As we all know, Google acquired Android 10 years ago this week. Sure doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, now does it?Xiaomi’s VP, Hugo Barra once led the Android division before leaving in 2013 to head to China to work with Xiaomi. Who is planning to bring their phones over to the US in about another year. Which is an exciting time for the company. Hugo spoke with Emily Chang of Bloomberg this past week, and one of the iconic quotes from that interview includes “Android was probably the best decision that Google ever made – you know, years ago.” We’d have to agree. Without Android, where would Google be? Where would Blackberry, Windows Phone, iOS, heck even WebOS be right now? It would definitely be an entirely different landscape in mobile.
Hugo also stated that making the platform open like Google did was the only decision the company really had. Adding that it would have been very tough to get the type of adoption of Android that we have seen today. With Android leading the pack by miles and miles, in terms of market share. Barra also doesn’t think that Google would ever make it a paid service like Apple’s iOS. As it wouldn’t be fair to its users. In this case, users he means the OEMs. Which get Android for free from Google. With a closed operating system like that, it means you can’t really choose your browser, your search engine, your messaging app. There’s a lot of things that you wouldn’t be able to swap out if you didn’t like them.
Barra also went on to say that it wouldn’t make sense for Xiaomi to build its own operating system. And that they would rather put that engineering horsepower into developing services and features for their smartphones on top of Android. Which is known as MIUI, on Xiaomi smartphones. Many of the features in MIUI are actually thought up from their community of users. We’ve seen another company, Samsung, try to make their own OS from scratch, and so far it hasn’t faired too well. While Tizen is on version 3.0, it’s sale numbers pale in comparison to Samsung’s Android devices.