Print 19 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on May 30 at 3:52 AM

  (Source: flickr)
Martias Duarte leaves Palm to work on Android OS

Just when you thought that things had quieted down a bit on the Palm front, this interesting bit of news just came across the news wires. Earlier this morning, it was reported that Matias Duarte, the man who lead that team that developed the webOS UI, was leaving Palm. At the time, no one knew where Duarte was heading following his departure from the mobile firm that was recently acquired by HP.

However, All Things Digital is now reporting that Duarte is heading to none other than Google. Google confirmed that Duarte will join the company as the User Experience Director for Android.

Google is gaining quite a bit of momentum in the smartphone market and Android-based smartphones recently bolted ahead of Apple's iPhone according to numbers from marker research firm NPD. The company is also taking the fight straight to Apple and RIM with new features in Android 2.2 including native tethering/Wi-Fi hotspot, support for Adobe Flash 10.1, faster application performance, and over the air syncing for apps and music.

The addition of Duarte is a great boon for Google as its stock Android UI could definitely use a bit of polish. Some manufacturers take care of this themselves by developing their own "user experiences" such as HTC's Sense, but it would be nice to see a more sleek interface come straight from Google and Duarte seems like the right man for the job.

Duarte was on stage during CES 2009 to show off the Pre during its official unveil. At the time, Duarte poked fun at the iPhone's lack of a keyboard and user-replaceable battery. In the end, Palm's Pre (and it's little brother, the Pixi) ended up being a sales dud on both Sprint and Verizon's network. However, webOS has been the real star of the show and is destined to live on in future products from HP.

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Holy Crap
By bplewis24 on 5/27/2010 1:28:45 PM , Rating: 5
Android 2.2 with some WebOS lead-designer ingenuity thrown in may just pwn the smartphone industry as we know it.


RE: Holy Crap
By bupkus on 5/27/2010 1:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
It seems Google knows which talent to go for and how to get them. My impression of Google tells me they will allow Martias Duarte to be as effective with Android as he was with webOS.

RE: Holy Crap
By Sheep on 5/27/2010 2:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the guy's past track record, this is huge news if he's allowed to polish up stock Android's UI.

This also makes my decision to jump to the EVO from my Palm Pre much easier, even if any changes resulting from this guy joining Google are far off.

RE: Holy Crap
By MojoMan on 5/29/2010 10:42:47 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed! The Droid Incredible is already a great phone with a great OS on it. Have any of you guys picked one up and played with it? If you guys haven't had your hands on a DROID yet, get pop into a Verizon store the next time you're at the mall. I was in a Verizon store to look at one because I need to upgrade my painfully old smartphone. I was impressed even though I already knew the specs on it.

Adding this guy's talent to what's already a great phone should help the phone stay a step ahead of their competitors.

RE: Holy Crap
By quiksilvr on 5/27/2010 4:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
...Why did you write the article's writer at the end of your comment?

RE: Holy Crap
By Brandon Hill on 5/27/2010 6:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
Judging from his previous posts, I do believe that his first name is Brandon, and he "signs off" with his name in every post...

RE: Holy Crap
By bplewis24 on 5/27/2010 9:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct, sir. And I would expect nothing less from somebody with such a cool name!

Brandon (aka b plewis24)

RE: Holy Crap
By Orpheus333 on 5/28/2010 12:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
I was a hair away from getting a pre ($30) over a moto droid ($100) this past weekend. With all the goodies coming to droid, however, it seems there is no other choice. Glad I got it., can we get a dailytech app? Typing URLs is Soooo early 2000.

Android will win
By Bioniccrackmonk on 5/27/2010 2:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
And the reason is... they give us an excellent OS with numerous features that we ACTUALLY want and it is not tied down to a single phone on a single carrier.

PS, I am using a Blackberry and do intend to switch soon.

RE: Android will win
By Gio6518 on 5/27/2010 2:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
android is without going to dominate the smartphone market, this is truly great news for android

PS, I am using a Blackberry and do intend to switch soon.

dumping my blackberry for an EVO already on preorder

RE: Android will win
By Exodite on 5/27/2010 3:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
While Blackberries are non-existent in my neck of the woods, meaning Sweden, I do believe they've made the best acquisition as far as the future of mobile devices are concerned - QNX.

QNX Neutrino represents one of the, grand total of, two operating systems that have ever impressed me. Frankly that's the kind of stuff we should see not just on our phones and microwaves but actual PCs as well.

All IMO, obviously.

Is he really Fleeing???
By AEvangel on 5/27/2010 3:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
I mean the article makes it sound like he some third world refuge and Google was the land of milk and honey??

Don't get me wrong, I love my Android phone and most of Google's products, but the title of the article is really mis-leading.

RE: Is he really Fleeing???
By Sheep on 5/27/2010 4:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Have you seen Palm's financials? That dude probably lost a TON of money on stock options.

By spathotan on 5/27/2010 5:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
WebOS is a great OS, overlooked by iPhoneites and the like. Alot of design elements in it are better than Android and iPhone but the package as a whole was weighed down by the devices and the company themselves. Its hard for a company to properly support and push a product when they dont have any money.

RE: Awesome
By Wolfpup on 5/30/2010 3:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I agree. The OS even around launch last year seemed more polished than Android, and does stuff probably better than Apple will even after next month. One of my bigger complaints was just the hardware-don't like the tiny screen, tiny keyboard, sliding design, etc. Seemed cheap and iffy.

I'll be very interested if they get better hardware combined with WebOS-if we had something like the Nexus One/Incredible, but with WebOS even...

I also have to wonder if they're planning on adding some Android support to WebOS, or even merging the underlying OS as much as they can. Seems like it MIGHT be possible to get WebOS able to run at least some Android programs, and might make things easier if they run the same underlying version of Linux (if they don't already). Heck, they might be able to make WebOS a nice front end/different ecosystem running on top of Android-best of both worlds. Maybe I'm making it sound too easy as the APIs are probably totally different, but...I don't know, maybe some potential there.

At any rate, I'm disappointed WebOS hasn't done more, as in most ways I still prefer PalmOS to the newer OSes for the basic PIM stuff and being a real PC. The new stuff is too restrictive, too poorly thought out and slow, etc.

By Jedi2155 on 5/27/2010 6:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
Frozen Yogurt is missing from that Android picture.

I can just imagine in a few years an entire lawn filled with tasty goodness.

By retrospooty on 5/27/2010 7:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
Web OS is really nice. It gets better and better to me the more I use it.

I have a feeling HP will stifle it's development and just add bloat. Nice to know that talent is still out there, and Google has a good alternative for me, in case HP castrates Web OS.

By SongEmu on 5/27/2010 1:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
"user-replaceable keyboard"... i should hope that's "battery"... but a user-replaceable keyboard would be cool too...

RE: typo..?
By Brandon Hill on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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