#andy rubin

Andy Rubin is out, Sundar Pichai is in.

This is a fascinating and surprising move given all the success Android has seen in recent months. I won’t attempt to speculate as to why this change is happening now — I’m sure we’ll get plenty of that over the next few days. What I do know is that Sundar Pichai, the Google executive who has been leading Chrome (and will continue to lead Chrome as well as Android — read into that what you will), is a great choice to take over.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Pichai a number of times over the years — thanks mainly, I can only assume, to my obsession with tracking Chrome in my writing days — and found him to be one of the most thoughtful and open-minded execs I have ever met.

This genuinely makes me excited about the future of Android — even if you’ll still have to pry my iPhone from my cold, dead hands.

Amir Efrati for WSJ:

But Mr. Rubin also said Samsung could become a threat if it gains more ground among mobile-device makers that use Android, the person said. Mr. Rubin said Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which makes Android-based smartphones and tablets, served as a kind of insurance policy against a manufacturer such as Samsung gaining too much power over Android, the person said. Google said Mr. Rubin wasn’t available for an interview.

I mean, how much more ground would Samsung have to gain? It absolutely dominates the Android landscape right now:

Samsung has increased its lead in Android-based smartphones, claiming 40.2% of the market in the fourth quarter, up from 38.7% a year earlier, according to IDC. Huawei Technologies Co. was in second place, with 6.6%, the same as a year earlier.

Basically everything in this article is the opposite of what Google has said publicly on the matter, but none of it should be surprising. 

Winning! Duh!

"2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that space."

That was Andy Rubin talking about Android’s tablet strategy at Mobile World Congress, as relayed by The Verge

Across all the various OEMs that make Android tablets, 12 million have been sold in total. Ever. For context, Apple sold 15 million iPads last quarter.

Obviously, Google needs to do better in the space. And they should be able to. Quite honestly, it would be hard to do much worse given the interest in the space (thanks mainly to the aforementioned iPad) on both a consumer and OEM level. But Rubin’s excuse as to why the Android tablets are selling so poorly is suspect at best. 

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Andy Rubin Didn’t Delete “Open” Tweet, Twitter Lost It, Then Found It

A couple days ago I noted something odd: Andy Rubin’s first tweet, the one in which he gives the “definition of open” (for Android) was gone. Given that Rubin had just sent another tweet updating some numbers for Android, I assumed he (or someone) deleted it. And I wasn’t alone. Several Google employees rushed to Rubin’s defense, saying he likely deleted it due to the fact that the server which was hosting the code had been hacked over the summer and the code was subsequently moved, so Rubin’s tweet was no longer technically true.

But that explanation didn’t mesh with other things I was hearing as to why Rubin deleted it. Depending on who you talked to, there were a number of reasons, actually. And there’s a good reason for that — no one knew. And there’s a good reason no one knew: Rubin didn’t actually delete the tweet.

I reached out to Twitter about this possibility yesterday and they got back to me today confirming that it was a bug which deleted Rubin’s tweet. They fixed the bug, and the tweet has been restored

"During maintenance we encountered a bug. It caused us to drop a very small percentage of tweets. One of those was Andy’s. As soon as we realized this, we began work to restore them. We were able to recover them quickly and they’ve now been restored," Twitter spokesperson Carolyn Penner tells me (from vacation no less).

She also notes this hasn’t happened before, so it was a tricky thing to figure out what was going on. So, stand down everyone. I apologize for getting everyone into a tizzy. Rubin’s open tweet still stands, even if it is technically incorrect now.

Update: I’m glad Rubin didn’t delete the tweet, because the debate rages on:

The Definition Of Open Is… Missing

Update: Stand down everyone, Twitter simply lost the tweet then restored it!

A few minutes ago, Android chief Andy Rubin sent out his 6th tweet. A milestone. Never mind that they’re all self-serving promotion with Rubin never responding to anything or really giving anything in the way of context. They’re all awesome. Kudos.

But wait. I thought this was his 7th tweet…

That was the response I kept getting after noting Rubin’s milestone. But I counted and counted again. Six.

Not so fast.

Turns out, the people are right. This was actually Rubin’s 7th tweet, but he deleted one of them… 

Interesting. Okay, so which one? One Twitter follower, MentionOnly noticed it and appropriately, Google cache confirms:

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

Yes, Rubin for some reason has deleted his most famous tweet. His first tweet! One that led to stories by myself and others. 

That tweet no longer exists. His first one listed is now from December 2010, trumpeting, what else: Android activations!!!!

Where did the initial tweet go? Who knows. But it sure looks like he deleted it. Deleted it in an “open” way, I’m sure.

Luckily for us all, I saved Rubin’s real first tweet from October 19, 2010. Find it below:

Update: "Open" has been redefined! (Though not by Rubin.) Phew. That was close.

When discussing whether or not there should be apps built specifically for tablets, Android chief Andy Rubin noted that “the Twitter phone app works fine on a tablet.”

In this case, I can’t determine if “works fine” is code for “looks like shit” or “‘meh’ is good enough”. Either is absolutely the wrong attitude and perhaps speaks a bit to why Android is doing so poorly in the tablet space.

iPhone apps running on the iPad also “work fine” but I think everyone will agree that they look like shit. If the iPad only ran iPhone apps scaled-up, there’s no question in my mind that sales would be a fraction of what they are. It’s the apps that are custom tailored for the new form factor that make it magical. 

While the ability of a tablet to run any app is a nice fallback, it’s more of a marketing ploy. It was a genius way to get people buying the iPad originally (“look, I have all these apps that already work!”), but Apple was quick to make sure that developers got on board with building custom iPad apps as well.

Again, those are the key. It sure doesn’t seem like Rubin gets that. Of course, he’s in a tough position since there are so many different form factors for Android. Big tablets, small tablets, mini tablets, big phones, small phones, huge ass phones. How does one custom tailor for all those sizes?

They don’t. 

But I’m sorry, “meh” isn’t good enough. “Works fine” isn’t good enough. 

Hugo Miller:

Direct discussions between the two companies about the future of Motorola Mobility’s patent portfolio had begun in early July following Google’s failed bid to buy Nortel Networks Corp.’s patents, according to the document.

But wait, I thought the whole Nortel thing was a ruse, a rope-a-dope. It simply could not have been the catalyst of this deal. Motorola must be lying in their regulatory filing. They were conspiring with Google for years to make Apple look foolish and spend billions on patents for no reason.

Also, the notion that Andy Rubin was brought in at the last second is bullshit. As Miller’s report suggests, he led this deal. 

The Macalope:

Somehow, in the early 1990s Apple bred a mobile technology killer robot. Cyborg.

No, wait… android. Andy Rubin.


We’re through the looking glass here, people. It was staring us right in the face the whole time. All the pieces are starting to fall into place.

OK, so Apple makes this Andyroid and, through the mismanagement endemic to the company at the time, it’s released into the wild. Years later, the Andyroid is caught by Microsoft, which reprogrammed and re-released it into the wild—but deliberately. It then gets hired by Google and acts as a Manchurian candidate within the company to funnel millions of dollars to Microsoft for doing jack squat.

Ingenious. The Macalope tips his antlers toward Redmond.

Well, OK, maybe that’s not what happened. But it pretty much worked out that way anyway.


Android chief Andy Rubin felt the need to respond to the “misinformation in the press” — meaning the BusinessWeek report from last week by two long-time veterans in the space.

Indirectly, Rubin says that BusinessWeek’s sources are lying, that Google is not (and will not) attempting to strong-arm partners into their own vision of Android.

At the same time, he also notes that they’ve always sort of done that.

You know, “open”.

The song remains the same: Google is redefining “open” on the fly as they see fit depending on their own agenda at any given time. 

It remains pure marketing bullshit.