In a long-ranging interview with The New York Times, Google’s VP of engineering and Android godfather, Andy Rubin, talked about the upcoming Android 2.2, Flash support and the inherent advantages Google’s operating system has over platforms like the iPhone.
Rubin said the next software update, known as Froyo, will include full support for Flash 10.1. This isn’t much of surprise as we’ve already seen Adobe look for Flash and AIR beta testers. There was no definitive release window for Froyo but I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw it released next month at Google’s I/O conference. Of course, it could takes months and months before it officially hits devices like the HTC Droid Incredible or Motorola Droid.
This pace of innovation can also lead to troubling fragmentation issues, but Rubin insists that’s just the natural evolution of computer software. He maintained that the search giant is focused on maintaining compatibility across devices because it sees Android eventually living in phones, tablets, cable boxes and even televisions.
Some would say that consumers don’t care about how open a platform is as long as the apps are cool, like on the iPhone. Rubin said this makes a major difference for developers and end users alike and he even compared closed-computing systems (cough *iPhone* cough) to living in North Korea.
“We have an SDK we give to developers and when we write our Gmail app, we use the same SDK,” Rubin said, taking a thinly-veiled shot at the iPhone development environment. “A lot of guys have private APIs. We don’t. That’s on policy and technology. If there’s a secret API to hook into billing system we open up that billing system to third parties. If there’s a secret API to allow application multitasking, we open it up. There are no secret APIs. That is important to highlight for Android’s sake. Open is open and we live by our own implementations.”
[Via The Bits Blog]