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.