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3/15/2010
06:30 PM
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Google's Tim Bray Hates Apple's iPhone

The newly hired Android developer advocate rails against Apple's constraints on iPhone apps.

Wasting no time, Google's latest hire embraced his new role as Android developer advocate by declaring that he hates Apple's iPhone, even though its hardware and software are "great."

"The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet's future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what," Tim Bray declared in a blog post. "It's a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord's pleasure and fear his anger."

Such sentiment echoes criticism leveled against Apple recently by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which characterized Apple's behavior as that of "a jealous and arbitrary feudal lord."

Bray last month left his position at Sun as director of Web technologies after Sun was acquired by Oracle. He has joined Google amid an escalating battle with Apple over the smartphone market.

On March 2nd, Apple filed a lawsuit against HTC claiming that the Taiwan-based company had violated 20 iPhone patents, a legal assault widely seen as an effort to slow market adoption of mobile phones running Google's Android operating system.

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. "We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Google, not directly involved in the lawsuit, has nonetheless said that it stands behind its Android partners.

In his blog post, Bray makes it clear that he doesn't believe Google is beyond reproach. Referring to the company's "Don't be evil" motto, he observes that Google is "now too big to be purely good or in fact purely anything."

Jobs, in a town meeting following the introduction of Apple's iPad in January, reportedly was more critical of Google's motto, mocking it with an unequivocal expletive.

However, Bray voices his unreserved support for Google's corporate philosophy and notes that with the iPhone selling 90,000 units per day and Android devices selling at a rate 60,000 units per day, the race between the two companies is on.

The competition is taking place outside the sales arena, too. According to TechCrunch, Apple just hired RJ Pittman, a director of product management at Google.

In November, Google acquired AdMob as Apple was preparing to purchase the company.

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