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.



Google Now for iOS Coming Soon?


(Though I thought it was going to be a part of the Chrome iOS app. Or at least the Google Search app. But I’m all in favor of giving Now its own app — one of my favorite things out of Google in recent years.)

Update: It actually does look like it’s a part of the Google Search app in the video. And my understanding is that this is how it will work (coming up from the bottom). I still wouldn’t rule it out in Chrome down the road either.

Our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.

An internal email to Motorola staffers leaked to Amir Efrati of WSJ.

…but if you can look past all that…

Google plans to layoff another 10 percent of employees — following the 20 percent reduction last year. The amount Google paid for Motorola seems to keep going up while the value they actually got seems to keep going down.

Kevin C. Tofel’s headline: 

Finally! More devices using Android 4 than older versions

Which reads like Android 4 is finally on the majority of Android devices (well, the ones Google tracks through the Play Store). But that’s not actually true. It’s actually still only 45.1 percent of those devices which are using Android 4.0 or later. The rest — the majority — are still using Android 3.2 or less.

Clearly, Tofel meant that Android 4.0 is finally bigger than the next largest single version of Android, 2.3 (Gingerbread), at 44.2 percent. But not only is the wording misleading, it’s a silly comparison to make since Android 4.0+ includes two different versions of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean — neither of which are actually larger than Gingerbread.

(Nevermind for a second that Android 4.0 is over 15 months old and it’s fucking ridiculous that it has taken this long to get on just 45.1 percent of Android devices.) 

But I’m okay giving Tofel a pass here considering that Google’s math doesn’t actually add up either. According to their own numbers, 45.1 percent of Android devices are using 4.0+ while 55.1 percent are using Android 3.2 and below. Yes, that’s 100.2 percent. 

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.