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Google VP, TweetDeck CEO refute comments from Apple's Steve Jobs


After Apple co-founder Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance on his company's quarterly earnings call to make statements about Google's Android mobile platform, executives from Google and TweetDeck took to the Web to rebuff his statements.

During Monday's earnings call, Jobs shared his opinion on the alleged fragmentation of the Android platform, noting that companies like HTC and Motorola install their own proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from stock Android. He also claimed that the application TweetDeck, which he mistakenly misnamed, had challenges with the recent launch of their Android application.

"Twitter client TwitterDeck [sic] recently launched their Android app, and had to contend with 100 different versions of software on 244 different handsets," Jobs said. That's a daunting challenge."

Iain Dodsworth, CEO of TweetDeck, quickly responded to Jobs' comments via Twitter, and said he believes Android fragmentation is actually a "small" issue.

"Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android?" Dodsworth wrote on his Twitter account. "Err nope, no we didn't. It wasn't."

He later followed up: "WE only have 2 guys developing on Android TweetDeck so that shows how small an issue fragmentation is."

Dodsworth was allegedly joined by Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google and known as the "father" of Android, in responding to Jobs on Twitter. Rubin — via a new, unverified Twitter account — apparently took issue with Jobs' opinion on the "open" debate between Apple's iOS, which powers the iPhone and iPad, versus Google's Android.

Jobs argued that Android's fragmentation makes it less open because a variety of applications for Android run only on a few hardware options.

"Many Android apps work only on select handsets, or select Android versions," Jobs said Monday. "This is for handsets that shipped 12 months ago. Compare with iPhone, where there are two versions to test against — the current and most recent predecessor."

The purported response to Jobs from Rubin, who was formerly an engineer at Apple, was tongue in cheek, with a geeky take on the matter: "the definition of open: 'mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make'"

The rivalry between Google and Apple, two companies that were previously friendly, has continued to grow over the last year and a half. In March, The New York Times reported that Jobs feels Google betrayed Apple by producing smartphones that resemble the iPhone.

"We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business," Jobs was claimed to have said to Apple employees at a company meeting in January. "Make no mistake, Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won't let them."