As of this morning I work for Google. The title is “Developer Advocate”. The focus is Android. Fun is expected.

How? · Google and I have been a plausible match for a long time. Web-centric, check. Search, check. Open-source, check. The list goes on. We’ve talked repeatedly over the years, but the conversations all ended at the point when I said “...and I don’t want to move to the Bay Area”.

Then that changed. The process started with Dan Morrill who led me to Mike Winton who led me through the notorious Google Interview Process. I think I talked to eleven people in the course of my day there, failing one logic puzzle but acing the what-does-a-browser-actually-do test. Then they made an offer and I accepted and here I am. By “here” I mean Vancouver; I’ll be working remotely.

The Googleplex

Leaving the Googleplex after a day of interviewing; taken with my previous Android phone, the Dev Phone 2.

Context · I’d had an offer to stay with Oracle which I decided to decline; I’ll maybe tell the story when I can think about it without getting that weird spiking-blood-pressure sensation in my eyeballs. So I reached out to a couple of appealing potential next employers, both were interested, and Google seemed like the best bet.

On Google · It’s now too big to be purely good or in fact purely anything. I’m sure that tendrils of stupidity and evil are even now finding interstitial breeding grounds whence they will emerge to cause grief. And there are some Google initiatives that I feel no urge to go near.

But there are those Ten Things and you know, I’m down with ’em. Unreservedly.

The reason I’m here is mostly Android. Which seems to me about as unambiguously a good thing as the tangled wrinkly human texture of the Net can sustain just now. Here’s why:

  • It’s not good to be on the Net at all times, but it’s very good to have the Net available at all times.

  • Google needs, and is committed to, Android; it’s not just a hobby.

  • The Android user experience is very good and, more important, getting better fast.

  • It’s developer-friendly; the barriers to entry are very low for the several million people on the planet who are comfy with the java programming language.

  • The APIs are pretty good in my experience, and even more important, complete. Near as I can tell, there’s nothing interesting the phones can do that’s not exposed through some API or other.

  • Anyone can build any hardware they want around the Android software; no approval required.

  • Anyone can sell any program they write via the Android Market; no approval required.

  • It’s open-source.

  • The smartphone arena where Android plays is extra interesting right now, with space for radical experimentation both on the technology and business fronts.

  • The mobile space has had a huge impact in the emerging economies of the less-developed world and I think that’s just getting started. I want to be part of that story and Android seems like the right software platform for it.

  • I’ll enjoy competing with Apple.

Compete With Apple, You Say? · As of now, they’re selling around 90K iPhones per day compared to around 60K Android handsets. It’s a horse race!

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

I hate it.

I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.

The big thing about the Web isn’t the technology, it’s that it’s the first-ever platform without a vendor (credit for first pointing this out goes to Dave Winer). From that follows almost everything that matters, and it matters a lot now, to a huge number of people. It’s the only kind of platform I want to help build.

Apple apparently thinks you can have the benefits of the Internet while at the same time controlling what programs can be run and what parts of the stack can be accessed and what developers can say to each other.

I think they’re wrong and see this job as a chance to help prove it.

The tragedy is that Apple builds some great open platforms; I’ve been a happy buyer of their computing systems for some years now and, despite my current irritation, will probably go on using them.

What I’m Going to Do · Not sure yet. Obviously I’ll go on blogging here.

Are you an Android developer? Or might you become one? Or have you given up on Android? If you’re any of these, you’re a person I need to learn from. Help teach me, I’m easy to find: twbray at

A few other things are obvious to me: I’m going to have to buckle down and write a useful Android app so that I have a better feel for the issues. I’m going to have to get savvier about HTML5-based applications, because a lot of smart people think the future’s there, that the “native app” notion will soon seem quaint. I’m going to have to dig in and really understand the Android Market. I’m going to have to spend a lot of time at the Googleplex to get to know the people.

There’s nothing that says I’m just doing Android, but it seems that there’s enough Android work to keep a dozen of me busy. A couple of other things have come up in the conversation where I might be useful; we’ll see.

What I’m Not Going to Do · I’m not going to change the tone here; I admire the creamy gloss of the language on the official Google Web properties, but that ain’t me. Just like the disclaimer says, what it says here is what I think, don’t count on Google or anyone else agreeing with it or even having seen it before I publish it. Disclosure: Google asked to see an advance draft of the piece you’re now reading “for coordinating messaging”, but didn’t suggest any changes.

I’m probably not going to get much involved in the social-networking arena. I see myself as behind the pack on that stuff; still can’t explain why it is I like Twitter so much more than Facebook, and loathe FriendFeed.

I’m not going to stop liking Ruby. To start with, there are things like Ruboto and ohai-android, which I have running on my Nexus One. Plus, I never bought into the notion that serious coding requires curly braces and semicolons.

I’m not going to stop worrying about concurrent programming, because our failure to equip developers to do it right is going to bite our asses just as hard in the mobile space as anywhere else. Maybe harder, since mobiles are power-starved by definition and current data seem to show that slower many-core CPUs give you more computing per milliwatt.

Reach · We’re close to Vancouver’s excellent Mount Pleasant Community Centre and take our kids to the library there. It has good free WiFi and lots of public-access computers. When we visit I always make a surveillance pass, glancing over shoulders at screens. Some days, I see Google on more than half of them.

That, and Android; that’s why.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Richard (Mar 15 2010, at 00:32)

As an Android developer (and frequent complainer to morrildl on IRC) since, oh, December '08, it's good to have you aboard :)

As a Canadian, you could do a lot of us a lot of good by putting some serious pressure on the Market team to sort their shit out. The rant at is a good overview of some of the problems, but you're presumably aware that the Market is very limited in international support? Developers in exotic places like Hong Kong (where I live) and Canada (where you live) aren't able to sell apps through the Market, and users in those two places and many many more are not able to buy. Quite frankly, it's getting embarrassing - the paid market has been available for over a year (in some places) and it's pretty hard to evangelise to either other developers or potential users when I have to explain to them how to get round the international limitations...


From: Bob Aman (Mar 15 2010, at 00:35)

Welcome to DevRel! When you're in town for whatever reason, let me know!


From: Christopher Mahan (Mar 15 2010, at 00:39)



From: Derek K. Miller (Mar 15 2010, at 00:57)

Glad the unemployment didn't last long. Looking forward to finding out whatever prompted your raised blood pressure about Oracle. Oh, and good choice!


From: Jörg Erdmenger (Mar 15 2010, at 00:58)

Congratulations! I think Google made a wise move!


From: Roland Tanglao (Mar 15 2010, at 01:17)

Congrats! Expect Android and HTML5 questions from me real soon now :-) ! Just kidding, I expect I'll learn more from your HTML 5 and Android code (I am guessing you will open source something non trivial in the near future!)


From: Chris Puttick (Mar 15 2010, at 02:01)

If you're looking for a first Android project, we got one or two we could really do with help on. Android meets archaeology, how much more cool could there be? :)


From: GregEh (Mar 15 2010, at 02:02)

Frak yes. Congrats Mr. Bray. I will kill my iPhone as soon as feasible.


From: Rick Jelliffe (Mar 15 2010, at 02:39)

Congratulations. I think Google is a interesting company for you and it is great for them to be getting more standards-experience on board.


From: Gabriel Kastenbaum (Mar 15 2010, at 02:47)

I am so happy for you! :D

This is the best move you could do. And the best thing for Google too (i mean it).



From: Steven Noels (Mar 15 2010, at 02:55)

I see no evil in your move. :-) Congratulations! I think you end up at a fitting place for someone with your voice.


From: Matt (Mar 15 2010, at 02:56)

Congratulations; seems like a good fit!


From: Mark Murphy (Mar 15 2010, at 02:58)

I attempted to email you, per your address above, but Google says your mailbox is disabled. I'm guessing perhaps it doesn't go live until you get through Day 1 Noogler paperwork or something.

Regardless, congratulations on joining Google and the Android developer advocacy

gang! If I can be of any help, let me know at mmurphy /at\


From: Jim Harvie (Mar 15 2010, at 03:23)

Congratulations Tim! Glad to see they want you enough to let you stay with your family in Vancouver. I would miss all those great shots you post.


From: mpe (Mar 15 2010, at 03:30)

Congrats, and nice write up, though you forgot to mention the L word - Linux :)


From: Paul Downey (Mar 15 2010, at 03:49)

Congratulations Tim! I'm sure you'll have fun, and we'll have fun watching how it pans out for you.

Eclipse and Java has been the only thing putting me off developing for Android and I'd agree wholeheartedly with the "no curly braces and semi-colons", if that didn't invalidate Atwood's Law.


From: Sam Johnston (Mar 15 2010, at 04:06)

Welcome to Google! I had my suspicions...


From: masklinn (Mar 15 2010, at 04:11)

Interesting post, but I have to say this:

> The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what.

is complete and utter bullshit.

Apple restricts what can be said and done *in their closed garden store*. They have shown no inclination whatsoever to do anything about internet content (and, indeed, initially recommended that people write HTML Applications instead of native ones, without any restriction whatsoever).

Apple's vision of the mobile internet is "we give you the best browser in the field* now go and do whatever you want (*: except flash, because flash sucks)". Talking about "mobile internet" and mentioning AppStore restrictions is not just disingenuous, it's outright lying. And I wasn't expecting that kind of stuff from you.


From: rogermugs (Mar 15 2010, at 04:27)

i've always imagined working for google is like going to work for the guy everyone likes.


exceedingly jealous. and to add on to the "competing with apple" i'd like to say: competing with apple is not going to be easy. but thats why it will be so much fun.

the fact that android is the only thing out there right now that even has any hope of competing with the iphone is what is so wonderful. and imagine beating apple at some of their own game? you're going to love it.


exceedingly jealous. congrats.


From: Jason M. (Mar 15 2010, at 04:34)

Congratulations... Great move in my opinion. I'm not sure how I could've seen you take the "O" option and still stay true to what I've seen here. Good Luck!


From: Tom (Mar 15 2010, at 04:34)

Imagine you have a new priest in your church and he would state on his very first day, how much he hates other religions. I am a passionate developer for both Android and the iPhone (actually having more Android devices than iPhones) and I absolutely don't like it that a "Developer Advocate" for Android starts his first day by spreading hate for other platforms.


From: Pádraig Brady (Mar 15 2010, at 04:38)

Congrats! I've added you to the list of Open Source luminaries at Google:


From: Josef Betancourt (Mar 15 2010, at 04:41)

So, following your comments I bet that one radical way in which Apple can compete and perhaps go forward in the race is to create a version of the iPhone that is really open, i.e.jailbroken, open API, etc. This is not a new iPhone just a parallel version. This is done all the time with software apps (commercial and open source versions), though, except for chips, I'm not aware of hardware products like this.

This would allow Apple to market a sanitized no-evil iPhone and also a dark take-your-chances smut-box. Would they do this. Nope, that is why the PC is default and Macs are niche (though growing).


From: Don Dodge (Mar 15 2010, at 04:54)

Welcome to the group. It is awesome and more so with you. We will have fun.



From: Paul Osman (Mar 15 2010, at 05:05)

Congratulations! Will be cheering you on. Despite its own set of problems, Android is a breath of fresh air next to the iPhone, which reminds me of AOL back in the day (safe fuzzy walled garden in the big bad internet).


From: KeithCu (Mar 15 2010, at 05:05)

My only complaint about Android is that it used Java, and now is pushing unmanaged code, which is worse.


From: Chris Boyle (Mar 15 2010, at 05:20)

Welcome to Android! Your post is a good summary of why I, too, am an Android enthusiast, albeit only in my spare time. I've been to two of Google's developer events, and got a free Nexus One at one of them, and I'm very grateful for and generally impressed with Google's effort on the platform so far.

There's obviously always more that can be done, particularly on the Market publisher website (e.g. better stats access) and in persuading/helping manufacturers to update their firmware more promptly.

Best of luck in your new role, and here's a shameless plug for my main app: Simon Tatham's Puzzles, an open source port using the Native Development Kit.


From: Kimberly Blessing (Mar 15 2010, at 05:25)

Congratulations, Tim. As a developer advocate for Android, will you be making the rounds to companies building apps? Or at least hitting us up virtually? I hope so! Can't wait for you to get up to speed.


From: Brenton (Mar 15 2010, at 05:37)

Congrats on your new position. Not sure what they'll have you do, but I can only hope you're someone to takes usability seriously.

The android platform runs ramped with usability bugs that no one seems keen on addressing.


From: Mike Moore (Mar 15 2010, at 05:49)

Congratulations! It's always best to stay with your passions.

"I’m not going to stop liking Ruby." Yay!


From: Stefan Constantinescu (Mar 15 2010, at 05:53)

You should have a chat with the people who think Android isn't as open source as it should be. They often say that Google is slow on releasing code, and worst of all, they don't maintain it.

Once a new version of Android appears, it can be several weeks until code shows up, and by "showing up" I mean it's just thrown up on some code repository and never touched again.

This is what the folks in the Maemo, now MeeGo, community say.

Disclosure: I used to work at Nokia, not anymore, and I own a Nexus One that I've been using as my primary device for a little over a month now.


From: Scott (Mar 15 2010, at 05:56)

Congrats! I couldn't agree more about iPhone vs Android. I'm making the switch in a few weeks when Nexus One for Verizon comes out. Looking forward to having an open platform in my pocket.


From: John M. (Mar 15 2010, at 06:13)

You make good points about iPhone's lack of dev freedom, but the bigger truth is that Users love Disneyland, and Users > devs, always.


From: P. van Kampen (Mar 15 2010, at 06:41)

First of, congratulation on your new job.

As for google and android (/nexus) and the 'ten things': Please take a look at nr. 8. tells me 'Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country or region.' -- non-selectable text btw -- but not a word on whether it will ever become available in my country (nl) or region (europe) let alone when.


From: Lars Westergren (Mar 15 2010, at 06:47)

Congratulation on the move Tim.

I second Richard's comment. In Scandinavia there are loads of early Android adopters and developers. Unfortunately, some of the ones I've been talking to have gotten fed up with waiting more than a year for the full Market to be made available to us. So they have reluctantly started developing for the iPhone instead, in order to start to earning some money on their invested time.

As an end user I also get frustrated with tech sites writing about the pathetic sales numbers of Android apps. I'd happily pay for many of them, if you'd only let me!


From: Dhoughal Walker (Mar 15 2010, at 06:48)

Hey Tim!

Great to read, that you're on board of the Android ship.

Don't know what you'll doing, yet? My proposal: Be the first to develop an app, with which one can synchronize PC/Mac address books and calendars with Android handhelds without using Google.




From: Michel S. (Mar 15 2010, at 06:48)

Congratulations on the new job. I agree with you wholeheartedly on concurrent programming -- it's just a bit ironic that, right now, the most concurrent-ready JVM language I could think of, Clojure, is the slowest thanks to its heavy reliance on good GC.

Perhaps there is a good future for Scala and actors-based computing on Android. I always thought that program components ought to expose functional APIs, but in the right circumstances, having an implementation that uses mutable state might be necessary.

And, of course, we'd need multicore ARM chips. The new Cortex designs are a good start, but I'd love to have the equivalent of Sun's Niagara...


From: DeWitt Clinton (Mar 15 2010, at 06:59)

Welcome, Tim!


From: Uday Subbarayan (Mar 15 2010, at 07:02)

Congratulations and all the best for your new job. I still remember your reference to AdamB for Google some time back!

Not a self-promotion, just 2 days back i blogged about key 6 technologies for next-gen web and Android is one of them.

I also said Android will succeed because of Apple :-)

Best of luck,

-Uday Subbarayan.


From: Colin Prince (Mar 15 2010, at 07:11)

A little defensive re the iPhone, no?

For Apple it's more about brand than intent to sanitize the (mobile) world. See gruber.

My heart sank a little when I heard Google was your choice. Hard to explain why. Perhaps it's the number of great people who are swallowed by the big G and never heard from again.

Keep making your voice heard, it'll be good for us and good for you too.


From: Spiros Papadimitriou (Mar 15 2010, at 07:19)

Steve Jobs answering the question "what did you wish you know earlier" (question at 3:20, answer at 4:15). History repeats itself? :)


From: Jeremy Zawodny (Mar 15 2010, at 07:22)

Great news, Tim! Congrats.

Let me know sometime you're in town... we should grab a drink. :-)


From: Darren (Mar 15 2010, at 07:26)

Taking a job with Google is a safe bet, fairly risk free and of course fun given the Android opportunity. What would have been more impressive from a leadership standpoint would have been if you started a new business or joined a startup (would have made Paul Graham of Y Combinator proud and you could have had a much greater impact on the world at large IMHO).


From: Jeff Scudder (Mar 15 2010, at 07:26)

Congratulations! This is exciting. I enjoyed that picture, by the way. I walked by that outdoor sculpture every day for about a year and never thought to line it up like that with the building across the street.


From: Anton (Mar 15 2010, at 07:46)

Wow, tbray at Google!

Btw, maybe you know this, maybe you don't:


From: Jim Ancona (Mar 15 2010, at 07:46)

Congratulations, Tim!

As a contributor to the android-on-freerunner project (, I'm glad to see you getting involved with Android. Here's hoping you can help make AOSP evolve beyond the "Google dumps code that other people can port" model to justify the "Open Source Project" in its name.



From: Lukas <> (Mar 15 2010, at 08:10)


regarding your comments on Apple:

there was an interesting interview with Steve Jobs in a 1996 Wired issue, interesting in how he praised the Web's openness and vendor-neutrality, and warned of someone owning the Web, "especially" not Microsoft":

Seems like he embraces openness just as long as he's not the one dominating the market...



From: Dale Gulledge (Mar 15 2010, at 08:11)

There's one respect in which I believe the APIs are still incomplete, internationalization (I18N) and localization (L10N). The developer site does give the sound advice to externalize all strings using resources, but still describes the status of I18N support as "Coming soon". I'm hoping that the eventual Android API for it will at least be built on the existing Java internationalization support.


From: theo (Mar 15 2010, at 08:15)

I'll have to agree with masklinn. You are confusing iPhone app store policies/control with and web use/control, and being quite idiotic. There are good reasons for app store control. If you want to watch porn (aka freedom), there is an app for that, it is calls Safari.


From: Tris Hussey (Mar 15 2010, at 08:18)

Congrats Tim! Clearly I need to venture beyond my fav coffee place @ 10th and Main and head to the community centre more often!


From: Simon (Mar 15 2010, at 08:44)

Great, hope to see you at an android meetup or GTUG.


From: Jerry (Mar 15 2010, at 08:45)

When you join a company which claims to do no-evil, you should not bad mouth your competitors on the very first day using disingenuous arguments:

"The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. "

The iPhone was the first phone to offer the complete internet experience and still does. No restrictions! Shame on you for your spreading this nonsense.

The apps are restricted but thats a restriction on what native code can run on it, not the internet.


From: John C. Welch (Mar 15 2010, at 09:00)

congratulations on joining a multinational multi-billiondollar $BIGCORP. I'm sure it will be completely different than all the other multinational multi-billiondollar $BIGCORPs, especially the ones you don't like.

You want to solve a problem for Android and for Google at large?

Five words:

Phone Support for your products. i know this will stun those in that intarweb bubble that Google lives in, but out in the real world, news groups, and really, really horribly designed support web sites don't cut it.

If you want to know a big reason why Apple is doing well, here's the support tree:

if your phone isn't working, call apple. if the phone is found to be working, but you can't make calls/get on the 3g network, call the carrier.

Compare that to Google's.

Oh and the whole "this application may not work on your device because it was designed for this other device over here."

but i suppose if you mind that, and expect actual humans to support you, you're not a real Google customer anyway, right?


From: Angel Leon (Mar 15 2010, at 09:02)

Tim, now that you're there and working on Android bump the team to consider enabling developers to programatically have the phone create or join a WiFi ad-hoc network.

We're developing P2P software that takes in consideration the fact that there are groups of people who could use the benefits of close range networks (without all the hassles of bluetooth) for things like filesharing or gaming without the need of having a wireless router present.

Examples of such gatherings are:

- Classrooms

- Libraries

- Offices

- Conferences

- Meetups

- Subway riders

For now we're building our software depending on the availability of an open Wifi router.

I think this is maybe an issue that could raise one of your eyebrows, it's one of those simple things that if enabled on the API could bring about a river of innovation.

Programmatic Ad-Hoc Wifi

Here's the Issue request, starred already by over 300 developers


Angel Leon


From: Will (Mar 15 2010, at 09:03)

Interesting that Android and iPhone are selling 60k/90k per day. Wonder how many BlackBerrys are sold per day.


From: elder norm (Mar 15 2010, at 09:19)

You said,

"The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger."

Your opinions are your own. Great. But most of us are not tech geeks writing our own code. We just want something that works. When Android is working as well as the iPhone, I will check it out for sure.

"60K Android handsets. It’s a horse race!" er... No.

The iPhone is pretty much a single phone (old and new but both run the same OS.) Android is like 8-15 phones, running different versions of Android, some can update, others not. Some have limited hardware, some not so much...

I would say its like a horse race with one iPhone and ... 2K of Android phone A, 4K of Android phone B, 10K of Android phone C, 6K of Android phone D, 1K of Android phone E, etc,etc, etc.

And remember that each Ardroid phone ends up stopping production as the next version gets produced, so should you buy now, or wait until now, or many now..... etc.

Just a thought here.



From: Paul Galatis (Mar 15 2010, at 09:31)

Interesting. I love my Mac. I do, however, hear what you're saying, Tim, and I feel an appreciation for your position. But until I see a user experience that rivals what I get on my iPhone I am not convinced. The open source techies can fight this battle. I am not interested in having crap software that anyone can develop on my phone. I am happy for there to be a gatekeeper [Apple] that to date has not let me down (significantly) and happy for them to take a cut.


From: Scott Johnson (Mar 15 2010, at 09:37)

Congratulations on the new job! Google will be a better place with you there.


From: BradM (Mar 15 2010, at 09:43)

yes! Apple is Evil but do not forget they are Innovator! I am happy we have an alternative or more that all. I do not like the interface of Android and I do not like the Objective C and I do not like both companies, Apple and Google because they do not share! Means they do all the business themselve! You can still make money around sun java, Microsoft .net an so on...



From: App store not available in Canada (Mar 15 2010, at 09:58)

Since the app store is not available is Canada there is zero interest for my team to even attempt an app for Android. Fix this immediately.


From: Larry Carvalho (Mar 15 2010, at 10:02)

Hi Tim

Congrats on the move. I wanted to talk to you about a cloud computing initiative I am working on. Will send you an invite via linked-in.

Do no evil!



From: Phil Hood (Mar 15 2010, at 10:04)

Lovely, well done.

In defense of Apple, all the problems of the Internet are the Problem of the Commons on steroids. Low security, low privacy, low standards. No fees which could impose costs and reduce problems like spam. Actually, lack of overall design vision, and some very basic flaws in the concept, which aren't worth talking about unless you want to get into discussions of Xanadu and other dead ends.

Some of what programmers call freedom is the same kind of freedom experienced by teenagers who get trampled to death at a concert.

Apple overcomes all this by trying to control user experience and they do a bang up job at it.

I hope they don't go too far and cede the entire market to Google the way they ceded the PC market to Microsoft. Time will tell.


From: gctwnl (Mar 15 2010, at 10:08)

90k iPhones a day which all can run the same apps and 60k Android sets which are all different and cannot all run the same software (and most of which have a memory architecture that is more apt for WinMo 6.5) make a bit of an Apples and oranges comparison. How many Nexus One phones are sold each day?

And it is also a bit rich to suggest that Apple censors your information flow. The web is still open, even on an iPhone.

But, hey, competition is good. Have fun!


From: Luiz Rocha (Mar 15 2010, at 10:24)

Congrats, Tim! Lots of fun in your new job!


From: Eric Mill (Mar 15 2010, at 10:27)

Wonderful post, Tim, and congratulations on your new role. I'm an Android developer and a very enthusiastic one.

I'll email you to say the same, as per your invitation, but my most immediate piece of Android feedback is that there needs to be a better community of Android articles and help out there. The official Android reference site has some decent tutorials but it's not nearly enough. I spend lots of development time googling around to piece together the information from various one-off semi-coherent blog posts into a solution.


From: Ed Sweeney (Mar 15 2010, at 10:27)

Congrats. Great post about Apple vs Andriod. Remembering their 1984 TV commercial, who'd have thought today's Apple would be actively trying to be more like Big Brother than IBM ever was.

I'm bugged by serious issues involving Google but I'm all for what they are doing with Andriod and will develop my products to work with Andriod. Good luck!


From: izhab (Mar 15 2010, at 10:29)


I love android.unfortunately..there's no android market on my handphone...

From Malaysia...


From: Derek K. Miller (Mar 15 2010, at 10:42)

@Darren I can't speak for Tim, but if I were him I'd think a couple of decades of experience with startups already would be enough by now. Especially with family, house, kids, etc. to keep running.


From: maxfinis (Mar 15 2010, at 10:55)

Pathetic, ignorant, and hateful. Those are the words that come to mind after reading this. I expected much more from someone of your intelligence and maturity.

The App Store (which is a store, by the way, and not the "mobile internet") is not much different than any other store you may go to. It's their store, and they control what goes in and how it's run. The App Store is not the internet. You have no rights to their store any more than you have rights to tell Pottery Barn what they can put on their shelves or what suppliers they allow to sell to them. It's funny how otherwise intelligent people fee they have a right to the things that are unambiguously proprietary.

Also, isn't hating Apple for their "walled garden" not unlike hating Thomas Keller for not sharing all of his recipes and techniques? Last I checked, AAPL is a business, and one among many from which you are free to choose. Your Day One vitriol against an imagined enemy mis-informed, pathetic, and is the brand of evil that is self-destructive to you and those around you. I sincerely hope you come to your senses soon and really help create something new, rather than tilting at windmills.


From: Dave Orchard (Mar 15 2010, at 11:01)

Congrats Tim! That's great that you can work for Google and still be in Vancouver. Android Evangelist is a great fit for remote + what you've been doing and should be heaps of fun.

As for iPhone vs Android, I'd do more on Android if I could make $ at it. That's one thing that Apple has solved.


From: Hub (Mar 15 2010, at 11:08)

And you are staying in Vancouver, aren't you?

Congrats on the position.


From: Bob Poekert (Mar 15 2010, at 11:11)

Congratulations on your new post of Developer Advocate! I have something for you to advocate about. The MediaRecorder framework doesn't work. Neither I nor anybody I've talked to or found on the internet has been able to record video and audio from the camera an microphone on any android phone using MediaRecorder. The result is always IOException: prepare failed, or a segmentation fault. I filed a bug report (issue 5050) in the public android bug tracker. All of the video streaming apps I've looked at so far have had to write their own software encoding stacks, wasting their time and everyone else's batteries.

If you have any advice email me at b o b @ j u s t i n . t v .


From: Nancy White (Mar 15 2010, at 11:13)

YAY YAY YAY! So happy to see you contribute to the iPhone alternatives! I want to believe in Android and you joining the team is in my view a GOOD THING! Best to you and all the family. Hope to see y'all at Northern Voice in May!


From: Etienne Savard (Mar 15 2010, at 11:18)


I wish you good luck and a lot of phone... sorry, fun with Android! :)


From: @epc (Mar 15 2010, at 11:21)

Congratulations…I had a feeling Google is where you’d end up.


From: Darwin (Mar 15 2010, at 11:51)

Android is a mess and until it improves I'm sticking with the iPhone. Right now it's just a poor copy of the iPhone. It may not even be that soon if Apple's lawsuit succeeds. 1st they need to fix the tiny amount of space/memory for apps. That's just idiotic. 2nd is some serious optimization to eliminate the odd and annoying lagginess that comes up when you least expect it. All Android hardware right now sucks including the Nexus One and needs work to interface better with the OS. The Android store sucks too. It's a mess. Fragmentation is a major issue. The user interface needs serious work as does media playback, storage, and syncing. The Nexus One rollout was amateur hour and a clear indication that Google has no idea what they are doing in the mobile market. Oh and news is not the app development savior. it will be itneresting to see what Apple releases in the middle of this year.


From: Chanson de Roland (Mar 15 2010, at 11:58)

Apple has sound business, legal, public relations, security, and technical reason for regulating its App Store as it does. Technically, you can't let developers do whatever they think will make the most money or pursue whatever other agenda that they may be pursuing on devices like smartphones, because of their constrained resources. If you, as Apple does, require the best possible user's experience when using the iPhone and/or iPad, there must be some restrictions which protect UI conventions and regulate the use of resources. Now, advances in technology should over time remove many of the resource constraints, but for now, you have to have them. Android will be learning this lesson shortly

Google's model of post hoc take down of malware won't do. Google's counterpart to Apple's App Store has already had its first incident where it facilitated the distribution of malware. It really can't be otherwise with Google's anything goes, laissez-faire security model for its App Store, where post hoc reports from users is what passes for a security model. If that works for you as user, okay, but it sure as hell doesn't work for me. Apple's approach of prior approval of an app isn't perfect; it has its risks and disadvantages, but it is a hell of a lot better than yelling malware, after it's infected users' mobile devices.

And then there's porn. As a major business, as Google will soon discover, you just don't get to distribute porn to minors and child pornographers without severe legal, political, and public relations consequences. You can't simply say, notwithstanding certain safe harbor protections in federal law, that we at Google have a laissez-faire approach Ms. Johnson, so we are very sorry that pedophile circulated that picture of your eight year old son on the Internet and later kidnapped him, but we're not legally responsible, because we took the picture down as soon as you alerted us. Bullshit. Congress and society are going to demand more than that. As for adults that simply must see porn, can't you wait till you get to your desktop or notebook?

Finally, you view that Apple censors or suppresses controversial speech is simply wrong, at least for non-sexual speech. Let's deal with sex first. Apple is working on its parental controls and business controls. Once it gets those working so that parents and IT managers can effectively and practically block sexual content--parents for their minor children and IT managers for employees who should be working--I suspect that Apple will relax it restrictions on sexual content. But for now the responsible thing to do, as good corporate citizen, is to restrict sexual content until the adult user or business can control the presence of porn on his/its iPhone.

With respect to non-sexual speech, I am not aware that Apple is restricting any non-sexual speech based on the content of that speech. Now, Apple might take down speech that offend social norms of decency as, for example, racists or anti semitic, but that is just something society is going to expect one to do and that a good corporate citizen should do. Of course, you can always try the cop-out of laissez-faire non-regulation and federal safe harbor laws, but to my way of thinking, since Apple has shown that you can control such scurrilous speech, that just shows you put profits ahead of morality.


From: Glenn Rempe (Mar 15 2010, at 12:13)

Tim, congrats.

BTW did you notice the article (since pulled) by VentureBeat that claimed it was Tim Berners-Lee (father of WWW) that had moved to Google and not you? Both hilarious and scarily incompetent journalism by Paul Boutin. They have since pulled the article, but here is a copy of their feed entry:

Seems they owe both you and Sir Tim an apology.


From: Marius Corici (Mar 15 2010, at 12:13)

So... let me get this straight Bray... you hate iPhone or you hate the policy from Apple? iPhone is a thing and the their policy is another. Ok but why Google? they do the same just in another way but in fact they do same. what was their motto? <b>"Don't be evil"?</b> phuaaaaaaa is that a joke? c'mon man you can more than this (going in the other side) at least stay away and enjoy the show. i have seats in first row to watch this great battle between Apple, Microsoft, and Google. you want to join me? Each one got into the others business. My opinion for such great guy like you: be the freewill.


From: Charbax (Mar 15 2010, at 12:16)

Please ask them at Google to allow ALL hardware to access the Google Marketplace.

It is not fair for Tablet and Laptop makers that they are not allowed by Google to have the Google Marketplace.

I am guessing that obviously Google is looking into broadening the Marketplace to filter out apps based on hardware requirements and stuff, it can't be that hard though, please ask them to hurry up.

I film at all the consumer electronics shows these past few months at and I speak with dozens of small companies making amazing innovative Android devices that are not HTC/Samsung/Motorola smart phones. Though they are just not sure what Google is going to decide on Marketplace issue. This needs to be made public as soon as possible so innovation can happen outside of HTC/Samsung/Motorola and the few other giants of the over-priced subscription-only smart phone space.


From: Robert Young (Mar 15 2010, at 12:16)

Having read all the comments (through moderation ~3:00 pm EDT), I'm surprised that Google would want the xml uber-geek, but from your posting, there's no indication that they'll be using that part of your brain. I hope to God they don't.

As to Apple vs. the World: yes Steve is attempting to do to the mobile web what AOL tried to do to the desktop version, wall it off into a proprietary realm. They may just get away with it. Given the porosity of patent law, Apple could well impose the i*stuff as the only way to such a web. The world would be worse off for it.

While I wish you well in your efforts to stem that tide, just abandon xml as your instrument, please.


From: Jon Jennings (Mar 15 2010, at 12:28)

Congratulations Tim.

If you want to encourage a vibrant Android community up here in Vancouver I'd suggest two things you make a high priority are:

- getting the Nexus One available up here off the shelf so we've got the latest hardware to develop on

- getting paid apps available in Canada so we can make some money


From: Sandeep (Mar 15 2010, at 13:24)

OK, what is Google paying you to spew this crap? Oh yes, your salary. Sorry mate, you've lost instant credibility.

Dance monkey, dance!


From: anoop (Mar 15 2010, at 13:27)

Well if you were truly looking for an "open source" alternative to the Iphone, did you check out meego or its predecessor the maemo5?


From: Dave Walker (Mar 15 2010, at 13:44)

Happy New Job, squire :-).

Glad you'll be continuing to share your musings and photos via Ongoing; you're staying in my RSS aggregator.

You have an interesting angle on the iPhone, though (I have one, love it, and want to play with an iPad to see if I like it); after all, if an iPhone user wants pr0n or other such things that Apple aren't happy about, all they need to do is fire up Safari or the YouTube app. Although, I agree, I don't really get their stance on "Java for iPhone" and its continued nonexistence.


From: Marc V (Mar 15 2010, at 14:17)

Cangrats Mr. Bay!

some free advice:

@ oracle (and @ sun before merger too) employees use notifylink to sync smartphones... just put the notifylink goog apps client into android and get an instant saas and on premise secure full featured "safe as a blackberry" solution for professionals that will help to kill the iphone ...


From: Charles Ditzel (Mar 15 2010, at 14:48)

Congratulations! Sounds like a lot of fun.


From: Paul Boddie (Mar 15 2010, at 15:01)

Mention something about Apple and the apologists will come running: indignation that someone might criticise an organisation that "is a business" and therefore (by American standards, usually) is exempt from any moral or ethical judgements; the defence of closed, proprietary platforms by appealing to fear, exalting the technology that provides "parental controls and business controls" but eschewing that which provides (for example) safe execution environments, all the time ignoring the elephant in the room that is Apple's insistence that it (not you) "require the best possible user's experience" by locking everything down; childish celebration of anticompetitive instruments in the hope that "Apple's lawsuit succeeds", presumably because one's favourite brand (and the lifestyle it supposedly confers) matters more than things like fair competition, openness, human progress.

The only sad thing is that the shoe fits for Google in some cases, but at least the mere mention of Google doesn't attract legions of fanboys to defend the brand on their own dime.


From: Marco Papa (Mar 15 2010, at 15:10)

First of all congrats on your appointment.

I developed a few apps for the iPhone and just finished porting the main app to Android. I own both an iPhone 3GS and the Google Nexus One. I like them both.

My problem with the Android Market is the lack of any kind of real protection for Pay apps. Unless you're posting a free app with ads, it doesn't make sense to post a pay app as it will be ripped off immediately, posted on a pirate site and downloaded by everybody for free. On the iPhone you actually have to jailbreak it. Please do something about it.


From: Phil (Mar 15 2010, at 15:17)

Damn! Mr Bray is going to port android over to opensolaris on ARM!

=) would be nice but then Mr Bray probably would have much time to post on this blog.



From: Just Jen (Mar 15 2010, at 15:29)

Tim - so great to have your talents working on Android!

I have to take a moment to correct @masklinn, @theo, & all other iPhone Fanbois who have regurgitated their ignorance here: take a close look at the Apple/iPhone Developer Program License Agreement...developers aren't allowed to make public comments about being a developer, apps rejected by Apple can't be sold elsewhere, Apple can both pull apps from the store AND remotely disable them on user's phones, apps can have no open-source interoperability, devs are required to sign-away their ability to recover more than $50 in damages...the list goes on and on and the research, boys. Apple and the iPhone are bad for developers...that is, of course, unless you're into that whole "indentured servitude" sort of thing...


From: brian gillespie (Mar 15 2010, at 15:41)

Good luck on your new job. I hope you are a positive force in the company.

Looking on from a non tech professional perspective though, it seems Google is open where it suits them and Apple where it suits them.

Google even seems to be trying to force openness when the involved parties might be harmed. Books and Buzz come to mind. They seem to have changed their "Do No Evil" mantra to "Trust Us, We Aren't Evil".


From: M. Edward (Ed) Borasky (Mar 15 2010, at 15:52)

Well ... congratulations, I guess. I don't own a smart phone yet. I've ruled out an iPhone for a variety of reasons, and was almost ready to go with a Nexus One on Verizon when the Nokia / Intel MeeGo effort was announced.

So now I am waiting to see what MeeGo will be. To be perfectly honest, I don't think there's a pocket-sized machine that meets enough of my needs that I'd ever buy one again. The last pocket-sized device I considered usable was the HP-100LX Pocket PC. So perhaps what I should care about is ChromeOS and not Android?


From: walter (Mar 15 2010, at 15:55)

First off, congratulation on your new job Tim. I am great fan of Google and Apple.

I don't have a smart phone. Only a dumbed down cell phone.

So I am not sure that i understand your rant against the iPhone? From what I see with my iPod touch it's got a wide open free web-kit based browser that provides 100% of the web including porn if it's not Flash based site.

On the other hand the applications are Apple approved. Which sounds reasonable to me. Apple should be apple to decide what to sell on their branded store. It may be Disney-like sanitized but i think most parents would be happy with that. But I would hope that controversial apps of other forms are allowed. On this I cannot judge as i haven't really checked out the the app store

But having some say on products to be sold in a public store I don't see that as censorship.

But in any event i applaud your efforts in promoting open web standards. Best of luck in pushing the HTMLS5 envelope!


Fellow wet coaster.


From: Marc Schipperheyn (Mar 15 2010, at 15:55)

To both Tim and John M.



From: MicheleF (Mar 15 2010, at 16:15)

Congratulation on your new job. It's great that you get to work for the company you like and in the city you want to stay.

I'd like to say though that I find the acrimony vs. Apple a little bit excessive and also maybe a bit toadying to the company line?

Apple censors scantly clad women,

Google China censors searches related to politic, dissidents, Tian-an-men, "Tank man", etc.etc.. Of course "In accordance with local laws, regulations and policies".

Which one would be worse exactly?

The scantly clad women?


From: MeerkatMac (Mar 15 2010, at 16:16)

Good grief. Apple and its iPhone don't stop their users from doing whatever they want. Heck, it's got an Internet browser built right in. You can go surf whatever you want.

What Apple is doing is a great job at keeping their iPhone platform a "family" oriented device, free from any native porn applications, spam, or other nuisances. If you see that as a negative, then perhaps you're at the right place.


From: Renegade9 (Mar 15 2010, at 16:27)

...wait YOUR policy is... and I quote... "I reserve the right to remove comments for any reason that seems good to me; for example: abusiveness, illegality, spammy links, and so on."

It's bizarre to me that people see Apple as trying to be this controlling entity that wants to stifle competition and thwart freedom. They're just a company. A company that makes useful engaging products in a world where reverse-engineering could make a competitive marketplace obsolete.

Furthermore, if Google were so into "freedom". Why do they censor search results in China so that the Chinese people can't search the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 or a whole laundry list of things the Chinese government doesn't like. It's because they don't give a shit about freedom. They give a shit about search dollars. So they will play ball to get at the Chinese market. The same is true for Android - the powers that be could give two shits about openness and great user experience and so forth. They want mobile search dollars. They want users to stay hooked into google services. That's it. I don't hate on them for that, make that dollar Google... but for Christ's sake man call a spade a spade.


From: AlfredC (Mar 15 2010, at 16:30)

Congratulations! Looking forward to more blogs on your new journey!


From: Dan (Mar 15 2010, at 16:31)

Your comments about the iPhone being a closed off garden and then your comments about focusing on webapps a the future are in direct contradiction to each other.

Apple does not censor anything on the Safari app. anything made in HTML can be shown on an iPhone - just like on an Android device. it’s not Disney-fied

It is only with regard to native applications do Apple exert control. Just like Nintendo, Sony and MS with their gaming consoles. No one complains there. The consolification of handheld computers to help ease of use is not an evil thing.

And the web is still there on the iPhone in all its uncensored glory.

seems to me like you’ve been exaggerating your position against Apple without thinking it through.


From: Aaron Cohen (Mar 15 2010, at 16:44)

Like the others, congrats on your shift from SUNW to GOOG. I had hoped to do the same but got focused on energy efficiency instead. :)

My comment is actually one from the Android "end user" perspective, and that is around concern for fragmentation. With flexibility and openness comes risk of having multiple fragmented OS versions on various hardware devices. It is my belief, and you may disagree, that there should be massive consistency in the end user experience from one device to another. IMHO that makes something trusted and expected from a customer perspective, which are two things that iPhone does have. Once a new version of Android is released, it should be backwards compatible, within reason, with past hardware implementations.

I am not surprised nobody mentioned that yet on your comments because it's often strategic conversation and therefore not as interesting as poppy soundbytes, but that to me is the thing that is going to hold Android back from world domination, along with rapid innovation through a much larger developer community.


From: Mano Marks (Mar 15 2010, at 16:45)

Hi Tim! As a long time reader of your blog, and know of you by reputation, I'm really excited to have you join DevRel! I'm really looking forward to working with you.


From: David W. (Mar 15 2010, at 17:10)

I was originally excited by Android, but I'm now convinced it was a terrible mistake for Google.

We have seen malware in the Android Marketplace, phones crashing due to poorly written third party applications distributed over the web, and consumers getting confused by the various versions of Android. All of those has hurt Google's reputation as a company.

And, for what? Google's main concern should be open protocols and the ability of anyone on any device to easily access Google's applications. Android doesn't even guarantee that. AT&T's latest Android phone has removed most of the Google apps, and uses Bing as its default search engine. Meanwhile, Verizon is using Android versions to squeeze more money from its subscribers (Want turn-by-turn directions on your Android phone? That's an extra $10 per month charge.)

Google's Nexus phone has done little to enhance Google's own reputation, and probably has damaged its reputation with many Android vendors. When Google works so close to one company, that company gets the latest version of Android six months before anyone else. And, six months is a long head start in this market.

Meanwhile, it's relationship with Apple which had been invaluable to both companies is in tatters. Google applications made the original iPhone the wonderful device it was. And, the iPhone launched Google into a prime spot in the mobile apps arena.

Both Google and Apple had a lot of issues they still share: The use of standard web protocols, the elimination of proprietary browser plugins, the establishment of WebKit as the browser engine of the future, and the finalization of HTML5.

What should have Google done? When Apple first announced that the "SDK" for the iPhone was a combination of Safari and JavaScript , Google could have done a lot more to get developers to write JavaScript apps for the iPhone. That would have put more pressure on RIM and Nokia to incorporate WebKit browsers in their phones.

In the end, it's not open or closed operating systems that matter to Google. What matters to Google is the use of standard protocols and the elimination of proprietary plugins. Why does Google care if someone is using an iPhone, a Palm, a Nokia, or even a Windows 7 Phone (or whatever Microsoft calls it) as long as Google's web applications run on it.


From: The Cappy (Mar 15 2010, at 17:19)

Sure would have been nice for a new entrant into the Apple-Google competition to have brought some *class*. Oh well. Thanks for having been yet one more additional voice to lower the tone of things.


From: Bumper (Mar 15 2010, at 17:31)

Prior to learning XML the only time I ever heard the word bray was in conjunction with the sounds of jackasses. Perhaps you were appropriately named.

I can understand your excitement over your new job, your desire to show the bosses how much you love then, to do it on the premise of something you hate is juvenile.

In the real world people use what they want, that does the job at hand and they can afford, but not necessarily in that order. Everyday I use products from Apple, Google and Microsoft and a whole bunch of other companies. I use them based on the aforementioned criteria.

I doubt the refuting responses of the fanboys will damper your euphoria enough to cause reflection, but I can tell you this had I just put the big bucks down to secure your employment I would sure be wondering what kind of pig in a poke I had gotten.

For the record I use a Treo, old, nasty but it works and it's paid for, just like you.


From: carsten (Mar 15 2010, at 17:36)

god, not one more of these "apple is closes, and android is all open" arguments, i am getting tired of them. give me a break.

just as there won't be an open in-car app market, or an open in-plane app market, sooner or later all mobile app markets will create a gate ... and yes, android will get there too. the mobile phone is a mass product for everyone that needs to work and with users that don't want to worry about all the security features of an app.

if you can't do without the porn, use the browser.

plus, don't give me this google is no evil crap ... they don't care about content creators, but do care about making as much money as they can.

i am sorry, but this whole argument of i hate the iphone, and google/andoroid is so great, is crap ... its the same way of reasoning that bush used across the last eight years, pure black and white view of the world. ...

good luck at google. be happy, oh, and don't be evil ... whatever that means


From: GB (Mar 15 2010, at 18:19)

Not very bright comments on Apple Tim...others have already pointed out your misrepresentation on what Apple allows and doesn't allow....

If you ARE referring to the Apple App Store, well, most every "store" I shop in also makes decision and limits what they sell, and certainly, profane, pornographic, and illegal paraphernalia are not available in Nordstroms or Macy's

Plus, are you going to change Androids' app developer requirements/limitations?


From: Dan (Mar 15 2010, at 18:22)

Hey Tim, try to get some word as to when Google voice will be available up her in canuck-land


From: Chris Sweis (Mar 15 2010, at 18:24)

I am looking for a good Droid devloper/visionary? Do you have any leads or thoughts?


JunoWallet go BIG or go HOME...


From: Anton (Mar 15 2010, at 18:28)

Funny, I have a feeling this is going to be one of your most visited posts... The news is all around the webs.


From: John Carlson (Mar 15 2010, at 18:38)

Hmm. You don't like {;} and I don't like </>. You can have XML, CSAML and XES. I'll take C, C++, JavaScript and Java (I haven't tried C# yet), Anyday! The only good thing about XML is that it's easy to write a parser for. If you haven't read about CSAML yet, check out:


From: giesen (Mar 15 2010, at 18:49)

I find it humourous that a lot of the iPhone users who take offence to the "walled garden" comment seem to be confusing the Internet with the Web.

They are not synonymous. There's more to the Internet than what's accessed through a web browser. There are a great many things that that HTML5 cannot do. This is where your freedom is restricted (both as a developer and a user). As a developer, you're forced to endure long delays, seemingly arbitrary restrictions on what kind of apps you can publish, and always at risk of having your app pulled a whim, not to mention some hobbyist coders are left in the dark having to shell out money to even get started.

As a user, this leaves anyone looking for a niche product, where the developer isn't willing to endure all the aforementioned hardships, out in the cold. Sure, it's a great platform for populist apps, but it's definitely limiting and far from open.


From: Tony Fisk (Mar 15 2010, at 19:11)

Sounds like a good match, Tim, and I hope it proves to be one!

Google is not meant to be a verb, so in the spirit of free sex, or whatever, you should learn to 'go ogle' your references!

Your comment about ruby suggests it's not a favoured language at Google. Not sure why/why not (not that I like or dislike ruby particularly)


From: Hamranhansenhansen (Mar 15 2010, at 19:21)

> The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s

> future omits controversy, sex, and freedom,

> but includes strict limits on who can know

> what and who can say what.

That is literally and plainly false. That is the propaganda. The Internet on the iPhone is completely unmediated, completely unmanaged.

Not only is there sex, but many adult-oriented sites have changed from proprietary Adobe FlashPlayer video to open ISO MPEG-4 audio video specifically because of the popularity of the iPhone and iPod touch.

Not only are there no limits on who can say what, but the ease-of-use of iPhone has brought many more users into the conversation. For many people, iPhone is the first computer they have every mastered. I have many friends whose purchase of an iPhone lead directly to them discovering text messaging and Twitter and blogging, even though they had a PC and a feature phone in the past.

So iPhone has expanded the conversation. The fact that some of the new voices are not saying the things you want them to say (e.g. "wow, I love my iPhone!") shows that controversy is alive and well.

> HTML5-based applications

... run best on the iPhone. With local storage, offline operation, home screen icons identical to native apps, GPU accelerated graphics, touch controls, and a browser core that has been optimized for speed and standards for over 7 years. The apps are installed from any HTTP server in the world. Totally open API. Truly a dream come true for developers and publishers. Especially those who have been making IE6 apps throughout the era of failed HTML4 standardization.

There is absolutely no reason for an iPhone user who does not like the native app platform on iPhone to even use native apps. There is a Flickr app in App Store; there is a Flickr app on the Web. If you want to use the same exact apps on 20 computers, you can include iPhone in that very easily.

If developers want more capabilities in HTML5 Web apps, get involved with W3C. Nobody is forcing them to write Objective-C or make native apps or be part of App Store. Certainly not Apple, who have absolutely lead the way in providing a cutting-edge Web app platform out-of-the-box on all of their devices.

> walled garden

The only walled garden is the native app platform, not the Internet. And the whole point of the native apps being managed is that the Web apps are not. It provides an alternative. To suggest that this alternative cannot be offered is totalitarianism by definition. It's also putting developers above users like a priest class, it's forcing users to learn computer science in order to protect themselves from native malware deep in their phone. It's putting questionable philosophy above successful practicality. The App Store is more popular, not less popular, then other native app platforms. People with no native 3rd party apps on their Mac or PC and do not even know how to install them often have 50 native iPhone apps.

> Now A No-Evil Zone

Like Fox News O'Reilly Factor "no-spin zone?" Yes, exactly like.

When you're not evil, you don't have to say "I'm not evil" ... people say it about you. That is the test.

The very first thing Google needs to do to not be evil is get rid of that ridiculous motto. It implies that Google is above evil, cannot do evil, and it implies that Google's legitimate competitors are evil. It implies if you're doing better than Google at something, you must be doing that by being evil. If you're doing things a different way than Google: clearly evil. It's childish.

And it's anti-competitive. You make the products; users choose the products. Then you know who did a better job or not.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the contributions you've made. Disappointed to see you getting involved with the parts of Google that are doing such a bad job they have to be defended with propaganda.


From: Eric Peckham (Mar 15 2010, at 19:48)

What a bore. This software developer obviously understands little about the business that pays his salary. As a developer myself, I don't like some of Apple's approaches to things, but as a shareholder of theirs, I am happy they are serious about protecting their intellectual property rights. Let this guy bray about it all he wants - what do you expect now that he works for the competition? And 90,000 vs. 60,000 is hardly a horse race - not a very interesting one, anyway.


From: Alex M (Mar 15 2010, at 19:54)

I like your rant. However, I think that the difference between the iphone and the android comes down to simply understanding the user. Android allows for many apps to run simultaneously, iphone does not.

BUT (and this is a big but) Google missed it and has continued to miss it on a REALLY big item - where the hell is spell check? Can this be your first assignment? Can you get them to release version 2.10001 tomorrow, and with spell check? I think that AOL added spell check to email in 1993. Its not that hard.

Hope you enjoy the new adventure!


From: Steven Foong (Mar 15 2010, at 19:57)

Agree with you. Apple is limit our freedom. Phone belong to us , we should have the right to make decision .


From: Bob (Mar 15 2010, at 20:11)

Your article is a load of crap, just like a lot of the Android apps I've seen.

If people want phones that can crash from badly-written apps, the Android platform is just the place to be.

One can only assume that you're suffering from a case of sour grapes... or maybe you were canned. Either way, it's Apple's gain.


From: Owen Densmore (Mar 15 2010, at 20:38)

Glad to see you had a safe landing.

Yes, iPhone may have its Disney thing going, but I've found it does one thing that none of my other smart phones did: work!

I spent way, way, way too much time trying to get Treo to not lock up after I added apps. Every quarter or so I had to do a complete rebuild.

Half the reason for Disney is just this. You'll see. Android. First problem will likely be apps that kill the phone or become zombie parties.

Hold your fire on Apple until you actually build something that is as innovative as iPhone or iPad.

I worked at Apple on the Lisa and Mac. There are good reasons for the limitations of these devices.

You'll find Google's problems. For example, there is a sad lack in coherence between the various apps and their separate logins. Why doesn't Google have a universal login by now? Maybe its evil to be obvious.

Good luck, and try humility.

-- Owen


From: Alex (Mar 15 2010, at 20:43)


You're correct that the Android Market implements very similar restrictions than the iPhone Store. There's however one major difference. You can and in fact are entitled to sell your crap outside the market. If Google has a different opinion on "acceptable" than you it does not mean you're out. It just means you have to do it on your own. And in fact this does make sense sometimes even if Google would comply with your application. For example you have a 600$ surveillance app. No one needs that. Really. No one. It's the kind of apps that you sell to customers that bought other stuff from you. Why on earth would you want to give Google ( or Apple ) 30% of what you sell it for? You basically market it with your appliance. The rest of the world will not need it, possibly can't even use it.

The strength of Android ( and specifically the Market ) with all it's shortcomings it currently still has is freedom. Not only for the user but also for the developer.

Another thing. Let's say you don't develop your 2.99 fuck me it's another very cool wallpaper app. Let's say you develop something big. Something you need money for. With Android, even though the phones are quite rare with investors, i can just have them install it and freaking TRY IT. Talking is one thing. But if you have the right app it does wonders to show.

I can do that with the iPhone. But the process is rather "fishy".

With Android you pay 20 bucks flat ( or nothing at all if you don't need Market access ). With the iPhone you HAVE TO PAY 99/year. Now that's not a problem for folks like me. But there're tons of talented developers out there who just don't happen to have a credit card. And what if you're outside the target markets? Too bad for you.

What really stinks about the Store are not the restrictions that Apple enforces. It's that you ( and whoever would buy it from you ) can't evade it.

Apple does not enforce their restrictions on their ground, what they actually are entitled for. They enforce these restriction on the entire platform. And that's a whole different story.

Apple does not allow you to delelop or your users to use porn because they don't like it. They don't allow you or your users to use a certain app because they have a contract with someone else or want to develop it on their own.

If you develop for the iPhone you're currently in jail. And the really bad

part about that jail is that the guard makes and changes the rules as he deems.


From: David Singer (Mar 15 2010, at 20:46)

Congratulations, Tim -- I still hold out hope for working with you some day (and my end of that will become more possible very soon).


-- David Singer


From: notgoogle (Mar 15 2010, at 20:47)

On the contrary Tim, you are now a part of the evil google empire:


From: Joni (Mar 15 2010, at 20:47)

Wow, Bob - how is apple gaining by losing a great dev? Talk about fanboyism - I understand the pressure for having to wait on that iPad preorder to arrive but chill out dude - choice is good!


From: adange (Mar 15 2010, at 21:00)

Congratulations on your new job. Glad to see you are using a Nexus One in Vancouver. One of the things you could do to promote Android among software developers in Canada is to actually make it possible to buy the Nexus One here. The only reason I dont have a 'smart phone' is I dont like closed platforms, locked hardware and contracts. Which means I need to buy either the Nokia N900 or the Nexus One. Neither of which can be bought in Vancouver and will run on Roger's 3G frequency. Your post gives me some hope that the Nexus One may be available soon. I have my credit card ready.


From: Scott (Mar 15 2010, at 21:40)

Congrats, I'm sure this will be a good move for all concerned.

(And, selfishly, I hope you're the foothold for a Vancouver office!)


From: Laura Carter (Mar 15 2010, at 21:42)

So let me get this right, you first act as 'Android advocate' is to say, "Develop for Android, because we're not evil like Apple"? I'm paraphrasing of course.


From: Lamppost hugger! (Mar 15 2010, at 21:49)

Good news Tim, glad you are off to work on something with a serious future, the developing nations fixed line and seated internet use it won't be, a new paradigm awaits; Just enjoy! And tell the guys, thanks for the delayed send email function, been beered too many times!


From: Chris (Mar 15 2010, at 22:22)

Speaking as an Apple fan-boy, I wish you well, because I hope that Android success will force Apple to un-Disnify the iPhone, or free it up.


From: Steve (Mar 15 2010, at 23:28)

You are dead to me. Congrats on your move from innovation to regurgitation. Google has no imagination, no new thoughts. Just copycat everything and hope it leads to more search - The Microsoft of the 2010's. Sure, lots and lots of $$$ but no imagination and no soul. "Dont be evil", givee a break. No guidepost except $$. Apple built the iPhone, Google copied it and violated Apples patents in the process. Maybe you were hired to steal more ideas from Apple. Sounds about right.


From: carl (Mar 16 2010, at 00:39)

Congrats on joining the big G. Doubly so, for being able to stay in Vancouver. I think this will be a good move for all concerned. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out. I'll get the popcorn...



From: masklinn (Mar 16 2010, at 00:52)

@Robert Yong

> As to Apple vs. the World: yes Steve is attempting to do to the mobile web what AOL tried to do to the desktop version, wall it off into a proprietary realm.

This assertion simply isn't backed or supported by recorded facts.

@Paul Boddie

> The defence of closed, proprietary platforms by appealing to fear

Good god, you guys are insane. Tim mentioned the *mobile internet*. In what way is the mobile internet a proprietary platform exactly? And could you please indicate which restrictions Apple has put on accessing web sites and applications from the iPhone's web browser?

@Just Jen

> I have to take a moment to correct @masklinn, @theo, & all other iPhone Fanbois who have regurgitated their ignorance here: take a close look at the Apple/iPhone Developer Program License Agreement

Mirror mirror, your pants are on fire. Tim and everybody who criticized his iphone-related comments spoke about *the internet*, not the app store.

Let me quote the relevant part of Tim's post *again*:

> The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what.

See? Mobile *Internet*, not mobile *native applications*. And the fact here is that Apple puts no restriction whatsoever on what can be accessed through and iPhone's Safari browser. Quite the opposite in fact.

Therefore, you are factually wrong. Nice try, but you don't get a cookie.

> do the research, boys

Oh shut up, you completely missed the whole point and then you berate others. You're pitiful.


> I find it humourous that a lot of the iPhone users who take offence to the "walled garden" comment seem to be confusing the Internet with the Web.

Oh come on, it was clear as day that Tim was talking about web content, nobody gives a fig about gopher.


From: Adrian (Mar 16 2010, at 02:06)

A what-does-a-browser-actually-do test? I think more specificity could be interesting here :) I believe it's the most appropriate position for you. Have fun at work and at evangelizing!


From: JulesLt (Mar 16 2010, at 02:46)


What I'd like to see - less evangelism based on theory / politics, and more based on product. I'm not saying that the former aren't important, but it does seem they're often used as the main reason to develop for Android.

For most of the smartphone developers out there, those reasons are irrelevant. Games developers, and line-of-business app developers have never really been bothered by politics. Android has potential to solve a lot of problems in the line-of-business space (which always prefers multiple suppliers) but needs to solve a few things first.

As for whether web apps will replace native - there seems to be something ironic about complaining about Apple preventing users installing what they like, while promoting the idea that users should be able to install nothing!

Note : I'm not accusing Tim of holding this position, but it seems common amongst people promoting web apps.

Equally, I'm horrified by the idea of the web stack as the only choice for client-side programming. It's not bad, but - so far - it ignores too many lessons we're already learnt about application development.

It's telling that JavaScript is developing almost as many frameworks as Java.

(Although, to contradict myself, what I think is missing is a standard higher application layer)


From: jacmeister (Mar 16 2010, at 03:11)

Hi Tim

have been reading your posts with interest in the UK and am changing from iphone to android today.

Looking to learn as well but imagine at a much smaller scale than you,

If you find anything of interest for a newbie please blog it.


From: (Mar 16 2010, at 03:26)

Your strategic vision is great.

Your vision of the iPhone is so true.

It was good to read you.

You made my day !




From: Steve M (Mar 16 2010, at 03:27)

Tim, go on believing that Google isn't evil for now. I expect you to do the right thing and bail as soon as you realize the truth.


From: Gav (Mar 16 2010, at 03:52)

> The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

Erm. That's confusing. You do know that the iphone has a web browser right?

The www has plenty of sex, controversy, sex, freedom and sex. And google help the phone find it all.

Polarising yourself from Apple is a good idea of course, but doing so at the expense of sounding a little silly isn't, even if your writer is good.



From: MattWPBS (Mar 16 2010, at 04:00)

Good luck man!

Two or three things which might be worth drawing to your attention in terms of the Market.

1) International, international, international. I'm in the UK, I've got a Solo debit card. I can buy GBP priced apps, and some EUR priced apps. I can't buy USD apps. If Google Checkout can deal with my card for one transaction, it should be able to deal with it for another. The truly nuts bit? I swear I can buy things online via Google Checkout with this card.

2) Whitelisting phone builds for protected apps. Terrible idea. The Milestone/Droid got launched in the UK and Europe without full access to the market. The market's and the apps are a massive part of the reason for getting an Android device, and it's not acceptable to launch one without them.

3) Search on the market. Heard it described as the most unGoogley of Google things, and I'd be tempted to agree. Could really do with some improvement.

4) Installing apps to the SD Card. Small amount of memory on board, large amount of memory on the card. Where do you think we should be sticking applications? Truly annoying to run out of space to install apps, when there's a load more spare there.

That reads as a bit of a laundry list of complaints, but I bloody love Android as a platform. Those are the ones which stop the Market becoming a major drain on my finances though.


From: big kate (Mar 16 2010, at 04:04)

looking to app build - create world changing tools the build on googles expertise

have a look at Ushahidi

it has good possibilities to be used a the basis for a live traffic data resource using crowd sourced sms messages

however it needs an app for example android to collect the sms data.

basically something that puts a big red spot on the phone that someone can press if they are stuck in traffic, send an sms, and in the process produce a crowd sourced real time traffic report with significant advantages over fixed site traffic monitoring

it also needs a Ushahidi back end running on some compute space and obviously for that data to be republished

needless to say it also gives google realtime track data etc

it would be good if the data is free rather than just tied to google maps. I.e. so that it can be used by OSM, ovi maps etc as it also means that apps will be written for iphone and s60 in due course

it already has been used in this way



From: Max (Mar 16 2010, at 04:38)

Fantastic news! Have been reading your blog for over a year, I really enjoy and respect your viewpoints on tech. Google is a perfect place for someone like you, as I'm sure you'll find out in due time.

My coworkers and I in the NYC office are thrilled you're joining the team - here's to hoping you create the beachhead for a Vancouver office!


From: Dr. A. N. Feldzamen (Mar 16 2010, at 05:10)

In the late 18th, the 19th, and early 20th centuries, as industrialization spread across America, "company towns" began to be formed, small communities centered around a factory -- towns in which a corporation owned the real estate, built the housing for the workers, and generally ran the local governments. Included among the amenities there were generally "company stores" to provide the workers with foodstuffs, clothing, fabrics, hardware goods, and the like. In time, these stores came to be considered symbols of oppression.

Wikipedia, for example, notes this often was "an arrangement in which employees are paid in commodities or some currency substitute (referred to as scrip), rather than with standard money. This limits employees' ability to choose how to spend their earnings—generally to the benefit of the employer. As an example, scrip might be usable only for the purchase of goods at a "company store" where prices are set artificially high.

"While this system had long existed in many parts of the world, it became widespread in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as industrialization left many poor, unskilled workers without other means to support themselves and their families. The practice has been widely criticized as exploitative and similar in effect to slavery, and has been outlawed in many parts of the world."

Forcing the workers to buy at the company store was the heart of the system.

Something similar has been approached, but until recently been never realized in the new world of data handling.

Imagine, for example, the furor that would arise today were Microsoft to engineer a new Windows operating system that would prevent totally using any word processor other than its own WORD application. In point of fact, critics have asserted that earlier versions of Windows, while not preventing using outside software, did indeed offer certain specific operating advantages to Microsoft's own spreadsheet, display, and word handling programs. And only this year did the European Union force Microsoft to present other internet browsers than its own EXPLORER on an equal footing in the latest version of WIndows.

But Apple, always fiercely defended by its ultra-loyal devoted partisans, has seemingly managed to create its own "company store," successfully selling one data handling device to which it totally controls normal access, the iPhone, and now presumably, the iPad to come.

I write as one who bought the original Macintosh, upgraded through the years, but nonetheless look with growing disappointment at the company's restrictions on outside resources, and its censorship or suppression of software it finds objectionable -- sometimes disgracefully on purely competitive business grounds.

Certainly, Apple has the right to sell what it wishes in its own stores, internet-based or in reality. But preventing others from selling software to its products? That's precisely the 21st century update of the "company store." And forbidding outside developers to speak out about their relations with Apple -- is this not Big Brother in action?

When commentators have been critical on this point, Apple devotees have responded: "It's a company, and they can do what they want." And also, "There are contracts for the developers, and they signed them willingly."

Those writers are displaying a woeful misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of the law. There is a reason, for example, why in the splendid film and later television series, THE PAPER CHASE, about a beginning law student, the sternly curmudgeon professor, portrayed by the magnificent John Houseman, thundered: "I teach you to think like a lawyer!" and had, as his subject, the most important first-year law course, Contracts. Because, as every law student rapidly learns, just because both sides have signed a piece of paper with words written on it, a valid contract is not thereby created. There are many, many reasons such paper agreement can be considered invalid---and chief among them being a finding by a judge that its provisions are against "public policy."

So as a former attorney, I think there is a reasonable probability that many if not most, of the provisions of Apple's absurdly restrictive "contract" with developers for its iPhone (and presumably iPad) system would be voided with a court challenge, since they are clearly against certain public policies. Attempting to forbid, by a specific provision, an outside developer from speaking out about relations with Apple, and about the contractual provisions themselves, is certainly a BIG BROTHER, perhaps Fascistic, tactic! Should this muzzling not be against public policy?

Monopoly avoidance is another such public policy, and indeed, one that has led to various forms of legislation in many countries. Microsoft certainly did not have an absolute operating system monopoly in Europe, since the Macintosh OS and various open source operating systems are in widespread use there. Nonetheless the EU concluded there was a sufficient monopoly interest that Windows could no longer be permitted to favor Microsoft's Explorer.

So how then, can Apple's more restrictive closure of its systems for the iPhone and iPad be defended? My guess here to that this "company store" policy can also be voided, because Apple does have a quasi-monopoly, established by its restrictive operating systems, over the hardware universe it has pioneered.

Another legally valid reason for considering a contract invalid i that it is not the result of legitimate "bargaining" between the signatories, in that one side has a significant advantage. This is called a "contract of adhesion," and can thereby be voided. Can any Apple functionary or fan maintain that an iPod, iPhone, iPad developer can bargain, on an equal footing, with Apple?

Dr. A. N. Feldzamen

3 Arrowood Lane

Ithaca, New York 14850-9793



From: Eli Hecker (Mar 16 2010, at 05:31)

Freedom is a feature. If a device doesn't have it, don't buy it.

To the Apple fanboys, Apple will not change until you change, your rampant fanboyism fans the flames of proprietarization. Apple will simply say, "See these people want a straight jacket, they don't want democracy, they want apps that make websites usable because our browser is horrible that turning websites into apps is the only way to provide a usable experience on the iPhone".

By controlling the availablity of software and controlling those who write said software, and by ensuring that websites are almost totally unusable on an iPhone (why do you need an App per website!) they have enforced a disgusting stranglehold.

Google is often no better.

Freedom is a feature -- buy it!


From: Finnish Android Developer (Mar 16 2010, at 05:37)

It's good to see people who resist moving to a certain location because of an interesting job. Let's put it this way - in IT field majority of the jobs could be done remotely. We have fast internet connections and many have decent equipment to get basically any IT job done at home. I want to believe more and more IT jobs can be done remotely in the future. I hope employers like Google and other high tech companies will start to embrace this and not require new candidates to move to San Francisco bay area or whatever.

Anyway, good luck with your Google job and yeah, Android certainly is an interesting platform to work with. I'm myself studying the platform at the moment and getting a lot of joy by realizing that you can combine the best of C and the best of Java worlds and put some OpenGL ES 2 at the top of that mixture and do whatever comes to your mind. Some hardware company just estimated that Android devices will have Playstation 3 equivalent graphics within 3 years! Sky is the limit with Android! That's what I love about - and the freedom. Freedom is the essential thing that I require.


From: SamF (Mar 16 2010, at 05:38)

Look, I don't care about the restrictions imposed by the Apple app store, because it's a retail channel and like any other it has, shall we say, "zoning laws". Whatever.

As an app developer, what I love about it is that Apple has done an awesome thing for small, independent developers and is a much better partner than Google is on the Android platform at the moment.

I hate that. Fix that, please.


From: wyllys (Mar 16 2010, at 06:00)

Congrats on the move, Tim. Since I did accept my offer from Oracle, I'm curious to hear about your objections some time.

I disagree with your assessment of iPhone/Apple. Bottom line for me is usability, and the iPhone has it in spades. I don't care that I can't buy porn apps in the store, if I *really* need that boobie fix, I can always bring up safari. I think the app-store control and policy are a net-positive thing for the iPhone community overall.


From: David Megginson (Mar 16 2010, at 06:09)

I agree with your comments about Apple, Tim, but I think the real struggle isn't iPhone vs. Android but iPhone vs. the Web. Why do developers have to write separately for each mobile device? It's not 1990 any more.

You and Google have good records as friends of the Web, and I think it's a great match. Congrats!


From: Jose G (Mar 16 2010, at 06:15)


Thank you for speaking on behalf of advocates of free & unfettered choice. As a consumer, I really don't like it when CEO's & corporations make ownership decisions for me. While Apple brings good innovation, they do not have a license to monopolize technologies with over 20 years of prior art.

Apple's obsession with rigid control & denying competition is dangerous for the free market. Competition is the best safeguard against monopolistic or anti-competitive practices. This is why I'm glad guys like you who have such a strong voice are standing up for the rest of us. As a brand spanking new Android user with my Samsung Moment, it will be a pleasure to reap the benefits of your experience & vision.

Thank you & good luck to your new endeavors at Google.


From: Aaron (Mar 16 2010, at 06:23)

I was waiting for the "--sent by my iPhone" at the bottom of this post.


From: Peter (Mar 16 2010, at 06:42)

Hi Tim,

Good luck at Google - sounds like a fun and challenging job.

I think the Android vs iPhone fight has parallels with the desktop linux vs OS X fight. Despite a huge amount of opensource skill and dedication, it's not unreasonable to argue that OS X is still ahead. Although there is more potential for radical changes in mobile than in the desktop, so that might give Android more oomph...

I've just started developing for the iPhone, but will leave the android market until there is a bit more clarity on reference hardware (and international marketplace). Until then it's not a case of not liking android, it's just a game-theory calculation of risk and reward.

I'm sure you'll have a great time at Google. All the best



From: Carsten Holmskov (Mar 16 2010, at 07:02)

Congratulations with your new job and with a well-worded and set little Blog, unfortunately you also say that "you are down with the 10 things" and I gotta say, I don't quite understand how you can be "down" with them and agree unreservedly.

1: How does tracking everything we do and feeding us advertisements, popup's and banners focus on us and not your own bottomline ?, even Youtube now have invasive and annoying popup's ACROSS the video's from Google Ads.

2: You don't do Search really well anymore, you do Search as well as everyone else, what you do better than everyone else is feed us Ads.

3: Still right, you do this well.

4: No Complaints

5: No complaints

6: How is Ads not evil ?, when they are un-invasive they are fine, but Google has gone further and now force the ads down our throat, across pages, across and inside our mails and everywhere else, for any Netizen this is evil.

7: Right, except for the book deal where you try to take sole control over a gigantic part of the worlds cultural inheritance on the web.

8: Ooops this is bad eh, Information crosses all borders, except where they are needed most, such as in China or other countries with dictatorships or similar, there you bend the knee and filter, censor and limit as well as any other evil company.

9: All comments here would be based on rumors, so no complaints

10: No complaints


From: GB (Mar 16 2010, at 07:23)

> The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

I'm guessing your comparing apple's app store with the android marketplace, but I don't think you've read:

So, no sex on android either I'm afraid.

"pornography, obscenity, nudity or sexual activity."

The developer policy looks just the same as apple's. I don't know what you're trying to convince people of.



From: oli (Mar 16 2010, at 07:25)

Very odd post - you seem to have a very stange idea of what the internet is, how sanitised the iphone is and how you came to have this job in the first place...

Yes you can't get flash on the iphone, and apps have to come up to a basic standard but these are not necesarily bad things.

Flash - I'll let someone else argue that one out...

Apps to a basic standard... Well - it seems to me no bad thing that apps should work and conform to a standard - many apps on the android market place are money sumps or just don't work very well - I quite like that some one else vets the apps so i don't have to waste my money on stuff that doesn't work. it's worth remembering that one doesn't regard publishers as evil blockers of freedom because they choose which books to publish.

It's also worth remembering that without the iphone Android wouldn't exist - not from a technical standpoint (though if all these patent violations are to be believed that as well) - but from a commercial/conceptual standpoint... Google wern't developing this until Apple proved there was a market - Google didn't compete with RIM/Symbian...

So the Android platform owes its very existance to your nemesis... I don't fancy trying to square that circle!


From: eschatologist (Mar 16 2010, at 07:38)

I look forward to potentially ditching my iphone for an android.

Only real question is: How much will it cost per month?

The Iphone has ridiculous $80+ per month charges, partially due to taxes.

Sometimes I fantasize about a peer-to-peer free phone network...


From: Ivo (Mar 16 2010, at 07:42)

Strangely there is no mention of Symbian which is still growing beyond last year's 220000 phones per day. For those in the US, Symbian is FOSS mobile OS holding some 50% of the global smartphone market.


From: Rajesh (Mar 16 2010, at 08:10)

I have to disagree with masklinn. Blocking flash(admittedly CPU hogging buggy code), java, any browser not based on webkit and not allowing any deployment apart from through itunes equals to closed system for me for atleast. Agreed that google is yet another big bad corporate company focussed mainly on bottom-line and shareholder value creation, but their system is decidedly less closed than iphone.


From: D (Mar 16 2010, at 08:33)

I couldn't agree more on how Apple is cutting on liberties every way the can, not only but mostly with the iPad and the iPad Nano application distribution models.


From: ara.t.howard (Mar 16 2010, at 08:52)

the acid tone is really off putting. if you want to attack us developers that don't get all frothy over small plastic devices you should consider putting a positive spin on it. reading your initial comments is like reading a pc magazine review of a mac? easy to instantly dismiss.


From: Jim Ancona (Mar 16 2010, at 09:04)

GB: If Android owners don't like Google's policies, they can install apps that don't come from the Marketplace. They can use alternative stores. They can do that without having to root their phone or void their warranty. Can your iPhone do that?


From: hzhou321 (Mar 16 2010, at 09:16)

With all the intellect you possess, I am looking forward to to see your opinion after you have tried iPhone. From your self-description, seems you only had very short experience to smart phones and all of it is on android. Feeding partial data to a great processor ... outcomes great partial slash.

How to develop technology is one thing, how to put technology into use is another thing.

And about open, apple has been by far the most successful company in pushing open standards.

Google products are fine by all means and we like how they pushes technology. So you think google is "no-evil", alright, I don't disagree. But by no mean to advocate that all other party are evil. Using such big word only partials your opinion.


From: Richard Friedman (Mar 16 2010, at 09:41)

Sigh. Once again, Sun's loss is Google's gain.

Be sure to do no evil.


From: Anthony Starks (Mar 16 2010, at 10:14)

Given your new role, I suggest contacting Ben Fry, co-developer of Processing. (

Ben is currently working to get Processing on the android platform ( and has recently written a thoughtful piece on the subject of Apple and control


From: densely (Mar 16 2010, at 10:59)

Whatever else Apple has done using open standards, the iPhone App Store is far from open. The criteria by which Apple accepts or rejects applications for sale over iTunes are not revealed.

The iPhone development system does not give developers access to all of the hardware's capabilities. This is part of the business plan that allows Apple to sell music and movies with enforced DRM. Whether it's good that Apple provides such a sales channel to owners of the rights to premium content is not relevant to whether the platform is open. It's not, by design.


From: Paul Boddie (Mar 16 2010, at 11:13)

masklinn writes "Good god, you guys are insane. Tim mentioned the *mobile internet*. In what way is the mobile internet a proprietary platform exactly?"

Nice attempt to reframe my commentary and Tim's:

"Apple apparently thinks you can have the benefits of the Internet while at the same time controlling what programs can be run and what parts of the stack can be accessed and what developers can say to each other."

We're all talking about the whole business of acquiring applications from the Internet (or wherever) and having control over the device that you have bought, although the commenter I quote may actually be advocating restrictions on access to Web content in addition to those in force in Apple's proprietary application store. Such content restrictions, if Steve Jobs were to enforce them starting from tomorrow, would have many such commenters on this article nodding their heads vigourously in agreement and deference, I'm sure.

Tim mentioned a lot more than the "mobile Internet". When labelling other people as "insane", at least try to read and digest the content of more than one sentence in order to appreciate the full context of other people's remarks.


From: Dean Schulze (Mar 16 2010, at 11:54)

Good news for Canadians wanting a Nexus One - you can get one now that runs on Rogers and in the US they will run on AT&T:


From: Alan Wexelblat (Mar 16 2010, at 14:01)

Thank you for saying more eloquently what I've been trying to explain to friends as "I bought an Android for political reasons."

I love my iMac - it's one of the best ways I have to access a *nix command shell - but I hate the closed and sanitized versions of reality that the iPhone (and iTunes and probably iPad) present.


From: Preston L. Bannister (Mar 16 2010, at 14:39)

Tim, based on the above comments, you sure hit a nerve. :)

Your move to Google does not surprise me. What was a surprise was to find you all over the mainstream (not just tech) news sites.

Geez. Does your hat still fit?


From: Zaheda (Mar 16 2010, at 18:33)

Tim, This is really wonderful news - for Google and Android. Welcome!! And congrats on working from Vancouver. Looking forward to working with you. Remember you have friends in MTV when you leave your Canadian nest and travel to the bay area.


From: Perry Brashear (Mar 16 2010, at 19:10)

Congrats on the new position and good luck. If there is an app that needs to be made that should be "standard" it's and "update all" for the applications app. There are frequent updates and this solution was one brought up by Leo on TWIT that I thought was a good suggestion.


From: Brian (Mar 16 2010, at 20:10)

Congratulations Tim. Even in your first few days at Google, you're having an impact -- just look at all the enraged Apple fanboys swarming to lash out at you on your blog for criticizing their precious device! :)


From: magnumfinger (Mar 16 2010, at 22:59)

If you have seen the report wherein Apple lashing out HTC for 20 patent infringement.

You'll be certain that it'll all come to this epic fight. (Steve Jobs VS Eric Schmidt) Anyway, I hope it doesn't get nasty and hopefully some people may not throw in idiotic opinions to something they can't fathom.

(not saying I'm an expert here, but lets leave this to the 'lawsuit attorneys' shall we? or TMZ! :D)

<b>More details:


From: jg21 (Mar 16 2010, at 23:50)

...Tim Bray declined Oracle's offer, in the wake of the Oracle-Sun acquisition, to remain an employee in the newly merged Sunacle/Orasun. And has joined instead what he calls the "No-Evil Zone," a.k.a. Google...


From: jackdaniels08 (Mar 17 2010, at 01:40)

Android traits to stand by. Open source, openness, transparency, speed, ubiquity, honesty, community, decentralization, democracy, innovation, quick iteration, intuitive interface, (no less than) 2-way conversation exchange, control to users, always dynamic never static, etc. And Tim, when your working on Android, sitting in on a meeting with a bunch of the Googlers or whatever, try to go for the complete insane angle that'll push the limits, even if it sound counter-intuitive. Be a trendsetter, not a follower. The sound barrier has already been broken. Old news. Time to break the speed of light.


From: CarlB (Mar 17 2010, at 06:20)

Congratulations to your new Job Tim.

I like Android because is is based on Linux and the GPL.

I was drawn to you post because of your observations about Apple which I feel are pretty much on the mark.

What I think we need more of is very critical observation of Apples activities, they need to be watched closely and critisized openly. They need to feel the heat and yes.. please turn it up.

I have been ambivalent about Apple up till they decided to threaten Android by suing HTC. I feel that is a direct attack on Free and Opensource Software, now its time for the gloves to come off. So have at em...

As I was looking into the background issues on this topic I discovered that the Free Software Foundation already saw it coming a while ago...


FSF are really getting to the core of the issues. Apple is setting a double moral standard by profiting and using Foss while at the same time subverting it with lawsuits about alleged fictions of intellectual property. This can't be in the interest of free und unrepressive software developement and its not even in the interest of Free Speech.


From: Bret Cheng (Mar 17 2010, at 06:37)

Congratulations on your new position at Google.

I agree with Richard on the paid Market, I am a developer from Hong Kong and I have two apps available for free on the Market, I tried to put ads in one of them since there's no way to sell it here, people didn't it and I received lots of emails asking for a paid version, they would rather pay than see the ads. I removed the ads eventually because Android users are great and I don't want to lose them, they are very open and willing to share their thoughts.

Now I devote most of my time to developing on iPhone, I am not giving up on Android but I really need some motivation.

"Has Android given up on us?"


From: Chris (Mar 17 2010, at 07:05)

Congratulations on your new position! :)

I don't know what some people here are on about— my iPhone is so constricted in terms of video and audio playing I am shut out of 95% of all video and audio files on this gadget. Even a lot of the YouTube content is not playing. So many sites use flash, which is not accepted, and the sites that are forcing me to browse in iPhone mode are a huge irritation because features are downsized on those sites. The cut and pase feature is tricky at best and the scrolling a never-ending source of frustration. I often wish I had just purchased a blackberry... So far as porn, well that's not something that I watch I only think it's gone overboard and the women look all gunky and plastic and gross. I just find men who rely on it forget how to approach girls properly because the women who act in it are very mannish. Excuse me for living!!!

And all this patents nonsense is just embarassing.


From: David (Mar 17 2010, at 07:40)

The energy in this kind of spat is amazing to me - does no-one examine the iPhone and Android from a more distant, dispassionate place?

Android's user experience is that of a computer and the iPhone experience is that of an appliance. Some people want their phone to be a computer and others want their phone to be an appliance.

For me the telling difference is that Google is making their product for people just like themselves, whereas Apple are making their products for people unlike themselves (the developers at Apple are just as geeky as those at Google). As a result Apple are bringing new experiences to new people and for that I think they deserve lots of credit.

Regardless of whether you want your own phone to be a computer or an appliance.


From: Tim Post (Mar 17 2010, at 08:31)

This was the last nudge that I needed to see that Google is really serious about pushing Android and not just testing the waters. I really think its worth the time and money to start learning and working on applications.

The problem is, whenever I look at my wife's HTC Hero with a USB cable in my hand, flames shoot out of her eyes and Ninjas start climbing through the windows. At almost $600 per unit, only one was in the budget last Xmas :)


From: Indus Khaitan (Mar 17 2010, at 09:57)


Congrats on joining Google. We'll see more action from you now :P). Let me know, when you are visiting Bangalore, we should grab a drink!




From: Nexus One (Mar 17 2010, at 11:52)

Please work on the Adhoc WiFi issue. 2 years and still no solution. While every other phone (smartphone) can connect to Adhoc WiFi zones, why not Android phones?

Sorry for that, welcome to Google!


From: Matthew Kuraja (Mar 17 2010, at 14:33)

Who are you?

I visited yesterday and saw you as a landing-page news link telling this story. I came into work today and saw my boss blogging about you too, adding a link on his post for everyone to follow to here. I don't get it? What's the buzz about you quiting Apple and beginning employment at Google?

I've left jobs too. Sometimes, I want to get the word out as an insider about what's really going on at a business behind the HR facade. But I've learned that, no matter how calm and cool I would report it, and no matter how accurate, informative, and useful it may be for prospective candidates trying to find a new, good home for their own careers, it's taboo to do so. Supposedly, it only reflects poorly on you for doing so, suggesting bad character - a forewarning to your next employer that you're a disgruntled employee waiting to happen again. Curious, that not only did Google hear you vent and hire you anyway, but they're onboard with you broadcasting your steam. Even accommodating you by inserting your rant as a front page news bulletin. It begs me to believe Google's using you as a pawn in their political games with Apple.

I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time. I just don't understand. Why is everyone talking about you and this?


From: Don Anders (Mar 17 2010, at 14:47)

Well, this discussion has been interesting!

It seems to me you'll either have to drop your final bullet point or make up a new rationalization to join an increasingly evil megacorp headed up by a conniving, backstabbing, and--dare I say it?--EVIL weasel of a man...

By the way, Tim, I think your first order of business should be to do away with this:

I mean, after all, I don't think Google has any business telling me what kind of programs I can develop for Android or run on it, right?


From: Dan (Mar 17 2010, at 15:45)

To those who hate the iPhone, I say stop using it.

To developers who hate Apple, I say stop developing for them.

Why feel compelled to rant and whine? Take some positive action. Remove your connections with Apple and Apple products. Or else just shut up.


From: Bill (Mar 17 2010, at 16:52)

Mr. Bray-

Your comments toward Apple are apparently vetted from frustration. You work in an open source world where any joe can contribute to a product. Silly as it seems, these types of organizations need public opinion because unlike Apple, those companies cannot think for themselves. In other words; they haven't innovation. Apple is a company built upon innovation, freeing themselves of every worthwhile idea they conceive. They (Apple) have the insight and foresight into what the end user really needs and wants.


From: Jim Ancona (Mar 17 2010, at 18:38)

Don Anders:

But Google isn't "telling me what kind of programs I can develop for Android or run on it." They're telling what kind of apps they're willing to sell in their store. Unlike the iPhone, I can develop or run any app I want on my Android phone. Google's permission is not required.



From: Bluelobe (Mar 17 2010, at 19:23)

When most computer companies were making inelegant, unintuitive products, Apple led the way with easy-to-use, well-made, well-thought out machines.

When I use a Windows or Linux computer, I feel that the machine is working against me rather than for me, unlike when using a Mac.

As a web developer, I have the same impression of the following technologies: HTML, PHP, Cold Fusion vs. CSS, Javascript, XML--the former being easy-to-use and elegant, the latter being confusing, not well designed or thought out, and full of inconsistency and redundancy.

If having products that are elegant and easy-to-use is "Disney-esque and devoid of sex, etc.", then that's preferable than ugly, inelegant, unintuitive, not well-thought-out technologies.

I can understand Apple's beef with Google: they work long and hard to come out with a great, easy-to-use and beautiful device, the iPhone, putting in years of hard work and money, then Google comes in, takes a look at it, and says, "We can do that!" and comes out with a copy that it gives away. Basically, Apple sees this as a way to kill its prized product and of course it'll fight tooth and nail for what it worked long and hard for and nobody before Apple had figured out.

So good luck in your new job, but understand, without Apple's iPhone, there wouldn't be an Android.


From: Carsten Schwartz (Mar 18 2010, at 01:59)

Good on you exiting Job I'll bet, maybe you could get the company to understand that their destribution policy on the Nexus One device, not is particularily helpfull, if you want to help the Android OS being first in the race. I live in Europe and it really bugs me that Nexus One not is distributed here. Try this link, and you might see what I mean.

Why not sell the good Nexus device in more than one place now that you got it.

No offense here, I still think the Android concept rocks, I just believe that it could be helped better along the way with obvious initiatives :-)


From: len (Mar 18 2010, at 07:00)

"a forewarning to your next employer that you're a disgruntled employee waiting to happen again"

He's someone important enough that this many people are interested when he changes jobs and has opinions about web platforms as evidenced by the richness of the comments.

Employers revel in disgruntled employees. Competitors need motivated individuals who understand what does and doesn't work. The reason it's a bad idea to go public is the same as unnecessary roughness in professional sports: you'll see the same players next season and the rule is, "as the twig is bent. As the twig is bent...


From: Dantv (Mar 18 2010, at 08:44)

Two points I'd like to make here:

1) On Android - I already had to ban Android in my household and already returned my droid back to Verizon. Know why, there is no control of the apps that can be browsed for. My 10 year old stumbled upon some porn apps and asked my "what does this app do?" I promptly took the phone away from him! Yeah sex is good...for adults only!!!

2) On Evil - What a bunch of bull. Google is the world's largest spammer. It's all about tracking people and delivering ads. Bunch of BS. In fact, Google is no different than Microsoft. They use the money they make in search and enter everybody's elses business! Android is a copy of the iPhone. Way to be original there guys!


From: Sam (Mar 19 2010, at 11:26)

I think this article loses some validity by confusing the point of the App Store and the internet.

iPhone's mobile internet is through Safari which is an optimized web browser and therefore not a walled garden.

The App Store is no different than any other retail establishment that can choose to carry or not carry whatever they wish.


From: Serge Masse (Mar 20 2010, at 09:24)

Great to have you getting paid to be dedicated to Android.

You seem to have a good idea of the current priorities, i.e., Market, concurrency, openness, big corporations. And you are well known to have a good idea of the big picture of computing and society, i.e., emerging economies, stagnant ones, responsibilities.

I personally will be hoping to _also_ see some advanced code and design patterns from your blog, or at least links.

In a while you will probably be able to write meaningfully about the many futures of Android. We can wait a little for the enlightening post on the beautiful Android horizon because these days we are very busy with immediate tasks such as generating revenues and learning the intricacies of the many versions already out there (1.5, 1.6, 2.0.1, 2.1).

I don't know if you already know but most developers cannot live on revenues from their Android apps. If this does not change soon, there may be a significant negative future impact. This may be the most urgent issue for the platform. It sure is the most urgent issue for myself and many others.

Hope you can help.




From: Jonathan Gibson (Mar 20 2010, at 16:31)

Claiming a No-Evil Zone from the Google camp is a direct way to push the religious buttons in people. Good job!

So, all this seems to be the modern nerd equivalent of speculating just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

From my POV, in this economy, watching first de-industrialization and then wholesale export of technology gigs last decade, I am amazed at the rarified 'tude displayed by the hopeful true Believers Of Freedom amongst us that the Tribes of Google will herd all the Android ponies to market better than Apple will it's few thoroughbreds.

I've been developing software since 1988 with a focus on interactive media and I have never seen the breadth and depth of Apple's effort from bow to stern: From development application backend to on-line and physical retail there has never been a better environment for small developers to make it big. The Google equiv is like a bunch of stalls at the county 'laissez faire' grounds: not at all as appealing as the Clean Well-Lighted Place that Apple has built. Apple seems to believe in open standards and closed products with the world responding overwhelmingly thumbs' up. Complaining about some ridiculously few, what 2-3%, of un-approved apps is humorous to compare to Microsoft's hegemony and aggressive ball-busting. Google needs to get it's head around delivering a malware-reduced world right-quick, or parents will be forbidding a new generation of users from choosing this platform. Hey smart-guys, how about dreaming big and Zero Malware... what's the Droidish count after a few months -vs- iPhone-thangs running several years? I thought Google was the creme-de-creme of our best and brightest - they certainly exude credentialism.

I was keen to get into Android early on, and may look at it again for iTV, but saw all these problems unaddressed by G. I'm watching for serious change, but don't see anything even on the horizon, let alone up and running.



From: Benny Shaviv (Mar 21 2010, at 07:16)


With respect, your view is jaded here...

In my mind apple contributed to developers, companies, & startups in general by doing something with the iPhone that no one has done before them. Its a legitimate development platform, also from a business perspective. Companies are being built from nothing thanks to it.

Google or anyone else didnt accomplish this.

Power to those who power the masses... which apple does (as does google, but not android so far)

clarification - not associated with either company.


From: Steve (Mar 28 2010, at 20:03)

Good choice from both sides:)

>Anyone can sell any program they write via the Android Market; no approval required.

That statement is simply not true if you live outside of the current 9 countries from which you can sell Android programs at the moment. i.e. Austria, Italy, Germany, Japan, France, Spain, Netherlands, UK and US. It has been that way since Sep 2009 and seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

(see: )

Developers from the countries not in those 9 listed above, tend to release their applications for free (thereby undermining the commercial proposition for those developers in the 9 countries).

This makes the proposition for 'ads within apps' the better proposition on Android in 'all' countries - which of course suits Googles mode of operation.


From: Howard Lovatt (Mar 31 2010, at 23:55)

> As of now, they’re selling around 90K iPhones per

> day compared to around 60K Android handsets.

> It’s a horse race! ¶

Where do these statistics come from? The latest Garner report has a 4 to 1 difference in sales:

I am not saying you are wrong, just interested in the statistics.

> The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future

> omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes

> strict limits on who can know what and who can

> say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden

> surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The

> people who create the apps serve at the

> landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

Don't you think this is a bit overboard.

There are many happy developers who have done well off Apple. There are many happy iPhone users who value getting software that is useful and trouble free. Apple doesn't stop you visiting any 'edgy' web sites.

It is simply a positioning of their product in a particular market niche. Good for Google that they are going for a different niche. Competition is good, let the market decide.


From: Tomas Pospisek (Apr 04 2010, at 13:30)

Tim wrote:

> [Google is..] Open-source, check.


> [Android is..] Open-source.


> Are you an Android developer? Or

> might you become one? Or have you

> given up on Android? If you’re any

> of these, you’re a person I need

> to learn from.

I'm surprised. So much clapping in the room. Is there a big elephant?

I can't tell how much it's for real, but from the voices in the open source camps one could get the idea that Google has had the one same problem with open source since the beginning: not caring too much about integrating stuff upstream. Any reason seems to be sufficient for a fork. With evil intentions it's called extend and embrace.

For a recent example see f.ex. The comments are very interesting, however this part shines an especially ambiguous light:

Hearsay seems to suggest that's Android is the epitome of this practice: check this among many similar, recent and old:

Whish you may not only succeed in not being evil but actually cause good.

Best regards,



From: angkasuwan (Apr 09 2010, at 22:14)

way to go, go android


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