The brains behind Android, Mr. Andy Rubin himself, sat down recently to talk about the Google mobile operating system. He spoke to PCMag about carrier and OEM involvement of the creation of Android handsets, and the best features of the OS, and a small snippet of Gingerbread. Very small.
When asked about his favorite features of the popular Google mobile OS, he praises the strategy of Android first.
First of all, the strategy is a winning strategy. We’re talking about a platform where for the first time you can look at the code, you can inspect the code, you can see how it works. We got all sorts of valuable input from the community around security architecture and things like that.
He’s right about that one, as the strategy has been pretty popular and attracts OEMs to give the OS a closer look. Since its free, anyone can look into Android’s inner workings, nothing is hiding from you. It’s simple and to the point. He goes on to say that he’s also proud of Android’s notification manager, and I’d have to agree with him there, too. It’s beautifully implemented, and doesn’t force you to read the text or notification while you’re in the middle of something. The notification manager could stand to undergo a couple of tweaks here and there, but it’s much less intrusive than some other operating systems.
When Rubin was asked about the next version of the OS, his response wasn’t all that exciting, and actually sounded similar to when he spoke of Android 2.1. When dropping some hints about Eclair before its release, Rubin claimed that Android will become more social. Lo and behold, Eclair brought us social integration with Facebook and Twitter, making it easy to sync your contacts with their social networks. While Rubin doesn’t allude to this exactly, he mentions that Gingerbread will have more forms of communication, social media to be specific.
Rubin believes that we are in the middle of a reinvention in casual gaming, so whether or not this is a hint towards Google Games is up for debate. The reinvention he speaks of, when it comes to mobile gaming compared to console gaming, is that they are two very different things. With console gaming, you have a time and a place to play the PS3, Wii, or XBox 360. You have a controller, and need to be in the same place. Mobile gaming, however, is ” more about running a game to fill time rather than running a game to be a dedicated event.” We get it, and:
If we were to carefully look at what new features and functionalities in the platform that we would need to support all forms of gaming across the entire spectrum, I think that would probably be an interesting thing to pay attention to.
What about Windows Phone 7?
Mr. Rubin believes that there’s no need for another smartphone OS, but does think that it will only benefit the consumer since it offers more options. Obviously, he goes on to speak about the benefits of Android opposed to talking about the potential competitor around the corner. The OS provides many services through Google, most of which are cloud-based. These services are one of the reasons that makes Android work the way it does. If you lead the Google life that Android offers, it’s pretty seamless. Though the OS supports non-Google services, such as Exchange support, it may not be as seamless on a handset that’s not made from the people who actually own the service.
We’re really going to have to wait and see what Windows Phone 7 brings to the table, and see what effect it will have on Android. Some believe it’s doomed to fail, while many others (our very own Will Park included) are very excited to see what Microsoft has cooked up. I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m a huge Android fan, but I’d love to get my hands on a HD7 if I get the chance. Android won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but the interview almost leaves more questions than answers.
What I do hope is that Rubin’s words that “Android will blow your mind in the next 6 months” actually do some true. We have about a month left to see that happen.