Android Everywhere: Design, Develop and Distribute
The official theme of Google IO last week was Design, Develop and Distribute — but the unofficial one was Android Everywhere, as the mobile OS mounted new and renewed assaults on families of consumer devices. In embarking on this expedition to new (or at least revisited) territory, Google is coming prepared. The company set up the spread of its forthcoming Android “L” update by talking about how it had made the platform prettier, faster and smarter.
Google has polished the user interface with its new “Material Design” model of animated surfaces existing in different layers. It’s improved performance with a new, backward-compatible runtime that’s more battery-efficient. And Google has added features such as contextual unlocking that can take advantage of, for example, nearby Bluetooth products to know if it’s in a trusted zone. And Google has claimed its targets for this quiver of new features with Android Wear, Android Auto and Android TV — a progression of devices from the smallest screen to the largest ones in consumers’ lives. Android seems poised to waltz from its dominance in smartphones to virtually every intelligent device.
Compared to its chief rivals Apple and Microsoft, Google has built the most comprehensive licensable platform for major intelligent consumer devices. The company has been first to release a full wearables SDK and the first to put the full power of its ecosystem behind the TV and retail set-top boxes. Microsoft, in contrast, has had success in the living room (or at least the den) with Xbox, which it has opened up to select Windows apps in the similar way that Google seems to be dancing around putting Android apps on Chrome OS.
And then there’s the question of implementation and adoption. Unlike when Apple reveals a vertically integrated product, the ultimate experience of these Android extensions will depend in part upon the devices that support them. Here, Android had only a handful of companies supporting its fullest Android implementations…
Read more at venturebeat.com