Andy Rubin, generally known as the father of Android: Here’s the big question for him what’s next? The answer part is that his new company is launching a whole ecosystem of products that will work together: a 360 camera, an intelligent assistant device for you home, and (of course) a smartphone. That last one runs Android, which is what you’d expect from any new phone maker.
The company he started to make all that is called Essential. Explaining why it existsIn a blog post, Rubin tells a typical founder story: going out for the night with his friend, talking about the technology state and how to get it fix. Funny thing, though, is that one of the problems he sees with the state of tech today involves the Operating System he helped create, Android:
Rubin’s new phone called The Essential Phone is now thought based on the same operating system we know Android. But it’s presumably safe to assume that he will either try to simplify Android somehow or that it’s just a stopgap until it’s viable for Essential Phone to ship a device running its other system, Ambient OS. Or both — or neither! Rubin’s statement seems to serve both as a mea culpa and as a platform to launch something better to us.
Will the Essential phone or Ambient OS will mean less fighting with technology or Rubin is planning on building something on top of Android or supplanting it, that we don’t know yet Presumably, some of those questions will be answered at the Code conference.
All That we can say is this: Rubin has some core principles his company will come to make the 2billion device Android ecosystem a lot better one.
Below are Some of his bullet points that seem relevant:
- Devices are your personal property.
- We won’t force you to have anything on them you don’t want to have.
- We will always play well with others. Closed ecosystems are divisive and outdated.
- Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.
Those principles all make sense, but they’ve also been damnably hard to live up to in a world where carriers not only hold back updates but also enmesh themselves into the very operating systems of the phones they sell. Even powerhouses like Samsung struggle to ship their phones without carrier software loaded on them. Plenty of Android makers has shipped clean, unlocked phones without extra “crapware” on them, promising prompt updates. Most of them have languished in obscurity.
But just because a problem is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We’ll be watching to see how Essential tackles it.
Andy Rubin will be onstage tonight at Code. You can watch it live to start at 6 PM PT / 9 PM ET.