Does Google's openness devalue Android?
1. sid07desai (Posts: 290; Member since: 03 May 2012)
I think Google's openness is Android's biggest strength. People get easily used to it. This is what makes it different from Apple.
8. disneydad (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)
I agree. Watching how my father's business info was so locked into iOS after switching to Android really surprised me. Switching between Android, WP, and Symbian has been easy for me.
23. joey_sfb (Posts: 4451; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
The real question we need to ask is, "do we want to use exclusive feature or app and become dependent on that platform?
27. MeoCao (unregistered)
Android is much better than other OSes and does not depend on exclusivity to thrive.
On the other hand iOS needs the closed garden and locked sheeps approach b-c Apple does not believe they can compete without it. What will happen if people realize they had to pay more to Apple for less? Too bad they are locked.
31. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
never take a different strategy, leave it as it is!! because this is true democracy! we do not want a dictate like rotten Apple wants us to be in!!
Do not try to spoil Google with misleading arguments!
3. Savage (unregistered)
Google's openness is both in its favor and against it. Openness allows it to reach more people at the cost of losing exclusivity.
14. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
BUT even exclusivity has its own disadvantages.. I am definitely in favour of openness of Android, you can tweak android so much according you like!! thats not possible on iOS and Windows Phone :) (exclusivity)
So I think openness has benefited Google more than exclusivity!!
19. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
is anything remotely critical of android just hard to accept?
if anything, this article is far from criticism and I think nicely objective about android…
6. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 373; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Probably not, but it seems to really be stretching hard to build up a set of downsides and presents arguments that apply, in most cases, just as well against other platforms as against Android.
7. disneydad (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)
Another excellent article Michael!
I concur with your point that needing an Android device is not necessary to experience Google features. In real world I have found that an Android device integrates much more seamlessly Google features than other OS devices do. I have a LG G-Slate tablet that integrates seamlessly with all of my business needs that are running through Google products. (Voice, Gmail, Drive)
I cannot say the same for HTC Radar running WP7.5. While there are certain features available on WP it pales in comparison to the experience on Android devices. As you mentioned, Google hasn't put much into WP because of it's market share but I don't see it integrating the same when WP8 comes out.
I think what truly devalues Android is that there is no value built into it. Marketing from Google is not extensive and it is common to come across an iOS user who believes that Android doesn't do everything that iOS does. It's not out of fanboy bias, but rather, no one has shown them the features.
10. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
"...but it could be argued that it is holding back the platform from even better growth."
Speculative. Android is what it is. Google is making the investment it is comfortable making in Android and taking the technology where it feels it needs to go. Anything else is an exercise in coulda-woulda-shoulda.
11. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4201; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Yes, it does. The fact that Google outs some of the best features of Android to other platforms makes Android somewhat less appealing to switch to. Why would you switch to Android, when you already have some of the features that Android brings? I mean, Google Chrome is out for iOS, but not Gingerbread, what is that? It went from Android 4.0 exclusive beta, and then it came out on iOS. Why not GB before iOS?
Google needs to give Android more exclusives to persuade users on other platforms to go to Android. Sure, Android does dominate market share for smartphones already, but why not make it even more so by giving Android more exclusive features? It's alright to be open, that's what Android was based on; openness. But why lose potential market share because of it? I'm not saying everything has to be exclusive, but just give people on other platforms more perks by switching to Android.
20. Aeires (unregistered)
I disagree. Let's take Apple as an example, you can use Google Maps, Chrome, and other services but you're still stuck with iOS if you buy an iPhone. You still have a grid of icons and a lack of customize features. If you buy an MS phone, you have to live with live tiles. If you buy an Android phone, you get the openness the OS contains. Google baked in the important things, things Apple and MS will likely never offer because both made their ecosystems closed in comparison. It's Android's openness that makes it great, not a map, browser, or search function.
12. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
You can actually get GOOGLE NOW without CWM recovery for flashing zips.
Simply go to the XDA site and follow instructions - you just need something like ROOT EXPLORER to help and change permissions.
42. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
which is potentially even more difficult than flashing through CWM, and is of no use to the general public.
13. blackc25 (Posts: 7; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)
Google's openness is the best part to the mobile industry and to the end users, the only thing Google needs to work on is quality control of the required hardware with their respective OEMS (What Microsoft has done with Windows 8) and to set up a stringent rule for timely updates from the OEMS.
And i wish Google operates in the same manner for its app with all the platform, never ever do what Apple is doing. Coz we are "Androids" and we are generous to all human kind and their OS.
15. ilia1986 (unregistered)
I think Android needs to market itself a whole lot more - not just as an alternative to iOS - but as something unique and even more amazing than iOS is.
The best way to do that would be to announce a new killer feature before Apple - and then market this feature to it's full extent.
21. Aeires (unregistered)
And TV ads. The Chrome and Nexus 7 ads are awesome, Android needs some of that love.
16. AlexYouOC (Posts: 53; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
I agree with this article 100%. I have never had an issue with the fact that Google is open, I love the fact that Android is the way it is. But there is no sense of exclusivity if all of the best features are just developed for rival OS'.
From a business standpoint, It makes sense. Push your product out to the masses so that everyone can take advantage of the Google experience. But as a devoted Android user, I would like to have at least 1 debate with an iPhone user without them saying "I can get that on my phone too".
If you really think about it, if Google were to soley focus their attention on developing for Android and only Android, alot more consumers would make the switch. Casual users just sway whichever way the wind blows. Let an article come out saying that iPhone no longer supports Google Maps, Voice, YouTube, Search, etc. Every iPhone user would be in an uproar.
Giving Android some some sort of exclusivity with Googles own apps and features would defintely, in my opinion, bring its value to new heights and attract more customers from the competition
18. paulyyd (Posts: 329; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)
Lololololol but watch out you're gonna get banned by michael heller
25. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
If I ban people who can't read, how will they ever learn?
22. fragmentation (banned) (Posts: 31; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Does microsoft openness hurt? What a joke Michael
43. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
What openness? Microsoft still doesn't have Office for Android, let alone Hotmail/Outlook apps, Bing Maps, etc for other platforms. Microsoft builds for Windows alone with a little bit of web here and there
26. JunkCreek (Posts: 407; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Android is Google everywhere product either. u can see it on Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, LG, Motorola, local build suc as Mito, Nexian, Cross, ect. So Android is part of Google everywhere product but it is in OS division not software/web applications.
28. lyndon420 (Posts: 3032; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
I used to agree with Google making similar apps for all the other platforms, but now I'm on the fence about it. It would actually be nice if Google focused less on these other platforms now and more on Android. Now that some of these other platforms are finally coming out with their own mapping software etc, Google doesn't need to carry them anymore in these specific areas. Apple has siri so that should be good enough for their voice actions and don't really need what Google is developing. Gmail etc is available on all the mobile browsers so that should be good enough for other platforms. Google is the king of search engines and most people use it so Google is getting their foot in the door on all these platforms anyway. Google doesn't rely on any services from any other platform, so yeah...maybe they should stop developing apps for the other guys...there is mobile browser alternatives and this should be good enough for everyone else.
29. lyndon420 (Posts: 3032; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Also...now that Android is doing so well, maybe they can look at making their services more proprietary to the hardware.
30. rudlie (Posts: 183; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
Mr. Heller, I think your point of view is still focusing at the rivalry between Apple-Google (iOS and Android) instead of the google as a company itself. if you thinking as a google itself, do you want to give up some google services market, especially at iOS user? I think you will not let it gone away. you must realized google's core business is services and information, not a product like android. google must to retain all the possibly market, so the user much much dependable on their services and information. I am not saying google actions will devalue android at all but it just giving very few impacts.
32. aoikemono27 (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
Open source has no place in a mainstream industry. It is used for experimentation and innovation, yes, and very specific applications, but that just means it works great as a science lab. Most people don't want to be beta testers. They need reliability and dependability, security, and safety. Android's hackable nature makes it a security nightmare. I know some of those kiddos who want everything free love Android, but downloading all those pirated APKs is the main reason why the apps on Android are utter crap compared to other platforms. You can never get it through their thick skulls that a developer is not gonna develop or spend quality time on anything if they don't see a return. It's a job that pays the bills. Those hobby - work on the weekend apps are just as unpolished as they sound.
33. JunkCreek (Posts: 407; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
didnt u notice, Android is going like Wndows but in mobike platform? In Windows, there are many apps and games hacked/cracked/keygened/serialed/patched for piracy. Android does the same. 90% Pc and Laptop/Notebook/Netbook using Windows Os, now Android is going to: every mobile phone asus, motorola, lenovo, lg, sony, samsung using Android as its one of core mobile phone market. So it is NOT STRANGE if Android now became the number one mobile OS just like Windows as number one computer OS. Can u imagine if all mobile phone vendor provide each their phone models for specific Os so user can install any Os they like on their phone? Hahaha, thats may be too be good to be true, but, i think Android is the Prototype Os model, remember Android ported on Nokia MeeGo phone and even kindle fire? Thats a hope and a revolutionary mobile phone/tablet could be.
36. JunkCreek (Posts: 407; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Sorry, had soooo sloooowwww internet connection, i made some correction but then it posted. use my last comment instead.
37. achangavi (Posts: 21; Member since: 25 Jul 2012)
not even a little bit.
Android's open nature is the reason that android is absolutely tweakable down to the kernel. Even with jailbroken iOS, that kind of customization is not possible. And for those of you saying that there is a risk of lost exclusivity, I have three words. Buy A Nexus.
39. lyndon420 (Posts: 3032; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
The only way I would buy a Nexus is if somebody else made it. Samsung has had enough turns now.
40. ibap (Posts: 732; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)
The only way Google's openness devalues the OS is if you believe that the more you pay for something the more it must be worth. This is the iOS approach, and plays into the hands of all kinds of branding and advertising. This is also reflected in pharmaceuticals where aspirin or generics have no champion among pharmaceutical firms for new uses, because they can't patent it, and even if it is the best option for some treatments.
41. BomberXL (Posts: 82; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)
it doesnt devalue anything.. in fact, thats what makes the Android opperating system Priceless.
44. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
So Google making apps for everywhere and not giving Android any real advantage makes the system priceless?
45. BomberXL (Posts: 82; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)
absolutely, no doubt about it. in fact the longer Google keeps its OS open source will allow for even more outside develepor involvement. When more people are involved in a project, more gets done. it took years for all the details to be put together, all the specific ideas, patches, apps, and technology to come together beautifully into what is the Android OS. When people know whats in thieir phone and what its running on, their have a better understanding of how to use the phone, function with it, and fix it if there may be problems that do occur. and if a problem does occur, what cna they do? find a way to patch it up themselves. when more minds can collaberate into a project, who knows what limits there are. So i honestly have NO idea what you mean by saying their giving Android no real advantage. Unlike Apple for example, where theres no cosumer to product development interaction. only the ideas of the same developers that have been working with apple products over the years that have been working their OS. they never get a new view or perspective on where to take the product next. When you keep it open source, and theres thousands of developers out there, you bound to get a couple GREAT ideas here and there. inevitably this post doesnt truly come down to the dollar. and i beleive eventually El Goog will be so powerful, it would beat Apple in the long run. Its already monopolizing into the hands of comsumers at an alarming rate. That in my mind is priceless.
47. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Aha, but you're talking about something completely separate from what I am. I'm not talking about Android and the code being open source. Of course that has great value as we've seen time and again.
I'm talking about Google products, which are not open-source, and are almost never Android-exclusive either. It's that anti-exclusive model of openness that I'm talking about, and how that devalues Android.
Android in itself has a certain value because of its open-source nature, but the promise of a "Google Experience" falls a bit flat when you can get a similar experience with Google apps no matter what platform you're on.
48. BomberXL (Posts: 82; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)
i see what your saying, and ofcourse they cant keep EVERYTHING open source. Who's to say their not on the road to bring their products open source in the future. ill give you one good reason its not open source... Theres a certain "Patent Pacman" running around if you know what i mean, and ideas are easily gobbled up, i just think Google falls withen the perfect balance of keeping Certain things off limits, while keeping whats most important in the hands of its users. Besides this isnt targeting the closed portion of Google, simply the "Openness"
46. AlexYouOC (Posts: 53; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Bomber I'm not sure you understand the point Mike is trying to make. Nobody here has a problem with the fact that Android is an open source OS. The issue is that almost every key feature that Google develops for Android, they also develop for Androids rivals. There really isn't a reason (for the average user) to purchase an Android if they can just get an iPhone that has the exact same Google apps/features on it. Mike is just saying that Android needs some sort of exclusivity, and I agree.