No Offense, But You Are An Idiot


A year ago we called Pandora’s Tom Conrad a village idiot…. an hour ago we admitted we were wrong but promised to continue calling out those who deserve the wrath of our criticism. Didn’t take long. I’d like to give a big old Price Is Right Welcome to Jason Hiner from ZDNet and TechRepublic… COME ON DOWN!


In what can only be considered supremely idiotic, Hiner has just published an article that completely craps on Android with a barrage of baseless criticisms that seems to conclude Android will fail if it continues in its current direction. Has this guy used an Android-based phone for more than a few minutes? Does “user error” count as a flawed mobile OS because perhaps the guy just wasn’t bright enough to turn the phone on before using it? Maybe he forgot his unlock code?Try a making a big circular G pattern.

His unique tone of arrogant ignorance would be best illustrated by copying/pasting the entire article, but here are a few tidbits that will give you the taste of total tech-tardation. First, talking about the Google Ion:

I recently got a peak at the Google Ion, the second generation Android smartphone, and while the hardware-software integration is better and the UI has improvements, the application performance is still poor and much of the software is simply too sluggish and buggy. It feels like beta software. In fact, Google would have been better off naming the platform “Beta” rather than “Android” since beta is such a regular part of Google products. Unfortunately, beta isn’t “good enough” for smartphones.

Hardy har har hilarious. Android seems to be “good enough” for many millions of people already… and the most exciting thing about Android is the users, platform and market are getting bigger and better every single day. Apparently Hiner had a problem with Android the day it launched:

Let me start by saying that Google’s move to create its own smartphone platform (Android) was a mystery to me from the beginning. It was unnecessary. Google could have simply focused on creating great mobile software and search products for all of the main smartphone platforms and it would have accomplished its primary goal, which was to create a mobile platform for AdWords.

Oh. My. God. Are you kidding? Android being announced in the first place is half the reason mobile innovation has enjoyed such vigorous acceleration in the past 2 years. And perhaps Google should apologize for thinking beyond the confines of your little search box, but I’m pretty sure they’ve got some amazing opportunities to expand their business beyond the realm of what some people (ahem, ahem) believe possible. Android, Chrome, Docs, Voice… Google has some amazing opportunities lined up but maybe you’re right – they should fire everyone and put the bulk of their time on making Google.com render better on mobile phone browsers.

Yeah… you’re right… Android is so dumb. What a waste of time Google has with this Android thing…

I must admit I borrowed the title from my sister who seems to preface offensive comments with “No Offense, but…” assuming she can then avoid all blame for making the insulting comment in the first place. I think its funny. I don’t like to be rude… but I certainly have my moments of sarcastic dickishness. This is one of them:

No offense Jason Hiner, but you are an idiot.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. If you have been watching google’s aquisitions/initiatives over the last few years (even before android), you will notice that google has really bought hook line and sinker into the cloud computing services paradigm. While I will never give up my harddrive to the cloud, I can see alot of situations where delegation to the cloud could be advantageous to both the vendor and the consumer. Mobile phones particularly falls into this realm. Google’s foray into mobile phones is not about ads, search or even apps dominance. Google is attempting to out-microsoft microsoft. Imagine a world where you walk into best buy, buy a netbook turn it on, and plug in your google creds. Your netbook os desktop comes up and there is that spreadsheet you were working last night on your home computer. No backing up or shared drives. Just cloud computing the way google eggheads have been envisioning. Of course this kind of seamless integration is a little ways down the road but the pieces are all starting to fall into place. The long and the short is search and ad dominance is yesterday. Forget search, Google wants the word “google” to become synonymous with computer or information.

  2. I think he was a bit too aggressive in his pursuit of attacking the Google model. I have to agree that his experience in regards to the AndroidOS seems limited at best, with him going as far to try to qualify his usage of the Ion. If you really want to give someone the impression of understanding a concept, describe the length and depth of your use (and possibly use a rooted phone). Just another talking head on the internet.

  3. Reading the article, I think it’s telling that the author never mentions the specific functions and applications which he claims are extremely buggy and unfinished. Clearly he hasn’t had any first-hand experience with even Android 1.0 devices.

  4. So, I read the original article. I have to say that it started out like a valid critique. Unfortunately, it went South quite quickly.

    It seems to me that Jason Hiner’s rant isn’t about Android per se. More so, it is a rant about how Google conducts business the products they produce. Strike that. It is a rant about how Hiner believes Google conducts business and the products that Hiner believes Google produces.

    In his rant, he has reduced the entire lot of Google engineers to freelance widget creators, and I don’t think that is quite accurate.

    Now, this is not to say that I am defending Android. I have never used Android and am in the process of doing my research. I am simply saying that this article did little in the realm of enlightening me on the subject. It did however shine a light on the credibility of TechRepublic.

  5. I would have preferred a structured rebuttal, Mr Jackson. This posting sounds like Steve Ballmer’s management of Microsoft over the last decade — just criticize everyone else.

  6. He stated he had a “peak” (LOL), ahem, PEEK, At the Google ION…The words Sluggish and Buggy don’t belong in the same sentence as the ION software. People have completely replaced their cupcakes and whatevers with a copy of the Ion rev from XDA..It’s hands down the FASTEST UI of every single release around.

  7. @John – providing a structured rebuttal would be giving too much credit to the original article. Not to mention I would still be writing it…

  8. Here are my words to Jason Hiner… “F*** YOU!!!… YOU ARE A D**** BAG THAT HAS NO TASTE AT ALL!!!”… at least my last name isn’t the combination of “hiney” and “weiner”… lol…(PLEASE NO OFFENSE TO PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE SAME LAST NAME)

  9. Well, I didn’t necessarily expect that a site called “Phandroid” would take too kindly to my critique of Google’s smartphone efforts. :-) Nevertheless, I’m glad to see that Android has some fans out there who are willing to step up and defend it.

    Remember that in my article I mentioned that Android itself has plenty of potential and there are things I like about it. But, there are two problems I see. One is that Google needs to apply a higher standard for the management and marketing of products such as Android than it does for Web products like Google Maps and GoogleTalk. The other challenge is that the best smartphones have strong hardware/software integration and that’s where both Android and Windows Mobile are at a significant disadvantage. Google would be better off finding a single hardware partner (like HTC), working together on a great product, and then releasing the product under the Google brand name.

    That’s just my 2 cents. Best of luck with your site. I’ll put you on my list of places to scan for Android info.

  10. Word.

  11. Jason, your missing the point when you say the “best” cell phones have strong hardware/software integration. Google’s plans are far beyond one simple phone. Google is trying to revolutionize the cell market not trying to be a “me too”. Having a choice of 20 phones as compared to one isn’t a bad thing, it’s a good thing.

    On your 1st point, marketing does not make a phone or OS good or bad. While a certain fruit brain washes you, remember that.

  12. Jason, A little research would have been fruitful before writing your article. For example, you would have found out why Google brands most of their s/w with Beta. And you would have found out that Googles primary goal was to enable more people greater access to the internet.
    Having said that, any publicity is better then no publicity, so cheers for the article.

  13. I’m running an ION build on my G1, and it’s probably the best OS yet for the G1. I’ve never had force close issues, it’s super fast, and it runs everything normal cupcake is. I love it.

  14. Hiner’s criticisms seemed to be based on almost nothing (he failed to elaborate, or at least in the parts you included). With that said, I don’t know if we should lend much merit to his article. However, I think calling him an idiot is far too harsh. Not because idiot is a mean thing to say, but simply because he does have some valid points, especially in his response in the comments section.

    As many above have said, Google has a bigger plan in mind for Android, and the G1 clearly reflects that. The phone seems to have been released grossly premature. The app market is beyond horrible, and the virtual keypad might as well not even be there (is there anyone that seriously uses that thing?). I can go on, but I won’t – you all know the flaws of Android, and the “it’s too early to critique” excuse has long expired.

    As a T-Mobile customer of many years, my greatest regret is signing a two-year contract to use the G1. I can’t even begin to articulate my disappointment. As of last week I began using an iPhone on T-Mobile (no 3G) to get a first hand look at what all the hype is about – and I saw right away.

    Everything on the iPhone is seemless (and I think that was Hiner’s point about having the same developer for hardware and software), it’s not as bulky, and obviously the ipod is the best mp3 player on a phone (with a standard headphone jack O_o). The phone definitely has it’s flaws (the push notification sucks, can’t attach anything to emails, apps automatically close when you back out of them, no keypad *the vkeypad isnt as bad, but its naturally slower and more typo-prone*).

    At the end of the day, both devices have major flaws that are annoying because ancient phones suck as the sidekick performed better in some areas. But having the choice, I opted to go with the iPhone. Crappy mp3 player, crappy camera, force closing apps, shitty app market, awkward bulky frame, pointless virtual keypad, sd card not reading properly at times, did i say shitty app market? O_o all failed to be too much to justify the extra $15 a month and 2 years I burdened to give android a try on T-Mobile.

    Android does have a ton of potential, but there’s a long way to go. Some of the apps are amazing, it’s just sad they get cluttered by wallpaper themes O_o

    And for the record, and by no means am I trying to detract from the accomplishment, but I would have to think a huge portion of Android users were former T-Mobile customers, and most likely sidekick lx users. The phone was widely considered (by the non tech-heads, of course) as a new sidekick and many of the sidekick groupies jumped aboard because of the low price (the g1 was actually cheaper than the sidekick lx when it was released).

    Furthermore, T-Mobile has the least strict credit requirements to obtain service, and as a result, many high schoolers wind up using the sidekicks on t-mobile, which led to many of them wanting the G1 when it was released.

    My point = the # of devices sold should not serve as an indication of Android success at this point. When the other Android phones are released later this year, let’s see how many are willing to pay full price after locking in for two years on the G1. Let’s see how many millions those handsets sell. I honestly think the Android devices will pan out like an album release. Sales climax in the early going, and fall off considerably thereafter. Meanwhile, the iphone fanboys are paying $1,000 for an unlocked iPhone 3G S, despite already having the same phone w/o the native video recorder.

    It’s 2:17 AM, and this concludes my off-topic ramble. Good day sirs.

    Oh yeah, I love the fact that Android syncs with Google apps… fucking amazing!!! Too bad it kills the battery in 3 hours.

  15. I just read the article, and I think Jason is right, from his point of view. The problem is that he believes that Google is in it simply to improve their revenue stream directly from ads. I believe that Google is trying to diversify out of the ad market, and Android is part of that.

    There are a lot of criticisms here about the G1 from G1 users, which I believe justifies a lot of his comments.

    I also believe that the HTC Sense (and the Hero) show that Jason is right. A tighter connection between the software makers and the hardware makers results in a superior platform from all accounts.

  16. Yea I read this yesterday and concluded the guy was either a) an idiot who didn’t understand what he was talking about b) in the pocket of microsoft or c) both.

    It’s just a stupid puff piece and should really be ignored.

  17. Jason’s right , in a way, and he’s wrong @ the same time.

    The two biggest issues for Android right now are hardware and UI(s).

    The Sense UI is a massive step in the right direction. While it’s looks are quite subjective, the UI is a massive win.

    That being said, I think Jason is comparing Android to OSX and RIM. It’s a totally different animal. Apple’s branding is about the hardware and the apps. RIM is about the hardware and the tight integration with exchange and other business apps.

    Android is neither. Android is positioning itself differently from the other two in that the “bling” isn’t in the OS itself. Android’s strength is in providing hardware manufacturers a solid and feature rich platform that’s Open Source, with the unifying structure being the market.

    Furthermore, Jason fails to see that by attacking the market in this approach, assuming hardware manufacturers are willing to adopt it, is circumventing the traditional model in Mobile.

    Android, due to its open source nature and widespread availability, will surpass Apple and possibly even RIM in its install base.

    There’s simply no way that Apple nor RIM can compete with such a potential bombarding of competitive hardware. IMO, Android’s biggest competitor is neither of these.

    Symbian is Android’s biggest competitor. The other two are too closed in the hardware to compete @ the scale in which Android is approaching the market.

    I’m just a lowly sales guy, and I can see this. It’s remarkable that the “tech” bloggers from a few choice sites, who get paid to write about this nonsense, are too obtuse or closed minded to see the big picture.

    Maybe someone should be paying me for my insight. :P

  18. I detect the hand of the beast behind this. How mysterious all the netbook/notebook/graphics chip vendors simultaneously dissed Android recently, even the ones announcing Android products. Its almost as if someone they are forced to rely on threatened them – someone very used to doing evil playing dirty against a very real threat.

    This jerks comments strike me as the second phase of Ghandis famous quotation. We passed the “first they ignore you” stage some time ago.

  19. I was one of the first to question his actual time with the phone.


    And as he continues to talk it becomes clearer that he has not spent much time with and Android phone and does not understand where Google is going whatsoever.

    There is no point in Google marketing Android. They don’t want people to know Android and in a sense the Pandora guy is right. People don’t care about Android. People care about the G1, Magic, Hero etc. They care about the devices that all happen to be powered by Android. The marketing comes at the device level. In the cell phone realm people don’t care about the OS. They just care about capabilities and features of devices. The folk at sites like Phandroid aren’t really your average smartphone user. We really get into the thing.

    Google is doing quite fine as they are. OEM’s are picking up Android and modding it as planned. It was never intended for Google to have a fully featured OS in base Android and anyone actually following Android before its release would know that off the bat. In a nutshell its a build your own IPhone kit for smartphone makers. There’s hardly going to be a manufacturer that’s not going to jump at that opportunity and that is where you will see the real UI’s and features…like HTC’s Hero.

  20. It baffles me how so many tech journalists are completely missing the point with Android. Android is the first and only open OS for cell phones. This has huge potential!!!

    Why would any phone manufacturer go with another OS, when Android is available for free and is completely customizable for their hardware (take a look at the HTC Hero)?

    iPhone versus Android directly parallels the PC versus Apple battle of the late 80s early 90s. The apple II or Mac hardware/software combo was clearly better than the PC, but it didn’t matter because Apple could not compete with the slew of hardware manufacturers making PCs (to run windows).

    I am confident the same will happen with Android.

  21. I said that mr Tom is not a Idiot,he’s a stupid tu said that.
    Android phone is much better that iphone and palm,reason.
    the firt with flash player,open source,customized.
    also if google is in the worng market so apple is also in the worng way with the iphone,becouse,no copy and paste,no flash,no video record(the old version),no bluetooth tranfer files,every phone do that,so who is wrong??
    and also the google ion is the best rom ,fast,stable,copy paste,video record.so what he want,an iphone also called stone age,jajajaja,Mr Tom before to write a article firt try the tool.
    see ya.

  22. Spinning Head – Android is NOT the first or the only open OS for mobiles. For a decade, there has been a ton of talk and a lot of unsuccessful efforts at trying to bring Linux and open source to mobile phones (see LiMo, Moblin, Access Linux, and OpenMoko). Android is just the first one that has seen any success.

    Still, there is a lot of reason to be skeptical about the model of having separate OS and hardware makers in the smartphone space, because virtually all of the world’s best selling smartphones – mostly from Nokia, BlackBerry, Apple, and Palm – all have tight hardware-software integration. And Windows Mobile has tried the separate OS/hardware path and it has largely been an expensive and prolonged failure.

  23. “Spinning Head – Android is NOT the first or the only open OS for mobiles. For a decade, there has been a ton of talk and a lot of unsuccessful efforts at trying to bring Linux and open source to mobile phones (see LiMo, Moblin, Access Linux, and OpenMoko). Android is just the first one that has seen any success.”

    Um, Lol? Contradict self much? Android IS the first open OS for mobiles. Doesn’t being FIRST have anything to do with success? That is so retarded rofl! Here is basically what you’re saying right here: If someone comes up with something “FIRST”, and FAILS miserably, They are still first? Does that make any sense? You only get CREDIT for things that WORK and are successful. I don’t give points for second place. For an entire decade, as you say, Companies failed miserably at being the FIRST open OS on a mobile phone..but they’re still first. Yep, Flawless logic lol. Damn Republicans.

  24. Side note: I TRIED to be the first poster under this article, but I wasn’t fast enough..coincedentally, I AM NOT FIRST ON THE LIST LOL! GEE HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

  25. I take offense at both the writer of this article and at Jon #14.
    If your job is to write an unbised reporting ion the tech object involved then you have failed miserably with your personal viewpoints (not experiences…that’s part of a review).
    To Jon…you had 2 – 4 full weeks to experience and then return your device before returning it – that makes it YOUR fault. As for “teens” switching from sidekicks, well many teens are more tech savvy than you and They are the ones who will very shortly be building this tech area, so Go Teens!!! I, myself, am in my 40’s running my own biz and am coming off my 3rd Blackberry and 1 IPhone and find the Android OS quite exciting, refreshing and invigorating. NO phone is perfect, but Android has the most potential by far of EVERY OS out there. 1 million G1’s sold in the US on the 4th carrier in 23 cities and limited (at first) 3G for most of that time. So far more than 1.5 million “Magic’s” sold in 6 European countries in 3 weeks. Yes. The IPhone sold more but with (at that time) the nation’s largest carrier and in now more than 80 countries. And just how many people can connect to ATT’s 3G? And basically the same device each of the last 3 years. Blackberry and Android showed that cut/paste, video and more could be pushed to phone via software, so why does Apple sell the same phone and STILL not offer such basics…Ripoff????? Oh yeah they just upped the camera by 1 mgpxl! My Bad. Now we have announced 18 – 20 new Android devices in the next 6 months WORLDWIDE!
    Let’s see now…different handset makers and Nokia’s #1. Same with WinMo at #2…unified sets are best? Just where did you pull that out of??? IMO Android will be #1 or #2 in sales within 3 years BECAUSE you can buy AND MAKE the phone you want.
    Android – the Phone for EVERYBODY !!!

  26. I too take offense with the author. But before I spit my gripes, I would declare that I absolutely love Android as a Platform and sincerely want it to succeed. That said, calling someone an idiot because he points to the reality of smartphone market is not in good taste.
    As much as I dislike apple products (not for their merits, but due to Apple being a control freak), I must say they really get the usability, hardware, and marketing right! Here we have three Android phones already (counting Sense) and the specs fail to impress. They are slow, heavy, unpolished, low battery life and what not. People don’t buy smartphone due to its OS, they want a great device, and none of HTC APhones come close to iPhone. Their GPU is slow (4M polygons per sec compared to 28M for iPhone 3GS). Their RAM is tiny. And 1GB flash – thats just plain incompetent. Even cheapo Chines clones have 8GB of flash.
    Also, the analogy of how Windows succeeded Mac is not a good one for Android. Windows OS was developed by one company with a consistent UI. Here, the phones are already releasing their custom UI (HTC Sense) and more will follow. Its going to become one ugly mess pretty soon with custom Androids confusing people and apps working on one, breaking on others. The developers will also get frustrated with no standard UI framework to follow. Also Windows succeed due to relatively cheap hardware. Android phones are not that cheaper than iPhone or Palm. Ya when I could buy a reasonable(not top of the line) Android phone for $199, I’ll change my mind. I think if Android, is to succeed, Google has come out of their beta mode and work really hard with overdrive. They have to establish UI standards (not just the widgets) for Android and have two stable releases per year. We are up against iPhone, Palm, WinMo, Symbian and more. The good enough will not cut it for Android. We have to be absolutely best to succeed.

  27. @Paul… u claim it’s my fault for not returning the device within the buyers remorse period, and then go on to talk about Android’s potential. The potential is the reason I still own a G1, my biggest complaint is that little progress has been made in the months since the phone was released. Just as the iphone lacks some very basic features, so did the G1, and the update only addressed a fraction of them.

    I think a lot of the people that blindly follow Android are those that are infatuated with the idea of open-source. Most people don’t know how to root a phone or develop an application – they simply buy a phone and expect it to work out of the box. The problem with Android is that the handset makers will never invest the time or money to customize Android to their devices. Google will have to partner with one maker before that happens, and the is not in line with their plans for Android – so it will never happen.

    As a result, Android will be widely available, but it will always rely upon random people making apps to make the phone more functional. As of now, there is more appeal in making an iphone app than a android app, and that may remain the case because which dev will want to make 40 versions of the same app to accommodate 40 different android devices??? The iphone has its limits, but it is much more functional out of the box, and that’s what most consumers are looking for.

    I’m not a blind fan of any product or company, just stating my unbiased opinion O_o

  28. “Why Google’s software approach won’t work for smartphones or the enterprise”?

    Well hell! Of course Google’s software approach won’t work for the Enterprise, ’cause they don’t use smartphones there. Everyone knows they use communicators and tricorders!

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