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May 10, 2011

Android: Past, Present and Future

Google I/O's first keynote was all about Android and there were many impressive announcements.

Android stats continue to be surprising: 100 million activated Android devices, 400,000 Android devices activated every day, 200,000 apps in the Android Market, 4.5 billion apps downloaded from the Android Market, 310 Android devices.

The next major Android release is called Ice Cream Sandwich and the goal is to create a unified operating system that runs on phones, tablets and TVs. Ice Cream Sandwich will be released later this year, but there's a Honeycomb 3.1 update that adds support for USB accessories and for Google TV. This summer, people who bought Google TV devices will be able to install Android 3.1 and run apps from the Android Market.

Android users from the US can now rent movies from the Android Market. "You can choose to rent from thousands of movies starting at $1.99 and have them available across your Android devices — rent a movie on your home computer, and it'll be available for viewing on your tablet or phone. You can rent from Android Market on the web today, and we'll be rolling out an update to Verizon XOOM customers beginning today. We'll start rolling out the update to Android 2.2 and above devices in the coming weeks," informs Google.

There's no music subscription service, but Google launched an invitation-only service that stores all your music on Google's servers and lets you stream it from almost any computer and Android device.

iPhone/iPod/iPad users can install the latest software updates for at least two years, but that's not always the case when it comes to Android devices. Some Android phones run outdated software at launch and not all of them are updated to the latest version because phone manufacturers and carriers don't think that's really important. Google and some of the other members of the Open Handset Alliance (Verizon, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, LG, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Motorola and AT&T) started to develop some guidelines for updating firmware. "To start, we're jointly announcing that new devices from participating partners will receive the latest Android platform upgrades for 18 months after the device is first released, as long as the hardware allows," informs Google.

Google also developed Android Open Accessory, "which allows external USB hardware (an Android USB accessory) to interact with an Android-powered device in a special accessory mode. (...) Many previously released Android-powered devices are only capable of acting as a USB device and cannot initiate connections with external USB devices. Android Open Accessory support overcomes this limitation and allows you to build accessories that can interact with an assortment of Android-powered devices by allowing the accessory initiate the connection."

Probably the most interesting announcement is Android@Home, a framework that allows Android devices to communicate with home appliances and other devices. It's an ambitious project that could make home automation part of everyday life. That's also one of the main reasons why Google bought Android: bringing Google's software to new devices, finding new ways to use Google's information in everyday life, creating an ecosystem of smart devices with standard features and APIs that make "the world's information" more useful.


  1. Soon im getting an Android. I will just wait until the next gen super phones of 2011 or 2012.

  2. Google Android is really a great precious, Google have developed. It can surely beat i-Phone easily. It has wonderful features.
    -computer services in los angeles

  3. I like the concept of Google Chrome. But I thought Google would improve the software more before release. People need good reasons to switch to this from a Windows laptop or Mac.

    I would like to seen Google developed something similar to iPhoto, iChat, Movie editing etc. Picnik is a joke!.. And only half is free! The file-system have to be improved also. They brag about HTML 5 but use 1/10 of its capabilites.

    But this could suceed. Flipboard might come to the web. I hope Spotify does! But come on - look at Windows 7 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard vs Chrome OS.

    Chrome OS have pretty big selling points but they aren´t there yet!

  4. Why are we dependent of Phone carriers to update our Androids software on phone. As soon as the update arrive over internet the user should be able to do that directly over internet.
    I am still using Android 2.2 whereas newer versions have been launched long ago.

  5. Wow… Finally I got the website for which I am searching for such a long time… I found my favorite mobile apps.

  6. Apps for home appliances? Definitely if it moves the clothes from washer to dryer. Actually, I'd settle for one that tells me when the washing machine is done.

  7. Hi my teacher me homework gave the.

    Subject : Android of future

    You help could me to?