After putting together a very comprehensive and varied keynote at the Google I/O developers’ conference, Android head honcho Sundar Pichai sat down with WIRED Magazine for a very candid interview on the current trends and issues that are affecting the Android OS at this point. And fresh from putting on the table the “L” iteration of Android that we’re probably getting later this year, Pichai had a lot of things to say about Android’s pervasiveness, and about strengthening the identity of Android OS among other issues.
When asked about how Android was going about the integration from multiple devices, he basically claims that Google takes a relatively “more open approach” than other platforms like iOS and Microsoft’s Windows. “For example, you can plug a Chromecast into your television and still continue to use your iPhone or an iPad,” Pichai said. “We do take a horizontal approach–we want many things to work together.”
Lately, Android has been taking a harder line on keeping the OS as it is, without third-party manufacturers tweaking it so much, like Samsung’s TouchWiz. In this issue, Pichai reiterates that Google would like to expect Android devices to “do the things which we are expecting it to.” When asked about Amazon’s Fire phone, Pichai categorically says that he doesn’t consider it an Android phone, in the sense that “it’s not compatible and consistent the way we would like it to be.” This is consistent with the company’s statements regarding the Android Silver efforts, with Google looking to make sure that users get to experience Android at its full potential.
Lastly, the Android boss reiterated Google’s commitment to the open source nature of the OS. When asked about devices and manufacturers who change the Android platform, he implies that this is a risk Google is willing to take because Pichai believes the company will be “better off” for it in the long term. Pichai says that this system is “a great thing for users, developers, and Google.” Android’s top man firmly believes that fully open source is still the way to go for Android. “It’s a virtuous cycle. So far we like the way it’s working,” he concluded.