July 30, 2013, 2:09 PM — Google Preparing to Dump Android?
Apple Insider has a fascinating article that explores the possibility of Google dumping Android for Chrome OS. You might at first think this is a crazy notion, given the popularity of Android phones in particular. However, it's not as far fetched an idea as it might seem initially.
Android has not brought much money in for Google, after you add up all of the costs associated with it (development, legal hassles, etc.). In fact, the company that has benefited the most from Android is Samsung, not Google.
While Android has been widely deployed on smartphones globally and is almost universally considered a tremendous success, the platform and its close association with its namesake Rubin, who was himself nicknamed "Android" while working at Apple in the early 1990s, has inflicted more liability and expense on Google than it has strategic opportunity, revenues or profits.
Evidence from multiple sources, including the design decisions behind Google's latest Chromecast product, support the idea that the company now sees more future potential and interest in investing in Chrome OS than in continuing to support Rubin's Android and defending the platform from ongoing intellectual property disputes, even if the company has no interest in publicizing those intentions.
Android was supposed to insure Google's continued flow of search profits, but it has instead become something of a millstone around Google's neck as Samsung as absconded with most of the profits from Android device sales. Couple that with the hugely expensive acquisition of Motorola, and you have a financial mess on Google's hands.
Chrome OS might offer Google another chance to offer something that is closer to what Apple has with iOS. Companies like Samsung would not be able to so easily profit from Chrome OS the way that they have with Android. Google would have more control over who uses it on their devices.
We'll see how this plays out, I found the article fairly compelling in making a case that Google is slowly moving away from Android. What a shock it will to the technology world if this proves to be true.
Tox: Free, Open Source Secure Messaging
There's quite a lot of media news about the NSA spying scandals, and the general feeling among a lot of people is that most applications do not protect people's privacy from unwanted and unconstitutional government spying.
Enter Tox, a free and open source platform for messages, calls and video. Tox promises "leading-class encryption" as well as an easy to use interface, and the freedom to use it or modify it as you like.