1. kembry's Avatar
    Jelly Bean is awesome, the Nexus 7 looks like it’s finally going to be the hit they need in the tablet market, and Android is tearing through market share like a hot knife through project butter. These are good times to love the green robot. With nagging problems like OS fragmentation and developers still having legacy problems coding for the OS majority in Froyo and Gingerbread, it seems like the better part of wisdom to say, “hey, let’s slow down, regroup, and take our time.” Users would appreciate it. Developers might applaud it. But Google can’t afford it. Here’s why.

    Apple’s predictability is Google’s advantage
    The closest phone competitor to Android right now is iPhone. Android overtook iPhone’s market share late in 2010 (Android Overtakes IPhone - Digits - WSJ), partly because users have a variety of prices for Android phones or pay the Apple tax for THE iPhone. In other words, a little more than a year ago, Android barely outpaced iOS. Now is a good time to put on the brakes? Apple upgrades iOS once a year, usually close to the new iPhone release. They have announced the changes in iOS 6, and many of those updates are evolutionary, not revolutionary (and with maps, it’s a solid step backwards). Jelly Bean, likewise, is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Project Butter makes Android faster, like iOS. Google Now catches up to Siri (surpasses?). In other words, both OSes are optimizing code to make things work better, but not bringing a lot of new stuff to the table. But Apple isn’t slowing down on hardware. Rumors point to iPhone 5 being much better. Plus, Apple is finally on three of the four major carriers…and several people will be going off contract. Now is not the time to slow down Android innovation. Google needs to seriously outpace iOS so their phones have more features than Apple.

    Microsoft always comes to the party late…and takes over the market.
    It’s easy to discount Microsoft in mobile. They have a paltry 5.2% of the worldwide market (Smartphone market share 2012: IDC says Android, iOS to begin declining), and they’ve just announced that none of the new hardware will support Windows Phone 8. Pathetic. Redmond has an interesting past. In a world dominated by Macintosh and Apple II’s, Microsoft came out with a lousy product called Windows, and kicked Apple all over the OS landscape. Then they took a mediocre word processing and spreadsheet package and cleaned Wordperfect and Lotus’s clock with it. They took a decent web browser and decimated Netscape (then king). More recently, they went into an overcrowded game platform market, poured millions into a failing product, and emerged the bestselling game brand. “What about the Zune?” Okay. They have failed, but they keep winning in markets where they had “no chance.” The OS is going mobile, and Microsoft knows to keep relevant, they must have a presence there. Today Windows Phone is well behind Android and iOS. But Windows Phone 8 is becoming Windows 8. Microsoft is taking an 85% desktop market share (Operating system market share) and force feeding them Metro in the next Windows upgrade. Consider also that fully half of the US isn’t even using a smart phone yet (Nielsen: first time Smartphone and Feature Phone usage equal - SlashGear), much less the rest of the world. New smartphone adopters will go for familiar, and Windows 8 will look just like their computer. Google needs to sprint to innovation so Android is so “cool” and intuitive, bypassing Windows Phone 8 is a “no-brainer.”

    Fragmentation is a problem for few people
    My Galaxy Note just got ICS, about 8 months after it was introduced. My life was months of checking for updates several times a day! My wife, on the other hand, got ICS on her Vivid a few months ago, and didn’t even know it was different. Most of my friends who have Android don’t know what version they’ve got. In other words, most people don’t care about fragmentation. Those of us who do care understand three important facts. First, we know we’re different. We are frustrated, vocal and the vast minority of tech users. We’re fine with being early adopters. Secondly, we know what “root” is, and how to take matters into our own hands. Yes, yes, we understand voided warranties, but it doesn’t stop us if we’re determined. Third, we know if we don’t want to root and play with ROMs, we can always get a Nexus. Those of us who want updates can get them when we want to. It’s too much fun, though, to complain about YOUR VENDOR NAME HERE or YOUR CARRIER NAME HERE and how the real problem is with one of those. Make no mistake, Google needs to cater to us early adopters. When people look for a new phone, they ask us because we know. We are Google’s best advertising if we are happy. But we are not the mass market.
    However, just because fragmentation isn’t a consumer problem doesn’t mean Google can rest on Jelly Bean’s laurels. Consumers need differentiators to know why they should want Android over iPhone, Windows Phone or even Amazon Phone. Currently Android looks a lot like iOS. Both have a grid of apps and huge app markets. I know, I know, one is open, one is curated. I understand, but most people don’t know or care. Android’s biggest differentiator currently is choice. Consumers can choose price and device (bigger screen, longer battery life, less expensive, etc.). Apple traditionally doesn’t go there, but Windows does, and Amazon will almost certainly win “cheapest premium phone” award when it becomes available. So where does that leave Android?

    Android needs to revolutionize by reaching out
    Android has got to grow up and be on more than just your phone. In other words, Android is at that awkward puberty stage. Too young to move up to the adult table, but annoyed at being treated like a kid. The mobile OS market is still immature, which is difficult to imagine with the breakneck pace it’s been on lately. But just like a hormone filled teenager, now is the time for Android to hit its growth spurt. Howard Rheingold in his book “Smart Mobs” forecast that mobile phones would be remote controls of our lives, which was obvious. That was back in 2003 when five of the top ten cell phones were flip phones (Top cell phones of 2003 - Mobile Phones - CNET - CNET Asia). The Nexus Q is an interesting device because it is a social media streamer that runs cutting edge Android. That’s one place it needs to be. It also needs to be in other cutting edge industries to differentiate it from the pack, like biometrics, supercomputing and academia. But why? I mean, we’re just talking about phones, right? Why can’t a phone be enough? Because the competition won’t let them stay there. Apple is moving OSX very close to iOS. And of course Windows is moving WP8 directly in line with Windows 8. Both of those come with much larger, more powerful catalogs of software, and armies of developers waiting to deploy for business, academia, and other markets. The problem is Android isn’t converging with another big platform. It has to create one.
    So, yes, Jelly Bean is awesome. But this is no time to slow down. The race has barely begun.
    07-11-2012 10:29 AM
  2. giograves's Avatar
    Consumers need differentiators to know why they should want Android over iPhone, Windows Phone or even Amazon Phone.
    Quoted FTW.

    Google must look at the sins of the past (WinMo6, Palm or BB) People are quick to forget what "brand identification" from Moto/VZ in the Droid did for the Android platform. It truly gave it a kick. It was an identifiable product in a iphone dominated world. We need more of that. Maybe that's what NEXUS is about.
    07-12-2012 01:05 AM
  3. doomtuba's Avatar
    That is a good point about Windows Phone. Microsoft will slowly, but surely, keep pounding away at the market share, and if Google isn't careful they might take a huge chunk of new smart phone buyers.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    kembry likes this.
    07-12-2012 01:15 AM
  4. keithz's Avatar
    Honestly, I think at this point the two best things that Google could do for Android are :

    1) Launch a Nexus 10 for $299. If it has a 1920X1200 10" screen, it'll have 226 ppi. That's only 14% less than the retina iPad. But it's a whopping 70% better than the iPad 2. It will really help the Android ecosystem up its tablet game. And will still leave tons of room for other OEMs to compete and improve.

    2) Pay developers of the top 100 iPad apps to bring their apps to Android. And work with the most popular app makers (like say Twitter, Evernote, Netflix, etc. and even Facebook (yes, I mean it)) to get their apps in line with Android's tablet standards. I wouldn't target game makers. But mostly companies that make productive or social apps (game makers are already incentivized by sales to improve their apps). I would love to see for example apps like Things from iOS on Android. The biggest problem on Android is not so much app selection any more, it's a dearth of quality. Fix that and Android will be immensely more attractive.

    These two moves would do more to propel Android forward that any added OS functionality, at this point.
    ScandaLeX and kembry like this.
    07-16-2012 12:24 PM
  5. Shadowriver's Avatar
    That is a good point about Windows Phone. Microsoft will slowly, but surely, keep pounding away at the market share, and if Google isn't careful they might take a huge chunk of new smart phone buyers.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    They slow on phone.... but i belive they can be deadly in tablet market. I think the true power of Windows 8 on tablet (and people seems to not realize it yet), is fact that they can pull off x86 tablet that runs all desktop applications without much interference of developers... and what keeps people coming back to Windows even after tusing other OSes on desktop? Larger selection of applications. I think thats main reason why they tabletize there desktop system, insted of making something out of Windows Mobile like others do.
    07-22-2012 11:41 PM
  6. @llforone's Avatar
    Any rumor mill info about what is going to be in Key Lime Pie? Is that the official name?
    07-24-2012 12:54 PM
  7. Shadowriver's Avatar
    Any rumor mill info about what is going to be in Key Lime Pie? Is that the official name?
    No and No.... JB just came out, what you expect?
    07-25-2012 07:20 AM
  8. Tekmon's Avatar
    We need an osx virtual machine to run on android.
    07-25-2012 08:14 AM
  9. tiin's Avatar
    Excellent article.

    We need an osx virtual machine to run on android.
    That's just stupid.
    Vinte419 likes this.
    07-27-2012 01:29 PM
  10. Ry's Avatar
    Microsoft couldn't afford to not release Windows Phone 7. It's sad that those devices will never see Windows Phone 8, but it was a necessary stopgap as Windows Phone 8 brings a new kernel- inline with Windows 8. Microsoft is merging all of their efforts. Apple wants to get there too, but these drastic moves by Microsoft will get them their first. With Windows Phone 8, Surface, and Windows 8, Microsoft will have a very compelling platform and they have the money and resources to throw at the ecosystem.

    Google's been getting better at focusing but they're not there yet. Android and ChromeOS need to merge. The Nexus Q and Google TV need to merge. If I were an Android OEM not named Motorola, I'd be scared. The Nexus 7 basically killed all other 7 inch tablets. How can OEMs compete? If they did a Nexus 10 at $300 to $400, Google will kill off the rest of the tablets.

    Google needs to slow down. The next version of Android, like Jelly Bean, needs to focus on user experience, not new features. It does not need to be a major overhaul. Android already has the marketshare lead. The area Google really needs to work on it profits. App developers need to make more money on Android or else Android apps will always play second to iOS apps.

    Curious, what features do you think Android needs at this point?

    The only things I'd like to see built-in to the next version of Android are a "Find My Device" and remote wipe service.


    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Android Central Forums
    07-27-2012 01:37 PM
  11. giograves's Avatar

    Curious, what features do you think Android needs at this point?

    For Pete's sake can we get group texts/MMS to work the way it does on like all other mobile platforms while staying stock ?




    -Sent from my Jelly Bean Nexus 7
    Pierce09 likes this.
    07-30-2012 02:44 AM
  12. Ry's Avatar
    For Pete's sake can we get group texts/MMS to work the way it does on like all other mobile platforms while staying stock ?




    -Sent from my Jelly Bean Nexus 7
    How does it work on other platforms?

    and is there an actual standard for group messaging via SMS/MMS?
    07-31-2012 11:54 AM
  13. giograves's Avatar
    How does it work on other platforms?

    and is there an actual standard for group messaging via SMS/MMS?
    Standards? Eh, no clue.

    But on iPhone and Blackberry MMS (group texts) are threaded conversations with reply all functionality. Haven't you as an Android user ever been group texted from your iPhone/BB buddies and it becomes an impossible task to respond to the group?

    At that point you have to hit the market. But me prefers the feel of the stock app to handcent, gosms, etc.
    07-31-2012 02:53 PM
  14. Ry's Avatar
    Standards? Eh, no clue.

    But on iPhone and Blackberry MMS (group texts) are threaded conversations with reply all functionality. Haven't you as an Android user ever been group texted from your iPhone/BB buddies and it becomes an impossible task to respond to the group?

    At that point you have to hit the market. But me prefers the feel of the stock app to handcent, gosms, etc.
    My friends and I use the Messenger feature in Google+.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Android Central Forums
    bigdaddytee likes this.
    07-31-2012 03:21 PM
  15. gabbott's Avatar
    My friends and I use the Messenger feature in Google+.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Android Central Forums
    I personally see g+ as a superior replacement to MMS.
    07-31-2012 04:20 PM
  16. giograves's Avatar
    I personally see g+ as a superior replacement to MMS.
    Thats great and all but what about if 80 percent of your friends are Apple centered and haven't logged into g+ since that first major wave last summer ?



    -Sent from my Jelly Bean Nexus 7
    07-31-2012 04:50 PM
  17. Ry's Avatar
    Thats great and all but what about if 80 percent of your friends are Apple centered and haven't logged into g+ since that first major wave last summer ?



    -Sent from my Jelly Bean Nexus 7
    Uh. Google+ Messenger works on iPhones and the people I group text with use it.

    The point I'm trying to make is that if there's no standard to how group SMS/MMS must work, then trying get everyone on board is difficult. I think that there should be a standard for group SMS/MMS but since there doesn't seem to be one, I don't think it's broken.
    07-31-2012 05:28 PM
  18. Ry's Avatar
    I personally see g+ as a superior replacement to MMS.
    So do I. And Google probably wants it that way.
    07-31-2012 05:30 PM
  19. gabbott's Avatar
    Thats great and all but what about if 80 percent of your friends are Apple centered and haven't logged into g+ since that first major wave last summer ?



    -Sent from my Jelly Bean Nexus 7
    Agreed that it requires one to use the g+ app but since the app is available for iphone as well it can be a potential solution for some.
    07-31-2012 05:33 PM
  20. Ry's Avatar
    I went back and took a look at my text messages and noticed I did have a group MMS from a few months ago with two people that are iPhone users. Entire thread stayed intact. Saw every reply. And everyone saw my replies.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Android Central Forums
    07-31-2012 06:30 PM
  21. giograves's Avatar
    I went back and took a look at my text messages and noticed I did have a group MMS from a few months ago with two people that are iPhone users. Entire thread stayed intact. Saw every reply. And everyone saw my replies.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Android Central Forums
    Droid may have some messaging app customization or something. Stock messenger for vanilla Android can't do that.




    -Sent from my Jelly Bean Nexus 7
    07-31-2012 06:47 PM
  22. bigdaddytee's Avatar
    Google+ hangout functionality now in Gmail. I can see them integrating further.

    Sent from my (pretty awesome) SCH-i515
    07-31-2012 07:11 PM
  23. ArgonNJ#CB's Avatar
    That is a good point about Windows Phone. Microsoft will slowly, but surely, keep pounding away at the market share, and if Google isn't careful they might take a huge chunk of new smart phone buyers.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    Windows Phone is a solid product. It still lacks some features, but I'm sure many of those will appear in Windows 8. Apple is Apple and their fans will buy an iphone no matter what Apple does or doesn't do.
    08-06-2012 12:24 AM
  24. Kamin's Avatar
    kembry,

    Thanks for the fascinating read. You make some acute observations worth considering. It will indeed be interesting to see how the landscape has evolved after another 5 years.
    08-07-2012 02:51 PM
  25. Ry's Avatar
    Windows Phone is a solid product. It still lacks some features, but I'm sure many of those will appear in Windows 8. Apple is Apple and their fans will buy an iphone no matter what Apple does or doesn't do.
    Windows Phone 8 and everything Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 is very interesting. It's clear Windows Phone 7 was just a stopgap. I just hope the Windows ecosystem can be compelling enough to compete.


    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Android Central Forums
    08-10-2012 05:44 PM
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