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SoftwareMedia Blog | July 30, 2014

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Confused About The Future Of Android? You're Not The Only One...

Confused About The Future Of Android?  You’re Not The Only One…

Statisticians are claiming that more than 50% of all smartphones in the United States run Android. Apple is only claiming 32% percent of the smartphone market. With these stats, Google’s mobile phone system does seem to be healthy, but these figures are very misleading. No one really uses a true Android phone.

Problems with Android

Apple smartphones are Apple. In other words developers only develop for Apple and consumers know that they are purchasing an Apple iOS. Google’s hardware partners, on the other hand use customized versions of Android in their phones and replace Google’s clean experience with their own user interfaces and bloatware. There are hundreds of different versions of Android smartphones on the market right now.

If you are not running Nexus you are not using pure Android. Samsung’ Galaxy Nexus only accounts for 0.5% of the smartphone market and if this was a market survey, Android would definitely be on the “bubble.”

Google’s Android operating systems is an open system which has become an excuse for hardware partners to use whatever they think would be great on their phone rather than focusing on a smartphone that gives the consumer a great smartphone experience. Basically you have an “Android” phone with everyone else’s technology.

When Android instigated its beta stage in 2007 it supported user dictionaries, virtual keys, video recording and, widgets. Replay of mpeg-4 and many basic UIs were the main platform. Developers began to design different applications and interfaces and have given the Android platform interesting names like cupcake, donut, éclair and gingerbread to describe operating system upgrades and types. Interesting and confusing.

2013 Predictions

Google is still researching and developing Project Glass which is a head –mounted display or HMD with information in a smartphone format. The HMD gives users the ability to access certain features from apps, image search and face recognition. You can also have input sources such as text to speech and audio signal. This technology is opening the doors to hologram mode.

Technology magazines predict that the next rise to Android phones will be the Flexi smartphone that is currently under development by tech companies like LG, Sony and Samsung. Flex-phones use materials in the display that will prevent breakage when your phone is stepped or sat on. Screens will be foldable, bendable and highly flexible. If Android can be the first OS to run flexi phones, it will be a winner in the smartphone market.

The next version of Android OS is 5.0 Key Lime Pie currently being perfected and this firmware will be released in May of 2013. LG may possibly be one of the first brands to release a smartphone that features Android’s Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie (yummy) supposedly has a simple way of managing performance and power use. Users are clamoring for a reading mode with no bothersome data connections and a low backlight. Also being asked for is a simple way to manage states. A power stripe style widget would be awesome to set your phone to sleep, bedtime, and daytime modes.

Will Key Lime Pie 5.0 Save Android?

May of 2013 is the month when Android releases Key Lime Pie at Google I/O. No one is certain what Google will offer in this new phone, but speculation is high. Will this be the phone that finally matches what Apple does? Will it take over the market? Will it save Android?

  • Built-in Video Chat is a feature that is really needed in a Google phone. It is a popular feature and using Skype or Tango is okay; but not amazing.

Apple has used FaceTime for many years and this is one feature that is very well implemented. BlackBerry 10 also has video chat built-in into the messenger and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 has integrated Skype functionality.

Video calls built into the phone rather than as an app will allow Android users ease of access and fluidity.

  • Customize more home screens. Customization is the core of Android’s success and being able to customize more screens would highly impact its salability properties.
  • A messaging and social networking aggregating hub is absolutely necessary to keep Android going strong. Windows Phone has the People Hub is a nice way of putting all your texts, email, instant messages and social networking in a one-stop shop. This would afford better multitasking between applications and screens.
  • Multiple device support. Currently when you use the video app, which manages your film downloads thought The Play Store, you can only watch the movie on the original Android device. Moving movies, books, etc. between devices would bring Android more in line with what users want.
  • To bring Android in to the future, social networking directly incorporated into the operating system would be great. Google does integrate Google+, but there are social networks much more popular than Google+.

What happens in May of 2013 remains to be seen. Generally when Android produces updates they are small changes but every change has a substantial impact on the functionality of Android’s platform.

Choosing a Smartphone Operating System

Android isn’t really a smart phone. It is the Linux-based O5 that runs the phone. Phones that run Android can be made by Samsung, HTC, LC, Motorola and some are actually made by Google which is the Nexus. The most popular phone that uses Android technology is the Samsung Galaxy 5III.

When looking for a new smartphone you need to compare what is out there. There is the iPhone from Apple, various Android devices, Windows phones, and now a rejuvenated Blackberry.

  • It’s all about you and what you want. Android is for the “geeks in the trenches” who love to customize their own operating systems and develop their own apps. This is a bit of a stereotype since there are m any different types of Android users. You choose your phone based on applications, appearance and features.
  • Popularity is one of the first reasons to buy a particular smartphone. The market share between the iPhone and Android states that Android has the biggest piece. That can be disputed since everyone you know has an iPhone. Those who are fans of Apple and the awesome users of their iPhone will grab an Android user and try to bring them over to “their” side. The market advantage of the Android O/S is definitely the availability of many different types and styles of phones. Apple has only one style.
  • Applications are what make the phones. Without applications a phone can only make and receive calls. The screen might also be great as a flashlight, but smartphones are nothing more without apps. Android has an app store and so does the iPhone. There are about 700,000 apps in both stores.

Many apps are free, but Google’s does reign in the free range. This is primarily became Android in an open source O/S.

Basically each type of phone has a standard set of applications that include tasks, notes, music/video players, cameras, calendars and document readers. You also have the ability to make and receive calls.

Voice activated assistants are available; in Samsung models that run Android and Siri who is very helpful and funny. You can also download Robin who might be just as helpful and funny as Siri.

Evan Ricks writes for and other Android sites covering topics such as rooting, apps, games, and how to use Android in everyday life.

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