March 19, 2013

Disconnect: Why Andy Rubin and Android Called it Quits

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Last week, Google announced that Andy Rubin, co-creator and chief of Android, a job he’s held since 2005, would be stepping aside to join a new secret project. The decision came as a surprise, even to his coworkers inside Google. However, the influential hacker-entrepreneur had already had a requiem, nine months earlier.

There has been speculation over whether Android is called "Android" because it sounds like "Andy." Actually, Android is Andy Rubin — coworkers at Apple gave him the nickname back in 1989 because of his love for robots. Android.com was Rubin’s personal website until 2008.

So when a rumor started last June that Rubin was leaving Google to join a small startup called CloudCar, it set off a panic. Given Rubin’s...

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