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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inspired Magazine

Inspired Magazine

10 Articles that Suggest Android Might Take Over

Posted: 18 May 2010 12:55 AM PDT

This series is supported by Appboy – the most popular social outlet for mobile app lovers. Find out more about Appboy and be sure to check out their blog.

10 Articles that Suggest Android Might Take OverWhile robotics have not advanced as much by the year 2010 as Asimov fiction led some to believe, there is a distinct possibility that Android may still takeover the world in the near future. Of course I’m not talking about artificial intelligence, but rather the mobile operating system from Google, which in past weeks has seen a lot of press suggesting that it may rapidly be stepping up as a dominant player in the mobile OS space.

Here is a quick recap of news and opinion from last week  that illustrate just how much progress Android is making in the bid to become the number one mobile OS, particularly in North America.

Google Android Surpasses iPhone in U.S.

The big story last week surrounded the release of information regarding the smartphone market in the U.S. from research firm NPD Group. In their coverage of the topic, ars technica highlights the fact that, according to NPD, Android devices made up 28 percent of smartphones sold in the US during the first quarter of 2010. The iPhone only accounted for 21 percent, while BlackBerry devices maintained the top spot with 36 percent of the market.

CNN provides additional details from Ross Rubin, an analyst with MPD. Rubin attributes the strong growth of Android to the fact that the Android OS is available on multiple devices and through all the major carriers in the U.S. Verizon, the largest wireless operator in the market, has run major campaigns to promote sales of Android based handsets such as the Motorola Droid. Other carriers have also chosen Android phones to lead their smartphone programs.

4 Reasons Android Just Surpassed iPhone in Sales

In a recent post on the Appboy blog, editor Hillel Fuld provides his perspective on the news of Android surpassing the iPhone. In his opinion, there are four reasons for the success of Android in the most recent quarter:

  1. Exclusivity – while the iPhone is only available on the AT&T network, Android devices are available from every major U.S. wireless provider
  2. Closed Platform – the Android operating system is open, allowing much more flexibility for developers. While the iPhone is still the clear leader in the number of available applications, the number of apps for Android is increasing rapidly.
  3. Multiple devices – the iPhone OS is of course only available on 2 phones (3G & 3Gs). Android on the other hand is available on a multitude of devices, suited to the needs of varying mobile users. While choice can sometimes be overwhelming, it is usually a good thing to have options.
  4. iPhone HD (4th gen) – Hillel points this out as a possible reason that iPhone sales have not exceeded Android, new buyers are waiting for the next version of the iPhone to be released. While this is a possibility, it is tough to believe that it would account for the significant difference in share that Android has gained, but time will tell.

PC World provides an introduction to Android, which highlights some of the same facts as well as other features of the Android OS that make it an attractive option for users. Certainly the introduction of the updated Android OS 2.2, called Froyo, will bring with it more to make Android even better.

Giving the iPhone a Run for Its Money

Marisa Taylor from the Wall Street Journal wrote last week about her experience with the iPhone and the HTC Droid Incredible. While this is only the experience of one person, and the issue is as much to do with the wireless network as the device, the perspective is interesting nonetheless.

After becoming frustrated with the network service available for her iPhone, Marisa tried out the Android handset from HTC. The experience appears to have been a positive one, with only a few comments on things that the phone didn’t do quite as well (music, battery life). Overall, the droid appears to be, in the writer’s mind, an acceptable alternative to the iPhone, especially given the network coverage available through Verizon instead of AT&T.

Cars, Tablets & Television

Certainly due to the openness of the operating system, there have been numerous announcements and rumors in the past about the use of Android OS in more than just mobile handsets. Recently PC World shared in an article that Google is reportedly in talks with auto-manufacturer General Motors about connecting the Android OS with the GM OnStar system.  The arrangement has not been confirmed by either company, however the idea is not too far-fetched.

Talk of Android on Tablets is nothing new. This week there have been several mentions. Ubergizmo provides some details of a new Blue Sky tablet, the BL10, a 10.1″ touchscreen tablet with decent specs. No details on pricing or when the device will be available at this time. Dell is also reported to be introducing a new tablet/smartphone on the AT&T. The exact release date for the U.S. is not known, however the device will be launching in Europe with carrier O2 next month. The Mini 5 is being positioned as a smartphone by Dell, however with a 5 inch screen it is more realistically somewhere between a smartphone and a full-blown tablet device.

Another area that Android is starting to creep up is talk of Android TVs. Rumors are that “Smart TV” is lined up to be announced at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference. It will leverage the Android operating system with intel processors and televisions from major manufacturers to provide direct web connectivity to television sets, which will not only make watching YouTube on the television easier, but could augment regular TV broadcasts.

Clearly Android is making a mark. Google has taken a very different approach than rival Apple, and certainly both systems have their merits. Certainly as we continue to cover weekly reviews of tech news, stories of Android will figure prominently. Who knows, maybe an Android powered robot is in the works that may just bring Asimov fiction even closer to reality.

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