JAX London 2014: A retrospective
Jobs 'when most people think of open, they think of Windows.'

Jobs Rubbishes Google’s Open Talk

Jessica Thornsby
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Google Vice President of Engineering hits back at Jobs’ definition of ‘open’ in Android.

It’s no secret that there’s no love lost between Android and Apple, with Steve Jobs dismissing Google’s OS from the get-go. According to an account by Wired, following the launch of Nexus One, Jobs called the OS Google’s attempt to “kill the iPhone” before confidently stating “we won’t let them…….we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.” And now, during Apple’s earnings call this week, Jobs announced that iOS devices are activated more often than Android devices, and that the Android Market’s 90,000 apps are no match for the 300,000 apps in Apple’s App Store. He then referred to Google’s open talk as “disingenuous” and that “when most people think of open, they think of Windows, which is available on a variety of different devices.” This led one viewer of the accompanying YouTube clip to comment “lol at the windows-open sentence! Job seems not to even grasp the concept of OPEN SOURCE.” The Google Vice President of Engineering has since leant a helping hand in clarifying the definition of ‘open,’ tweeting a few lines of code that represent making a directory containing Android’s source code.

During the call, Jobs also pointed to the recent stats published by TweetDeck, which show the Android version of the Twitter client has to “contend” with more than a “100 different versions of Android.” However, when TweetDeck shared these statistics, their perspective was “it’s pretty cool to have our app work on such a wide variety of devices and Android OS variations.” Founder of TweetDeck, Iain Dodsworth has since tweeted a response to Jobs that makes TweetDeck’s position on Android clear: “Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn’t. It wasn’t.” Androinica have suggested that, if open source is all about the freedom to choose, then TweetDeck’s stats actually prove that Android is open. Looking at the TweetDeck graph, no one could argue that Android users don’t have choice – but where does ‘freedom of choice’ become a fragmented platform?

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