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Andy Rubin Steps Down As Chief of Google Android

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the so-long,-and-thanks-for-all-the-desserts dept.

Android 156

Nerval's Lobster writes "Andy Rubin is stepping down as head of Google's Android division, according to the company. 'Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android — and with a really strong leadership team in place — Andy's decided it's time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google,' Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a March 13 note on Google's official blog. 'Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps.' If Rubin had any other reasons for departing, the blog posting left them unexplained. Android has been activated on 750 million devices around the world, according to Google, on top of some 25 billion apps downloaded from the Google Play storefront. It remains to be seen whether 'start a new chapter at Google' is some sort of polite corporate euphemism for Rubin's eventual departure from the company, or if he really is taking over another project or division. Page suggested in his blog posting that Pichai 'will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward,' which doesn't offer a lot about the operating system's future direction: Pichai does have direct control over three core platforms, raising the possibility that Google could try and exploit further crossovers between the three. But what form that will take is anyone's guess."

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156 comments

my 0.000001 bitcoin (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43163037)

When I am asked whether somebody should be moved from their current position, where I know they are doing a very good job to something else, which may seem to be more prestigious, I generally advise to increase their pay and keep them in their current job.

I am not saying anything...

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (2, Funny)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#43163095)

I am not saying anything...

Yes.
You did.

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43163167)

What is it? It could be a 100 different things, given what I think about people who are good in their jobs, it could be that somebody else doesn't think the same. It could be that somebody didn't want to pay more. It could be that somebody thought that the results weren't all that great. It could be that the person in question really didn't want to continue there regardless of the money. There are too many variables, so what am I saying?

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163433)

It does not matter what you said.
I merely pointed out that you were indeed saying something. Even if you were being obtuse about it.

I feel the same way about people who say things like. "You really should blah blah blah blah ... I'm just saying"
They are not "Just Saying" they are telling you you should be doing something or that they think you are wrong.
You are not "Not saying anything" you are definitely communicating.

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (2, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43163327)

Keep in mind that Sundar Pichai is the Chromeos guy. This is reason to fear.

Reason to fear how? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43163493)

Why is a move toward feature parity between Chrome for Android and Chrome for PCs "reason to fear"?

Re:Reason to fear how? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43164797)

Chrome OS, not Chrome the browser. Basically Google has two operating systems, Android and Chrome OS with a substantial overlap of functionality competing in with each other and on similar devices. It's incredibly divisive and silly and they should have merged the two efforts a long time ago.

Re:Reason to fear how? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43167833)

Chrome OS, not Chrome the browser. Basically Google has two operating systems, Android and Chrome OS with a substantial overlap of functionality competing in with each other and on similar devices. It's incredibly divisive and silly and they should have merged the two efforts a long time ago.

This not actually accurate. ChromeOS devices are actually productized within Google. All android devices are more or less productized by the phone partner vendors off a frozen code cut of the Android source tree.

In both cases, there are vendor private parts of the source tree which don't get published and integrated until the devices ship, since the partners don't want some other partner being aware of the device they are building, and want to do their own announcements.

Both groups could learn a lot from each other, but I doubt that there will be centralized development immediately, if at all, any more than I'd expect the server Linux developers to be rolled into either group, or the Gunbuntu folks (who do the desktop OS work).

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#43164199)

Yeah, Google should have snatched up Steve Kondik.

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43166995)

Steve Sinofsky is available I hear, and Stephen Elop may be soon. Sinofsky has experience in merging a mobile and a desktop OS into something unusable. Elop has experience in... um... turning around a thriving concern?

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43165163)

Keep in mind that Sundar Pichai is the Chromeos guy. This is reason to fear.

Also fear those Googlers who think it is OK to downmod critical comments. Down that slope lie the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43169251)

Actually mod abuse is lead by Googlers and Android fanboys.

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#43167761)

When I am asked whether somebody should be moved from their current position, where I know they are doing a very good job to something else, which may seem to be more prestigious, I generally advise to increase their pay and keep them in their current job.

Erm, he wasn't removed. He stepping down. Bit of a difference there. He could just want a different job.

Re:my 0.000001 bitcoin (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43169267)

The vast majority of executive moves are publicised as if they were the choice of the exec. An awful lot of them are actually pushed rather than jump.

As this guy was a founder of Android Inc, and nothing is being said about hat he's going to do next, it seems most likely he either jumped, or something has happened within Google that makes his position no longer acceptable.

It *could* be that he's moving on to some secret project in Google. But Google aren't as secretive as Apple. They'd probably say at least what area he would be working in.

Good. (2)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about a year ago | (#43163101)

I use a Transformer Prime w/ keyboard dock as my primary laptop. Thanks to a great app ecosystem, it's more useful than a ($1300!) Chromebook.

Here's hoping Pichai works toward realizing the potential of Android, and phases out Chrome as an "operating system."

All maximized all the time (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43163163)

I use a Transformer Prime w/ keyboard dock as my primary laptop. Thanks to a great app ecosystem, it's more useful than a ($1300!) Chromebook.

Can a docked Transformer Prime display two things side-by-side yet? Android's policy of all maximized all the time is one of the things keeping me on my aging netbook.

Re:All maximized all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163491)

how about this:
android floating apps [howtogeek.com]

this is a samsung only thing, but someone could get it working on other android devices:
galaxy note split screen [gsmarena.com]

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163285)

The $1300 Chromebook is merely a development platform for the future (Chrome + Android touch). Can't wait to see what they can do when its ready. $250 Samsung Chromebook - merge with $400 Nexus 10. Could make an amazing sub $500 device.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164767)

I use my galaxy s3 with a bluetooth keyboard and find that keyboard text entry hasn't been this bad since the typewriter. I'm one of those guys who can type about 100WPM with 80% accuracy or so, which means I delete a lot. This has never been a problem until android. For example I could be typing up an email and noticed I made a typo a few words back. So I hold down the backspace key to get back to that position but then the way android text input is setup it decides to accelerate the deleting. Instead of delete at a rate of characters, it deletes word by word and then it just clears all the text. On a standard desktop, Ctrl+Z would solve this, but undo doesn't exist in most android text entries. So now I've developed the behavior of holding down the backspace key for only a few hundred milliseconds at a time. Google docs^H^H^H^H drive is one of the few apps that supports undo but typing in there and cutting and pasting is really clunky.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43168381)

Good luck with that. Pichai is a way bigger asshole than Rubin at its worst.

Sundar Pichai is the utter asshole whose incompetence resulted in the shutdown of Google's Atlanta office.

--
Brandon Downey

Re:Good. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43169273)

You better hope the plan isn't to make Android more Chrome like then.

Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (5, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43163263)

Maybe Sundar Pichai will be less of an arrogant idiot about certain things:

    * Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

    * Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

    * MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

    * Maps crashes all the time. Surely you know that. Fix it.

    * Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

    * Support for unlocking and root access is still half hearted.

    * Android is not a community project. Fix that.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (3, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#43163337)

The irony level of that post almost makes my head explode. Tough Love indeed!

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163671)

That's not irony.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about a year ago | (#43163357)

Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

Is there any reason why Android couldn't be built on top of a different operating system? Does the fact that it's sitting on top of Linux matter?

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43164865)

Largely it doesn't matter. User land is BSD based. Google could potentially shift the thing lock stock and barrel to some other kernel as long as they had the drivers for the new kernel. It's sort of happened already - PlayBook OS and BB10 run a ported Android subsystem over QNX. Apps largely have no reason to even care. I'm kind of surprised that nobody has ported Dalvik and the Android APIs that an app sees and made them run over a standard desktop.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163373)

* Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

Pretending Android is Linux is intellectually dishonest. There is no reason that Android couldn't be built on top of any other kernel like FreeBSD, XNU etc...

Show me a working ROM of Android/kFreeBSD (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43163461)

There is no reason that Android couldn't be built on top of any other kernel like FreeBSD, XNU etc...

Other than that nobody has yet bothered to do it. Show me a working ROM of Android/kFreeBSD working on a Nexus device, and I'll agree that Android is kernel-independent in the same way Debian is becoming [debian.org] .

Re:Show me a working ROM of Android/kFreeBSD (2)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43164935)

Android runs over QNX, at least in the Playbook / BB10. If they can do it, there is no reason someone else couldn't. Could probably port it over to any Unix-ish kernel assuming it had the drivers to power the hardware.

Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43163431)

Just making sure that we come into this discussion informed:

Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

Home button. Or are you referring to applications that hold services open?

Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

Android 4.2 fixed that on my Nexus 7 tablet.

MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

True, I had trouble copying files between my Nexus 7 tablet and my Xubuntu laptop. But other than MTP, what royalty-free protocol for transferring files is compatible with a Windows host without having to download drivers, become an administrator, and install them? FAT over MSC, the solution used in Android 2.x, was found not to be royalty-free; Microsoft has been winning lawsuits with its FAT patents.

Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

AOSP is a Linux distribution, but it is not GNU/Linux [gnu.org] . If GNU/Linux had been marketed as RMS had suggested, there would have been no dishonesty.

Support for unlocking and root access is still half hearted.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by this? All popular Android devices, except for early AT&T devices (many of which have since been updated) and certain Nook products, have the "Unknown sources" switch, and Nexus devices can be reformatted to rootable using commands like fastboot oem unlock.

Android is not a community project.

In what way?

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163765)

The move away from using USB mass storage has nothing to do with FAT patents; you can't have the Android device and the USB host access the block storage at the same time with USB mass storage, and you can with MTP.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#43164839)

Bullshit.

There's no technical reason why a powered-on Android device can't present sections of the filesystem as USB mass storage.

My digital camera does it all the time as do countless NAT/USB file server devices.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (2)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#43165057)

You can't take pictures with your camera while it is USB mode. Which is the problem. Your phone shouldn't suddenly become a brick just because you plugged it into a computer like your camera does.

There is a very real technical problem with USB mass storage. This was explained by Android engineers before as well.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#43165461)

Actually, I can shoot while plugged in. I can even switch my camera into a direct streaming mode.

The Android team can write a interface layer so that the contents of the device appear as a mass storage device. It wouldn't be the same thing as direct hardware access to the file storage, but it's certainly possible without introducing a new filesystem format.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (4, Informative)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#43165641)

The Android team can write a interface layer so that the contents of the device appear as a mass storage device. It wouldn't be the same thing as direct hardware access to the file storage, but it's certainly possible without introducing a new filesystem format.

No you can't, because the host OS does this thing called "caching". That is simply not technically doable. And just to be clear, USB mass storage exposes a block level device - not a file system or anything like that. USB mass storage simply does not allow concurrent access to the underlying storage, it just doesn't. Flat out impossible.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43167839)

Right, you can't disable caching for specific mounts or anything.

It is doable, it has been done by others, it is non-trivial, and not REALLY that important.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43163841)

Using the home button does not end the app, it's still running in the background using memory. I think OP might have meant "exit" to mean an easy way to exit the app that also 'force stops' it. A feature most apps do not do and one that I would welcome, since it's an unwanted set of taps (settings / apps / force stop).

Also on my 'grinds my gears' list are apps that reactivate themselves after being force stopped. Those I usually uninstall.

Cached applications in Android (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43163993)

Using the home button does not end the app, it's still running in the background using memory.

So I close Firefox on my GNU/Linux laptop. When I open it again, it hardly accesses the disk at all; that's because Firefox is still present in the disk cache using memory. Likewise, in Android, when the user switches away from a particular application's activity, Android keeps the application in a "cached" state until another process needs the RAM, assuming that the user is likely to return to the application. It's like the early controversy over SuperFetch in Windows Vista and Windows 7: What use is RAM if you're not using it? Or are you assuming that a device can cut power to half the RAM?

Also on my 'grinds my gears' list are apps that reactivate themselves after being force stopped.

Including applications associated with background services that other applications use, or applications that receive notifications as part of doing their job?

Re:Cached applications in Android (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43169345)

Android keeps the application in a "cached" state until another process needs the RAM, assuming that the user is likely to return to the application.

But it's not in a cached state, is it? It's in a running in the background state. Often slowing the device down.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about a year ago | (#43164119)

And why do you want it to 'force stop'? You do know Android is smart enough to free up RAM and the like when needed, right?

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164203)

You do know Android is smart enough to free up RAM and the like when needed, right?

Yes, like when I flick back to my browser ( after reading an e-mail ) and it has been killed by the OS. It then tries to reload all the tabs it has open, but no longer has a network connection.

What genius thought that was 'smart enough'? Kill the useless text to speech service, or the Gmail service I never use, but not my browser.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43164475)

Not being a super computer geek, I really don't claim geek knowledge here, but when I leave a room and turn off the light, I expect the light to stay off (I'm old school that way). Any app shouldn't be able to 'talk' to the internet unless I allow it to (Happy to have 'DroidWall' for my rooted tablet for that reason). Obvious slowdowns will occur when too many background apps are running.

And is asking for control over 'permissions' too crazy to want to have? If denying a permission breaks the app, I would re-enable it. I thought the whole idea of Android over Apple was having more control over the device.

I've had Android devices for about a year now, if I sound naive, I am, still learning about all this.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43165079)

And why do you want it to 'force stop'? You do know Android is smart enough to free up RAM and the like when needed, right?

No, definitely not reliably. If I do not kill running apps long enough, my Samsung Galaxy s3 becomes unstable. I have to either kill useless apps or restart the phone approximately once a week.

I also encountered "not enough memory" message when starting up app that takes a lot of memory. Killing running apps was solution.

Android kills closed apps automatically (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43166143)

[On] my Samsung Galaxy s3 [...] I also encountered "not enough memory" message when starting up app that takes a lot of memory. Killing running apps was solution.

I haven't seen that happen on my Nexus 7 tablet. Android is supposed to automatically kill applications that have no visible activities or running services. Perhaps Samsung screwed something up with TouchWiz. One more reason to stick with mostly stock Android (Nexus or CM), I guess.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164349)

Press the "switch apps" button and it will show a list of recent apps. Grab one and swipe it sideways off the list. This will forceclose the app. (Android 4.0+, of course, but come on, it's 2013 already).

I do this when a game in the background is still using enough CPU to kill the battery. Dammit, Jet Set Radio, I don't want to remove you from my phone but you need to shape up!

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43164543)

Press the "switch apps" button and it will show a list of recent apps. Grab one and swipe it sideways off the list. This will forceclose the app. (Android 4.0+, of course, but come on, it's 2013 already).

I do this when a game in the background is still using enough CPU to kill the battery. Dammit, Jet Set Radio, I don't want to remove you from my phone but you need to shape up!

Thanks AC, that works great! :-)

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43169185)

(Replying to self), actually the 'switch apps' swipe does not forceclose the app.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164561)

Just swipe the app to the right in the list of all running apps and voila, app stopped. That standard enough for you?

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43165035)

Just swipe the app to the right in the list of all running apps and voila, app stopped.

So I look in settings under "apps" and "running". I see Google maps running (one app, one process started by the app). Now I press the "running apps" button and, my goodness, no Google Maps in the list of running apps, nothing to swipe. Ahem.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43166105)

Some of the built in Google apps do that, no expert am I with Android, one year in newbie, but some Google core apps offer a "Service" to other apps, but the full app is not running, just the service.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#43167803)

Using the home button does not end the app, it's still running in the background using memory. I think OP might have meant "exit" to mean an easy way to exit the app that also 'force stops' it.

Hi,

That's what the back button does.

Judging from the OP's woefully inaccurate and froth laden post I doubt he wants a solution, or even has used Android.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43169225)

Sometimes the 'back' button is disabled by the app, that's when 'home' is needed (then I need to go to ''applications / app / forcestop''. Android still gives you far more control than Apple, it's these little problems that, if they can be addressed, would give a more satisfactory 'user experience'.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43169375)

That's what the back button does.

You're kidding? The back button is used to navigate the hierarchy within the app, then (on some apps) quits right out of the app, right back to the home screen? Like if a DOS app that quit of you pressed ESC too many times? Or a web browser that quit if you pressed back when you've already got back to your home-page on the web.

If that's what you mean, that sounds really shit.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164215)

True, I had trouble copying files between my Nexus 7 tablet and my Xubuntu laptop. But other than MTP, what royalty-free protocol for transferring files is compatible with a Windows host without having to download drivers, become an administrator, and install them? FAT over MSC, the solution used in Android 2.x, was found not to be royalty-free; Microsoft has been winning lawsuits with its FAT patents.

FAT32 also has many limitations, like 4GB file barrier. They could have used ext4, but it would have required a driver on Windows. Anyways, they need a protocol which allow both the phone and the computer to access files at the same time. Mass storage device is perfect for a dumb device such as USB thumb drive but is not appropriate for a smartphone.

The other option I see is running a samba server on the phone. There is already IP connectivity (for tethering) so that would be simple. But that wouldn't automatically add an icon to "my computer" so it's not average joe-proof.

Or even a Samba client (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43166169)

The other option I see is running a samba server on the phone.

I ended up running a file manager with a Samba client on my Nexus 7 and running a Samba server on my laptop.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43164535)

MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

True, I had trouble copying files between my Nexus 7 tablet and my Xubuntu laptop. But other than MTP, what royalty-free protocol for transferring files is compatible with a Windows host without having to download drivers, become an administrator, and install them? FAT over MSC, the solution used in Android 2.x, was found not to be royalty-free; Microsoft has been winning lawsuits with its FAT patents.

The problem is NOT MTP. It's Android's implementation of MTP. Lots of things used MTP before (it's been around for years). And it worked fine then and works fine now.

I know a developer who worked on getting MTP working for a device using Android - he's been cursing the Android implementation because it implements the barest of the bare minimum to work - it doesn't support many features, and even doing things in the wrong order crashes it.

He's probably spent months writing a client that actually works decently with Android over MTP. Works fine on other MTP implementations, but plug in Android and things go wonky.

Its coded against Windows' MTP support. Use anything else and it breaks easily. Even Windows probably breaks, just Microsoft coded it to be robust enough to handle common faults without crashing. But I know if I don't wait for Windows to finish enumerating everything over MTP, the Android MTP gets in a weird state and you have unplug/plug to kick it.

I wouldn't be surprised that other MTP implementations have run into serious issues with it. Android's just horrible at MTP.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#43164661)

MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

True, I had trouble copying files between my Nexus 7 tablet and my Xubuntu laptop. But other than MTP, what royalty-free protocol for transferring files is compatible with a Windows host without having to download drivers, become an administrator, and install them? FAT over MSC, the solution used in Android 2.x, was found not to be royalty-free; Microsoft has been winning lawsuits with its FAT patents.

How about a nice Samba server? Windows, Linux and Mac all support them. You can even copy media file over Wifi.

Re:Quit, landscape, MTP, Linux, root (1)

jrumney (197329) | about a year ago | (#43166183)

FAT over MSC, the solution used in Android 2.x, was found not to be royalty-free; Microsoft has been winning lawsuits with its FAT patents.

Which lawsuits did Microsoft ever win? There were a lot of settlements, involving a whole suite of unidentified patents that might have included the remaining valid VFAT patent (which expires in a couple of months time), but did any of the cases ever get to court?

Microsoft v. TomTom as well as a German case (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43166321)

Which lawsuits did Microsoft ever win?

Microsoft v. TomTom was taken to U.S. court and the International Trade Commission but was settled. A separate case in Germany [swpat.org] resulted in a win for Microsoft at the German Supreme Court.

Re:Microsoft v. TomTom as well as a German case (1)

jrumney (197329) | about a year ago | (#43167779)

In the Tom Tom case, the case was settled without a decision from the court on which patents (if any) Tom Tom were in violation of. In the German case, Microsoft successfully overturned on appeal an anulment of their patent. This is different from deciding that the implementation in Android (or any other system) is in violation of this patent (which will expire in the US in 17 days from now, and in Europe in another year).

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163871)

Maps crashes all the time.

Maps almost never crashes on me. And I use it a lot.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#43163963)

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

Not a problem since 4.1.2

MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

I have to admit, I had nothing but grief because of MTP. It works with my Windows 7 laptop, but not with any other of my computers. And even when it works, it works poorly.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#43164555)

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

Not a problem since 4.1.2

probably referring to nexus phones, including the new n4, which do not rotate the home screen.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#43167187)

Indeed - I made the (wrong) assumption we've been talking about the Nexus 7. A huge number of my friends has it, and so do I. My bad for ass-u-ming.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43165081)

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

Not a problem since 4.1.2

Not correct. For some addle-brained reason, Google still locks the homescreen to portrait on the Nexus 4. Which I tend to use in landscape mode about 80% of the time. It's just stupid, and may I say it, embarrassing if that hipster chick over there happens to look at my screen when it's sideways.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about a year ago | (#43163985)

I'd settle for docs that don't read like they were written by the people who wrote the code, and any attention at all paid to their bugtracker.

Getting rid of the goddamn stupid always-on-screen home and back buttons would be great, too. They're a usability nightmare. Go back to physical buttons, or some solution that doesn't cause so many accidental presses while also wasting screen real estate.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43165097)

Not to mention, provide an actual full screen mode for games. I don't know how many times I've drained a ball in pinball because I got a home screen instead of a flip.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about a year ago | (#43165409)

My phone's running 2.3, but it's got touch-sensitive areas under the glass to represent the system buttons, and I hit 'em by accident all the damn time. Add some extra and very much undesirable challenge to Fruit Ninja.

Hell, I occasionally manage to hit the button on my iPad Mini and back out of the book I'm reading or whatever, so I can imagine how much more frustrating a Nexus 7 would be. We've got several 4.x devices where I work, and as far as complaints about the OS from a user's perspective, those buttons are at the top of the list for the guys who have to use them often.

It doesn't help that Android apps tend to be even worse than iOS apps about consistently recovering their state when you briefly pop out of them like that, either.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

chowdahhead (1618447) | about a year ago | (#43164217)

*There is a standard way to exit...it's called the home button. Really.

*There could be an option to unlock the homescreen orientation, but only you and a hand-full of people would probably notice. Really.

*MTP sucks...I'll give you that, though the monolithic data partition was the right thing to do. Something like Airdroid is probably the way to go. It's fast enough for most things over wifi, and if you use USB tethering with it, you can tranfer gigabytes in minutes. QtADB isn't bad either.

*I think I've only seen maps crash once. Ever. Honest.

*Given the amount of time Google has spent getting the Android pieces accepted into the mainline kernel source, I don't know how one could argue that they are pretending that Android isn't Linux.

*Unlocking and relocking the bootloader, and rooting is absolutely perfect on the Nexus. Period. I'd say it's probably half-hearted on non-Google devices because that process sometimes wipes the DRM keys and you have to either flash a custom ROM or modify some root files to get that functionality back. There's nothing Google can do about that though.

*It would be nice if Google would collaborate more with the community on merging patches and bug fixing, but I don't know that Android would survive solely as a community project. This industry is moving fast.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43166229)

*There could be an option to unlock the homescreen orientation, but only you and a hand-full of people would probably notice. Really.

It's the single most common complaint I've heard from Nexus4 owners, perhaps that handful are all people I know.

It annoys me daily; the N4 is large enough to comfortably hold landscape and it works well, until you want to switch to another App, then there's this jarring moment. It's rather odd; Google have worked hard to smooth off Android's rough edges and in general 4.2 is a very smooth experience.

I shall probably install one of the alternative launchers (I've only had my phone 2 weeks and haven't got round to it yet), but I really dont see why I should have to.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#43164345)

Should I tackle your brand of lunacy?

* Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

So you want them all to work the same way and look the same way?

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

Which Nexus? My Nexus 7 isn't locked in portrait. Not since 4.2.1

* MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

It's done this way to provide a standard for all devices to be treated the same way regardless of software suite.

* Maps crashes all the time. Surely you know that. Fix it.

Not on any of the 5 android devices I've owned since my G1. Perhaps it's user error.

* Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

It uses the Linux kernel, and that's where it ends. All apps run in Dalvik. So it can't run normal Linux binaries.

* Support for unlocking and root access is still half hearted.

We have an amazing community who work for free on their own devices. Root and unlocking come soon enough.

* Android is not a community project. Fix that.

http://source.android.com/community/index.html [android.com] I beg to differ.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43164967)

I beg to differ.

The AOSP is a sorry excuse for a "community project." No forward looking development happens there, it's just a dumping ground for when Google is done developing the next revision internally, taking input exclusively from its OHA partners.

I don't foresee this changing. Google likes the control too much.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#43165225)

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/q/status:merged,n,z [googlesource.com]

Looks like there is a steady stream of work being done in AOSP to me.

If you think nothing happens in AOSP it's simply because you've never looked and you've accepted someone else's FUD at face value.

Also it's not about control, it's about actually getting shit done. The recent Wayland vs. Mir thing is a perfect example. Wayland was a good thing, but nobody is adopting it because the community is refusing to give up the old broken X11 for something better. And even still, Wayland has been in development for 5 years now - it's the same age as Android.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43165933)

Looks like there is a steady stream of work being done in AOSP to me.

If you think nothing happens in AOSP it's simply because you've never looked and you've accepted someone else's FUD at face value.

What you see there is very, very small compared to what appears with each release from Google. I'll also be amazed to see any commits or patches accepted from those that don't work at Google.

Suffice it to say, you can't build and run a beta of 4.3 or whatever. All of that is kept behind closed doors until their partners are ready to abandon their 4.2 devices or whatever.

Also it's not about control, it's about actually getting shit done.

It is all about control. Google has used their control to withhold the releases of at least one Android revision for a full iteration and I suspect they'll do it again at some point.

Wayland was a good thing, but nobody is adopting it because the community is refusing to give up the old broken X11 for something better.

Err, no. The Wayland protocol went 1.0 months back and the reference implementation, Weston, isn't ready for production use yet. Mir is the result of Canonical being full of shit.

And even still, Wayland has been in development for 5 years now - it's the same age as Android.

Yes, sometimes it takes a while to create a well designed protocol, rather than rolling your own and having to revise it again and again like Google did with SurfaceFlinger. Of course, had Google cooperated with other projects they could have had something sooner, but instead they decided to buy a proprietary project and use that.

Or hell, they could have used X11. It may have useless bits that will never see use on a mobile device but it's no slowpoke. Nope. NIH.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#43166933)

Err, no. The Wayland protocol went 1.0 months back and the reference implementation, Weston, isn't ready for production use yet. Mir is the result of Canonical being full of shit.

You say no, but then proceed to not actually dispute what I said.

Yes, sometimes it takes a while to create a well designed protocol, rather than rolling your own and having to revise it again and again like Google did with SurfaceFlinger.

Shipping something is *waaaaay* more important, a point that is ironically lost on the GNU/Linux community. Ironic because Linux itself was the imperfect thing that shipped first and has steadily improved, whereas Hurd was focused on doing things "proper"

Or hell, they could have used X11. It may have useless bits that will never see use on a mobile device but it's no slowpoke. Nope. NIH.

Nope, X11 doesn't support a hwcomposer - something that is critical to mobile performance.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43167261)

Or hell, they could have used X11. It may have useless bits that will never see use on a mobile device but it's no slowpoke.

LOL

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43165127)

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

Which Nexus? My Nexus 7 isn't locked in portrait. Not since 4.2.1

Nexus 4. By the way you don't strengthen your points at all by sounding like an ass.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164383)

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

I like it. I don't get why I would want to look at my icons in portrait mode. If I am on the couch, or in orbit, I want my telephone icon to be at the bottom left of the screen as I expect.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#43164525)

Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

no, they don't. if you use android for more than 10s you understand that you just switch to whatever app you want, and let the OS manage the lifecycle of the application. go back to windows if you feel you need to exit an application.

MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

works fine on all devices i've ever used. much better than mounting and unmounting UMS ... and accessible from two devices at once.

Maps crashes all the time. Surely you know that. Fix it.

i can't recall maps ever crashing.

Android is not a community project. Fix that.

what's wrong with it now?

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

BillyGee (981263) | about a year ago | (#43164919)

Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

no, they don't. if you use android for more than 10s you understand that you just switch to whatever app you want, and let the OS manage the lifecycle of the application. go back to windows if you feel you need to exit an application.

Except you know, all those applications that have incessant notifications and live a secret life when you're not looking, literally. Pou wants to be fed! Hey, I thought my kid exited that app...let me try...oh look, now it wants to play. Cute, Task Manager, kill kill kill. But why should I have to? Of course there isn't any way to disallow notifications per app either because that would go against the whole ad based ecosystem.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#43165255)

Task Managers don't actually kill apps, by the way. Android neutered the APIs that they were using in like Gingerbread. And that doesn't stop notifications anyway.

Oh, and you can disallow notifications per app: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/11/29/how-to-disable-android-application-notifications-beginners-guide/ [droid-life.com]

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43164927)

Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

Most apps can be killed by opening the apps task manager and just swiping them away. It doesn't work for background services which are doing stuff like streaming or downloading so in those cases the app itself has to have an explicit action. Most apps do not need an explicit action.

MTP looks great on paper, in practice it is dog slow and buggy. Back to the drawing board please.

I expect this was forced by Microsoft going after people using FAT32 in their devices. Devices which don't have an external SD can use some other FS present a facade onto it via MTP. I do think it's a bit shit though, especially for archives since they must be copied off the drive before they can be opened.

Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

The kernel is a Linux kernel, the remainder is BSD. It would be equally valid to say it's BSD really. Not that I think anybody has been hiding the fact that there is a Linux kernel in there.

Android is not a community project. Fix that.

Tell that to the XDA and Cyanogenmod developers. Both attract substantial community development support.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43164983)

Tell that to the XDA and Cyanogenmod developers. Both attract substantial community development support.

XDA is mostly a script kiddie haven, where the GPL is violated regularly and people do things without thinking much about it. Cyanogenmod is a great project, but that does not make Android a community project, which it is not.

Google would actually have to be open with future Android development for it to truly be a community project, but they are loathe to do that. It wouldn't give their OHA partners the ability to release the OS on handsets before the sources were available (not that this has stopped them from releasing handsets to customers then waiting weeks to publish sources, in violation of the GPL in may cases.)

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43165659)

Android isn't Gnu/Linux, and there are quite a few differences between the two software stacks when you dig for it.

I'm with you partly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43167537)

Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Agreed, back back back back back is no way to exit an app, the idea that I always want to move forward is silly. Sometimes I just want to say 'I've finished with this close it' and that does need a standard way.

MTP is too slow, ditch it, I just want file access. Agreed, I was shocked to 'upgrade' to Windows 7 (which has MTP support) only to find it was unbelievably slower due to the MTP than my old unupgraded XP box. MTP is the work of idiots, Android should show as a file system in Windows, (is it an option somewhere?)

"Maps crashes all the time" never had this problem.

" Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest" Pedantic.
"Support for unlocking and root access is still half hearted." Don't care, unlocking shouldn't be necessary.
"Android is not a community project. Fix that.", nah, it's got 50 large corps working on it, stuff like the Galaxy Note, Sony Ericcson widget kit etc. so I'm happy with that.

Re:I'm with you partly (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43168319)

"Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest" Pedantic.

For you, maybe. For a kernel developer, not so much.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#43167785)

* Apps need a standard user interface way to exit. Really.

Android has one, it's called the back button.

Pressing the home button pauses the application, pressing back tells Android to close it.

Applications that have a back or exit button only demonstrate the laziness of the developer who just ported over the UI from IOS wholesale and didn't care that Android doesn't have a deficiency in closing applications.

* Locking the Nexus homescreen to portrait is idiotic. Really.

How? I actually like it this way, it prevents the home screen from turning itself around when I'm holding it at funny angles.

If you want to do it a different way, try one of the myriad of launchers available for Android or maybe even a custom ROM, they're dead easy to install on a Nexus. This is the beuaty of Android.

* MTP looks great on paper,

MTP works, It works a hell of a lot better than being forced to use some flaky bit of software that thinks it knows how to manage your stuff better than you. They had to pull the plug on MSC because you cant have two devices (the phone and the USB connected device) using the same volume.

* Maps crashes all the time. Surely you know that. Fix it.

I've got a Nexus S and Nexus 4, no maps instability on it what so ever. Either this is a problem with your setup or you've made it up.

* Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

Making this statement is intellectually dishonest.

Android uses the Linux Kernel in the same way that Debian uses the Linux kernel. Android 4.0 and up use Linux 3.x. You know that Linux itself, is the kernel. Maybe you meant it's not GNU\Linux, but this is not what you said.

* Support for unlocking and root access is still half hearted.

"oem fastboot unlock" works fine on my Nexus' but it's much simpler to use something like Wugs Nexus toolkit.

* Android is not a community project. Fix that.

Yes it is a community project, if you disagree with how it's being run, fork it and do your own damn OS.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43168309)

* Pretending that Android is not Linux is intellectually dishonest.

Making this statement is intellectually dishonest. Android uses the Linux Kernel in the same way that Debian uses the Linux kernel.

Debian calls it "Debian GNU/Linux", as you know. That is intellectually honest. You are intellectually dishonest as is evident by this blatant and self serving falacy you have posted. I might go on to say that you disgust me, but you already know that. It doesn't seem to bother you a bit.

Re:Maybe the new guy will be less arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43168833)

FYI: longpress Home to bring up app switcher. Swipe app away to kill it.

THE !! BEGINNING !! OF !! TEH'S !! END !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163333)

This marks the beginning of the end for Teh Google !! The players are getting out !!

RIM---BLACKBERRY RULEZ !!

Pope story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163355)

It's a good thing they announced the new pope before this news broke...saves us from the 50 Andy Rubin is the new pope jokes...

Re:Pope story (1)

21mhz (443080) | about a year ago | (#43164911)

In other news, white smoke has been observed rising from Google HQ.

"... and we helped him decide" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163377)

People in high visibility roles who decide to move on will make sure the world knows of their intentions to leave well in advance, to squelch any rumors that they've been pushed aside.

I am not hopeful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163579)

Andy Rubin created Android. This is a big achievement.

What are the achievements of Sundar Pichai? His wikipedia page reveals nothing. He was a talking person for Google in introducing some recent new technology.
But what did he actually achieve?
He looks like a career manager, equipped with all the right tools: thirst for power, unlimited patients to sit through all the meetings, etc.
It looks like his main skill and achievement is getting to the high positions, and he seems to succeed in that.

That's why I am not hopeful for any changes in Android.

Re:I am not hopeful (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#43164289)

Andy Rubin created Android. This is a big achievement.

And may well be why Rubin is moving out of Android; he may well be moving to a position in Google where he can create new things, rather than managing a relatively mature product.

What are the achievements of Sundar Pichai? [...] He looks like a career manager

Seems appropriate, for someone whose job is managing.

With the Galaxy S IV set to be unveiled tomorrow.. (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about a year ago | (#43163687)

Are Google burying the news of Andy Rubin's departure?

Re:With the Galaxy S IV set to be unveiled tomorro (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#43167853)

Are Google burying the news of Andy Rubin's departure?

Rubin isn't leaving Google, he's moving to another project.

Android, meh. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163759)

Am I the only one that thinks that Android still seems like an amateurish hack?

Re:Android, meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164073)

Am I the only one that thinks that Android still seems like an amateurish hack?

Yep.

Re:Android, meh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164621)

Am I the only one that thinks that Android still seems like an amateurish hack?

Yep.

Hey, be fair. There are probably millions of apple fanboys who honestly "think" whatever their church elders tell them they should be thinking.

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