Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?
A Brief History Of Motorola And Android
Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID. Read More
Call it momentum, a robot invasion, or a force of nature, the one thing you can't say about Android's proliferation is that it's insignificant. Andy Rubin took the opportunity during MWC to let slip some new Android activation figures. Chief among them, Android is now activating more than 850,000 devices daily, and Google has activated a lifetime total of 300 million devices.
This number is absolutely astonishing. To put that in perspective, at the current rate of activation, roughly every ten days Google activates more devices than there are people in New York City. Read More
Did you give or receive an Android device for Christmas? Even if you did not, it looks like a whole host of people found the green robot under their tree this Christmas. According to a tweet from the ever-so-candid Android head Andy Rubin, 3.7 million Android devices were activated over the 24th and 25th of December.
Just over a week ago we reported that device activations had hit about 700k a day, which suggests that the Christmas weekend figures of approximately 1.85 million activations, per day, is a significant increase. Read More
Intrepid Google+ user and Android head Andy Rubin mentioned yesterday that there are now over 700,000 Android devices being activated every day.
Although it is clearly an astounding number of daily activations, the increase appears to be quite steady. In August it was reported that over 550,000 Android devices were being activated daily, with a total of 150 million devices activated worldwide. In June the number of daily activations was 500,000, while in May it was only 400,000. Read More
If you’ve been an Android Police fan for a while, you may recognize my name from some of my past posts. Beyond that, I was mostly active behind the scenes until I dropped this little bomb when I departed earlier this year.
The reaction to that article was pretty much what I expected - it was divisive and the conversation surrounding it was often heated. Ultimately, though, my goal was accomplished: people were talking about the problems surrounding Android and software updates. Read More
It didn't take long for Google CEO Larry Page to start making drastic changes to the way the company does business once he got in the saddle earlier this week. As of today, he reportedly promoted seven of the top executives in the company, including Android's own Andy Rubin. It has been suggested that Page is making these changes in order to streamline the company's decision making process, something that he feels has slowed dramatically over the years. Read More
Android In Recent News
Fragmentation has been one of the biggest criticisms of the Android platform. Essentially, Google allows anybody to take the Android code and tweak it suit their own needs. This is how manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, and Samsung are able to create custom layers (MotoBlur, Sense UI, and TouchWiz, respectively) over the vanilla Android interface and how some carriers load up new phones with crapware. Although this is a price to pay for openness and customizability, a recent study indicates that 86% of developers are unhappy with the state of Android fragmentation (24% of them describing it as a "huge problem"). Read More
There has been quite an uproar as of late over Google's handling of the source code for Honeycomb, their most recent version of Android. The company announced this week that it would be delaying the release of the Honeycomb source in order to iron out some issues, specifically ones involving running it on small-screen devices (i.e. phones). Andy Rubin gave an explanation as to why these issues exist:
Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization...We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones.
An eager reader forwarded an internal Best Buy memo to Engadget which indicates, in no uncertain terms, that the Motorola XOOM tablet is set to launch at Best Buy on February 17th.
A leak from Verizon has confirmed that the unsubsidized price of the XOOM will be $799. However, Best Buy may be retailing the device for an altogether different price.
The XOOM is an important device for both Motorola and Google because it will be the first tablet to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb, an iteration of the Android OS that supports the tablet form factor. Read More
As you probably know by now, versions of the Android OS tend to be alphabetically named and include some sort of reference to a dessert. Therefore, it was only reasonable to assume that the version of Android following Honeycomb would be called "Ice Cream."
However, according to Andy Rubin, that is not the case - instead, the name will be "Ice Cream Sandwich."
We still don't know Ice Cream Sandwich's version number, the features it will introduce, or anything else about it, but for those of you interested in the reason behind the name, TechCrunch has a pretty good theory: Google's statue for Android 2.2 includes frozen yogurt, which would be pretty hard to distinguish from ice cream. Read More