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Google's Rubin doubts Siri, backs Apple, Android tablets

updated 04:15 pm EDT, Wed October 19, 2011

Says Android tablets off to 'healthy' start

Google's mobile VP, Andy Rubin, made a number of Apple-related comments at today's AsiaD conference, All Things Digital reports. "I don't believe that your phone should be an assistant," he said regarding Siri, the voice command system so far limited to the iPhone 4S. "Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn't be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone." He did not, however, dismiss Siri entirely.

"To some degree it is natural for you to talk to your phone," he continued. "We'll see how pervasive it gets." Rubin added that one of the co-founders of Android, Rich Miner, had a cellphone speech company called Wildfire, and that another firm, General Magic, also worked on speech technology. "This isn't a new notion," said Rubin. "In projecting the future, I think Apple did a good job of figuring out when the technology was ready to be consumer-grade."

Rubin was also positive about Apple regarding its fate after the death of Steve Jobs. "Will Apple lose step with Steve's passing? I don't think so," he said. "The DNA in the people walking the halls at Apple is a very powerful combination of the arts and computer science, and I don't think that's changed with Steve's passing. That combination of creativity and computer science, it's still there. Apple will certainly miss Steve's leadership, but now it's time for the other guys to step up."

The VP did however try to downplay sales of Android tablets, which have dwelled only in the shadows next to those of the Apple iPad. "How come Android tablets have completely flopped in the market?" asked interviewer Walt Mossberg. "Well Walt, I wouldn't say completely flopped," Rubin responded. "There's a little over 6 million Android tablets that we know about...It's a healthy start...anything, I would say, over a couple hundred thousand pays for itself...but it's not thirty million."



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Rezzz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +43

    How do you interface with a phone?

    Whether through buttons, taps or voice, you must give your phone commands in order for it to perform tasks. Providing commands is a simple form of communication (1-way). That Siri can intelligently respond is a more compelling form of communication (2-way). The basis of this argument is therefore flawed. I do not call my friend to find out what the weather is like in Sarasota. Nor do I phone my brother to convert yards to feet; no matter how fun that would be. Mr. Rubin has it wrong in this instance.

  1. dashiel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +26

    balderdash

    If your phone was solely about “Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone” then 90% of the Apps that ship native to Android, and indeed iOS, WPS7, WebOS, etc… wouldn’t be necessary. No maps, no YouTube, no

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +27

    How is that different?

    If I talk into the phone to ask a question or if I type into the phone to ask a question, how is that different in the role of the phone? If I'm only suppose to communicate with someone on the other end, then why would I need Google on my phone?

    /

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +24

    6 Million??

    But how many are sitting on store shelves?? And in a warehouse in Austrailia?? and in a warehouse in Holland??

    Just a question?
    en

  1. peter02l

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +20

    comment title

    "anything, I would say, over a couple hundred thousand pays for itself..."

    Not of you end up having to sell them below cost.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +14

    Rubin...

    certainly didn't think his answer out did he? what a dolt! This guy is in charge of what? Someone once told me these kinds of conversations ALWAYS reek of envy. Ask the companies making tablets if they are flops or not? They were so afraid of not getting market share (and Apple when Steve was involved was not really about that) they rushed c*** to market. Of course that begs the question: If they had MORE time to prepare would it have been good, or, better c***?

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +28

    Translation

    "Holy c***, we have NOTHING as good as Siri in our pipeline, and it would be YEARS before we got to that level unless we buy somebody who's got similar technology. We got outfoxed by Apple AGAIN!"

  1. facebook_Jason

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011

    +16

    it's called damage control

    Make no mistake, Siri is not only the talk of consumers, but it's the talk of the device manufacturers and wireless industry right now. Once again Apple has created tidal waves in the industry and guys like Rubin are not sure what to make of it yet. I think Siri will become very pervasive with mobile devices and I"m sure apple has big plans ahead for it. Maybe in 10 years we'll look back and see that Siri was Steve Jobs final big "One more thing..."

  1. facebook_Memnautikus

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011

    +18

    What an ars

    This google guy is a complete dumba$$!!! I prefer texting then talking. I love telling Siri what to do. This Siri is freakin awesome. Wish they put one in a blowup doll!!

  1. facebook_Memnautikus

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011

    +2

    What an ars

    This google guy is a complete dumba$$!!! I prefer texting then talking. I love telling Siri what to do. This Siri is freakin awesome. Wish they put one in a blowup doll!!

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