A quick reality check for Vic Gundotra

Something which occurred to me shortly after watching the now famous Google IO Android keynote. At one point, when about to demonstrate tethering, Vic Gundotra says“if you’re like me, you have a plethora of devices you carry around with you. And all those devices shouldn’t mean added complexity and yet another bill, right ?”.

OK, now, two things.

First : as far as I’m concerned, the added complexity comes from having to turn on a second device and set it up in order to get connectivity on the first. If by having an extra bill I can have that second device connect all on its own, I prefer that option. I already have several bills anyway, always will, it’s manageable.

Second : Android is meant as a competitor for the iPhone OS, therefore is meant to appeal to normal people, as in “non-geeks”. So a Google geek introducing a feature to other Google geeks at a geek conference by saying “if you’re like me…” kind of misses the mark. Yes, this is a tech conference, but that doesn’t change the fact this is supposed to be an end-user product, and if googlers use their own taste to determine their feature roadmap, they might encounter some problems.

The final irony is that this reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend a looong time ago (say 10+ years). At that time, mobile phones were dumb, had tiny b&w screens, and the whole contact/calendar stuff was either done on paper (ok you had a lousy contact list on the phones already) or on a Palm Pilot. I was carrying one of those along with my mobile, and was wondering why my friend was no longer carrying his. He answered he preferred to travel light with only a single device, rather than “looking like Luke Skywalker” (think Luke’s belt in Episode IV here). My friend’s name was Cédric.

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