New Google Hire Tim Bray Fires a Volley in the Android vs. iPhone War

| iPhone

Software developer Tim Bray, who co-edited the XML specifications in the late 90s and was most recently the Director of Web Technologies at Sun, on Monday published a lengthy blog post explaining he accepted a job at Google and why he hates Apple’s handling of the iPhone and the App Store.

He wrote: “The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.”

Mr. Bray added: “I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient … I think they’re wrong and see this job as a chance to help prove it.”

The job in question is Developer Advocate, which he’ll handle remotely from his home in Vancouver. His focus will be on Android, and his post lists the reasons why he thinks the platform is “as unambiguously a good thing as the tangled wrinkly human texture of the Net can sustain just now.”

Lest anyone think Mr. Bray went rogue with his post, he says: “Disclosure: Google asked to see an advance draft of the piece you’re now reading ‘for coordinating messaging,’ but didn’t suggest any changes.”

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12 Comments Leave Your Own

FlipFriddle

Mr. Bray has conveniently forgotten that the iPhone has a web browser like all smart phones where he can get as much sex, controversy, and freedom as he would like. Sounds like sour grapes or flame bait. Nothing to see here.

mrmwebmax

+

There are trade-offs with everything. The tighter the control (iPhone), the more likely things will just work. The greater the freedom (Android)—download anything, different form factors, etc.—the greater the potential for problems, incompatibilities, crashes, etc.

If Mr. Bray truly advocates freedom, he should realize that these two smartphone models will appeal to two different kinds of consumers, and that ALL consumers should have the FREEDOM to select which model best serves their needs.

Tiger

He also conveniently forgets that his own new company is embroiled in a World Wide War for information and censorship, having agreed to honor one of the world’s most offensive and restrictive government’s policies and only then once entrenched (aka making money there) risk fighting it with threats and intimidation about withdrawing.

So, Mr. Bray, rocks, glass houses, and points of entry. Get back to us when Google has polished its own glass house.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

What I love about Tim Bray’s incendiary comments is that they defined you guys! Look at you circle the wagons of Apple’s message! One ideology to rule us all! Hilarious.

geoduck

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet?s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It?s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord?s pleasure and fear his anger.?

Has he actually used an iPhone? The statement is absurd.

geoduck

The more I ponder this the more I conclude there are two kinds of people. Store people and Bazaar people.

Store people want to go in pay a fair price for something they know will be good quality. Something they know will work. No surprises and if they do get burned they can go back to the store and complain.

Bazaar people want to go in and dig through the junk looking for something. They may get a better price or they may not. They may discover a gem or they may get ripped off by junk. Sometimes they get something that is good after they do a bunch of work to repair and/or customize it.

Bazaar people enjoy the adventure. They want to controle every aspect of their device. They enjoy tinkering. They enjoy discovering something that they can make work, possibly better than what’s available in the store. Bazaar people want to put in the time to achieve these victories. Bazaar people enjoy the process.

Store people want to just get something and use it. Tinkering with their Computer/iPod-Phone-Pad is not why they use them. Store people want to use these tools to do something else. Store people enjoy the destination.

I am a Store Person.

chmoulitz

So am I really supposed to believe that this piece is unbiaised, knowing that it was written by one of Google’s employee against his employer’s main competitor on the phone market?

Whose garden is supposed to be Disney-fied again?

AlaskaBoy

“serve at the landlord?s pleasure and fear his anger.?

Ya know, this sounds like my boss, the guy who pays my salary, who runs the business and is fairly successful at doing it, the one who is recognized as bringing the business, literally, ‘back from the dead,’ ... OMG ... Tim Bray had a boss, too.

The day I find myself whining as much as Timbo does, I’ll go find another job where I can correct all the deficiencies my previous boss had.

BTW, spellcheck offered up Bimbo as an alternative spelling to Timbo.  Fairly insightful program I’d say.

Since “Google asked to see an advance draft of the piece you?re now reading ?for coordinating messaging,? but didn?t suggest any changes,? am I to assume Google wants to bring “Ho House U” on-line.  As if kids don’t have enough problems these days.

Tiger

Actually Bosco, half of us didn’t even reference Apple or their policies. We referenced this guy’s somewhat maniacal rant based in some realm that he thinks he knows all or is some authority on all things Internet. None of us are that. He just loves to cast aspersions. Especially against Disney apparently. And can’t we just thank Disney for one of the world’s most overtly prurient and mixed up stars ever to grace the pages of every tabloid in print? But I digress.

In this case, we’re shooting the messenger…for cause.

daemon

Bazaar people enjoy the adventure. They want to controle every aspect of their device. They enjoy tinkering. They enjoy discovering something that they can make work, possibly better than what?s available in the store. Bazaar people want to put in the time to achieve these victories. Bazaar people enjoy the process.

You make bazaar people read like the most wonderful people in the world.

geoduck

You make bazaar people read like the most wonderful people in the world.

They’re great people. They just aren’t MOST people.

Most people don’t hot rod their car, or code their own software, or go out to the farm to pick their own produce, or convert their house to solar power by themselves. Most people want to use their tools to do something else. The car is to get somewhere. The computer is to balance the chequebook and write that novel. They buy food at the store. The house is for living in, not experimenting with. For good or bad the majority of people don’t want to revisit problems that have already been solved. They want to use the solutions at hand to go onto other things.

Most people don’t jailbreak their iPhone, yet it is selling like hotcakes.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@geoduck… You’re really comparing old people and young people. I thought it was very interesting that when the Nexus One came out, Guy Kawasaki’s teenage son ditched his iPhone for a Nexus One. The iPhone just wasn’t cool anymore. That was in January before all the “skin apps” were jettisoned. Anyway, I think your perspective is skewed by the age of people you hang with. Walk into a Home Depot or a Lowes on a Saturday afternoon. Plenty of people are plenty adventurous with their home experiments.

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