Android Boss Responds to Steve Jobs Criticism on Twitter

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Andy Rubin, Google’s Android OS chief, has apparently taken to Twitter to respond to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ accusations that Android isn’t really as open as Google would like users to think it is. Mr. Rubin’s tweet appeared after Mr. Jobs spent five minutes during the company’s fourth quarter earnings conference call criticizing the Android platform and the potential iPad competitors that will soon be available.

Mr. Rubin’s tweet said:

the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”

The tweet implies that all Android users have access to the platform’s source code via the Git repository.

While offering source code access to all Android users implies at least a level of openness, Mr. Jobs focused on manufacturers and cell service providers building their own closed systems based on the Android platform.

Andy Rubin goes command line on Steve Jobs

“Google loves to characterize Android as open and IOS and iPhone as closed,” Mr Jobs said. “We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches.”

Mr. Jobs went on to say that Android users are left to figure out how to use the customized versions of the OS on their devices, and when they try a different Android device they have to learn how to use it all over again. In contrast, all iOS-based devices work alike, making it easier for users to switch between the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Mr. Rubin didn’t offer up any code or commands to rebut Mr. Jobs’ claims that the online stores for distributing Android apps are fragmented, too, unlike the iTunes-based App Store. Presumably Google will have a response for that accusation in the coming days.

Comments

aardman

That’s a definition of openness that only matters in geekworld.  Average smart phone customer doesn’t give a rats ass about whether their phone is on an open or closed platform.  What they ask is:  Will my calls get dropped, is it simple and easy to use, does it have the apps I want, and how much?  Those questions are not answered by the openness or closedness of a platform.

Jobs understands this and apparently Rubin doesn’t.

jimothy

Way to speak to the market in a language they can understand, Mr. Rubin. 99.44% of customers don’t care if they can checkout your OS’s source code.

Mouring

Ahh.. Noticed no discussion of a “make install” equiv. =)  That is where the “Open” equation starts to fall apart. =(  Each cell phone company is starting to place more and more restrictions to make it harder to put unauthorized versions.

As a friend of mine put.. “Android is open to phone manufacturers, but in the end is closed to most consumers.”

FYI, I have noting against Droid.  If I wasn’t happen with the iPhone I’d be looking seriously at a Droid.

JonGl

FYI, I have noting against Droid.  If I wasn?t happen with the iPhone I?d be looking seriously at a Droid

If thre were no iPhone, there would be no Droid. People tend to forget that. Droid can only go where the iPhone has already gone.

vasic

Jobs cast his line, and Android folk are biting hard. They are engaging in this debate from a very defensive position. The net result is very powerful highlighting of issues on Android.

Funny thing is, his extremely simplistic Twitter app needed TWO people to test on all possible Android iterations. What happens if what you want to develop goes beyond what can be done in HTML with some basic Javascript skills? Something like a drawing app, or a virtual musical instrument app, or augmented reality app (some GPS, live video, graphic rendering), not to mention games?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Let me translate Rubin’s tweet. It says that the DNA of Android is “open”. Lots of companies are free to do with it what they want. If they do enough of the right things, Google offers its app suite and Marketplace as a reward. If they don’t do enough of the right things, Google is fine with them using the open source base. Despite all the problems this openness supposedly causes, Android went from about zero market share to kicking iPhone’s ass in about 1 year.

Your challenge is to figure out how that happened. Not Invented Here, *cough*.

Montresor

Android is indeed open. The majority of Android phones, however, are not. And to put it in parlance that Mr. Rubin should be familiar with, Android’s been forked so many times it could be used as a colander.

jimothy

I wouldn’t say that Android is “kicking iPhone’s ass.” It is, indeed, selling well, but so is iPhone, and iPhone continues to see increased sales. I suspect we’ll find that in the last quarter and this current one, that the iPhone again outsold Android. Next quarter, until the next iPhone, Android may again outsell iPhone. They’ll leap frog each other. Both are doing well, and neither is “kicking the other’s ass.”

I further suspect that the primary reason why Android phones are enjoying the success that they are is because they are available to more customers, on more carriers, but that once iPhone is available to Verizon customers, it’ll be the dominate smartphone in the U.S. by far.

But here’s the thing: Neither phone will vanquish the other. Both will continue to sell, and continue to sell well. Android phones offer features and hardware variety that appeal to some, and a few ?bernerds will embrace so-called openness and always thumb their noses at anything Apple. Others will place more value on Apple’s strengths. There’s a market for both.

Montresor

Despite all the problems this openness supposedly causes, Android went from about zero market share to kicking iPhone?s ass in about 1 year.

In spite of Android’s obvious success, I have yet to hear the phrase “Android-killer”. It’s clear what the top of this market continues to be.

CCardona

Thanks, Brad, for explaining Rubin’s tweet to us, that is so kind of you! Listen up others, Brad’s gentle humility and lack of an “ax to grind” is rare in these postings. So let’s not emulate him, OK?

“My challenge” is how to get you into therapy! Were you abused by a guy named Steve? Go pee somewhere else, it’s boring already.

Sanjay

We like Android phones because at the very least they offer very good basic functions such as reception etc and yet are as sophisticated as iPhone all that without making a hole in our bank account.

jimothy

We like Android phones because at the very least they offer very good basic functions such as reception etc and yet are as sophisticated as iPhone all that without making a hole in our bank account.

How’s that? A modern, full featured Android phone, like the Droid 2, Droid X, or Fascinate, goes for the same price as an iPhone 4: $200 with two year contract (after, ugh, a $100 mail-in rebate). Both require a data plan, which starts at $25 for AT&T, $30 for Verizon. Voice plans are comparable.

ctopher

The DNA of iOS is also open. The source code for the Mach Kernel used as the basis of iOS is available. All you have to do is modify it for your processor, RAM and peripherals and you’re off to creating your own iPhone killer!

daemon

Jimothy,

billshrink.com

Jamie

Way to speak to the market in a language they can understand, Mr. Rubin. 99.44% of customers don?t care if they can checkout your OS?s source code.

Agreed.

If thre were no iPhone, there would be no Droid

Agreed.

few ?bernerds will embrace so-called openness and always thumb their noses at anything Apple.

And, agreed.

From where I stand, there’s nothing new going on here, and to my mind, Mr. Rubin’s tweet proves once again that no, Google doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about their actual end users. I guarantee you that if they stuck something like that in their advertising, anyone over the age of 25 would scratch their heads or run in the other direction.

Lancashire-Witch

My sister loves her smartphone. 
She removes the battery in order to reset it.
Then says to me “You can’t do that on your iPhone, can you!”

John Dingler, artist,

Not sure how short the amount of time it took the iPhone to become the alternative and dominant phone to those pre-iPhone cellphones.

The current crop of wannabes, still vaporware, are not alternatives since they don’t even have Flash to differentiate themselves, many don’t yet exist as real objects except for, perhaps two out of the ten or so, most of which are promised to be released to the public at some point next year, who really knows.

What’s the deal with some phone manufacturers using the Google OS against Google’s recommendation? Geez. They seem desperate to introduce something, anything, to throw at the iPhone, I guess for a mere presence in that smartphone space. This frightened behavior by their brass seems to be akin to a time when companies were putting up a really bad web page just to have a web presence.

xX--Olive--Xx

Jobs is an arrogant assh0le and I can’t wait for all his products to fail like the iPhone currently is.  Yes sales are good now but they are on the decline and Android is on the rise.

http://www.EndUserIdiots.com

jimothy

I can?t wait for all his products to fail like the iPhone currently is.? Yes sales are good now but they are on the decline and Android is on the rise.

I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but seriously, what are you talking about? Is the iPhone currently failing, or are its sales good now? It can’t be both.

If you’re waiting for Apple’s products to fail, you’ll likely be in for a long wait. Even as Android phones sell, the iPhone isn’t failing. Will Android and Windows Phone 7 cut into iPhone sales? Sure, the former to a greater extent than the later, I suspect. But that’s far from failure.

heartfume

I have been reading the reviews about HP Slate and somehow following few links landed up on this page, it’s kind of interesting to see the posts about android and IOS seems like a war. I troubleshoot Apple and Windows based devices lately been doing some reading and was trying to understand the architecture of Android OS.

For me IOS is a PC u buy from a computer vendor for e.g.; Dell or HP they will add something to their system to make them look different for which buyer pays a premium price. Not only they tend to do that, buyers to, tend to look for some identifiable feature which makes them feel; yeah I have a Dell or a HP comp.

When we talk about android, it is like an assembled PC. You use standard parts, but you (android based device manufacturers) customize it to your own needs. Few things to notice here it costs less, gives us the freedom to customize, since it is customized the chances of it being similar to your friends assembled comp could be little slim. One will always find numerous adaptions of the same standard parts.

Ok we can get into nitty- gritty details of both OS maybe sometime later. What I?m little confused about is, does it really matter to end user what is a open source lot of people don’t even know what this crazy terms are. All they care is price and usability.

Apple’s way if u buy everything from me and be loyal to me I will give u everything u ever wanted (at premium price again) with your devices, every company wants loyal customer and they treat them special is Apple different? So if you have Apple MAC, if you have iPhone, if u have iPod, or if u have iPAD you get uniform user interface, big deal they will have to provide same user experience. Same goes with Microsoft if you use full fledge Win Os, Win CE or Win Mobile OS they will all give you same user experience on all the devices running them.
Lot of people use jailbreaking I?m not sure why if they are so happy with IOS system and philosophies behind it. Why it is called JAIL BREAKING yeah you heard me JAIL BREAKING.
Android devices on other hand don’t want you to be on aPAD, aComp or aPhone for seamless integration.

We also need to remember that we are talking about two manufacturers who are out there to sell their products. Are they out of their mind that will says hey u know what my device or program is faulty why don’t u consider something else now c’mon. A salesman will do everything in their capacity to sell there product.

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