Google's New Head of Android on the Future of the OS

When Google's Andy Rubin stepped down as head of Android earlier this year, Sundar Pichai took over his duties. Now, ahead of Google's I/O conference, he's spoken to WIRED—and spilled the beans on what the future holds for Android.

You can, of course, head the full interview over at WIRED. But here are some choice cuts before you head that way.

On what to expect from I/O:

"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."

On the future of Android:

"We want to be a very, very open platform, but we want a way by which end users are getting a good experience overall... Users get to decide what apps and what choices they want. Some users really want [Facebook Home]. We don’t want to get in the way of that. [But] in the end, we have to provide a consistent experience. As part of that, with every release of Android, we do go through changes. So we may make changes over time."

On the existence of both Android and Chrome:

"Users care about applications and services they use, not operating systems... We embrace both and we are continuing to invest in both. So in the short run, nothing changes. In the long run, computing itself will dictate the changes. We’re living through a pivotal moment."

On painfully slow Android updates:

"We are thinking about how to make Android handle updates better. We see ways we can do this. It’s early days. We’re talking with our partners and working our way through it. We need time to figure out the mechanics, but it’s definitely an area of focus for me and for the team."

What's perhaps most striking about the Q&A is the degree to which Pichai qualifies nearly every statement. One gets the sense that while he's describing a trajectory that makes sense for Android as of now, there's room for some major shake-ups in how Google does things, particularly when it comes to tightening the reins on Android and bringing Chrome OS and Android together. There's plenty of room in these answers for everything that rises to converge down the line.

Head over to WIRED to read more from Pichai, from the use Android by on Amazon's Kindle Fires to his favored smartphone. [WIRED]