Back in September of last year, Google chairman Eric Schmidt told us that Android had reached 1.3 million daily activations every day. Today, he tells us that number is up to 1.5 million, which is actually not that staggering of an increase. Andy Rubin said the number was 900,000 per day in June of 2012, so the increase from there to September was much, much faster than the increase from September to now. Still, it's an impressive number on its own. Oh and the total number of devices activated will cross one billion in "six to nine months." Not bad.

And what's the secret to all that success? Well, according to Schmidt, it's the platform's openness. A policy (and a "religion," it seems) that allows things like Facebook Home. While half of the tech world is nailing the app to the wall for being underwhelming (the half that leaves Play Store reviews, apparently), the other half insists that Google will not be happy about the customizations because it's a threat to the company's control of the OS. Well, according to Schmidt, not only is that far from the truth, but the idea is laughable bordering on insulting.

Schmidt was asked what Google had to say about speculation by Microsoft's Windows Phone head Terry Myerson that Google might pull Facebook Home from the Play Store if it became too much of a threat to Android. Schmidt's response was that Microsoft doesn't make Google policy and that Facebook Home is exactly the kind of thing that Android was designed for:

"This is what open source is all about...You can't have half open source. It's against our religion."

Barring the obvious jokes about that period between the releases of Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, this is not a shocking idea. In fact, despite what the tech pundits think, Google has embraced the ability of other companies to change what Android is from the very beginning. So, the idea that Schmidt thinks it's cool for Facebook to create this kind of launcher should come as no surprise.

There were other small nuggets of info to come out today, as well. Andy Rubin at an entirely different conference let on that Android was originally intended for use on cameras. Eric Schmidt also said that while he's excited about Google Glass, he was not willing to wear it on his trip to North Korea because, "I didn't want to freak them out. They have lots of guns." Oh and there was something about Motorola phones being more gooder.

Source: All Things D

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    Play store being open is BS. BUT I never saw facebook home as a "threat" in fact I wished manufactures did the same thing as home. This is how you can build an interface and distribute it without gimping the device it's on.

    • http://twitter.com/IamPeePay Tomáš Petrík

      "I wished manufactures did the same thing as home"
      I agree, as long as you can disable it and return to stock launcher - which you can't with Sense or Touchwiz. But you can with Facebook Home, even on the HTC First, so that's definitely a positive point for them.

  • bitbank

    How is Facebook Home any different from Sense or Touchwiz? I personally would never use it, but there's nothing stopping companies from customizing Android. Google gets upset when companies try to usurp the Google Play market or mess with app compatibility.

    • Aaron Berlin

      Search is deprecated. But Google must have known that would almost certainly become an inevitable issue when they decided to ditch the hard search button.

    • Freak4Dell

      Facebook Home is literally just a launcher on top of stock Android. You can install a different launcher on the HTC First, and it would look like a regular Android phone. Sense and Touchwiz are integrated into the framework. Even if you change the launcher, you'll still see the aspects of the themes in every other area of the OS.

      Google has no reason to get upset about Facebook home, since it doesn't affect app compatibility in any way, as you said, and it can be removed with a couple of simple clicks for the people that want to remove it. Skins aren't that easy. I still wish they would ban skins and force the manufacturers to just make them into launchers like Facebook, but I know that won't ever happen.

  • Asphyx

    Well I will admit I will never load or run Facebook Launcher but I am happy to hear Eric say this is what it android was made for.
    I only wish the Phone Manufacturers and Carriers would take the same approach to distinguishing their devices and limited their Distinctive touch to making their own Launcher as opposed to totally redoing the OS.
    I understand some tweaking to the OS as far as adding Features (re Samsung) is in order and worthwhile but we could have avoided things like MotoBlur and Sense if they were just a product of the launcher and not so embedded into the rest of the OS so they are inoperable or unavoidable for those who know they don't want it and wish to run a much cleaner unit.
    I wonder how many other Services companies will follow Facebook's example and start integrating themselves via Launcher.
    I may not like or use the product but this does seem to solve Facebook's problem with mobile support. Smart move on their part.

  • Sergio

    The world is plenty of people who love Facebook (as it is of people hating it) so this Facebook home thing helps leading Microsoft and Apple to a bit uncomfortable situation with crazy Facebook fans (who are a legion, I insist). On the other hand, I think Schmidt with his title words is telling us "Facebook Home? You're gonna see what we do with G+ and Google Now"

  • Tee

    1.5 million new devices a day is a huge amount. No matter how much it has grown or how fast they have reached it.

  • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

    Schmidt is a compulsive liar.