Friday, April 1, 2011

What is Google to do?

John Gruber is truly at his Apple-fanboy, Google hating best today.    Comments like:

"Andy Rubin, Vic Gundotra, Eric Schmidt: shameless, lying hypocrites, all of them."  

He pulls out many quotes from the above people about Android being Open, and is now pointing and laughing like an immature little schoolboy.  One can almost hear him yelling "neener neener neener".  It must be nice to have a blog where you get PAID to act utterly childish.  

My problem with Gruber's crowing is not so much over the accuracy of what he says.  Certainly Google is having to pull back because of the consequences of just letting Android become the wild west of phone operating systems.  No, my problem is with the vitriol, hate, and assumption of nefarious motives that is becoming all too popular today.  The same Gruber who not long ago dived into the political pool to decry violent and hateful rhetoric now employs a strategy which could be called, oh, I don't know, hateful rhetoric?

And he certainly has no particular insight into the motives of the people he rails at in his posts.  But once you've decided someone is an enemy, I suppose you are free to attribute nothing but the most base of motives.

For what it's worth, I believe that Google is suffering the consequences of giving Carriers too much power over Android.  I think they made the mistake of believing that whatever Android looked like and acted like would be good enough, that carriers would just drop it into their phones, and everyone would be happy.  Unfortunately, the vanilla Google interface often fails to wow the way, say, an iPhone interface does.  It's supremely functional, arguably more so than it's Apple competition, but it's not always polished.  So, HTC, Motorola and Samsung happily made their own variants of Android, largely by burying in a customer user interface that cannot be removed without rooting the phone and flashing a custom ROM.  Then, they try to prevent users from doing THAT by locking the phones, encrypting the bootloaders, etc.  Samsung then embarrassed Google by putting out a tablet based upon Android 2.2, an OS that was clearly not a good fit for tablets.  So, what was Google to do?

Unfortunately, they are realizing that 100% pure openness has it's price, and we Google Android fans have paid it in fragmentation, slow upgrades, carriers that want to wrest control of Android from Google, etc.  Of course, now that they have realized they need to take a little more ownership of the Google Android experience and have pulled back a bit from the big openness strategy, they are being called every name in the book, often by people like John Gruber, who has spent the last couple of years telling everyone how awful fully open Android was, and how Apple's tightly controlled approach is superior.  In short, he needs to have it both ways.  So he does.  No matter what Google does at this point, Gruber will point and jeer and laugh and mock and carry on.

I enjoy reading his blog, because really, it's an interesting psychological analysis of a fanboy who is utterly blind to the deficiencies of his own beloved iOS devices, while somehow spotting and harping on about every deficiency in those of Android.

So, John...wax on buddy.  I am amused by your posts.

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