About the only way you cant do it is telepathic

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@Garibaldi

"With android you have find an "itune equivalent app" to sync your multimedia content."

Really? I can transfer media content to my Android device (HTC Legend) using Windows Media Player or (shock, horror!) Explorer - anything that can access USB removable media in fact. So, no matter what OS I'm using (Windows 7 or Ubuntu 10.04 at home ATM), I can get multimedia content to or from my Phone. Easy.

My iPod Touch on the other hand can by default only be synced via iTunes - and don't get me started on that abortion of an application, especially on Windows. If it wasn't for the inability of the iPod to subscribe and automatically update podcasts without iTunes, I would never use it - instead I'd exclusively use the dopisp plugin for Windows Media Player.

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Pint

Alternatively

Install Microsoft Security Essentials for free (http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/) and then blow the rest of the cash on beer.

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Not entirely

OSX is not open and so you cannot 'do what you want'.

There are obvious limitations. Even if you were completely au fai with BSD, there are limitations to what you can do because of the proprietary layers used by OSX.

So while you are partly correct, there is a BIG difference between GNU Linux and the Mac OS.

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Stop

Re: which part of

"also MS was supposed to release a free tool for this??"

You mean MS Security Essentials?

Yes it is indeed free, yes it works and it's actually a bloody site less of a clog than AVG. It also doesn't constantly nag you to go to the all-singing, all dancing, all paid for version. So far it seems to lack the recurring false positives that plagued AVG when I gave it house room for a while.

MS don't crow about it though or offer it as an installation option. I think they're worried about the lawsuit potential inherent in waving this particular flag.

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WTF?

@garibaldi

"OSX is based on UNIX therefore way better for the masses."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xywqv1cDH8

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BIG difference between GNU Linux and the Mac OS.

Yeah, one of them's successful on the desktop.

Also :

"Major components of Mac OS X, including the UNIX core, are made available under Apple’s Open Source license, allowing developers and students to view source code, learn from it and submit suggestions and modifications" http://www.apple.com/opensource/

And that's an OSI and even FSF approved licence, BTW.

And in addition :

Even amongst the Linux user base, and in fact even amongst the tiny vocal subset that comprises the Linux Jihad, only a vanishingly small number of them actually do OS level stuff. I'm sure it makes their geekWangs all tumescent knowing that they could if they wanted to, or were even remotely competent to do so. But mostly they don't.

And no, compiling a 'custom' kernel doesn't count.

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Go

Re: Only on IOS

"On OSX I can install what I want when I want and do what I want. No different to Windows or Linux"

Just one question: "Can it play Crysis?"

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Re: Re: Only on IOS

No it can't, but from what I can work out neither can 90% of PCs.

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Gates Horns

Same game as MS

He's just using the same game MS does with their TCO "studies". Take the worst case, make it look like that's the norm, inflate it a little, throw in some hyperbole, and that's great marketing, right?

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Same difference

"Yeah, one of them's successful on the desktop."

The best part is you're saying that entirely without irony.

Most people I know who run Macs are either:

Arty pretentious types, for whom even an Ubuntu laptop with an AMD64 is a "crappy wintel box".

People who hate Microsoft, don't know what Linux is, and like to jump from frying pans to fires.

People who spend stupid money on toys, like Bang and Olufsen hifis, because they are "stylish".

And lastly, iToy developers, who have no choice.

Believe me, it's not many people.

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Open, fragmented, covered in pie...

None of it matters if no one ever has any stock of any of these neat toys. For all this hand waving and hot-air the only thing that actually matters to Joe and Jane random is the answer the nerd behind the counter gives when they ask "what is the best phone you've got in stock for budget X?"

Neither Apple nor Google have managed to break the carriers and thus no matter who makes the greatest whatever it all boils down to “will it run on my network, and does the store I shop at have it?”

TL;DR: In meatspace, nobody cares what the phone runs, just so long as it runs and does so with a good rate plan.

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Theory fails the brother-in-law test

Brother-in-law's Sony Xperia X10 broke, as they're not making them any more he got an Xperia X10 Mini as replacement. Now the X10 ran WM6.5 and the X10 Mini runs Android.

He's rather annoyed as he's got to find Android replacements for all his software.

He's not particularly geeky but he likes his Messenger and TomTom.

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Different in different countries

“will it run on my network, and does the store I shop at have it?”

In Australia, for instance, I'm not aware of any instance in which a particular phone will not run on a particular network.

I'm not certain, but I'm fairly sure that it would be illegal for a provider to ensure a phone didn't work - give there is no real technical reason here for that to be the case.

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Unhappy

x10?

Your prother would have had an X1i, not X10.

Getting an X10 Mini (i think he would have got the Pro version, ie with a slide out keyboard) as a replacement is RUBBISH, its nowhere near as nice to hold or use, and the screen would be way smaller.

I miss my X1 a lot, even if it was horrible WinMo.

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Messenger + TomTom?

Android has turn-by-turn satnav built in and there are numerous 'messenger' type apps which will work with whatever IM system you choose, so that should take all of , oh, 2 minutes to sort out.

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not true

"Yes, Android is open source — but not entirely. Google keeps certain portions of its mobile stack completely closed, including the Android app Market and applications such as Gmail and Google Maps. "

This is just NOT true.

Those applications are NOT part of the Android operating systems.

They may be replaced seamlessly by manufacturers.

The operating system works just fine without them.

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app stores

Decent article but I can't believe that everyone forgets you are allowed to create your own app store....but with iOS you can't.

I'm sure we will eventually see the emergence of a 3rd party app store...it seems getjar.com got a great start with the sole rights of angry birds for android...

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Indeed

And it's already happening with Amazon and others getting ready to unveil their Android stores. But Steve J thinks this is a bad thing for some reason.

Look, let's use the man's own definitions. If he thinks Windows is open then for exactly the same reasons so is Android:

- they run any application you want to load onto them

- you are not restricted as to where you get software

- they run on whatever hardware the manufacturer has provided etc etc

All of which (except for the hardware bit) is also true of OS X so I see a bit of a contradiction here. And even within Apple's own hardware range there is enough variation in size and capability to mirror the fragmentation (or shall we call it "variety"?) of Android hardware.

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FAIL

Had a play with a Samsung Galaxy Tab today...

... and, er, the best thing I can say about it is, it's a bit smaller and lighter than my iPad. Would I swap? Nope. My aunt, who was with me at the time, had no trouble playing around with the iPad next to it, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab was utterly baffling to her.

The UX is *awful*. Sorry, but it really is. All those widgets screaming for attention—remember than scene in Shrek when Donkey kept shouting "Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!"? Imagine the visual equivalent of that, multiplied by ten. It's *that* bad.

Gosh! It lets me make phone calls too, you say? WHY!? Who the hell ever asked Samsung for a phone with a 7" screen? People who buy slates will already *have* a damned phone! I'm not going to dig around in a bag or satchel to pull out something like this simply in order to take photos or make video or phone calls when I've a perfectly good [INSERT PREFERRED MAKE AND MODEL OF PHONE HERE] in my pocket.

And now Google are saying that buyers of this (€699!) insult to usability should expect it to be treated as a "legacy" device in just *four months*? Seriously?

Way to completely and utterly miss the point, Google. Well done.

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Re.

Call me sceptical, but I'm not entirely sure I believe you here. Even if you did play around with one, you seem to have approached it with the intention of hating it.

But my real question to you is, what the hell has any of this rant got to do with Google?!?

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FAIL

You tried a Samsung!

Try to remember ever using a Samsung that was easy to get your head around. Yes that's right they customised it, they can do that, it's not an iPhone.

Try a HTC next time.

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It works fine as a phone!

You're thinking in the old ways of doing things. The tablet paired witha bluetooth headset is the way to go.

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Why have phone functionality? Easy...

... see all those fancy ads for iPads which show people out and about. You'll notice they can't actually use their iPad unless they're close to a wifi hotspot. If you have 3g or better built in, then if you really need to do so, you can use your web-enabled apps anywhere you can get a 3G 'phone signal. Of course, when there is a wifi hotspot handy, you can use that instead, but at least you can still use your device fully when there isn't.

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Side talkin'

"Who the hell ever asked Samsung for a phone with a 7" screen?"

I'm reminded of all the pictures on the web a few years back, making fun of that phone from, was it Nokia? People holding ludicrously large objects to their ear like a cell phone.

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Dom Joly

Comedian. Made a lot of money sticking oversized Nokias to his head and shouting.

Oh, and the occasional Apple device:

http://www.promisingsomuch-deliveringsolittle.com/ipad-and-the-trigger-happy-cold-open

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Pint

I liked my iPhone - but I like my Android Nexus One better

When I first got my iPhone I really loved it. But then I discovered over time just how costly it can be to buy everything from a single controlled market. And then there was the whole tethering issues and Skype over 3G.

I like my Android much better (at least now that I have it on stock Google software instead of Vodafone's "improved" one). Apart from being a portable WiFi hotspot whenever I need it, the other main reason is that even though I'm not hacking it - other people are. And that creates some great apps. For example: Free navigation is not available on the Android phone in Australia (presumably due to some licensing issues). But some clever developers hacked the maps app (renamed it "brut") and made navigation available anywhere in the world based on Google maps data. It works great, has voice instructions and best of all: It is free. It is not even in the Google market - you just download it directly to your phone from their web site and you are all set.

Yes - I may be a freetard to some - but so what? I've been able to ditch the TomTom, the 3G dongle and just use one device.

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it's not about users

Certain amount of misjudging the audience here on the openness issue.

End users don't really care about how open anything is.

But end users don't develop apps, dev's do.

Dev's do care about openness and this whole spat is aimed at dev's not end users.

No dev's -> no successful app store -> no point choosing that phone.

And we can see through the BS coming from Apple without help. Especially the desperate attempt to portray an extremely limited Apple product range as an advantage compared to the vast array of different sized and featured Android devices end users can choose from.

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Slight correction

Some developers care. Definitely not all. And I can't think of a reasonable way to estimate the proportions, other than arbitrarily picking whatever numbers either of us thinks will help our argument.

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FAIL

Talking about BS...

Obviously you know little of what you speak. There may be those who don't care but you can't speak for everyone, especially not myself bcoz I disagree with you completely...

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Joke

Oooh Oooh

I'll take ten billion times infinity!

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FAIL

Arse gravy

"Dev's do care about openness"

No. No we don't. Openness fetishists care about openness. There may be some set intersection there. Those of us who expect to get paid couldn't give a flying fuck about openness.

As is often the case with the hardcore freetard, your argument is one from your imagination of how things should be and does not match observation. There is a thriving developer ecosystem for iOS, and there certainly always has been for Windows.

So I'm afraid your rather sweetly naive and idealistic assertion fails the smell test.

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Why care about openness?

If you don't care about openness, then it's probably due to some combination of laziness, ignorance or apathy. None of those are attractive traits, but at least ignorance is easily addressed.

You have only to remember why RMS got so upset about closed software in the first place to see why genuine openness is important. If only the manufacturer of a device has access to the code that makes it work, then you are at their mercy when it comes to features and support. Manufacturers nasty habits include ignoring bugs or faults until enough people complain about them for it to become a block to sales, deliberately disabling features to make more expensive hardware look more capable and ditch perfectly serviceable hardware the moment they want to sell you a replacement.

I suppose you like to be treated like that.

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And by 'remember' ...

"You have only to remember why RMS got so upset about closed software in the first place to see why genuine openness is important."

... you mean 'read on the internet'.

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Alien

Why RMS got upset

"You have only to remember why RMS got so upset about closed software in the first place to see why genuine openness is important."

Um, he got upset in order to make use of all the time he saved by ignoring personal hygiene?

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Flame

Way around the point

Lots of tunnel vision there, Steve "smelly farts"!

I'm no dev but I personally care that stuff I purchase (yes, ***purchase***!!!) is open. I may never touch the source but I do care that others can so someone can tell if your smelly fart app is actually mining all the data from my phone and sending it to China.

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Enemies without benefits

Of what use was Jobs' rant to anyone other than himself? I don't see constantly alienating every other tech company over petty issues as a longterm benefit. Apple just had their best quarter ever, fully justifying their reasoning in how they make products people want, yet he still feels the need to over-explain the company's (ie: his) product rationale and split hairs. Um, we get it. Your plan is working. Bravo. Shut up.

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He just wants some REAL competition.

Not 244 Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels with Android ropes tying him down.

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WTF?

Don't be so bloody silly.

The very last thing Jobs wants is real competition. Why would he? Competition in his market area will reduce his company's turnover and profit.

As it happens, I think Android is direct competition for the iPhone, and will be for the iPad shortly, too. And I think this is good for the consumer, and for the market. But it isn't good for Apple.

GJC

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