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Here’s your required reading before Google I/O


Google I/O is only two days away, which means that soon we’ll finally know if a new Nexus 7 tablet is coming out, what the deal is with Android 4.3, and whether or not I’m any good at making predictions. In the meantime, two high-profile Google execs have decided to give some interesting media interviews, so here are the original sources, and a few highlights.

Eric Schmidt

Speaking to NPR last Saturday, Google’s chairman had this to say about privacy, Google Glass, and more:

  • “We keep information about your searches for 12 to 18 months, and then we forget everything.”
  • In response to the question of whether or not he can read anyone’s emails: “Yes, and I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death. Someone would find out, trust me.”
  • Regarding the early days at Google: “We had to have two rules. The first rule – these are both rules I enacted. The first is that you had to wear clothes to work … the second rule is that you have to have fun. You can be serious without wearing a suit, and we wanted to invent the future.”
  • On Google Glass: “Well, we don’t quite know yet. We have maybe 2,000 of these. We’ve shipped them out to developers, and we’re seeing what they develop.”
  • On Don’t be evil: “Well, it was invented by Larry and Sergey. And the idea was that we don’t quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don’t be evil, then employees can say, I think that’s evil … I’m sitting in this meeting, and we’re having this debate about an advertising product. And one of the engineers pounds his fists on the table and says, that’s evil. And then the whole conversation stops, everyone goes into conniptions, and eventually we stopped the project. So it did work.”

The full transcript is available at NPR.

Sundar Pichai

Here’s what the man in charge of both Chrome and Android had to say about both platforms, and more:

  • On the co-existence of Chrome and Android: “Android and Chrome are both large, open platforms, growing very fast. I think that they will play a strong role, not merely exist. I see this as part of friendly innovation and choice for both users and developers … We embrace both and we are continuing to invest in both. So in the short run, nothing changes. In the long run, computing itself will dictate the changes.
  • On the biggest challenge for Android: “Here’s the challenge: without changing the open nature of Android, how do we help improve the whole world’s end-user experience? For all your users, no matter where they are, or what phone or tablet they are buying or what tablet they are buying.”
  • On Facebook Home: “As for the specific product, my personal take on it is that time will tell. To Mark [Zuckerberg], people are the center of everything. I take a slightly different approach. I think life is multifaceted: people are a huge part of it, but not the center and be-all of everything.”
  • On Facebook Home and the Amazon Kindle altering the Android user experience: “In general, we at Google would love everyone to work on one version of Android, because I think it benefits everyone better. But this is not the kind of stuff we’re trying to prevent. Our focus is not on Facebook Home or Kindle Fire.”
  • On threats from Samsung: “I realize this gets played up in the press a lot. Samsung is a great partner to work with. We work with them on pretty much almost all our important products. Here’s my Samsung Galaxy S4. [Pichai holds up the phone.]”
  • On future Google-branded hardware: “You will see a continuation of what we have tried to do with Nexus and Chromebooks. Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward.”
  • Is Android making Google enough money? “We’re very comfortable with our business model.”
  • On Android’s fragmentation: “We are thinking about how to make Android handle updates better. We see ways we can do this. It’s early days. We’re talking with our partners and working our way through it. We need time to figure out the mechanics, but it’s definitely an area of focus for me and for the team.”
  • On what to expect at Google I/O this year: “It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.”

The full transcript of this interview is available at Wired.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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