Matias Duarte Is Meant To Be Fixing Android, So How Far Along Is He?

When Matias Duarte, the head of Android with Google, came on board in 2010, he said that the operating system had a long way to go in terms of being better. Two years later, Matias is back to report on the mission to make Android better. How's that going then?

When he joined the company, he gave an interview saying that he was working with the company to improve the way Android worked for users. He said that he wanted to improve the way Android works on tablets, improve how it handles computing task and improve how it looks and feels.

Here's what he told AllThingsD in February last year:

All of those are works in progress. Our work is far from done in any of those.

That was then, this is now. How is Matias going in his Google usability mission?

Yesterday, Android Police ran a piece on the things they hate aboute Android. It was a long and detailed list, and at the bottom, it had comment from Matias. Because, yeah, isn't he meant to be fixing what we hate?

Here's what he had to say:

It's true, we still have a lot of work to do. Personally I feel like I've gotten only about a third of the way to where I want to be with regards to consistency, responsiveness, and polish. Better get back to work!

So, it's been two and a half years and we're a third of the way there. Extrapolating that based on when Matias started, Android should be perfect by July 2017. Until then, I can't wait to see what he's got up his sleeve. [Android Police]



    God. How far would they be behind if they hadn't copied iOS?

      Hang on, I'll just go ask some other trolls for you... no, wait, they're off riding their rainbow powered unicorns.
      Oh well.

      I'm sorry, where did Apple get the notification drawer from again?

        A jailbreak tweak

      Please just crawl back under your bridge and take Corey with you.

      Thanks for giving all Apple owners a bad name. We really appreciate people like you rallying for your own delusional Apple cause and making all Apple owners look like fanboys in the process. Cheers.

      What copy of iOS is there. Don't get confused with the Phones looking like iphone with touch screens. However after using the 2 systems. They are nothing alike, each has their pro's and con's

    Well for what I use it for, it is perfect. Rarely do I say "I wish it did..." and if I do, it's only usually due to the fact I've not installed an app that can do it for me.

    Keep working hard on memory management, speed & making the software the most power (battery) efficient as possible is all I can say.

    iOS hasn't changed much in 5 years, android is so much better now, and jelly bean fixes the one thing that kept me with iOS, buttery smooth response. Well done so far, keep up the good work!

      Yeah, and the changes that iOS have made, Android have had them for a long time. But they were Apple's ideas, just they never developed them.

        Can't figure out if pro apple or anti apple... don't know which way to go with comment O_O

        I r confused...

    Android has certainly come a long way, but I'm glad its acknowledged that there's still a lot to be improved upon. Matias Duarte is a superb designer and I think ICS and Jellybean are testament to that, but in my opinion its the horrible manufacturer skins and carrier bloatware which can often ruin the experience of his work.

    I really hope 2013 sees the release of more vanilla Android devices apart from Google's Nexus devices. It would be great to see hardware manufacturers concentrate on differentiating with excellent hardware features like camera technology, batteries, speakers, top quality screens, aesthtics and build quality, and leave the software experience to Google. Yes I know there's not much chance of that, but a man can dream can't he? :)

      My Galaxy S2 updated this morning to 4.0.4... All the Optus Bloatware I uninstall is back on here. :( Im glad you can uninstall that crap on ICS.

        Absolutely. I remember back when I got my old HTC Desire and being so frustrated at the amount of non-removable Telstra crapware on there (not to mention its pissy amount of onboard storage with no app installation to SD card! :( ) Thankfully these days you can uninstall it all, but wouldn't it be nice not to have to go through that each update?

        In a perfect world an Android device would give you an option to run Vanilla Android or the "optimised manufacturer skin" (as an example of what they could call it). Giving the option of Vanilla Android would make so many more phones on the market more interesting to me. The HTC One X is a classic example. I really love everything about the hardware on that phone, but Sense has grown into a bloated mess that I'm completely uninterested in. Yes there's always custom ROMs, but its a hassle you shouldn't have to go through to get the OS how you want it.

        Having said that, even concentrating on Vanilla Jellybean (which the Android Police referenced in the article does) shows that there are still many improvements to be made there too. The back button's inconsistent behaviour being the most obvious example.

        I love Android, but I'm currently using jailbroken iOS (I could never live with a stock Apple device) and am waiting for the next Nexus device before making my decision on whether its time to return again.

    Despite comments from people like Kroo (unless you're trolling, in that case I applaud), Android is pretty damn good as is. I'm actually surprised it's apparently only a third of the way there, because it's really great for something only 33.33333(and so on)% complete. I can't wait to see what it's like when he is satisfied with it.

      He's been the biggest pro-iOS fanboy on these boards for at least a good year. He never has anything meaningful to say or bother mounting decent rebuttals to critics, he'd use circular arguments that inevitably wind back to "Android copied Apple! *blows raspberry*" then disappears like a rapist fleeing the scene of a crime.

      Also, the article seems to misunderstand what Duarte's role within Google is. He is not the 'head of Android' (that's Andy Rubin), Duarte is a software designers who sometimes dabbles in hardware. He came over from WebOS around the time Honeycomb launched and is the biggest single influence on Android aesthetics and usability ICS onward. Holo theme, Roboto and Project Butter can be attributed to him. The perfectionism philosophy is something all designers share. It's not like coding where something is quantitatively complete, Jony Ive shares the same sentiment that his work is not always done.

    I can't say I've hated anything 'aboute' the latest Android version on the Nexus 7. It's been pretty damn solid.

      Reading this on a nexus 7.

      Couldn't agree more.

    I'm very happy with Android... have been since ICS.

    What specifically is perceived to be broken/missing from it...?

      Poorly optimised Tablet apps is still the biggie. The fact that hardly any developer seems to work within Google's Holo guidelines, so t heir apps are a hodge-podge of clashing aesthetic styles.

      That said, they've done much better than the critics thought. Malware and Fragmentation are essentially non-issues at this point, it's significantly more stable, usable and pretty than it used to be.

    I'm happy so far with android, I swapped after having a Iphone3 then 4, I only got my One X as I was sick of waiting for the Iphone 5, I like many others was pissed off with bloat ware, a little apprehensive about rooting and custom ROM installation on my phone - found it ridiculously easy to root and install custom roms , even better : no bloatware !! Currently using Vipr X Jelly bean Rom & no issues at all.

    Android is great, IOS is too, just depends on what you want to do. I still have my ipad 2 , waiting to see what Jellybean and beyond can do for tablets before I invest...

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