Dec 10 AT 2:37 PM Angie Wimberly 44 Comments

Is Android a Trojan Horse?

Google holds a pretty intimidating role in many markets, and therefore isn’t always the most welcome contender. We had a feeling this might be the case, and in this video, we hear an opinion of Google’s role in the GPS market with Google Maps Navigation.

GPS Business News interviews Jim Nardulli, the vice president of worldwide sales for mobile navigation software house, Nav N Go, and reveals a bit of dissent towards Google’s marketing strategies.

It’s very clear to me that Google Maps Navigation, for free, ad supported, is just another ornament that they are hanging on the Trojan horse of Android.

I could be glib and say that Google has a very nice advertising app that also has navigation as a feature, but that would be disingenuous, I suspect.

Do you trust your search results if you know that the first five are paid for? That’s a question. I don’t have the answer.

Nardulli emphasized that Nav N Go is in business to connect with the consumer and that they are not in the business of competing with their customers. What do you think of Google’s role and how they are affecting smaller companies? Is Android really a Trojan horse poised for attack?

Source: GPS Business News

Angie is a designer and illustrator living in Austin, Texas. She's a graduate of the Communication Design program at Texas State and joined us full-time after a two-year run at a design firm here in Austin.

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  • Terence

    Nope. Sounds like someones jus upset that Google FREE product is as good or better than the highly expensive paid GPS solutions out there. And last I checked I haven’t encountered a single ad while using Google Maps Navigation and we may never see them..on Android. For other platforms, not so sure

    • http://Website CJ

      Agreed. It’s obvious that Mr. Nardulli just realized that stand alone GPS isn’t long for this world. Lol.

      • http://Website 9ooyan

        he looks like a frightened pre-teen in that picture and oh so haggard in the video. a lot of sleepless nights lately, eh nardulli? i understand, your overpriced products not selling so well these days. i hope you saved up for your kids’ college tuition. because maybe if they’re lucky they’ll qualify for a job at google some day.

  • David Shellabarger

    Lets just be honest, just about everyone on this site is a google fan boy or fan girl.
    I don’t think we’re that worried about google showing us ads.

  • Fernando

    C’mon, Nardulli… Clearly you are tard… Go home, tard.

  • http://Website Serg

    All ads by Google have explicit “Ads by Google” statement on them. So to answer your question, yes, i do trust my search results.

  • CerebralHack

    If anyone ever asks “Whats the definition of a hater” just point em here and have em watch the bit about Google and Android

  • abi

    lmfao I think someone at google took a crap in his coco puffs lol. And o yes google is attacking the whole world in every way in a good way. Google take over lmfao

  • http://Website rob

    Is android a trojan horse? of course it is.

    Google releases an open source operating system, clearly stating that it will not be manufacturing hardware (if they did, other manufacturers would not want to compete) then after using other manufacturers to “beta test” android and bring it to a place of high esteem, they bring out the big guns and plan to release hardware to compete with the other manufacturers who are already heavily vested in android.

    I cant think of anything more trojan then that.

    • http://Website mantrik00

      @rob, There is no evidence that Google is launching its own hardware. So, far it has been media speculation only.
      If people are launching malicious campaigns against Google and Android, it is a clear sign of the success of the brands.

      There is a clear pattern in the hate Google campaign:
      1. I think this slur campaign is spearheaded by some sections of the media who are in the brink and some how want to hold Google responsible for their demise.
      2. Now, they are roping in GPS device manufacturers who are obviously threatened by an innovative Google Maps.
      3. Google, has always been singled out for privacy issues, even though all other search engines have similar privacy policies and are subject to the same laws.
      4. Last we heard, some Mozilla director bitching about Google, clearly they are nervous about the prospects of Google Chrome. Also, the fear that Google may withdraw its funding for the Firefox is getting them irked.

      To a thinking mind, it is obvious. It is all planned.

      To me an average global citizen, I can’t forget the amount of benefits we have received from Google’s services.

      1. Remember, at time when, some email services had started charging for their services and others were contemplating introducing fees for their toy like services, it was Google that changed the scene with the launch of gmail with gigabytes of storage space. Thanks to Google, we still have competitive email services being offered free.
      2. Ditto for Web search, Google Apps and numerous other services that we continue to benefit from.
      3. In contrast, if some corporations had their way, they would eventually end up charging fees for web search services.

      To an average global citizen, representing the vast populations of the world living in relative poverty, what counts is the gains from these services. So what, if Google earns a bit from advertising in return. As far as I am concerned, it does not cost me anything.

  • http://Website 9ooyan

    total BS…the dude’s just upset that he got 1-uped. besides,

    “Do you trust your search results if you know that the first five are paid for?”

    ummm, yeah, they’re called sponsored links, and are clearly differentiated from the main search results. does this guy even know what a google search result looks like?

  • http://Website webby

    Sour grapes. He sounds just like the complainers about the Mom & Pop stores being put out of business by the big mean Walmart SuperCenters.

    Oh well, that’s business. That’s competition. The consumer is the winner.

    • http://Website Ian

      That’s a very narrow, short-term, and selfish view of economics.
      Yes, the consumer initially pays less at Wal-Mart and similar stores. Yes, the consumer initially pays less when a product is made in China or other foreign country. But in the long-run are we/our country better for it? Jobs are lost due to manufacturing being sent to China. The salaries from these jobs could have been used to buy more products. Money is lost because the profits go to China and out of the US economy. This was also potentially tax money that could be use to improve our roads, schools, etc.
      Natural resources and manufacturing are an economy’s lifeblood. You cannot have a first rate economy solely based on services. Our natural resources and manufacturing base are the reasons for our great ascent during the 1900′s. However, our natural resources are now nearly exhausted. For the last 30 years we have been dismantling our manufacturing base, resulting in great destruction to many areas of our nation.
      Our country has become so diverse, thus divided, and everyone is out for themselves. Nobody cares about the big picture; only that they can save $1 by shopping at Wal-Mart or buying imports. China is going to **** us up this century. Senior citizens will be dead and the politicians will be out of office by that time so it won’t be their problem… don’t count on these people for help. Oh yeah, they got us here in the first place.
      Don’t talk to me about global economies because I don’t care at all about the quality of life of an Indian or Chinaman. I care about Americans. Real ones. By the way, close the borders. <5 years ago the argument was we need immigrants to do the work nobody else wants to. With unemployment over 10% and rising, what do you say now??? We can't pay to maintain our roads/infastructure much less build new ones. Traffic is horrendous. Too many people. More quality; less quantity! RANT OFF.

      • http://Website Name (required)

        +Well you started off well

        I lost you when you decided that you were only concerned with americans the problem with that goes to the heart of your initial

        “That’s a very narrow, short-term, and selfish view of economics.”

        As someone who is british I understand your loyalty to your fellow country men but you need to understand that not caring about the conditions of others is exactly the trick big business uses to justify off-shoring, etc. If people cared just as much about the environmental / employment conditions overseas the price savings for moving work abroad would be considerably less.

  • willmsth78

    Google earns its money with marketing and advertising, nothing else. They don’t harm us with using our geo data or your search histories for purchase behavior studies or tailor-made search results.We get great Google products for free as a result. That’s an awesome deal!

  •!w%252BmGAqdR7kA.1 Vladimir Kelman

    Yes, even where Google shows ads, they are context-sensitive and always placed in a way not annoying customers. Paid results in search are clearly and explicitly separated from regular ones.
    This guy is just upset, GPS companies stocks went down after Google announced free turn-by-turn GPS apps.
    The only thing which would be necessary to add to Google’s free turn-by-turn GPS application is an option of storing maps locally, so that phone connection is not necessary.

  • vkelman

    Yes, even where Google shows ads, they are context-sensitive and always placed in a way not annoying customers. Paid results in search are clearly and explicitly separated from regular ones.
    This guy is just upset, GPS companies stocks went down after Google announced free turn-by-turn GPS apps.
    The only thing which would be necessary to add to Google’s free turn-by-turn GPS application is an option of storing maps locally, so that phone connection is not necessary.!w%252BmGAqdR7kA

  • fkillah 2, 3, and 4

    Total fail by Nardulli, FREE Navigation brought to you by Google! Try again. Lol.

  • roy

    I have never been worried about the trojan horse scares. Think about it, if google, one of the most public companies in the world starts to go evil, it will be on ALL the headlines. They couldn’t be evil, because it would hurt them. All they can hope for is that once every so many months, I click an ad…

  • lordhong

    I don’t mind ads if Google gives us free and high quality stuff
    that guy’s just being upset and maybe his job is in jeopardy, but it’s a fair competition, no?

  • http://Website RC527

    Nardummi…what a whiner!!!!

  • Neil Lund

    I think the real issue here is that as much as some people want to dis Google, they just haven’t taken the time to think outside the box. Yes Google has made a better mouse trap and we’re all enjoying the results in one way or another, but shouldn’t the real focus for small businesses be “How can we use this mouse trap and build on it?” It is true that Google has releases things that compete with others, but is it justified to attack them for doing business the way we all do? I think not.
    We all need to keep an open mind and figure out ways to take advantage of the situation and grow and develope our own ideas. If we can use a free service Google or other provider have, then we should. This is a time in history where we can take our ideas and make them a reality in a very short time. Focus on the future not the passed ;)

  • http://Website eClipse

    How do you say, “pwn’d”? Oh yeah, “PWN’D”!

  • http://Website Mojeska

    I think where the crazy guy was going, is that Google could link navigation and ads together. Imagine if you punched in an address for Google’s NAV, and were intentionally (cleverly) routed you by some of it’s paying advertisers? I know, very far fetched but in a big City like NYC, it wouldn’t be too difficult to send someone past a customers business without adding too much to the drive.

    • http://Website KnightSword

      You raise a good point Mojeska, about Google directing heuristic pathways past advertising businesses along a route. But in reality, if Google did do something like that, would that necessarily be a “bad thing?” Unless the route is CLEARLY a detour from the route I want to take, I fail to see I would be necessarily harmed by that sort of manipulation. And on the part of the advertiser, it clearly works in their interest to pay a few dollars (how much could it cost to add to a route per use? A dollar or so?) if it means that prospective customers buzz past your business as they go about their business. I like the combination myself, as it might provide something useful to me that I never even considered, and all because I took a moment to pass by a new business.

  • http://Website Mike

    This just raises the bar for everyone. Contrary to what many in our government right now think, competition is good! If Garmin, Tom Tom, Nav n Go, et al, want to compete, they’ll have to come up with something more compelling than what Google has done. What’s wrong with that? Google’s a late comer to the GPS game, and they trounced all these companies just like that? That just proves to me that they needed real competition.

  • http://Wow TeKNoTroNiK

    They ask “Is Android a Trojan Horse?” my answer: “I hope so”. All GPS companies will go under.. It’s business, either you can continue developing better products and features or you loose it to the bigger better company. Sure Google will one day take over the world. But as long as there is Android all else shall fail.. Android FTW!!!

  • vixitl

    Lmfao so absolutely hard. Go Googlers! This dude should go be productive instead of cry about it. Also Walmart is not equivillent to Google….that’s an insult!

  • Arasmus

    Would Mr. Nardulli like to elaborate on the statement that “the first five are paid for” ? This is far from obvious. Paying for prominence in search results was I believe the early Alta Vista business model that quickly became iterated out of search history (See John Battelle’s book, “The Search” for the full story) as consumers were unwilling to tolerate a page of ads in response to their search results. Google had the idea of using that approach for the ads that appeared as a margin on the right hand side of search results, but using Pagerank to order the search results. So with that by way of primer, what is Nardulli talking about? Is he suggesting that when I search for “pizza” the search results in addition to the ads are determined by who pays Google?

  • http://Website ari-free

    Mr. nardulli: Enough with the hyperbole and stop acting like a drama queen.

  • dethduck

    I, for one, look forward to our new Google Overlords! Seriously,if you don’t like it, offer a better product.

  • http://Website dcohio

    The legacy GPS companies are reacting poorly to Google’s entry into their market. It will take a while to turn the ship but the innovative companies will provide value-added in the stand alone GPS market. Those that don’t or can’t do so quickly enough will cease to be relevant.

    As far as sponsored ads in Google Maps, I haven’t seen anything that hasn’t been clearly identified as an ad, and regardless, results have always been fairly relevant.

    Long before we had cell phones and GPS devices, people used something called the Yellow Pages to find a local business and then called for directions or looked at a paper map. How did those select businesses get the big quarter page, color, eye-catching ads instead of a one-line entry?

    They paid for them.

    Google has merely evolved this business model.

  • http://Website MapDriver

    Lets see. I had a choice:

    Pay NAVTEQ $200 for an “update” for my in-car Nav system or use Google Maps on my Android phone.

    Not a hard choice.

  • http://Website Tom

    Android (like every google product) is a vehicle for serving more Google Ads (Google’s bread and butter) similar to how iPhone is Apple’s vehicle for iTunes (Apple’s bread and butter). To these companies, it’s less about the Android or iPhone as a product and more about using them for a delivery channel for sales of other items.

    • http://Website Ian

      Wrong. iTunes is not Apple’s “bread-and-butter”. They make only a very very small portion of their profits from iTunes. Why do you think almost all the other MP3 stores failed? There was no profit in it. iTunes is a driver for their products. It helps with hardware sales, which is where they make their money. Why do you think their hardware is so expensive? Because of the services, software, integration, quality, and service you get with it. You also pay to not have advertisments. I, personally, hate advertising.

    • http://Website kizer

      It was mentioned that iTunes was the macs bread and butter. Thats incorrect. Their bread and butter is the iPhone app store.

      • http://Website Bob

        Which is the exact reason I chose my G1 and Android. Same apps, better apps, cheaper or free. I love Apple, but they ruined the iPhone with the Microsoft technique of bleeding you dry for every little thing.

  • http://Website LMAO

    LMAO this is too funny! This guy is about to cry! Hahahahaha………Nardulli stop crying about how Google is OWNING your a**!!!!!!! You’re software doesnt COMPARE to Google which pretty soon is gonna own this world!! Hahahahahaha. Google FTW :)
    This guy is soooo pissed and its hilarious! Android & Google are going to turn this world around!!!
    GO ANDROID! :D (with Google)

    btw what does he mean when he says “Do you trust you’re search results if the first five are paid for?” ??? im confuzzled o.O

  • http://Website cameron

    you guys are as thick as the idiots on macdailynews. No one company should ever have so much control of any industry. In the end, it’s nevergood for the customer. Google is not your friend. They are not doing you a favor by offering you free products. They are just fattening you before they cook you up. You should diversify your list of tech providers. That’s healthy and better for consumers and the economy.

  • http://Website DROID Karl

    LOL Yes sir the sky is falling…lol.. Bill Gates is going to take over the world… Back in the seventies we were facing an ice age… now were gonna all fry in google soup… lol m a o …
    Poor silly man… I love the fact google tailors ad’s to ME… I really am not interested in GPS, and viola… google never place gps ads on my searches.. Whining about it sir… is going to get you no-where… hey I know how about doing something innovative profitable and good for the consumer..? (GPS unit recycling?)

  • http://Website enki

    Nav N What?
    Never heard of them. And..this is probably point, now you all know what that weird company do. Attack Google or Microsoft and you have PR for free. Poor poor guys.

  • http://Website Gregory

    I agree with most of what everyone is saying on here. Google just raised the bar and standalone navigation companies just got a kick in the pants! I have an HTC Magic and love my phone.. Android is a nice OS. I don’t use the Google Maps because until they can store maps locally then it’s pointless for me as I often travel off the beaten path. For now I use CoPilot which is excellent, but Google is doing what needs to be done… competition is good. Garmin, Tom Tom, Magellan ect… you will see business drop!

  • http://Website Babs Johnson

    I love my Droid and the GPS capability. In my opinion, I saved a lot of money as it is free and I don’t have to use a separate device to find my location.

  • http://Website Me

    Ya and the Garmin Nuvi that I bought my Mom doesnt have ads…….wait a second, yes it does!!! This guy is a putz.