android-fragmentation

Open Letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Dear Eric,

It is only with respect and awe that I can express my appreciation in regards to all the various technological improvements that you brought into our lives in a way that is changing the way we live in a very fundamental way. I am so glad to see that you are not limiting yourself to the internet, but that you are bringing your problem solving skills to areas that many wouldn’t even dare challenge.

While most of the focus on the mobile market is about the competition you have against Apple, I clearly understand that for you Android is simply a platform enabling you to bring the innovation you have done for the web to our daily lives in a more personal and intimate way. Given the mobile OS options already in the market were not nearly robust enough for your standards and the iOS being closed your only option was to build your own. I can also understand your focus on reach over standardization. But I think you have tip toed your way around the question about OS fragmentation.

You are saying that applications will work seamlessly across all android devices but you know that this is simply not true. As long as you distribute the OS as open source and allow mobile device makers to modify it to their likes, fragmentation is inescapable. I believe that this will eventually frustrate developers AND users that will not find the same experience or application support from device to device.

I am a big advocate for open source but Android is a Google brand and it carries the weight of big expectations. I do believe that forcing certain standards and limitations on what mobile hardware developers can modify and still call their system Android would at least allow users to make their choices in a more informed manner. Only making the Android brand an approved by Google stamp can give you the platform you are dreaming about and therefore I would suggest you control at least the use of it. By allowing every piece of cheap hardware junk ride on the Android wave, you are not only jeopardizing the trust that the users have on your brand but you are also allowing opportunist approaches to defraud the end consumer which has no idea on how to judge hardware quality and therefore finds refuge in seeing your logo on it for his economical decision.

I am not suggesting closing the usage of the Android OS source itself, but to limit the use of the brand Android. or “based on Android”. This implies that you build an approval process based on various quality criteria (software AND hardware) before allowing anybody to put your logo on their devices.

You also mentioned that society sociopolitical views are limiting the development of technology in many ways. Wasn’t this always the case ? Didn’t the same fear try to stop many geniuses throughout history? When you said that is not google’s job to decide what is acceptable by society not only you betrayed me, but you have betrayed science and humanity! When did society know what was acceptable? During the inquisition? Galileo? Newton? Einstein? Tesla?

It IS Google’s job to decide what SHOULD be acceptable for society and fight for it! If any of the big innovators ever approached society the way you had, we would never be where we are today. We owe, YOU owe them everything you are today just because they said NO to what society thought was acceptable and forced them to open their eyes.

Please reconsider your position. You are in a place where you really can make a big difference, use every bit of that power to push society for the better.

Best Regards

Sadok Kohen
“In truth, without deceit, certain and most veritable”

1 Comment

  1. Azra

    Maybe not Eric but Lary and Sergey seem to have red this. They finally retook charge. Thanx to you :))