Sundar Pichai Talks Slow Android Updates, Facebook Home, Samsung Domination And More Ahead Of Google I/O

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We’re set to see a whole lot more of Sundar Pichai in his new role as the head of Android later this week at Google’s I/O keynote. Before that, Pichai spoke to Wired and talked a little about what we will see later this week, the future of Android, slow Android updates and how Android and Chrome can live together. Admittedly it’s disappointing to hear that the keynote will focus less on new hardware and more on software, but this is Google’s biggest keynote of the year so I expect we might see something hardware wise unveiled.

On Samsung being so dominant:

I realize this gets played up in the press a lot. Samsung is a great partner to work with. We work with them on pretty much almost all our important products. Here’s my Samsung Galaxy S4. [Pichai holds up the phone.]

On slow Android updates:

We are thinking about how to make Android handle updates better. We see ways we can do this. It’s early days. We’re talking with our partners and working our way through it. We need time to figure out the mechanics, but it’s definitely an area of focus for me and for the team.

On what to expect at Google I/O this week:

It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.

On the future of Android:

“We want to be a very, very open platform, but we want a way by which end users are getting a good experience overall… Users get to decide what apps and what choices they want. Some users really want [Facebook Home]. We don’t want to get in the way of that. [But] in the end, we have to provide a consistent experience. As part of that, with every release of Android, we do go through changes. So we may make changes over time.”

On Google-branded hardware:

You will see a continuation of what we have tried to do with Nexus and Chromebooks. Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward.

On Android selling more than Apple, but Apple making more money:

We’re very comfortable with our business model. All our core services–Search YouTube, Maps, etc.– are used on phones, and Android helps people to use those services. So fundamentally there’s a business model there. And services, like Google Play, are obviously a source of revenue. We saw payouts to developers on Play quadruple in 2012. I think we are barely beginning to get started. We’re in the early beginnings of a sea change in computing. Think about education and enterprise — incredible opportunities. We’re much more focused now on the consumer end of the experience, but we think the right things will happen from a business sense.

On Facebook Home:

It’s exciting that Facebook thought of Android first in this case. Android was intended to be very customizable. And we welcome innovations. As for the specific product, my personal take on it is that time will tell. To Mark [Zuckerberg], people are the center of everything. I take a slightly different approach. I think life is multifaceted: people are a huge part of it, but not the center and be-all of everything.

On possible favoritism shown to Motorola:

For the purposes of the Android ecosystem, Motorola is [just another] partner.

The full interview is over at Wired and if you have some time, I highly encourage the read and getting into the mindset of the man who will lead the Android charge into the future.

Wired

 

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