Nearly ten years ago, well before Android became the dominant smartphone operating system it is today, Andy Rubin and his colleagues were designing it as a software platform for cameras. That revelation came from Rubin himself during a presentation at Japan's New Economy Summit. According to PCWorld, Android in its earliest days was intended to improve the connection between digital cameras and PCs. Bringing new app experiences to cameras — a relatively stubborn market at the time — also seemed to be on the radar.
"We thought it would be good if we could build a camera platform with third-party apps," Rubin said. Ultimately though, even before Apple's iPhone had launched to consumers, the mobile trend became clear. "We decided digital cameras wasn't actually a big enough market," said Android's former leader. "I was worried about Microsoft and I was worried about Symbian," Rubin revealed. "I wasn't worried about iPhone yet."
"I was worried about Microsoft and I was worried about Symbian."
Android would then redirect its efforts toward a smartphone OS, with early prototypes famously bearing a close resemblance to BlackBerry's offerings. Obviously much has changed since then, but in some ways Rubin's original ideas have been realized in products like the Samsung Galaxy Camera and Nikon's Coolpix S800c.