Guy Kawasaki is perhaps best known as one of Apple's biggest fan boys, having served as the tech giant's chief evangelist in the 1980s. But if you asked the author, investor and entrepreneur which type of mobile device he prefers for personal and business use, you might be surprised to learn that he favors Google's Android operating system over Apple's iOS.
Not only that, Kawasaki announced over Facebook recently that he'll be serving as an advisor to smartphone and tablet maker Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google last year. Kawasaki says his focus will be on product design, user interface, marketing and social media.
So what made a former Apple fan do such an about face? Over email, we discussed why he's such a proponent for Android and how he thinks Android-powered devices can be improved for business users.
What follows is an edited version of our exchange:
Entrepreneur: How can such a loyal Apple advocate take a gig as advisor to Motorola?
Kawasaki: It's been 16 years since I worked at Apple. At some point, people have to move on, right? My perspective is this: my allegiance is to the best product for my needs. For a computer, this means Macintosh. For phone and tablet, this means Android.
Entrepreneur: Why do you think Android is so much better than Apple?
Kawasaki: Here are 11 ways that I think Android is better than iOS:
- Selecting default applications to open files.
- Making Chrome my default browser.
- Viewing apps, no matter what folder they're in, in an alphabetical list.
- Installing different keyboards -- for example, Swype.
- Viewing windows containing a live feed of appointments or emails (widgets).
- Using any micro-USB cable to charge my phone, tablet or Kindle.
- Receiving automatic, unattended updates to the operating system and applications.
- Making multiple aliases for apps, not simply moving apps around.
- Using Google Now [Google's search app and personal assistant].
- Viewing summaries of notification messages. For example, "25 new messages" instead of 25 individual notices.
- Using NFC [near field communications -- radio technology that enables two devices to wirelessly trade data when they are within close range of each other].
Until recently, there was a 12th: 4G LTE. Apple recently added this, but 4G LTE was the biggest single reason for my switch a few years back.
Entrepreneur: So, which gadgets do you use every day?
Kawasaki: Here's my list of gear:
- 13-inch MacBook Air
- 27-inch iMac
- 27-inch Apple monitor
- Motorola Atrix HD phone
- Nexus 7 tablet
- Motorola P4000 Portable Power Pack
- Dymo label printer
- Fujitsu scanner
- ioSafe server
- Logitech headset
- Logitech conference camera.
- Kindle Paperwhite
Entrepreneur: How can Android-powered devices be improved for business users?
Kawasaki: Android is already good for business. There are already hundreds of millions of business users.
Many Android users aren't aware of some the things that Android can already do such as supporting the enforcement of companywide security policies, encrypting phone data and providing e-mail and calendar widgets that update in real-time. Our job is to help people and businesses discover and use these features.
Entrepreneur: What should business owners expect from Motorola over the next 18 months?
Kawasaki: [Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside] might terminate me if I tell you about our new products, but let's just say that Motorola is at a crucial point similar to what Apple went through in 1998 when Steve [Jobs] returned. This is going to be a very exciting time for Motorola. That's why I'm here.
It's called Guy's Golden Touch: whatever is gold, Guy touches.
Do you prefer Google's Android or Apple's iOS? Or a different operating system? Let us know in the comments below.