Last year, at the second Google IO developer conference, Google VP of engineering Vic Gundotra declared that the Web had won.
This year, at Google IO, there are still battles to be fought, mainly against Apple. Gundotra proclaimed the importance of providing "a free operating system that would enable innovation at every level of the stack."
"If Google did not act, we faced a draconian future," he said, a reference to Apple's tight control of its iPhone OS ecosystem.
It was a message that the audience of open-source developers -- hardly fans of rules or restrictions – applauded repeatedly.
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In his discussion of the next version of the Android operating system, Android 2.2 -- otherwise known as "Froyo," -- pointed references to Apple's controlled approach were accompanied by bursts of engineering superiority.
After demonstrating an impressive cloud-to-device messaging API by which a user can with a single click send a map loaded in a computer browser to an Android phone, Gundotra mocked the iPhone's more limited push notification service.
"That's how you do a cloud-to-device API," said Gundotra, as if scolding computer science students.