Why Android is Important

Posted by Mike Brittain on January 20, 2009
Google, Mobile

I was in a conversation the other day about mobile platforms and the topic of Android, Google’s mobile OS, came up.  The general outlook was: new, interesting, but too few devices to be concerned about.

I’ve read a modest amount of material about Android, but the sense I have is that Google is at the tip of the iceberg right now.  Sure, only one device has been rolled out to date, and only through T-Mobile (bleegch).  But more devices seem to be in the works, currently abroad, but certainly more in the United States soon.

The thing that is interesting, however, is that this is an OS that is (or can be) geared for devices other than cell phones, including netbooks, TVs, and kitchen appliances.  It has great reach potential, which has not been demonstrated (yet) by other players.  That is something to be considered by developers who are thinking about the next big mobile application to develop — because you might just find yourself playing Scrabble on your fridge while you’re waiting for the water to boil.

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2 Comments to Why Android is Important

felix
January 20, 2009

I completely agree that Android is important – to write it off because there aren’t enough devices right now seems… well, short sighted. More are coming – it remains to be seen if it will actually be a big hit, but it seems like it’s got a better than 50/50 shot from my perspective.

On the other hand, I think you’re giving the other next gen mobile os’s short shrift – the Pre probably takes some of it’s heritage from the Foleo – so I would be surprised (if it lasts) if we don’t see it on other form factors… And the iPhone OS well, that’s already on a PDA and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of convergence with AppleTV.

Overall, I’m pretty excited to see all these new (and good) entrants into the field and hope that this will accelerate the development of new ideas and not let smartphones resettle down into the comfortable non-innovation they’d been having for years.

Mike Brittain
January 20, 2009

@felix: Agreed. I will defer to you on Pre coverage, as I haven’t followed it closely enough. Though I do believe that their *leap* forward was a do-or-die maneuver that seems to be well-timed and well-executed.