Future of Android Platform
Future of Android Platform
“In future Android will be like today Windows desktop platform. It will run on more than 80% smart devices, which includes Tablets, TV, Set Top Boxes, Watches, KIOSK screens, etc”
Way back in November 2007 when Google announced Android, Andy Rubin said “We hope thousands of different phones will be powered by Android.” But now, Android’s growing beyond phones to new kinds of devices. So, I wanted to point out a few interesting new gadgets that are coming soon running the latest versions of Android.
It’s easy to believe that Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad will be more appealing to developers when it comes to potential revenue over Android. Google is just now expanding paid applications to different countries, and they still have a long way to go. With only a few exceptions, Android only allows Google Checkout, which requires users to sign up for yet another payment service. It will take cooperation with the carriers to offer users another way to purchase applications, like having the option to buy an application or game and charge it to their phone bill, as T-Mobile has done.
When it comes to the best operating system in other hardware outside of a smartphone, most developers chose the little green robot. A staggering 72% of developers chose Android, with iOS at 25%, when asked about the OS best positioned to power a large number of connected devices in the future. That said, developer interest in Android tablets is still pretty low, as we really haven’t seen too much hardware. Because of this, the iPad took 84% of the developer interest, as far as tablets are concerned.We expect the iPad to be the go-to tablet until it has some decent competition from any operating system, not just Google’s.
Devices like Apple’s iPhone and the various versions of Blackberry smartphones are revolutionizing computing. Phones and phone-like devices are increasingly blurring the lines between notebook computers, netbooks and phones. The mobile computing revolution is on!
One platform, however, truly stands out as a potential game changer. That platform is the Android platform from Google. Is Android the future of mobile computing? There is certainly a strong potential for Android to shape the future of mobile computing.
Android’s strength comes from its openness. The Android SDK is open source and the license governing Android itself allows any handset manufacturer to use and modify it. This allows Android to shape the future of mobile computing by making it available to any hardware manufacturer that wants to use it. This means that Android is likely to be the OS of choice for future mobile computing hardware like tablet PCs or e-book readers.
Android’s openness also applies to the selection of mobile carrier. This is one area where many users have been unhappy with Apple’s iPhone. Android is widely available which means that most wireless carriers have an Android handset available. Customers want choice. By giving them choice, Android positions itself as the future of mobile computing.
The biggest danger to Android’s dominance over the future of mobile computing is fragmentation. The ability of hardware vendors to extend Android without contributing their changes back to the Android project could lead to various incompatible versions of Android. To some extent, this has already happened as developers have had to struggle some to make their applications to support different hardware capabilities. This fragmentation of Android would make it harder for application developers to write code for Android. Since the support of application developers is crucial to the success of any computing platform, fragmentation could be a serious threat to Android as the future of mobile computing.
Android’s greatest strength, however, is its development kit. In the history of computing, the platforms that supported the application developers best became the clear winners. Failure to support application developers with robust tools killed the really Apple platform and IBM’s OS2. This is a mistake that Apple seems to be willing to repeat with the iPhone. The iPhone development tools are difficult to use and the application approval process seems terribly subjective at times. This makes iPhone application development unprofitable for many developers. In contrast, the Android development tools use Java and even C/C++. This allows developers to write applications for Android using languages they already know and use. Additionally, it allows them to use the tools they are already using such as Eclipse. The Android SDK also provides a very robust emulator so that application developers can test their Android applications without relying on physical hardware to do so. The future of mobile computing will largely be determined by the availability of the applications that end users want and need. In this regard, Android is a clear winner.
Android started on phones, but Android is growing to fit new kinds of devices. Now Android app can run on almost anything, and the potential size of your audience is growing fast. But to fully unlock this additional reach, developers should double-check app and tweak it if they need to, so that it puts its best foot forward.