Whether it's a "moonshot" or not, Google seems to be dedicating considerable resources to its new robotics initiative, both financial and human. Almost three months ago Romain Guy, a highly-visible part of Google's internal Android software engineering team (and a pretty spiffy photographer to boot), announced that he was leaving Android for another internal Google position. He has since confirmed that he's moved to the new Google robotics team, currently headed by ex-Android head honcho Andy Rubin.
When Android founder Andy Rubin announced that he was leaving the Android team back in May of this year, it was a shock to say the least. At the time Mr. Rubin confirmed that he was staying with Google itself, but declined to say what his new role would be. Six months later, a report from the New York Times seems to have the first information on what he's been doing.
Update: Here's Andy Rubin's farewell letter to Android partners. (via The Verge)
In November of 2007 we announced the Open Handset Alliance with 34 founding members. Today, I'm grateful to the over 85 OHA members who have helped us build Android and drive innovation at such an incredible pace. The Android ecosystem has seen tremendous growth since the launch of the very first Android device in October 2008.
Now that Andy Rubin himself has officially snubbed what were apparently rather strong rumors of Google opening its own retail stores in the US, there's a lot of humdrum floating around about whether or not a Google Store would actually make sense.
On the one hand, with its increasing arsenal of hardware products on the Play Store, Google definitely has a wide enough selection of toys to at least give a standalone brick and mortar location (or two) a shot.
Andy Rubin, you coy devil. I suppose we could ignore those rumors about Google retail stores if you ask nicely and bat your eyes at us. That's what the head of Android would like us to do, anyway, as he spoke at Mobile World Congress stating that "Google has no plans [for a retail store] and we have nothing to announce."
Why not, though? This sure sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in the Android fan world.
Hurricane Sandy is just not letting anyone catch a break. In addition to causing the cancelation of Google's Android event, where we were expecting the company to tell us about a whole bunch of fun stuff, it looks like D: Dive Into Mobile is also being postponed. Among many others, Andy Rubin was scheduled to speak at the event.
As of right now, All Things D has not said when the event will be rescheduled for.
In the last week, many tech-savvy westerners have gotten more familiar than they probably would have ever liked to with a Chinese company by the name of Alibaba. Most of those people still probably aren't aware just quite how huge the Hangzhou-based firm is.
Influential tech personality, and sometimes well-meaning rumormonger Robert Scoble kicked up some controversy earlier today when he reported via Google+ that Google's Andy Rubin was preparing to make an exit. Rubin, Scoble claimed, was planning to leave Google to take charge of a new startup called CloudCar. Andy Rubin has always been in charge of Android, so his departure would have cast an undeniable pallor over the upcoming Google I/O.
Just a few hours after Scoble posted his thoughts on the matter, Andy Rubin came out of the woodwork on Twitter to make it clear he was not leaving Google.
Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?
A Brief History Of Motorola And Android
Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID.