updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu May 20, 2010
Google IO keynote says Jobs' vision is draconian
Android was created precisely to prevent the kind of mobile future Apple is trying to make, Google said in its day 2 I/O conference keynote. The company's Vic Gundotra said Android was necessary as, without it, too much control would be put into the hands of Steve Jobs and the iPhone platform. Gundotra didn't mention Jobs by name but left little mystery that he was being blamed for creating a dystopic mobile environment not unlike the "1984" Apple once criticized.
"If we did not act, we faced a draconian future where one man, one phone, one carrier was the future," he said. "That's a future we don't want."
Direct jabs at Apple were also strewn throughout the keynote, pointing out either policy or technical limitations in the iPhone and iPad that Android 2.2 would overcome. A new feature to push cloud data to devices wasn't like Apple's push notifications, which were made to "make up for a lack of basic features like multitasking." Android phones can also share their connection with other devices, which was shown to great effect by getting an iPad online; Apple has said iPhones can't share access.
Flash also came up, as Google stressed that being open on the Internet also included allowing effective standards to co-exist. A prominent example was a daughter trying to visit Nickelodeon on an iPad, which just shows a blank page; she asked for an Android device. "Being open means you're inclusive rather than exclusive," Google said.
Apple's iAd was already part of the criticisms, which took the form of contrasts. Google is a veteran at advertising and has hundreds of thousands of developers. It's not working with a handful of partners charging them $1 million each to participate, the company said in a clear shot at Apple's rumored costly ad placements.
Android 2.2 will have AdSense for Mobile Apps and is expected to be much more open, since it will include not only different ad types but won't be locked into a particular implementation. Analytics will be available for everyone, for example.
The tone of the keynote set out Google and Android as much larger opponents to Apple than in the past. Google is already known to have created Android as an open alternative to closed mobile platforms and to have triggered a ferocious reaction from Apple's CEO for allegedly betraying a partnership, but it has usually shied away from criticizing Apple's overall direction.