Android Thoughts

Cultural differences..

This one very rare tweet from Andy Rubin, lead on the Android Programme at Google in 140 characters perfectly embodies the open and geeky culture at Google. This is of course not always initially a great advantage when building consumer facing products, for my non geeks readers

“mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make”

means you can download the source code that is android from the Internet and build your own version without asking google..

If you are missing the context, this tweet appears to me in response to comments made by Steve Jobs of Apple yesterday,  but so far in the history of IT Open always beats Closed…

Written and submitted from the Google Offices, London (51.495N, 0.146W)

2 replies on “Cultural differences..”

Good article in The Register about this. It says that some bits of Android are closed, including the Google maps bit. Any comment on this?

Also, how do you arrive at the sweeping statement that open always beats closed? I can see advantages and disadvantages in both. And if the statement is true, why does closed still exist?


There is a difference well expressed I think between the Android OS and the some of the apps including Maps and GMail which come on some phones. This allows for example people like HTC to feature their own maps and mail applications.. very open ?

Ok maybe always is too sweeping, but of course it is not a zero sum proposition open and closed can co- exist as Windows, MacOS and Linux and their varying degrees of openness have done for the last decade.

However look at this pattern.

The Web replaced AOL/Compuserve’s walled gardens
DRM free files replace DRM protected files on iTunes
Linux replaced VMS/Solaris/HP/UX OS400 as the Enterprise Operating System.

Trouble is that Openness means different things to different people.

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