This for me is tech journalism gone horribly wrong.

I’m now being portrayed as the ‘Anti-Googler’, the disgruntled ex employee who isn’t loyal to his former employer. Fact is that my little intro-post of my personal opinions on Android was taken completely out of context and without waiting for the announced series of posts to start.

All I did was merely critique the look of the G1 device. Which I stand behind. I am sorry, but I think it’s dated. I was not talking about the hardware being crap (in fact many things are better than in an iPhone e.g. the autofocus 3MP camera or a removable battery or a full size keyboard) nor did I say a word about the Android OS being bad in any way (which it isn’t). Fact is: I wanted to write POSITIVE posts about the OS – which is developed by Google and has made GREAT advances over the years. I wanted to write about the advantages of an OPEN OS where anyone can build applications for.

I know many of the people on the Android and Google Mobile teams, who’s work I highly respected and still do. I feel sorry that I am now portrayed as a disgruntled ex-Googler, which is far from the truth. I will stop voicing my opinion (positive or negative) on this going forward because I learned my lesson that you can very quickly be singled out by the valley’s main stream media. Which is weird because there were articles in very significant blogs, such as Gizmodo which have a 10x more negative view on things but weren’t highlighted as much. Fact is: I have been and still am a big fan of Google. Why else would I have decided to work there so long?
Fact is also: I do believe Android has a future ahead of it that’s bright and has the potential to become a major player in the market space. The G1 is just the first of many devices.

10 responses to “Ex Google Mobile Product Manager Criticizes Android – Setting the record straight”

  1. StudioGlyphic comments:

    Eh. Don’t let them get you down. I’ve always thought professional blogging was a little ridiculous. Mostly the self-declared self-importance and the whole phenomenon of the meta-post that quotes another blog, which might very well quote yet another blog. Oh, and there’re also the people who read blogs religiously and take them as gospel or ubiquitous.

  2. Mike comments:

    Please don’t stop. I am genuinely curious about Android and the G1, and would like to read more of your thoughts.

  3. Alex Kravets comments:

    I agree, don’t take it to the heart. Those who try to put you down just saw that you had a high ranking position at Google and tried to take advantage of it. They are taking words out of the context just as they did with USB not being what it is – a USB.

    I own HTC Tytn and not very impressed by it. I got it two years ago and G1 doesn’t look much different from it. That is why I will wait for another handset that will have Android on it. Ever since the launch of G1 with Android everyone is fixated on the phone which is nothing but a holder for OS – which is what makes a phone a great phone. I think Google should have picked HTC Touch HD and that would shut everybody up.

  4. android_coding comments:

    It would be nice if you could go on writting posts about Android. Enjoyed the two posts and it would be sad if this article would force you to be silent.

  5. TareX comments:

    Instead of taking the “I’ll stand down”… “I won’t write”… “I didn’t say”…. “I didn’t mean”…. “I am shocked”… “I am innocent”… approach, I would have preferred you stood by your already well-founded argument. The G1 is a seriously flawed flagship device (yes, it’s a flagship device). You are speaking out what the MAJORITY of Android enthusiasts have been thinking ever since the first G1 photos/video leaked.

    The initial criticism gave you a fast boost of “celebrity” which you must invest in by voicing out your solid argument and backing it up, not backing down. 100000s of Android’s enthusiasts are already bashing the G1 everywhere. It is by far the worst flagship device possible for a new platform… not only in 2008.

    We’re sick and tired reading about “open OS” and “anyone could write anything”…etc. We know that already. But the hardware is where everyone’s beef is at. And as an ex-Google Mobile Product Manager, your opinion on the hardware is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, and I would encourage you to voice them even louder, and back them up a lot better.

  6. TareX comments:

    Also, having a flagship device designed in a pre-iPhone age, is a huge mistake. 3 years is A LOT in the mobile phone business…. even without the iPhone emerging within these 3 years.

    I would have expected a double-touchscreen slider with a clickable qwerty on one of them (a la Blackberry Storm)… as an example of innovation on a flagship device.

    But while Android’s survival is BEGGING for innovation, on which it strives, the G1 hardware totally lacks it. This contrast on Android’s flagship device is killing the platform.

  7. TareX comments:

    As an example of primitive thinking, three years ago, front cams were luxuries only VERY high-end phones enjoyed… Now, many s60 phones with front cams are getting independently written applications that utilize this front camera to generate a hand gesture-based functionality (Samir’s application)… this was supposed to premier on Windows Mobile 7, and with a front cam, could have been easily written for Android.

    But again the primitive hardware is pulling Android back. This was a small example. How impressive would it have been if Rubin was able to bring up the Application menu by waving up his hand in front of the phone? That alone would have been an iPhone killer gesture.

  8. anshu comments:

    I agree that your comments appear to have been taken out of context and blown up. More dishearteningly, as a fellow blogger with a corporate job, I find this kind of tactic deeply troubling.

    We write blogs so that we can share our thoughts – these are not meant to be precisely worded press releases. This sucks.

  9. vinnie mirchandani comments:

    I think you are being a bit sensitive but I can relate. When I went from PwC to Gartner I got subtle dings from its competitors I was too fair to them, and PwC folks on the other told me I knew too much about them and was too tough on them. No win situation to start with – then I basically started focusing on my corporate clients and not worrying about what the vendors were saying about me.

    10 years later and in my own small advisory business my CIO clients want me to be extremely independent and on my blogs I must annoy just about every large vendor. If you are going to take positions – and trust me without that your blog would be a boring one, do so with confidence – gets your facts right, but say it without worrying about who you annoy…

  10. vinnie mirchandani comments:

    BTW – I blogged about the G1’s disappointing economics – T-Mobile’s since that makes up 95+% percent of the TCO.

    T-Mobile has a significant advantage in hot spot and international coverage and could use that to offset some of their deficiencies of limited 3G coverage to start with

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2008/09/initial-analysis-of-tco-of-t-mobile-g1-phone-disappointing.html

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