Google's reaction to Apple's iPhone unveiling: 'We're going to have to start over' on Android

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  • Reply 121 of 226
    I was going to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. Well said. Blackberry (RIM), Microsoft, and Nokia just buried their heads in the sand and thought they could keep their existing smartphone OS's while the iPhone sucked all the air out of the room. Only Google and Palm reacted quickly enough -- and Palm stumbled on execution.

    I felt bad for Palm.

    This is the phone Palm announced just 2 days before the iPhone announcement in 2007:

    700700


    It just shows how behind other companies were. None of them were thinking about the next big thing. Palm spent all that time building yet another Treo instead of creating something new.

    And that lack of vision was the cause of their demise.
  • Reply 122 of 226
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,683member
    gatorguy wrote: »

    ... and it appears Google may have stepped in a couple weeks later to tell MM to drop the ITC complaint. Or perhaps MM had their own reasons. It may even be connected to Apple's out-of-the-blue licensing agreement with HTC just a month later. In any event at MM's request the ITC dismissed it in October of last year so there isn't any new lawsuit against Apple. So what was the other one of the two you thought you knew about?

    So Google could say stop it but can't say go ahead and sue? You keep saying they're separate so Google shouldn't have any say.
  • Reply 123 of 226
    I felt bad for Palm.

    This is the phone Palm announced just 2 days before the iPhone announcement in 2007:

    700700


    It just shows how behind other companies were. None of them were thinking about the next big thing. Palm spent all that time building yet another Treo instead of creating something new.

    And that lack of vision was the cause of their demise.

    Well, looks that way in hindsight, but the market was very different before the iPhone. If the iPhone didn't exist, that Windows Mobile-powered Palm Treo would have done just fine competing for a piece of the "mobile email warrior" market with RIM, and the rest of us would continue to carry separate feature phones (I had a Moto RAZR) and an iPod for songs, because yes, smartphones were bulky and crippled, and nobody thought of them as serious computing devices. If you'd had told me that in 6 years, I'd go from a slow, Java Brew flip phone to a 64-bit pocket computer capable of playing Infinity Blade III and recording and playing 1080p HD movies, I could scarcely believe that. But that's where we are today.
  • Reply 124 of 226

    Haha crApple fans always the same.  crApple invented oxygen so they patent that!  Everyone copied crApple blah blah blah.

     

    Samsung Rulz!

  • Reply 125 of 226
    Well, looks that way in hindsight, but the market was very different before the iPhone. If the iPhone didn't exist, that Windows Mobile-powered Palm Treo would have done just fine competing for a piece of the "mobile email warrior" market with RIM

    Absolutely!

    It didn't look like anyone was ready to throw out the old rulebook and make something new. Palm released a few more Treos and Centros all the way through 2008. Palm didn't take the next step until they hired some new talent... created a brand new OS... and released the Palm Pre. Would they have done that if the iPhone didn't launch? I agree with you... I think it would have been more of the same ol' same ol'

    It's the same story for RIM. They were very successfully making the types of phones they've always made. They were the kings of the QWERTY email phone. It was business as usual. Then Apple had a little announcement.

    Do we honestly think the abysmal Blackberry Storm was on their roadmap prior to the iPhone announcment? I don't think so... it looked like they threw it together at the last minute. RIM was the 2nd company who was caught flatfooted by Apple and the next generation of smartphones.
  • Reply 126 of 226
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,662member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Incorrect. FRAND applies only to those patents deemed essential. That category would probably not include the majority of MM patents. Even in the case of FRAND-pledged IP they aren't precluded from suing to protect their investment. They would only need to avoid requesting injunctions in most (but not all) circumstances for illegitimate use of their intellectual property, often referred to as theft here at AI.



    Even with the agreed on limits from DoJ and the EU Google could pull their own Rockstar move, dodge and weave, and assign them to an NPE or "patent troll" for enforcement. Of course they wouldn't so it's a moot point.

     

    Fantasyland that you have created.

     

    "Google won't use it's superpowers for evil" doesn't cut it with stockholders.

     

    As Google and its Android partners see more and more infringement actions from the likes of MS, Nokia, and Apple, there won't be any Motorola IP to negotiate with. Motorola just doesn't have much, if any, non SEP of value.

     

    I'm going to quite enjoy Nokia attacking Google and Android OEM's on map and navigation IP infringement. Google just can't stomach having to pay licensing fees for Android, though it isn't as if most of the Android OEM's aren't licensing IP from MS as is.

     

    But Google maps and navigation are very much cross platform, and that could get very expensive.

  • Reply 127 of 226
    nagromme wrote: »
    I bet there's some misleading sense in which something vaguely like that could be said and be true in an unimportant way. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">I'd love to see the evidence about what Google was REALLY doing with Touch before they suddenly went so closely iPhone-like. Is that something that gets repeated with reliable links or screenshots, or just Fox News-style myth that gets repeated on forums? I've heard that too, but if I ever saw a link it made no impression on me--and I'll immediately stop crediting Apple with the modern smartphone if I see evidence to point toward Google coincidentally doing the same thing.</span>

    (I'd think every phone compnay was doing "something" with touch: you could say PDAs have had some sort of touch ever since the Newton, and some old-style PDA smartphones too. Every laptop as well, since Apple popularized the trackpad. "Touch-based" in theory could be like DaVinci's helicopter: all wrong, but he could claim to have done something!)

    gatorguy wrote: »
    From about the 3 min mark on there's some touch interface demos. This particular video is from early Nov 2007.

    That video is great, Gatorguy. But the iPhone announcement was January 2007... 11 months earlier.

    Where are the Android touch interface demos from 2006 ?

    I agree with nagromme... where is the evidence about Google's touchscreen ambitions prior the the iPhone announcement?

    Speaking of 2006... here is what Google was working on at the time: The Verge

    From the Verge article: "the baseline specs required two soft menu keys, indicating that touchscreens weren't really in the plan at all."

    And from this article we're all commenting on... "We're going to have to start over"

    "Starting over" implies that they're throwing out what they've been working on... and creating something new.

    If Android was always a touchscreen OS... why were they starting over?

    We've now seen a few pictures and drawings of Blackberry-esqe prototypes... but no touchscreen prototypes dating before the iPhone.

    I wonder why that is...
  • Reply 128 of 226
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,662member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post







    That video is great, Gatorguy. But the iPhone announcement was January 2007... 11 months earlier.



    Where are the Android touch interface demos from 2006 ?



    I agree with nagromme... where is the evidence about Google's touchscreen ambitions prior the the iPhone announcement?



    Speaking of 2006... here is what Google was working on at the time: The Verge



    From the Verge article: "the baseline specs required two soft menu keys, indicating that touchscreens weren't really in the plan at all."



    And from this article we're all commenting on... "We're going to have to start over"



    "Starting over" implies that they're throwing out what they've been working on... and creating something new.



    If Android was always a touchscreen OS... why were they starting over?



    We've now seen a few pictures and drawings of Blackberry-esqe prototypes... but no touchscreen prototypes dating before the iPhone.



    I wonder why that is...

    "You mean we get to kill the keypad and use the entire screen?" would have been a few hours coding for a larger screen if in fact Android was fully touch capable.

     

    As you have stated, it wasn't.

  • Reply 129 of 226

    I love so much the android hate posts in this forum. Apple doesn't care about you, Google doesn't care about you. They just want you to buy their products. And by the way, if there wasn't any copying, there wouldn't be any innovation.

  • Reply 130 of 226
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    wow, the droid dorks really have their panties in a wad today.

    Yup...and the 'spin' cycle is nudging 11 to counter and rewrite history even as we speak. :D
  • Reply 131 of 226
    froodfrood Posts: 771member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

     

     

    Going to just step in here for the 99.9% here. Google stole all of Apple's IP.  Duh.

     

    But seriously, I agree with you. Obviously Google responded to the iPhone through mimic of design, generally speaking, as they well should have.  The iPhone and iOS ushered in a new standard of smart phone design and following that lead was necessary.  Regardless of Jobs' grandiose delusion of burying Google over "stealing", competition is good, healthy and necessary.  Doubtful that iOS would have evolved to what it is today without said competition. 


     

    Google stole all of Apple's IP...  but I think many people extend the iPhone to encompass much more than the tremendous but limited IP added to it.

     

    The iPhone borrowed far more technology than it added.  That's how it works.  Technology builds on technology and you move forward from there.  Apple's iPhone did not invent the CPU, touch screen, Gorilla glass, plastic, wireless communication- and if you remove those there isn't much of a product left.  Apple added an elegant form, multitouch, and bounceback and attempted with those to block anyone else from advancing their products.  They failed at obstructing competition for the most part, but at the same time are getting healthy legal settlements from it.

     

    Google recognized mobile as the future.  Microsoft laughed at it.  Google's fear at the time was Microsoft, not Apple.  Everyone at that time still kind of thought of Apple as a niched small fry.  Google was worried MS would take things seriously, and inevitably get the same 90ish percent market share they had in the PC market.  Since MS had just tried to kick Google out of Windows, Google was faced with having a fabulous search product with no platform control.  They started Android well before the iPhone was released primarily in response to that threat- but the iPhone was just one of those eye poppers.  They were the quickest to realize the old phone market was gone and they needed to enter the new phone market.

  • Reply 132 of 226
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member

    That video is great, Gatorguy. But the iPhone announcement was January 2007... 11 months earlier.

    Where are the Android touch interface demos from 2006 ?

    I agree with nagromme... where is the evidence about Google's touchscreen ambitions prior the the iPhone announcement?

    I think it's pretty obvious what direction Android was originally going to take for it's first consumer smartphone. It would be silly to dispute the intent. It' was not going to be a primarily touch-centric device and instead was focused on the more typical keyboard/pad entry. As the book claims, the iPhone changed the focus and put the first Android smartphone introduction on hold for several months.

    As far as whether there was also a group already working on a touch interface before the iPhone was demo'd perhaps the upcoming book might shed light on it. I'd suspect there was at least some development taking place on a touch control interface from almost the beginning but that's just my guess. Video evidence? I'm not aware anything anywhere prior to the Nov/07 intro, and that one demos some touch features. That doesn't' mean an even earlier one doesn't exist I suppose but I've not ever seen one.

    From what I've read the first public touch-enabled release of Android to developers was m3 which didn't happen until Nov/07. By February/08 they were up to m5 and by then it looked much more like a touchscreen phone, no physical keyboard needed at all.
  • Reply 133 of 226
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    Absolutely!

    It didn't look like anyone was ready to throw out the old rulebook and make something new. Palm released a few more Treos and Centros all the way through 2008. Palm didn't take the next step until they hired some new talent... created a brand new OS... and released the Palm Pre. Would they have done that if the iPhone didn't launch? I agree with you... I think it would have been more of the same ol' same ol'

    It's the same story for RIM. They were very successfully making the types of phones they've always made. They were the kings of the QWERTY email phone. It was business as usual. Then Apple had a little announcement.

    Do we honestly think the abysmal Blackberry Storm was on their roadmap prior to the iPhone announcment? I don't think so... it looked like they threw it together at the last minute. RIM was the 2nd company who was caught flatfooted by Apple and the next generation of smartphones.

    Agreed, if BlackBerry had taken a little more time and released the z10 instead of the Storm they'd probably still be a major player, and Palm would also be around if they had made a more inspiring piece of hardware than the Pre. They rushed to compete and in doing so caused the opposite effect they were aiming for.
  • Reply 134 of 226

    The part that burns me the most is the phone icon.



    Same color, same handset, same angle.



    Couldn't they have AT LEAST used a little circle with holes for an skeuomorphic dialer, or a old-style phone shape, or even a tiny "phone" shape with a little antenna sticking out of the top right (like a candy-bar phone?).

     

    Or even a different color for it?

     

    Or even a different location?

     

    That green phone icon in the same spot is what makes it totally shameless.

     

    One must copy if that's all there is, but they could've at least "spun-it" a LITTLE.



    And they had to steal the dock-concept too?

     

    -retch.

  • Reply 135 of 226
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I think it's pretty obvious what direction Android was originally going to take for it's first consumer smartphone. It would be silly to dispute the intent. It' was not going to be a primarily touch-centric device and instead was focused on the more typical keyboard/pad entry. As the book claims, the iPhone changed the focus and put the first Android smartphone introduction on hold for several months.

    As far as whether there was also a group already working on a touch interface before the iPhone was demo'd perhaps the upcoming book might shed light on it. I'd suspect there was at least some development taking place on a touch control interface from almost the beginning but that's just my guess. Video evidence? I'm not aware anything anywhere prior to the Nov/07 intro, and that one demos some touch features. That doesn't' mean an even earlier one doesn't exist I suppose but I've not ever seen one.

    From what I've read the first public touch-enabled release of Android to developers was m3 which didn't happen until Nov/07. By February/08 they were up to m5 and by then it looked much more like a touchscreen phone, no physical keyboard needed at all.

    We all know that Google had a ton of wacky skunk work projects going all the time. Total shotgun approach. I suspect few saw the light of day. To dig one up that happened to be at least in the right direction, now seen in hindsight, is very clever of you. The issue is though, obviously that wasn't what Google was going to launch until Apple blew the lid off everything. Which is precisely what the OP was about, an admission of exactly that.
  • Reply 136 of 226
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    We all know that Google had a ton of wacky skunk work projects going all the time. Total shotgun approach. I suspect few saw the light of day. To dig one up that happened to be at least in the right direction, now seen in hindsight, is very clever of you. The issue is though, obviously that wasn't what Google was going to launch until Apple blew the lid off everything. Which is precisely what the OP was about, an admission of exactly that.

    Here's an interesting post from someone who says she was one of the 2006 Android team members. (Edit: verified Dianne Hackborn) According to her there were two parallel phone interface developments. One was "Sooner" which was the one intended for the earliest release and used an existing design and hardware (and the one mentioned in the book excerpt) while "Dream", a touchscreen version, was being worked on at the same time, and before the iPhone announcement.

    "From a software perspective, Sooner and Dream were basically the same -- different form-factors, one without a touch screen -- but they were not so different as this article indicates and the switch between them was not such a huge upheaval.

    The main reason for the differences in schedule was hardware: Sooner was a variation of an existing device that HTC was shipping, while Dream was a completely new device with a lot of things that had never been shipped before, at least by HTC (new Qualcomm chipset, sensors, touch screen, the hinge design, etc). So Sooner was the safe/fast device, and Dream was the risky/long-term device.

    However the other factor in this was the software. Work on the Android we know today (which is what is running in that Sooner) basically started around late 2005 / early 2006. I got to Google at the beginning of 2006, and it was around that time we started work on everything from the resource system through the view hierarchy, to the window manager and activity manager that you know today. Some work on stuff we have today (like SurfaceFlinger) was started a bit earlier, but also after Google acquired Android.

    Even if there was no iPhone, there is a good chance that Sooner would have been dropped, since while it was a good idea to get Android out quickly from a hardware perspective, the software schedule was much longer. I don't recall the exact dates, but I believe the decision to drop Sooner was well before the iPhone announcement... though we continued to use it for quite a while internally for development, since it was the only semi-stable hardware platform we had. If nothing else, it helped remove significant risk from the schedule since software development could be done on a relatively stable device while the systems team brought up the new hardware in parallel.

    So what you see running on that Sooner is the same Android that would run on Dream. This is one of the reasons we have the -notouch resource qualifier, for the UI select a touch-based or non-touch interface depending on the device. Also at that point most of the widgets you see in the UI (lists and such) are the ListView and GalleryView we have today, and would already be able to react to touch input if they received it. And the software on there was using our layout managers to resize the UI elements to match the screen size.

    However that build may not have things in it like actually running apps in multiple processes. ;) That was one of the lagging implementations in Android, which was increasingly making the hardware schedule for Sooner not match the software schedule for Android. I think almost everyone on the team was relieved when Sooner was dropped, just because it gave some relieve on the core software schedule.

    Imagine if Sooner had gone out at a reasonable time before Dream, say a year before. This was when we released the preview SDK. We had a mad dash to get the SDK somewhat cleaned up for that, but did lots of iterations on it in the following months. We had barely gotten multiple processes working (it was so close you still see remnants of our single process environment in the SDK with Application.onTerminate).

    During the time from when the SDK came out to when the G1 shipped, we spent many many months working on stabilizing, optimizing, and productizing the platform. This was a platform that had never been shipped before, with a lot of pretty unusual designs -- up until near the end, you had to wonder "is this actually going to work?"

    We also had a long lead time required in stabilizing the platform before shipping the device. Partly because of uncertainty of how everything would work together, partly because the team hadn't shipped a device before and didn't know the tricks we do now for tuning the release schedule. At the time we shipped the device, we even felt like we had to assume that what we shipped on the ROM was it, and we would never be able to deliver an update to it!

    So be careful when you look at screen shots. People who aren't programmers, understandably, see a UI and take that to be all there is to know. We should know however that what is behind the part you can see is actually a lot more complicated, stuff you could never realize just from what you see with your eyes. People throwing up pictures of a UI they have played with and coming to conclusion that explain what is going on behind the scenes may get some things wrong. ;)"

    http://www.osnews.com/thread?517243
  • Reply 137 of 226
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    frood wrote: »
    Google stole all of Apple's IP...  but I think many people extend the iPhone to encompass much more than the tremendous but limited IP added to it.

    The iPhone borrowed far more technology than it added.  That's how it works.  Technology builds on technology and you move forward from there.  Apple's iPhone did not invent the CPU, touch screen, Gorilla glass, plastic, wireless communication- and if you remove those there isn't much of a product left.  Apple added an elegant form, multitouch, and bounceback and attempted with those to block anyone else from advancing their products.  They failed at obstructing competition for the most part, but at the same time are getting healthy legal settlements from it.

    Google recognized mobile as the future.  Microsoft laughed at it.  Google's fear at the time was Microsoft, not Apple.  Everyone at that time still kind of thought of Apple as a niched small fry.  Google was worried MS would take things seriously, and inevitably get the same 90ish percent market share they had in the PC market.  Since MS had just tried to kick Google out of Windows, Google was faced with having a fabulous search product with no platform control.  They started Android well before the iPhone was released primarily in response to that threat- but the iPhone was just one of those eye poppers.  They were the quickest to realize the old phone market was gone and they needed to enter the new phone market.

    Agreed, and there was no other way for Google to ensure that all those mobile devices would be used to do Google searches unless they released their own OS. It's absolutely true that their first phone was a BB/Treo clone but they were smart enough to see the paradigm shift Apple had created and Google adjusted their business plan accordingly. Business is dog eat dog and Palm has already been devoured and there's not much left of BB and while many will say that going with Android hasn't helped the likes of Motorola, LG, HTC, etc they are surviving and the longer they survive the more of a chance they have to become profitable like Samsung.
  • Reply 138 of 226
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

     

    That video suggests that although google had to redesign the UI for touch, some of the plumbing of the OS was already in place when google first heard about the iPhone. The guy demonstrates several features characteristic of modern-day android, such as an early version of the notification bar as well as what seems like an early incarnation of the intents system for passing data between apps (contacts to maps in the video).




    And that demo is from Nov 2007, almost a year after the iPhone was introduced. A video of what they were working on *before* the introduction would be a lot more useful.

  • Reply 139 of 226
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    scannall wrote: »

    And that demo is from Nov 2007, almost a year after the iPhone was introduced. A video of what they were working on *before* the introduction would be a lot more useful.

    A video of what Apple is working on before they introduce it would be helpful too. Then they wouldn't need to rely on hiring each others engineers to keep up with the latest skinny. ;)

    EDIT: Interesting tidbit tho slightly OT. The new Ubuntu touchscreen tablet is utilizing a layer of open-source Android code and Google-developed SurfaceFlinger for it's touch interface.
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTMwODg
  • Reply 140 of 226

    I suspect he was angered mostly because Google was supposed to be a "partner."

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