Think Google exercises super-powers over Android? Think again. One of the jobs Googlers are doing this week at the CES is to spot new Android products out in the wilderness. Not to close them down, since Android’s free for anyone to use. Just to help catalog the population.
“We have a couple of people who are walking the show floor. What’s interesting about CES is that there’s always Android products that we don’t know about, because they don’t need to tell us,” said Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, when I spoke with him on Monday.
As you’ll see in the video below, he seemed pretty amused by this. It is pretty funny. As anyone who’s walked the giant CES show floors quickly discovers, Android is embedded in all types of devices from makers you’ve never heard of.
Phones & Cars
Schmidt also said on the CES agenda for Google were meetings with phone partners and automotive partners, since they’re all at the show.
Automotive partners? Google does partner to send directions from Google Maps to the GPS systems in a variety of cars. But perhaps Google’s pitching makers on its auto-driving technology. Here’s a video of what it’s like to be inside one of Google’s robocars:
Android & Smart Homes
Another reason Schmidt himself was at CES was to take part in a stage interview on Monday with CNET executive editor Molly Wood. During that, he spoke of smart homes where Android may play a role. From a Forbes article about his talk:
“We even have Android in refrigerators now,” Schmidt said. “By open-source we mean, ‘take it and have fun.’ And people have.”
Schmidt: Android Differentiation, Not Fragmentation
Schmidt also pushed back on the idea that Android is “fragmented,” preferring “differentiation.” From a CNN review of his talk:
“I would say differentiation,” Schmidt replied. “Differentiation is positive, fragmentation is negative.”
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