Former Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki talks more Android in latest interview


A few weeks back, ReadWrite interviewed Guy Kawasaki — author, publisher, entrepreneur, and most importantly: former Apple evangelist. After years of promoting Apple’s products (you may have seen him in the documentary “Cult of Mac”) turns out Mr. Kawasaki switched over to “team Android,” currently rocking a shiny new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (before that an S3, and that, a Razr Maxx). Kawasaki’s new motto? “Real men use Android.” In the RW interview Guy went on to say:

“People are kind of amazed, but I don’t use any iOS products, none at all. I fell in love with Android on the smartphone, and then I got a Nexus 7 and started using Android on the tablet as well. To me the great irony is that Apple’s slogan was `Think Different,’ but today if you think different you’re looking at Android.”

Today, in a piece called “This Is How I Work,” Lifehacker was able to get a quick interview with Guy, further pressing him mostly about his work life and products and services he can’t live without. While he still currently uses a MacBook Air to get work done (I, too, am guilty of this), the gadget he says he can’t possibly live without is his Nexus 7. As it turns out, when Apple released the iPad Mini a few months ago, Guy felt Apple’s “me too” tab didn’t offer anything compelling in light of the N7, asking aloud why anyone would want to switch. Great question.

When asked why he made the switch from iOS to Android, he admits that it was originally due to more interesting hardware. The iPhone’s lack of LTE, NFC and multitasking made Android an easy switch for him (despite sticking with Apple’s desktop OS for his computing needs). Now that Apple has finally caught up to Android in some regard with hardware, Guy says it’s simply Android’s superior software that keeps him from moving astray. His favorite Android features?

  • Multiple apps running in multiple windows
  • Widgets
  • Ability to launch files and choose default apps
  • Ability to see all your apps in an alphabetical listing no matter what folder they are in
  • Ability to pick your keyboard (I use SmartKey)

Talking about his work habits and general life lessons, Guy also says he avoids making to-do lists (he believes it helps prevent the decay of his brain) and deletes any and all email older than 21 days out for pure peace of mind. Funny, clearing out my 999+ Gmail inbox is my New Year’s resolution. But now let me shift the question to you: Despite “fragmentation” and firmware politics, why do you guys stick with Android?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Widgets is the Number 1 reason, now with the nexus 4 they are also on the lockscreen which is awesome. Pull down description for emails in the notification bar. Androids many many offerings. Having gotten used to it and indulged in it from the jump. The likes of HTC sense and Twiz offer so much to the table as well its just a great ecosystem that isn’t really that much restrictive. Its fun.. I wish there were as much accessory support for android as for iOs products though. Having to resort to online shopping for Nexus cases and SPs is no fun though is a money saver but still when time is a factor it sucks

    1. Accessory support is starting to build for the Galaxy S3. I’m not too sure, but the way things are now, accessory support may build for the Nexus 4. A lot of people sure seemed to want it.

      1. Its nearly going to be 2 months since the release and the malls don’t have them. They still say its too new

    2. If only you could actually delete emails from the pull-down window shade, instead of just dismissing them. I’d be so happy.

  2. Roms, Widgets, Launchers, Hardware, ability to chose handsets from many manufacturers, ability to easily back up and restore applications (not sure if apple has this?), price.

    I’d have to say, most of all is Roms though. I love having the ability to flash whatever the hell I want without Apple (or anyone for that matter) having a say.

    1. Cyanogen(mod) is great. Running it on this old captivate. cm9

    2. Ability to back up and restore apps? My gosh!! Apple does this stock. iTunes backs up your apps and data. I know this because I had an iPod. Does it way better than Google. With Google, I don’t think you get your data, just apps. And iTunes already has it downloaded, so no need to re-download EVERY app from the Play Store. (Of course I’m speaking stock wise). From jailbreaking, so many times I needed to restore my iPod.

      Using CWM Recovery to do a full restore is pretty much what iTunes did. So yea, that’s one thing I miss from Apple.

      1. But you cannot do it without iTunes.

        1. Um…? I guess this is true. You WILL need your copy of iTunes to restore your phone. With Android you can restore on the go. If you root, then of course Android’s restore is superior.

  3. I stick with it because it’s not a closed system. Apple would be much greater if they’d open source iOS. If a ROM doesn’t suit your particular needs, flash another one!
    Hate to tell Guy this, but for the last 3 years I’ve been telling people “Steve Jobs said to ‘think different’, so I took his advice-I bought an Android phone.”

    1. I remember my friend Jailbroke is iPhone then started showing me something he thought was cool. Get this, his icons would spin when he swiped screens. In all honesty, I kept looking for the “something cool”. I thought he was looking for a particular app at first. ROTFLoL!!

  4. I love android because it fulfills my inner nerd to modify and customize my gadgets. I hate it when things are too easy. I wouldn’t learn as much.

    1. I feel that Apple’s products are meant for the “slower-folk”… no offense to the “slower-folk” out there.. lol

      1. Hey! You’re talking about my grandma! >:O

        1. Say bruh, no offense to yo granny.

      2. Here wii go again with that way of thinking. It’s just an “alternative”. If that were the case, Windows is for “Slower” folk. But Windows gives people so much trouble… Let me not start ranting. LoL!!

    2. I have always felt that Apple was exactly that. Dumbed-down for the masses. I used to work on a Mac and it was just insulting, or, ridiculous … I mean – why would you throw a file in the trash in order to eject a disk? That’s just stupid, weird and really, unnecessary.

      Someone else said it below – Freedom – that is a huge factor. Same reason I bought a Nexus 7 instead of a Kindle OR an iPad Mini. It’s my favorite Android device yet.

  5. Hardware. Screens large enough to actually be useful. Battery life (Razr Maxx) that last two days. Google Now. Widgets. Keyboard that actually shows when you are in lower case. Everything in one place store. Who wants a different store for everything? Google infrastructure: One login to access books, movies, apps, news, email, social media, on any device.

  6. My daughter wanted a iphone 5 for Christmas, I lied and said that they were sold out and got her a s3 instead, was I wrong for imposing my love of android on her?

    1. No. She will soon learn that having an iphone is no longer cool.

      1. not cool but even dumb phone……almost every iPhone user is like a kid he’s just described here….they don’t even know that they can not choose default app! so limited, so difficult when you can not choose any default app…

        iPhone is NOT smart phone, just an iConBoard :)

      2. Where is iKing? And the rest of his fanboy cult?

    2. best parent ever.

      1. Lol at the person that downvoted me.

        1. I think he did it again as well…

    3. *tear rolls down my cheek*
      I hope to be a like you when I grow up, Mark2468

    4. kids don’t have a clue what they want.they think they do, but they don’t. Good job in steering her in the right direction.

    5. Two of my gf’s cousins are young teenagers that both want iphones. When I showed them the s3 and started talking about the advantages of android, they were both amazed and starting asking questions about what the phone was called and so forth. Kinda sad they didn’t know what android or a galaxy s3 was but I was glad to help!

    6. Good move

    7. *pats on back*

    8. Many choices in parenting are not right or wrong, just choices.
      That being said iPhone has almost taken on the connotations of Kleenex or Jello; not necessarily the brand name but often denotes the general products themselves.

    9. Congratulations for raising leaders, not followers.

    10. *nods*

      Good, good.

    11. You did a good a good thing for her. Soon she’ll realize that the GS3 is a top notch device unlike the fruity phone….

    12. You were wrong by not telling the truth. lol

      I have turned around my wife, yoiungest daughter and son recently with just one daughter to work on. This I achieved by passing down my older devices or buying additional tablets . So 2 Nexus 7’s an older HTC Desire HD and a brand New SIII for the wife who already decided to make the move after owning every iPhone from day 1.

    13. You only gave her the opportunity to experience something different, I call it expanding her horizon ;-)

    14. nope, she’ll come to find that iOS is a dying breed due to their closed system infrastructure.

    15. This single act will earn you a place in heaven far away from Steve Jobs.

  7. Freedom. I’ll happily put up with the slightly anarchic nature of the Android universe if it means I get to see innovations in all areas, not just the ones the maker of the OS isn’t interested in cashing in on at the moment. Google is awesome in that regard — they don’t try to step on people with products in “their” spaces, they just continue to invent great stuff.

  8. I was almost an iphone convert, but when I went to the store they were so busy so I walked around. The Samsung GII was newish and the GIII wasnt out yet. The screen size and resolution blew me away esp compaired to the iphone. I realized I had more to look at. I went home and did some research on the android OS. The more I learned, the more I discovered that open source was the way to go. I am happily an Android user and unpaid PR person.

    1. Why would someone downrank this comment. This individual took the initiative to research a product and make an educated decision. Where’s the negative?

  9. I stick with android for many reasons, but mostly because it’s OPEN.

    The only iDevice I’ve ever owned was a first-gen iPod nano that was gifted to me and I’ve never even considered buying/switching to an iDevice, because I can’t stand the closed ecosystem, and especially the cultish snobbery of the iTards who hold ’em up as some sort of status symbol. (Actually, I detest status symbols of any kind — cars, clothes, blingbling — so there’s that. Omnomsomehumblepiewhydontchayaplayahposer.)

  10. I love the ability to flash the ROM that works best for whatever device I own and how I want to use it. I’ve had a Nexus 7, a Galaxy SIII, an EVO LTE, and now a Nexus 10.

    I was an iPhone user for four years–a happy one, at that. I loved my 4S and I thought it was a wonderful device. It was even better once I’d jailbroken it and tweaked it to suit my personal workflow. I wasn’t displeased with it at all. I still think its the best smartphone camera I’ve ever used, and there’s a polish to the app ecosystem that’s still, on a large degree, absent from Android.

    I made the switch to Android because the iPhone 5, as solid of a phone as it is (and such a sexy looking phone), just didn’t wow me, and iOS 6 didn’t either. I already had my N7 at this point and was very impressed with the dev community, so much that I made the switch. It was the logical choice.

    I love my Android devices and I love seeing the exciting ROMs and mods that come out of the community that always has me going, “What’s next?” I feel as if Apple is stuck playing it safe while Android takes the risks of bringing new things to the table. I long for the day that Apple gets it together and starts inventing and innovating again, but until that happens I’ll be plenty happy where I’m at. Currently running CM10 on my EVO and CM10.1 on my N10 and I’m loving it!

    Your move, Cook.

  11. Independence. I’ll enjoyably deal with this a little anarchic mother nature on the Operating system whole world in the event it means We get to view innovative developments in most areas, besides the methods this manufacturer on the OPERATING SYSTEM is not thinking about cashing with in right now. Search engines is awesome because respect — they don’t attempt to action in people with products with “their” spots, many people only keep invent wonderful products.

  12. Open OS
    Superior background services and tasks
    Superior notification system
    Keyboards, keyboards and keyboards
    Continuous innovation
    tons of custom ROMs
    Folders on home screens
    Widgets galore
    Linux based
    Busybox availability
    compilers available on the phones as apps
    Hardware superiority
    Customizable fonts (via font installing apps)
    massive development ecosystem
    Ability to Skype call, view contacts, open documents and do other work simultaneously
    excellent memory manager in jelly bean
    ability to copy files to the computer easily

    1. LoL!! at Apple’s Notification system.

  13. iphone are still good but some android phones are very good and by far cheaper !

  14. Honestly? The thing that sold me on Android from the beginning was the open nature of it (not the open source part, but the “do what you want with it” openness). I mean the fact that I can plug my phone into my PC and drag and drop any files I want to and from the device is just awesome! I have a friend who was asking how to put an ebook or some such file on an iPad without iTunes and I pretty much said, “well you can try dropbox but if that doesn’t work then there’s not much else you can do.” It was always the customization from the beginning as well. I remember when the T-Mobile G1 first came out and even though I was on Verizon I was impressed with it and totally would have bought it had I been on T-Mobile. It was just the freashness of Android, the promise the platform held that drew me to it. I didn’t actually get an Android phone till much later but I was an early adopter at heart since it seriously won me over before the Droid debuted on Verizon.

    Now I’ve had three Android phones and have enjoyed them all. iOS has never been very appealing to me, except perhaps when there was literally no other option besides BlackBerry and Winmo 6.5, and while people have praised it for all it’s “ease of use” and other virtues I can’t help but feel like it looks increasingly dated each year as iOS barely changes, and most of its best features are lifted off Android (notifications, voice search, heck even the freaking wallpaper backgrounds). And as I’ve come to use Google services more and more the ecosystem is so darn easy to use that once it’s set up pretty much all you have to do when you get a new phone is input your gmail account and all your apps, your contacts, etc. are there. Plus downloading and signing into a few choice apps pretty much sets you up with all your content, pictures, music, even your bookmarks and browsing history from the Chrome browser. The integration with Google services is just awesome! Heck even my school moved to Google apps and now I can get my school email right on my smartphone! I’d like to see Apple give me something that awesome!

    Sure Apple has their strong points and games and the iTunes library are still the best of any mobile platform out there, but as time has gone on that gap is narrowing to the point where I don’t really notice that much of a disadvantage of using Google apps over iOS ones.

    Now as I’m learning how to really hack it up with rooting, ROMing, streaming, and other fun things I couldn’t ever see myself really enjoying any other mobile platform quite as much as Android.

  15. iPhone is no longer cutting edge. Android is innovating faster and I mean REAL innovation rather than this nonsensical Retina, Retina+, Retina Max+ etc etc.

    1. Add a few horizontal pixels and apple will call it Super Retina ++ Max Ultraview. Lol.

  16. I actually use Android because of some of those reasons.
    1) Multi-tasking.
    2) Alphabetizing apps. My gosh!! I lost apps on my iPod. LoL!!
    3) And Live Wallpapers. So funny to look at.
    4) Setting Default apps. Friggin godsend.
    5) Search Button. There are some apps that I actually do not know how to search in and having a search button helps A LOT!! There are also a few apps where you have to do a little navigating to actually search. One thing I love is when in a browser, pressing search automatically takes you to the address bar. No need to reach up to the top or make the address bar show if you have it hidden.

    Kinda why my next phone needs on-screen keys since they don’t make search buttons anymore. =.[

  17. Google ecosystem is number one for me. Wish they would make a SERIOUS move on the pc market.

    1. Give it time. Android is being primed as a pc OS as we speak.

  18. 1. Removable battery (not plugging a phone in ever and never running out of juice is really nice)
    2. Big screen (Rockin a GS3. If I had bigger hands, I’d have waited for the note2 for sure)
    3. Customizable Home Pages (Excellent functionality designed exactly how I like it)
    4. Apple sucks.

  19. Android provides for me a powerful mobile operating system that also allows for tinkering if I want to.

  20. It’s alot easier to score with owning a Nexus 4

  21. Been an iPhone user since the time it came out. All Apple guy etc. But when the idea of buying an Android came through my mind, I haven’t touched ANY iPhone. Android is the best mobile OS, and will be forever. 360 turn.

    1. Actually, 180° turn (an incredibly common error)

  22. Who the hell cares what this Guy (no pun intended) says. He was an Apple evangelist 26 YEARS ago. What has this got to do with Android. Typical Phandroid flamebait.

    1. Must had been a slow news day… :-)

  23. NFC, 4G LTE, big screen, widgets, keyboard, camera, processor, and up to date hardware.

  24. Apples goal is to destroy the publics freedom of choice. I refuse to buy any apple products.

  25. This guy kawasaki also understand the dumbphone(iPhone’s) are no longer the cool phone in the market. Android offer’s everything for everyone by their needs. I am waiting for the Android gaming console OUYA launch in the market.

  26. I’m going to make this real simple ;

    Some people buy jeans that look like $*+$ for a few hundred dollars because it has a brand on it and they just want to be seen wearing that brand… These are the branded cattle type of people.

    Others want a good pair of jeans that look good, fit well and are comfortable at a decent price and could care less about the brand. These are not the branded cattle people.

  27. despite anything? How about we actually enjoy android, because it’s a better product than any alternatives that exist.

    when there’s something better than android, I’ll move to that. Right now (and ever since the G1 was released), there isn’t anything.

  28. Really enjoyed this read, is interesting to see that someone like Guy is a fanboy of great tech full stop. I don’t get all this loyalty bullshit. I really love everything of Android and while I dislike Apple’s business practices, there’s no denying they make some good stuff.

    Got to admit, given the chance I’d take a Macbook Air, I’d slap Ubuntu on it though. Currently rocking a Chromebook for the same portability, just wish it was a little snappier.

  29. I too have switched from and iPhone to the Galaxy S3. I am much happier with the Galaxy than I was with any of my iPhones.

  30. For a power user like me, iOS can be extremely boring. Sure, you have tons games, but I like to be able to do lots more things with my phone. For example, I love to tweak things. That requires a file manager. Sure, you can jailbreak your iOS device to get access to a file manager, but what happens when Apple does an update to iOS? You lose your jailbreak, and you’ll only be able to do it maybe a month later when the developers figure it out. I love the freedom. (Even if it’s not complete freedom, I still prefer Android.)

  31. Apples closed garden way of things doesn’t appeal to me.

  32. Kawasaki’s business is self-promotion. His business model is jumping on bandwagons and cashing in.

    I use Android. I like Android. But the fact that Kawasaki “likes” it isn’t necessarily a good thing, except as a fashion barometer.

    If Windows phone had any user base at all, he’d be telling the world that it’s the best thing ever, just to do something popular while pretending to be an iconoclast.

  33. Its different. While we all run a similar version i.e. Jelly Bean, ICS, G. Bread our phones and tablets are made by different manufactures, which in turn gives us each a highly customizable experience with cutting edge technology. We can download most of the iOS user experience too for the things we actually like about their phones like emojis but they can’t download android. they can never really have any originally. its all the same and I like sticking out.

  34. been a android supporter since the g1. as many have said when it was introduced, the idea of open caught my eye and i never looked back. from the g1 to the whole nexus line up with my nexus 4 and 7 now there is no os i would rather be with. i have even converted my family (a few who had iphones) to join android after showing them my nexus 4 and 7 and they loved it, now they all have them. android that is all

  35. I carried an iphone 4 for work and a gnex for personal use. I became very frustrated with how long it took me to do anything on the iPhone. I also couldnt stand having to find the buttons to push within apps because they are in a different place in every app. iPhone is clearly for the nontechnical person as its well polished interface and reliability in basic apps. I am big time tech geek and love my gnex running cm10.

  36. I am sick of this attention whore.

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