Statements like Matias Duarte’s justification for not using the iOS share icon in Google’s iOS apps are why I don’t think much of Google:
The share icon Google uses in it’s [sic] properties (and the share icon that Android endorses) is a popular opensource icon and one that we feel well describes the connective nature of sharing. In a sense you could say we believe it’s part of our brand and that Google’s brand is to embrace the open and universal standard.
(Via Daring Fireball tonight.)
Maybe it’s just my inability to understand anything Matias Duarte ever says, but I see this as Google’s typical bullshit, insulting our intelligence as they push a self-serving corporate branding initiative and sheer arrogance as an inevitable, morally imperative “open standard”.
Why not tell the truth? Google’s apps don’t use the iOS share icons because Google doesn’t respect iOS1 and thinks its standard UI widgets are better, even in their iOS apps, on a platform surrounded by other apps that all use the standard iOS share icon.2 Secondarily, it reinforces their branding and makes the rest of iOS feel just a little bit more alien to people who heavily buy into the Google ecosystem, reducing iOS’ lock-in and making it cognitively easier to switch away.
Google’s use of their Android sharing icon in their iOS apps has nothing to do with “open” nonsense and everything to do with Google asserting that they know better.
Apple shamelessly pulls the same move — see, for instance, every Windows app they’ve ever made — but they don’t patronize us with bullshit justifications.
This is what rubbed me the wrong way about Jeff Atwood’s “Standard Markdown” move, too. He positioned it as “open” and “standard”, but it was really about Jeff not respecting John Gruber’s intelligence or ownership at all — which has been clear for years to anyone who follows Jeff Atwood — and wanting to take control of the Markdown name himself for his own blatantly non-standard desires. ↩︎
Or a slight but clearly recognizable variant, like Tweetbot’s rounded-corners version. ↩︎