A Parasite Has Taken Up Residence Within Android

Written by John Birmingham on April 16, 2013

Yeah, yeah. So an army of fandroids hated Facebook Home enough to try to murder it on Google Play, with thousands of one and two star reviews. A typical response:

Google Play review

This sort of smackdown outnumbered four and five star blowjobs by more than 2:1.

Meh.

Facebook Home will never be reviewed on iTunes, because Apple will never let Zuckerboig get a foot in the door (or a tube down the throat, if you’d prefer a more accurate metaphor).

Facebook Home is to Android what the alien facehugger was to John Hurt: a super evolved, apex parasite injecting its eggs deep into the soft tissue of the doomed and vulnerable host.

Facebook_Home_Android_Parasite

Yep, Android is doomed. At least in it’s current ‘open’ form.

There is no way el Goog can allow the ‘boig’ to get away with this. It doesn’t matter that a crushing majority of true believers in the Android way recoiled in horror from the thing.

Home is utterly infecting and poisoning, and could eventually kill off, the open experiment that so fundamentally separates Google and Apple’s mobile systems.

The control, the customisation, the autonomy that Android offers means nothing to tens of millions of Android users. Maybe hundreds of millions of them. They’re not OS freedom fighters. They just wanted a cheap phone, and that means a droid.

All your users belong to us

For a lot of users, Facebook is the internet. You can judge them for that all you want, but if you’re running a billion dollar business you’d be a fool to do so. Facebook, which made such an utter arsecake of its first attempts at mobile, has withdrawn to its stronghold with the release of Home. All of that other shit you get with a smart phone, be it Android, Apple or Windows, or even that other one that refuses to die? Fuggedabouddit.

Home is cunningly, beautifully designed to make Facebook the face of the internet for you. As long you’re willing to give up complexity and autonomy and, of course, your privacy.

A true Facebook phone is probably only eighteen months away, with Home acting as a pathfinder into the realm of mobile operating systems. I’ve got ten bucks says that within a year of it hitting the market, Google will have taken Android back ‘in house’ and locked it up just as tightly as iOS. It was a grand and beautiful experiment, in keeping with the finest traditions of Google’s very particular psychosis, the belief that free stuff will eventually pay for itself.

But having been forked in the butt previously by Amazon’s Kindle, they might finally learn their lesson with Facebook.

What happens if you offer your deadliest competitors a free shot at you with your own weapon? They’ll take it.

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About the Author

John Birmingham

John Birmingham tells stories for a living, some of them true, others... not so much. He writes a column called Blunt Instrument for the Fairfax Digital network and tries to get in some book writing every day.

You can also hang out at his personal blog Cheeseburgergothic.com or just go buy his latest ebook called Stalin's Hammer: Rome; the latest in his Weapons of Choice series of alternate histories.

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