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  (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.

Brandon




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 (blog) 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.

...now, can we get a dailytech app? Typing URLs is Soooo early 2000.


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