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March 20, 2013

Danger, Andy Rubin, Danger 2.0

When you listen to Tim Cook at Apple the next time we’re set for the Dog and Pony, you’ll hear him speak to the fact that virtually all iPhones are up to date on iOS6.  And he will vaguely reference their competitors and the wide variety of OS solutions out in the market.

That vague reference is a tacit acknowledgement. Google / Andy Rubin’s Android outsold Apple by about 2:1 worldwide. And yet Andy has been asked to move on, so the Chrome team can manage the work ahead. But guess who manages WebRTC?  The Chrome Team.

So what of Andy’s legacy besides sugary names for OS versions?

The first answer is a successful competitor to Apple.

The second answer is an OS that, like Windows with Desktops, dominates wireless devices.

The third answer is a lot of stranded product.

Or maybe not.

Can the addition of the chrome browser bring a new cohesion to the group, and if it does, will it bring the WebRTC implementation?  I’m guessing this is going to be offered.

While Android has been a scatter shot of strategies by a lot of companies, Chrome has been cohesive and it has the Web.

For the last few years, I’ve suggested that Chrome and Android were on a collision course. 

Now, with Sundar Pichai in charge of both strategies, we should check to see if the Chrome browser can find its way from Cupcake to Jelly Bean, from Acer to ViewSonic.

Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners was on Bloomberg recently and had the viewpoint that Android was really Samsung’s and no longer Google’s.  His analysis was very interesting, although I think he is misguided on the way he was speaking about Apple vs. Google. 

Tim Cook, he said, should be working on updating the software, not the hardware, and keeping iOS integrated in all devices, from the iPod to the apparent iWatch. His view was that Apple’s iCloud should be delivering awesome applications that better integrate between the functions on the phone, so if you’re driving, the system can send a message that you are running late, etc.

Then he said Android was not as functional as the iPhone.

In my opinion, he did understand how the two companies are supporting the ecosystem.  Apple has already stepped on toes in its partnerships with Facebook and Yelp, and its system makes it hard to do anything but single task applications.

Google may truly be able to accept the entire Web of opportunity.  Chrome is the answer to deliver an HTML5 / hybrid development future.  As the innovators continue to expand the capabilities of HTML5 and the inclusion of WebRTC, the app he was looking for is not only more likely, but more creative. Your phone could leave a voicemail or text.

It would be a shame if, like the SideKick, the legacy Andy Rubin built with Android does not live beyond his management. If I were Tim Cook, I’d be looking to send out feelers to Andy Rubin, but I would be doing that if I were Qualcomm’s Jacob as well.

Edited by Braden Becker
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