Daniel Eran Dilger
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Google’s Android powered by remarkable new “flexibly adaptive logic”

Daniel Eran Dilger

Google’s Android platform is powered by a novel technology that transcends conventional hardware and software. And just as Android hardware and software has looked to Apple for inspiration, this compelling new “flexibly adaptive logic” is also related to something that first originated within Apple.

Flexibly adaptive logic, or “Flawgic,” allows the Android platform to terminate any sort of criticism before it can affect how the system performs. Flawgic is neither hardware nor software; it’s installed directly into public mindshare via a virus spread by talking heads.

Initially, the critical shield of Flawgic was virtually identical to “being in beta,” a formerly negative trait that Google turned into a positive by associating it with cool new experiments (like Google Maps) that deserved a lot of credit simply for existing.

While “being in beta” excused some of the warts of Google’s freeware products and services, Flawgic takes this to the next level. Flawgic allows every new Android-based product (or anything else Google does) a pass in every respect: appearance, usability, features, reliability, a target market, even sustainable profitability as a product.

If Apple were to release a cheap iPhone that cost $50 or a luxury one that cost $2000, it would receive intense scrutiny in either direction. The cheap version would be derided as flawed and worthless, while the expensive version would be laughed at for being ludicrously priced.

Flawgic allows low end Android products to be hailed as volume sales generators, even if they are terrible products in every way. But it also does double-duty in allowing Google’s insanely priced devices, from Glass to Chromebook Pixel, to escape criticism of their inherently poor overall value or the likelihood of their ever selling in meaningful volumes.

It’s really that powerful. Here’s a look at how it works.

The copycat road to Flawgic’s emergence

Like many Google innovations, Flawgic is an adaption of the work of others, of whom it gives little or no credit. Google’s first product, web search, was going nowhere until the company realized it could monetize search results with paid placement, something Overture had already developed and owned the rights to. Google was sued for copying Overture, but eventually settled the matter with 2.7 million shares of Google stock.

Google’s other major initiative, Android, was originally Oracle’s Java platform. Literally! When Google acquired Android, the project was an implementation of Java on Linux, just as it predecessor Danger was. Sun’s Java had flaws and problems, so Google set up addressing these, resulting in its own “Android” that it deemed to be just different enough from Java to avoid paying Sun (and Sun’s eventual owner, Oracle) anything for its rejiggering of the Java platform.

Google wasn’t just getting better at copying other’s DNA; it was evolving a new gene that allowed it to copy without having to pay for it afterward. This new trait set it apart from earlier, primitive forms of corporate copycats such as Microsoft, which paid out many hundreds of millions of dollars to all the companies it illegitimately copied or wronged in other ways.

After launching Android, Google realized that it had targeted the wrong smartphone products (Blackberry and Windows Mobile) when Apple’s very different iPhone arrived in 2007. Google then went to work adding value to Android by taking value directly from Apple’s iOS.

This process wasn’t entirely shameless, as Google often had to criticize its partners, most famously Samsung, for taking things too far in their exact reproductions of every Apple product, right down to the design of icons, accessories and even packaging materials.

One Android tablet from Samsung was so overtly infringing of Apple’s iPad that Google actually asked Samsung to change the design slightly. Despite the well documented nature of this infringement, Flawgic kicked in and explained that what had really occured was that Apple had sued Samsung over rounded corners, because, well, Apple was an asshole.

Putting the F&A in Flawgic

A second gene had evolved! Now, rather than just avoiding any payment for copying other’s work, Google could paint any effort to stop infringement as a victimization. Google wasn’t wrong in copying, it was being wronged after copying, according to Flawgic.

Never mind why Apple didn’t sue everyone else over “rounded corners,” nor bother to ask yourself why Apple would sue its largest components source over something with such little substance; if you have Flawgic installed, you don’t need to think. Flawgic does it for you. Flawgic says Apple sued Samsung over rounded corners, so it must be true.

Google then shared the Flawgic gene with Samsung, so that even as Judge Koh stripped Apple’s case down, Samsung could build up a retaliatory bullshit case of infringement via Flawgic. Now, instead of just not having to pay for infringement and looking victimized by Apple for infringing upon it, Samsung could make the case that it was actually the one being infringed here.

It’s like a rapist saying he had penetrated against his own will, and please lock this woman up before she is allowed to have forcible sex with other innocent rapists. And can I sue her for damages? I think I hurt my penis.

Samsung is working so hard to convince judges and juries worldwide that it is being infringed upon by Apple that it has asserted over 25 standards essential patents so far; never mind that it has lost or withdrawn each of these, and failed to make any progress in enforcing any of its non-standards essential patents. In the other direction, it has actually lost ground in multiple cases that determined it was indeed a serial patent rapist.

But Flawgic remains ever optimistic that Samsung’s patent indiscretions will go away for less than $400 million dollars. Google only recorded a charge of around $260 million for the costs of copying Overture, and it realized an income tax benefit of more than $100 million for doing so.

This get out of jail free gene doesn’t seem to be working as well at Samsung, but who knows, maybe Judge Koh will just nullify the whole case and eventually order Apple to pay Samsung for being a dick. Never underestimate the power of Flawgic.

Putting the FLAW in Flawgic

At the same time, Google has also adapted other’s work in ways that are so extensive that they no longer resemble the original. Google’s copy of Twitter (Buzz) was so terrible in its privacy robbing that nobody wanted to use it. Google’s copy of Facebook (G+) is so nerdy nobody outside of the company uses it. Google’s copy of the iOS App Store (Google Play) is so flawed in its security and curation that developers haven’t paid it any real attention.

Flawgic takes this sort of “downward copying” to a whole new level. It then turns around and excuses itself with complex explanations that branch and turn, even contradicting themselves in crazy loops. Up is down, failure is success, and the success of others is not only failure, but disgusting. This ugly virus appears to have started out much more benign.

Back in the early 1980s, developers working under Steve Jobs on the original Macintosh project noted how he could passionately convince seemingly anyone of the impossible. When they reached a dead end, Jobs could press them to do things that nobody else saw as practical or sensible. Jobs’ wild, unbounded optimism and persuasive, charismatic charm became known as his “Reality Distortion Field.”

Apple’s fiercest critics happened upon mention of this “RDF” and repurposed the phrase in the most vitriolic, hateful way to instead suggest that Jobs was actually a cunning charlatan who deceived everyone with a malicious form of dark mind control fraud. Very rapidly, RDF shifted from a term of endearment to a scathing criticism.

Anyone who dared to buy an Apple product rather than a DOS PC (with more RAM for god’s sakes! Or the unique ability to install an ISA card!) was instantly branded a “kook-aid drinking fanboy under the delusion of the Apple RDF.”

Google, perhaps inadvertently, stumbled upon RDF, perhaps early in the development of Android. Somewhere along the line, Flawgic developed as a combination of shifting explanations and excuses that could explain away any criticisms. It was like RDF, but rather than emanating from an individual, it radiated out of the hive mind of the open source community that had adhered to Android.

Flawgic’s answers for tough questions

Why would various hardware makers adopt Android and give up control over their own proprietary platforms in the smarphone world? According to Flawgic, duh! Never you mind! BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, Palm and HTC would either adopt Android or go away. Those that adopted Android did go away, at least in profitability, but Flawgic only looks forward, forgetting the past as a matter of principal.

HTC went from being a prominent and rapidly growing Windows Mobile vendor to being a destitute failure. Motorola abandoned Linux to exclusively support Android, and is now imploding as it loses millions each quarter, even after being acquired by Google! This isn’t a problem, it’s a feature, according to Flawgic. Motorola isn’t failing, Google is just playing it safe in not showing Motorola any special favors.

Perhaps Google happened upon Flawgic in the $12.5 billion catacombs of Motorola’s “12.5 thousand issued patents and 7,500 patent applications.” If so, it seems to be the only thing that could actually be put to use.

In contrast, Blackberry, Nokia and Palm all desperately tried to remain relevant without adopting Android. They too have plunged from their original positions as smartphone leaders, but not due to Android’s success.

Palm simply ran out of cash trying to develop webOS as a response to iOS, ultimately being bought up by HP and then sold off to LG as a way for that company to differentiate its TVs from a glutted market of Android-based Smart TVs that simply aren’t selling. Failure? Flawgic has no answer to that one, but who cares? Nobody’s asking for one.

Blackberry and Nokia have similarly set out to remain quasi-independent, with Blackberry buying up QNX and Nokia partnering with Microsoft, both clear responses to iOS. Both efforts have failed so far, and Flawgic would tell you that Android’s amazing success was a key reason for this. But recall that Blackberry proposed adding Android support to its PlayBook OS, without sparking any real interest.

The only global smartphone maker that can even claim to have been helped toward profits by Android is Samsung. But LG and Sony, two companies that are close enough to Samsung to serve as a control group, haven’t similarly benefitted from Android in the least. In reality, the key to Samsung’s success was ripping off Apple’s designs, advertising, software, marketing and packaging so closely so as to cast a Apple halo over its offerings. Samsung isn’t selling Android; it’s selling iOS knockoffs.

Flawgic is never right, but never apologizes

Flawgic tells us that Android is helping Samsung to beat Apple at its own game. But that’s not happening. Samsung was well established when Apple entered the smartphone business. Back then, Samsung’s offerings were being powered by simple embedded software and by Java/Linux, the precursor of Android. Samsung was beaten silly by the iPhone just as Blackberry, Nokia, Palm, LG and Sony were. The only company of those to recover was the one that mostly closely copied Apple.

Flawgic offers lots of alternative explanations, citing Samsung’s big-screen Android phones (which do not represent the bulk of its sales), its use of stylus driven Android phablet devices (which similarly do not account for even a large proportion of its sales) and its clever…. well no, just those two things.

The reality is that Samsung continues to sell mostly low end, cheaper devices that mostly run a really old version of Android. They might as well be Java/Linux phones, as they don’t do anything. They don’t run many apps, they don’t browse the web much, they don’t really do anything but contribute to large volumes of sales that don’t result in much profit.

But according to Flawgic, these “neo-feature phones” create a vast Android army that will at some point create a critical mass that will shift software development and enterprise adoption from iOS to Android. This is widely believed even though Samsung is plotting to replace Android with its own Tizen version of Linux (so that, like Nokia and Blackberry back in the day, it can own its own platform and not need to compete against everyone else with the same software platform). According to Flawgic, this is good news for Android, for Samsung, and for Google in some way.

Flawgic is very confident about this, and doesn’t take any criticism, so don’t try to offer any.

Instead, it directs your attention to all the flaws of Apple. The glass back of iPhone 4 is so fragile! And in 2010, the phone still doesn’t even have LTE, nor did it (initially) work on Verizon. Fast forward to the present and Google’s new Nexus 4 has a glass back and no LTE, nor does it work on Verizon. But no worries, it’s awesome! And I can live with the flaws, thanks to my mountain moving faith in Flawgic.

Flawgic is confident in the face of failure

Flawgic sees no threats or challenges for Android going forward. This child soldier type of mentality allows it to pursue forward with unbridled optimism and courage. In 2010, Flawgic predicted that Android on Verizon would obliterate the iPhone. But as soon as the iPhone made it to Verizon, it obliterated Android, taking up more than half of all sales.

Flawgic predicted that Android 3.0 Honeycomb would obliterate the iPad, offering 3D views of YouTube movies all playing at once. Instead, Honeycomb melted down into a sticky mess. The few early adopters were stung with gear that was overpriced and underpowered. Two years later, Android is still amounting for a tiny slice of the tablet pie, despite all the Flawgic supporting its superiority.

Flawgic ignores the failure of the Samsung Galaxy Player and other failed iPod touch contenders, noting that music players don’t even matter anymore. Tell that to Apple, which is still selling most of the world’s MP3 players to smartphone and tablet buyers (who already have MP3 functionality). Pure Flawgic tells you that when Samsung sells a customer a hybrid tablet and phone it’s a success, while when Apple’s customers buy an iPhone, iPad and an iPod touch it’s not really a sign of anything, most clearly not indicative of any sort of advantage held by iOS.

Flawgic studiously ignores the fact that iOS apps run across Apple’s devices, and that Apple regularly updates its hardware for years after the initial purchase. Flawgic excuses the fact that no major Android licensee regularly updates any of its existing hardware over more than a year or so, or that just because you have two Android products doesn’t mean they can necessarily run the same apps.

If, theoretically, any developers support Samsung’s new Knox layer of “SAFE” enterprise support in their apps, even customers who buy a new Galaxy SIII phone won’t be able to run those “SAFE” apps on the Samsung tablet that AT&T gave them for free as part of the SAFE promotion, because those tablets aren’t SAFE to use in the enterprise. They are running plain old Samsung-flavored non-SAFE Android. Flawgic doesn’t care, because Flawgic is not really used in the enterprise anyway.

But Flawgic also asserts that Android will be rapidly adopted by the enterprise, if for no other reason than BYOD. There you have it. Done, can’t argue with that.

By the way, have you heard Android is winning? It’s what all the Android police are saying. Must be the case. And by “winning,” we don’t mean in profitability or any other metric other than unit sales of products that often aren’t even officially reported in any useful way to provide comparison.

After all, Android tablets are as cheap as $30 in China! You can’t compete with that.

Flawgic has an answer for everything, and answers nothing. It’s like rose colored glasses where, after you put them on, you lose 20/20 hindsight.

  • costello

    I Love Talking Heads

  • http://planetenpaultje.nl Planetary Paul

    In “hardware” should be “software” methinks…..

  • Urs W. Keller

    DED, you just made my Sunday!

    On a sidenote: “… and that Apple regularly updates its hardware for years after the initial purchase …”: I would love that Apple updates my *hardware*, but up to now, they only updated the *software*.


  • bft

    If I worked at Google, I’d be seriously embarrassed by this Chromebook Pixel video:

    It is *such* a copy of Apple, it’s maybe beyond embarrassing.

    (But Flawgic makes it Genius!)

  • geoadm

    Well said. Best article I’ve read on the subject

  • spuy767

    The Chromebook has a 3:2 display with larger bezels so that the laptop can have a larger body so that Google wouldn’t have to be burdened with the design constraints of the nicer MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, and so that they could claim to have a “higher resolution display” when what they actually have is 100 More lines of resolution. Not a feat of any significance.

  • bft

    @spuy767- I didn’t mean the Chromebook itself – I meant the guys in the video who sound like they’re reading a script that was taken right out of an Apple video.

    All they need is a white background and a guy with a buzzcut and an English accent and the ‘homage’ would be complete.

  • jmfree

    I am so enjoying the Flawgic around Chromebook and Google Glass (“It doesn’t emasculate you!”), it seems almost a shame to discourage it.

    Many thanks for a new term of art for the industry.

  • spuy767

    @bft: Yeah, that too. The website looks like a lower brow version of Apple’s site as well. Huge pictures of the product with little blurbs here and there. Not that Apple owns that style, but compare it to another computer manufacturer’s website.

  • stefn

    Google’s prices for the Pixel and Glass tell the whole story: Posturings not products. Self congratulation and gratification.

  • Arnold Ziffel

    Daniel, thanks for another brilliant piece. The precision with which you swing your sledgehammer is a joy to behold.


  • OneGeV

    For a long time, similar flawgic was used for Windows. It is possible to get a Windows PC cheaper. It is possible to get a Windows PC with more power/better features. Flawgic would imply that that there is a single Windows PC that has all those advantages and none of the compromises.

  • enzos

    While kool-aid drinking might be the norm, “kook-aid” is maybe even better.

    Cheers for the Flawgic, Dan! Much appreciated.


  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter

    A couple of points

    1) Nokia was far more profitable than Apple, and selling a lot more smartphones until it switched to Windows Phone.

    2) The same arguments you made about Google copying could be made about Apple copying, since Apple has never been first to market with any product line.

    3) Firefox OS should shake up the industry.

    4) Apple can’t be considered a ‘premium’ mobile manufacturer, that sport belongs to Vertu Ti, which switched recently from Symbian to Android. At $6,500.00 per phone, that’s a premium manufacturer.

    5) HTC dropped Windows because Microsoft bought Skype. The Telcos hate Skype, and hate Microsoft, and since you get your phone from the telco in North America…

    6) Quoting Florian shows you don’t understand the issues. If you want a solid grounding on patents go to ipwatchdog.com.

    7) Of you read the jury findings of fact from Judge Koh’s trial, they don’t make any sense. The jury screwed up big time, by not following the Judge’s instructions.

    The RDF didn’t exist. Apple’s products were priced no higher than competing products with similar specifications. Flawgic doesn’t exist. Google is well known for its mistakes (Wave anyone).

    What would be more useful would be an article about Microsoft falling below 25% OS market share, and Apple becoming the world’s largest computing device maker.


  • ronjiedotcom

    You nailed it, man. You said all the things I’ve been thinking of saying. You got a new subscriber/follower.

  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter

    Some data – Chart 1

    Rank . . . . . Brand . . . . . . Units 2012 . . Market Share 2012 . . Market Share 2011
    1 (2) . . . . . Android . . . . . 462 M . . . . . . 38% . . . . . . . . . . . . 23%
    1 (1) . . . . . Windows . . . . 296 M . . . . . . 24% . . . . . . . . . . . . 31%
    3 (3) . . . . . iOS . . . . . . . . 272 M . . . . . . 22% . . . . . . . . . . . . 21%
    4 (5) . . . . . Blackberry . . . . 34 M . . . . . . . 3% . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
    5 (4) . . . . . Symbian . . . . . 19 M . . . . . . . 2% . . . . . . . . . . . . 9%
    . . . . . . . . . Others . . . . . . 141 M . . . . . . 12%
    TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,224 M

    Chart 2

    Rank (was) . . Brand . . . . . . Units 2012 . . Market Share 2012
    1 (1) . . . . . . . Apple . . . . . . 272 M . . . . . 22%
    2 (2) . . . . . . . Samsung . . . 249 M . . . . . 20%
    3 (6) . . . . . . . Lenovo . . . . . . 77 M . . . . . . 6%
    4 (4) . . . . . . . HP . . . . . . . . 59 M . . . . . . 5%
    5 (-) . . . . . . . Huawei . . . . . . 55 M . . . . . . 4%
    6 (7) . . . . . . . Dell . . . . . . . . 38 M . . . . . . 3%
    7 (10) . . . . . . Sony . . . . . . . 37 M . . . . . . 3%
    8 (9) . . . . . . . Acer . . . . . . . 36 M . . . . . . 3%
    9 (3) . . . . . . . Nokia . . . . . . . 35 M . . . . . . 3%
    10 (-) . . . . . . ZTE . . . . . . . . 35 M . . . . . . 3%
    . . . . . . . . . . Others . . . . . 331 M . . . . . 27%
    TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,224 M

    Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2013 from company and industry data, February 2013

    Those are the numbers that matter.


  • spuy767

    Don’t cherry-pick Wayne. No one is suggesting that we lump “smart” phones that people are getting for free with contract into PC sales. But including a $500 tablet in that mix is not unreasonable when we are willing to include a netbook that costs half as much and is less functional.

  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter


    I’m not cherry picking – you are. I’ve included all devices which can be used for general purpose computing in one box.

    I know a guy who wrote a novel using his iPhone and a Bluetooth keyboard. There isn’t anything that a desktop can do that a mobile can’t in general terms. Yes, there are certain applications which will run on one but not the other, but the general classes of applications are the same, and people are leaving the desktop for mobile.


  • http://blog.techflaws.org Techflaws.org

    “Google then went to work adding value to Android by taking value directly from Apple’s iOS.”

    So Apple’s iOS is now less valuable due to Google’s copying?

  • spuy767

    An iPhone is far more capable than your free-with-contract, shit-tier Android device.

  • spuy767

    Not “your” specifically, just a general term.

  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter

    Device value depends heavily on the available software. Some of the IOS software is top notch, some of it is horrid. I can’t comment on Android, because I don’t have one to play with.

    I can comment on Windows 8 and Windows phone. A lot of developers that I know are avoiding the new Windows. The money just isn’t there anymore.

    At the same time Apple’s OSX App Store means that the money is there on Macs. Looks like Ballmer’s ‘Developers’ dance was right, even if his company managed to mess it up.


  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter

    Forgot to mention in the comment above that there is money in IOS development.


  • slappyjoe

    look i found some Flawgic on the Internet:
    “Jefferies & Co. cut its price target for Apple this week, citing concerns that the next phone will be delayed because of problems with the device’s casing colors. ”
    Mister Cook should have secured those four barrels of food coloring a few weeks ahead of time now i have to sell my stock shares tomorrow for $390.

  • daryl4d

    @The Mad Hatter
    the problem with those numbers is that they don’t tell the whole story… for about the last 4 years I had a Samsung feature phone, then early last year bought a cheap Chinese Android smartphone for $180. to fill the gap, I was waiting for the iPhone5… this jellybean phone was terribly flawed (due to cheap build quality), could not surf, Skype didn’t work, texting was difficult (always outputting the wrong letters) and even had poor voice call quality…(funny thing about it was it had the same 4″ screen and similar dimensions of the iPhone5, except it was heavier and thicker)… I suffered in silence until getting the iPhone 5 last Dec…. the crappy android phone has gone into my desk drawer never to emerge again (and I can’t be bothered to try and sell it for the $20. I’d get for it)…

    this phone totally turned me off of Android… it was sold in 2012 but is not in use… out of circulation…. didn’t Cook once say that iOS (or iPad) had like 90% of mobile surfing…. when you look at that, those are the numbers that matter… what OS is actively in use. I would bet that Android’s numbers include a flooded of cheap devices that disappear from the market after the first year of use.

  • http://madhatter.ca The Mad Hatter


    Hey, I’m still happily using my iPhone 3GS. Works great, never seen any reason to upgrade. I did upgrade my iPad. Bought the newest one in December, because I use it a lot, and thought the Retina display would be easier on my eyes (it is).

    As I said, I have no direct experience with Android. I do know a lot of people with Android phones. A fair number of them are happy with what they’ve got, so it works for them. Some of them aren’t. Overall it looks like the IOS experience beats the Android experience.

    This doesn’t mean IOS is more advanced. You had hardware issues. One friend absolutely hated the Android interface, but loved an iPhone. Apple appears to have gotten the hardware/software combination right.

    Microsoft appears to have gotten the hardware/software combination totally wrong. So as Nokia. It is going to be interesting seeing what happens to Blackberry, personally I hope they do well, as they provide an extra level of competition to the industry. Samsung has gotten decent sales, so far at least. Their Tizen OS could be really interesting.

    All of them (except for the big failure, Microsoft), are still playing off the research from Xerox PARC. I wonder when the next interface paradigm shift will occur?