Does Google Have Any Social Skills At All?

Sam Biddle, at Gizmodo:

Everything new from Google is prima facie fantastic, and served with the best intentions. Google is a monolithic company, sure, but it's filled with geniuses who want to make your life easier through technology. Nobody's faulting their ambition, or questioning its motives. But we have to wonder: Are these new things meant for regular people, or the data-obsessed, grace-deficient Silicon Valley nerd vanguard? As much as we wish it weren't so, the answer seems a whole hell of a lot like the latter. That the company responsible for Android is still building for robots. In each case, Google has balanced on golden fingers a product—clearly with a lot of time, thought, and money behind it—that just doesn't seem to jibe with the way we actually live our lives. There isn't any lack of effort or innovation here, but rather a gaping disconnect between the way data geeks and the rest of us see the world. What happens when you fill a company with socially inept software engineers and allowing essential things like design take a back seat to engineering. That you can get the light bulb to work is not the ultimate goal. People have to want to use the light bulb.

Jobs’s Biographer to Page: What Part of “I’m Going to Destroy Android” Didn’t You Understand?

John Paczkowski, at AllThingsD:

During a lecture Wednesday evening at the U.K.’s Royal Institution, Isaacson took issue with Page’s remarks, stressing that Jobs was hardly kidding around when he threatened to destroy Android, which he lambasted as a stolen product. “[Apple's iOS] is almost copied verbatim by Android,” Isaacson said as reported by Macworld UK. “And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated [Steve]. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you.’” The actual quote, verbatim, from Jobs to Isaacson was this: “Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.’ Grand theft. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Google’s products — Android, Google Docs — are shit.” John Packzowski sums up: That’s a rant uttered for show? A little anecdote to give Apple employees an “obvious competitor … to rally around”? Hardly. If you want to talk about things that are for show, Larry, here’s a good one: Don’t be evil.

How To Install Instagram On Your Android Phone In 23 Easy Steps

Sarah Pavis, at Buzzfeed:

Step 3. Try to download Instagram from the Google Play app. Find that it is compatible with anything at or above 2.2 (Froyo, 2 major releases behind current). If you have an older Android phone like the HTC Nexus One (not to be confused with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the HTC One) that has limited internal memory then odds are you many not have enough internal storage space available because the Instagram app is 16MB (which is large for an Android app). Comically sad.

Google Forcing Android Developers To Use Google Wallet

Allstair Barr, writing for Reuters:

Google warned several developers in recent months that if they continued to use other payment methods - such as PayPal, Zong and Boku - their apps would be removed from Android Market, now known as Google Play… Google’s payment service charges a higher cut per transaction than some rivals’. But the move also suggests Google is using its powerful position in the mobile apps market to promote an in-house offering. Marco Arment aptly sums it up: "Open".

We Need To Talk About Android

Frasier Speirs, an expert on technology used in education, chimed in on a question he gets asked a lot: "What's wrong with Android?":

You're either buying into a platform or you're buying gadgets. The fundamental disconnect between the apparently solid Android engineering that's happening at Google and the actual packaging and deployment that's happening to end-users is turning into a real problem. To my mind, it's a dealbreaker for schools or anyone thinking beyond their next carrier subsidy. I would argue that most, if not all of the points that he lays out in his article, also apply to Enterprise as well.

And It Has A Stylus

5.3" And it has a stylus. I've been in disdain over the increasing screen size of Android phones over the past year as each OEM tries to one-up the other by releasing yet another model that is a bit larger than the last. But this takes the cake. I mean - seriously? Five point three inches. And people made fun of the iPad coming out for being a big iPhone. How many of those same hypocrites will now stand up and defend this handset?

Why I Hate Android

MG Siegler, writing on

Apple, for all the shit they get for being “closed” and “evil”, has actually done far more to wrestle control back from the carriers and put it into the hands of consumers. Google set off to help in this goal, then stabbed us all in the back and went the complete other way, to the side of the carriers. And because they smiled the entire time they were doing it and fed us this “open” bullshit, we thanked them for it. As Marco Arment put it: Remember when Google argued for net neutrality? They’ve been pretty quiet about it recently. If you read anything on the web this month, for me, please read MG's post. I agree with him 100 percent.

Gina Trapani ports Todo.txt from Android to iOS, 40% More Sales On First Day

Co-host of the TWiT network's This Week in Google podcast and highly regarded Android proponent, Gina Tapani, has ported her Todo.txt Android app to iOS:

I announced the app went on sale yesterday morning on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, then Lifehacker ran a post on it. It got no other press coverage. I announced the Android app release in exactly the same way on January 24th of last year (minus Google+, which didn't exist then). If my Googling skills serve me right, Lifehacker did not run a post the day the Android app went on sale, though they did the week before when I was beta-testing it. The first day of iOS app sales was solid: just around 365 apps sold, compared to the 215 I sold on the first day of Todo.txt Touch's availability in the Android Market. That means the iOS app sold 40% more units under somewhat similar conditions as the Android app on release day. Her whole post is worth the read as she discusses how the project came together (it's open source) and some of her thoughts on working on an iOS app in comparison to an Android app.