May 13 AT 12:16 PM Dustin Earley 10 Comments

Android lead Sundar Pichai talks I/O, partners, the future of Android

sundar pichai

Only two months ago, Andy Rubin stepped down from his position with Android, and head of Chrome, Sundar Pichai, took the reigns. Since then Pichai has been quiet, undoubtedly hard at work organizing Google’s upcoming developer conference, Google I/O. Not too busy, though, to sit down with Wired for his first interview since taking the position of Android lead, sharing his thoughts on where Android and its partners stand and setting some expectations for Google I/O.

With Google I/O right around the corner, speculation as to what we’ll see has been all over the board. From new hardware to new apps, services and an updated version of Android, Pichai opened up to Wired on what to expect from Google I/O and much more. Speaking on I/O specifically, Pichai said:

It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.Sundar PichaiGoogle

In other words, keep your expectations for the developer conference realistic. We still expect to see Google Play Games, whatever Babble turns out to be, a new version of Jelly Bean and possibly a new Nexus 7, but Key Lime Pie, the Nexus 5 or any other similar new hardware will most likely be saved for the fall. It’s important to remember that I/O is a developer event first and foremost; anything Google does for its developers directly impacts the quality of software we all use today. Even if nothing major is announced (we still think what’s on deck is going to be a big deal), there’s still plenty to be excited about.

Pichai also talked about various Android partners, like Samsung and Amazon, and where he sees Android heading. On Samsung, Pichai says that, much like Motorola, they are just another partner. He says that Android’s relationship with Samsung “gets played up in the press a lot.” What Android and Google may say of Samsung’s dominance in private is one thing, but publicly, they’re “a great partner to work with.”

He said similar things about Amazon and Facebook, making it clear that while Google would prefer for everyone to work on one version of Android, they aren’t looking to prevent it. Google wants developers big and small to be able to utilize Android to the fullest. Whether that’s simply making hardware for stock Android or creating new experiences with Facebook Home, that flexibility is important. But so is creating a consistent consumer experience, which could translate to changes down the road.

Finally, there’s where Pichai sees Android heading. There’s been a lot of talk on whether or not we’ll eventually see Chrome and Android merge. That doesn’t appear to be likely any time soon, and it doesn’t need to be. You don’t need a complete merging of platforms with the flexibility of the cloud and web. Google has created an ecosystem that spans devices and platforms. Thanks to services like Drive and Gmail, all your files are already available on whatever platform you choose. Android and Chrome don’t need to be merged into one operating system to create a relatively seamless experience between the two. Pichai will be embracing this separate but united approach, a move he thinks will be best for developers and consumers alike.

We expect to hear much more from Pichai on everything Google at I/O in two days.

Source: Wired

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Nate B.

    For anyone that bashes Google because Android wasn’t updated or no new devices should be slapped. We as “consumers” hype it up with speculation and rumors that nobody said was officially going to happen. These conferences were always for developers. We use and have fun with the things they create with these new tools that are shared at these conferences. So we should be excited about whatever they announce. The later event is more so targeted for consumers as well as developers. So I don’t and never did expect anything to BIG. Two more days :)

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    2 more days! Hopefully Google reinforces the carrier, OEM, and Google update policy they promised before and I receive 4.2.2 on my One :D

  • Vertu TI
    • me

      what a monstrosity that is!


    I know Google is more than just Android but how come they never sit down with Android web sites? They only sit down with the Verge and Wired and Engadget. You guys should request an interview.

  • Jimmy_Jo

    I just hope we get the rumored Nexus 4 update. If they come out with a Nexus 4 with 32GB of storage, I’m all in. I literally was about to buy a used Nexus last week so I caould switch to T-Mobile when I remembered I/O was this week (I know, blasphemy that I forgot). So i’m watiing it out.

    They’re getting my money with a 32GB. But if they add LTE as well, I’ll be firing dollars at them with a potato gun!!!

    • Nate B.

      I honestly think even if they just added a 64GB Nexus 4 for a refresh in capacity it would be too late. Yea, the storage would be nice and even with LTE, but I think overall the device would become pointless to an extent with today’s technology. Then you have to remember a Nexus 5 or of some sort would come out towards the end of the year.

      If anything though, I do wish they handled things like Apple when it comes to one device for all carriers with LTE and controlled the updates just as Apple does. You don’t see that going through carrier ways. Google can honestly do more when it comes to the little things and it will have a dramatic impact. I love me some Google but I feel sometimes they really take what they do serious.

  • redraider133

    I will be interested to see what they do to try and speed up updates for all non nexus devices. Can’t wait for I/O

  • Ryan J. Stansbury

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Tuesday I bought a gorgeous Lancia Straton from earning $4331 this — 5 weeks past. I began this 7 months ago and right away started to earn at least $69, per-hr. I use this website,,

  • donger

    Everyone uses Google.