Tim Bray is best known as the co-inventor of XML and for his blogging on his website at TBray.org. Google has hired him as a “Developer Advocate” to promote and maintain the developers who interact with Google on the Android platform. Blogging about it on his site, Bray rants against Apple and the iPhone platform:
The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.
I hate it.
I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.
With Android gaining ground on the iPhone as the two become the two largest rivals in smart phones, the inclusion of Bray at Google to work on further promoting the APIs for the various Android sets, and this direct attack on Apple’s closed-circuit development process may be just a marketing ploy, but it’s a good one.
Apple’s recent moves against app makers and removal of some iPhone apps they thought “questionable” from the AppStore brought controversy and, as CNet points out, gave Google with their long-running “No-Evil Zone” motto a big opening to compete with the rival smart phone maker.
Bray specifically hates the “closed system of development” for the iPhone and Business Insider predicts that Bray will be doing all he can to “destroy” that model.
While it’s questionable whether any one person (or anything, for that matter) can take down the Apple iPhone Juggernaut, it’s likely that this could be a large boost to Google’s Android platform and likely the Nexus One specifically.
Market competition is good, so whatever the outcome here, the power of competition will probably help both rivals bring out the best in themselves.