This past week Recode hosted its annual Code/Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay, CA, where some of the industry's top executives and game-changers were grilled on stage about the future of mobile — or rather, the future of tech, since one of the key themes of this year's conference was that mobile is most definitely impacting every sector, whether cars, wearables, or payments. A few of us from The Verge were in attendance, and heard all of the news firsthand. Here's what you missed:
The future of BlackBerry may not be BlackBerrys. For a brief moment on stage, BlackBerry CEO John Chen showed off the elusive BlackBerry Priv, an in-the-works handset that will run on Google Android rather than BlackBerry's own OS. But more interesting than the Priv were Chen's statements about the future of the company: Chen said he would considering exiting the handset business if it isn't profitable in a year. Read our full liveblog here.
Andy Rubin thinks the future of computing is AI. The creator of Android revealed that his startup incubator, called Playground, has just raised $300 million in funding, and said he believes the next wave of computing is some form of AI. "Traffic lights are robots, a dishwasher is a robot. They are machines that take the place of something a person used to do." Rubin also talked a lot about fragmentation in the mobile market — something he sees in a glass-half-full sort of way. "The most interesting thing that's happened in the US is this notion that you don't have to sign a contract with a carrier," Rubin said.
"Traffic lights are robots."
Google's SVP of search loves... apps? "I love apps," Google's Amit Singhal said during an on-stage interview with Recode's Kara Swisher. "Apps are fundamentally a far better way to render the same information than rendering on the web." Over 100 billion links within apps have been rendered as searchable, Singhal said. He also revealed that more than half of all searches now occur on mobile devices.
Jawbone isn't a hardware company. At least, that's according to Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman. "We don't think of ourselves as a hardware company anymore," Rahman said. Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park also spoke at the conference (separately from Rahman, because, you know, that whole lawsuit thing), and revealed a not-entirely-surprising use case for Fitbit: people are putting them on their fat pets.
FCC Commish: We really, really need to get on 5G, people. "Laurels... are not good resting places. We need to start now on what is next. While the contours of 5G are still being developed, it's clear that the race to 5G is on," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told Recode's Ina Fried. Rosenworcel also spoke a great deal about next year's wireless spectrum auction in the US, something that AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie called unrealistic in a separate interview. "We think that $60 billion is unrealistic at this time, and we'll see what happens," he said.
Bonus! Get ready to pay for your pumpkin spice latte with Apple Pay. Jennifer Bailey, Apple's head of Apple Pay, said the company was kicking off a pilot with Starbucks, and that 7,500 Starbucks across the U.S. would accept Apple Pay by next year.