Gundotras Many Jabs at Apple Highlighted on Stage
Many of the 5,000 or so in the I/O audience laughed and cheered at Gundotra's obvious reference to Apple's lack of multitasking, which is actually coming next month in iPhone 4.0. Other features, tethering and portable hotspot, enable users to leverage their Android 2.2 smartphones as mini connectivity hubs for laptops, tablet computers and other WiFi-enabled devices.The executive also got applause for the way he couched his support of Adobe's Flash, the cross-platform media technology Apple declined to support on the iPhone and iPad. "It turns out that on the Internet, people use Flash. And part of being open means you are inclusive, rather than exclusive, and you are open to innovation," Gundotra said. Then he showed the Nickelodeon Website that wouldn't load on the iPad because it was created in Flash. He then accessed the Website on his Android 2.2-based Nexus One and it ran smoothly because the new OS supports Flash. "That's what openness means. It's really fun to work with other folks in the ecosystem to meet the needs of users, much nicer than just saying no." Gundotra later tackled the advertising issue, slashing at Apple's forthcoming iAd platform by noting Google has hundreds of thousands of advertisers. "We're not working with a handful of partners and charging them $1 million each to be part of our program," he said. "We can be your advertising partner." Ironically, the Federal Trade Commission would OK Google's bid for mobile ad provider AdMob one day later. That paves the way for Google to ratchet up its in-application ad strategy to meet iAd head on. For all of the coffee shop meetings Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Apple's Jobs might hold in public, Gundotra's points set the stage for the next leg of Google's war with Apple. Schmidt may lay claim to Jobs as a friend, but these companies' mobile philosophies hold oil-and-water contrasts. It's hard not to see Google and Apple as the Microsoft and Apple for the mobile Web war.
Gundotra demonstrated these features on an Android 2.2-based Nexus One, enabling the smartphone to connect to Apple's iPad. This again drew applause from developers in the audience as AT&T won't support tethering for Apple's iPhone and iPad.