Dec 18 AT 8:14 PM Nick Gray 246 Comments

Has Android reached its peak?

android-4-0-screens

As much as we all love the little green robot that powers our smartphones, some are predicting that Google’s mobile OS has gone as far as it can. Their argument is that Android is ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation, but there’s really nowhere else to go. Yes, the people at Google could always improve the UI, add a few API’s for more social integration or boost the platform’s performance so that those 3D games run a bit smoother, but is that really innovation or is it tweaking?

Android is trapped in the innovators dilemma. They are leading the pack, they have the world at their feet, they can answer every question about their mobile operating system. Nothing can go wrong.Ewan SpenceForbes

Ewan Spence goes on to note how Apple dramatically switched things up with the iPod Mini, transforming it completely into the iPod Nano when the device was at the top of its game. I get what Ewan is trying to say, but there are key differences between a mobile OS and tangible product like an iPod.

For a better comparison that’s a little closer to home, we simply have to look at Microsoft and it’s push to the bottom of the market. For years, Windows Mobile was the most advanced mobile OS on the market. Nokia’s Symbian always had a leg up when it came to market share, but if you wanted something powerful and customizable, Windows Mobile was the way to go.

But along came Apple with iOS. At first Microsoft didn’t have anything to worry about since Windows Mobile was light years ahead of iOS when it came to features, but Apple introduced the notion that a smartphone didn’t have to be complicated and the masses certainly agreed.  But Microsoft stuck with what they knew, until it was too late.

In order to get back into the game, Microsoft went back to the drawing board and came up with Windows Phone. The new OS scrapped the old “windows” look and feel for a user interface which was completely different from anything on the market. Since its introduction a little over a year ago, Windows Phone has not gained much momentum from OEMs, but that should dramatically change over the next few months now that Microsoft has secured Nokia in its corner.

But Android is a far cry from where Windows Mobile was a few years ago. Android is still leading innovation on the mobile front and should be able to keep the competition on its toes for the next few years.   I’m not denying that Google needs to offer unique functionality in future Android updates, but I don’t believe that they need to wipe the slate clean and rethink the entire OS. Google has always been known as an innovator and we trust that the Android team will recognize when they need to change things up or even start something completely new in order to maintain market dominance.

Android 4.0 is a huge step forward for Android, delivering a more unified UI, improved multi-tasking and unique features like facial recognition and Android Beam. Is it enough to keep Microsoft and Apple at bay? Only time will tell, but I believe that Google has what it takes to make sure Android will always be at least one step ahead.

What do you think Google needs to deliver in future updates to make sure Android keeps its crown as king of the mobile OS?

Source: Forbes

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • redraider133

    I think eventually others will catch up and keep causing google to improve and innovate once again. I think google still has things it can work on to truly make it more polished and refined.

    • http://goncalossilva.com goncalossilva

      As I said in a comment below, for others to catch up they will have to work much faster. Nowadays, no one is beating Android’s development team when it comes to speed.

      But yes, competition is GREAT for us, consumers. It forces makers to innovate, and that’s what we all want!

      • eioous

        While competition is great. If Android keeps at its current pace the competition will have no chance.

    • BiGMERF

      exactly.. there is always room for improvement.. the minute you become lackadaisical, is the moment your competition will pounce and overtake you.. Like we used to say in my old hood. Dont ever sleep on the competition, Google has to stay on it toes and continue to invent ways to ahead

      • Dan13

        I agree. Also, nice job with that 100 rating!

      • redraider133

        Prime example of that is rim. Just a few years ago they owned the smartphone market, but rested on their laurels and the others surpassed it.

        • lxgeorge

          Palm probably went the same way as well

          • zerosix

            Palm had brilliant engineers.
            But their marketing dept was useless. Unfortunatly, HP followed this tradition.

          • mercado79

            The demise of Palm truly makes me sad. Talk about mismanagement. They could have done great things, but poor hardware, poor marketing, poor decision making all around will kill you.

            RIM… this means you too (though replace the word “hardware” for software. Do whatever it takes to get this fixed ASAP. Pour everything you got into it, cause if you really are shipping BBX/BB10 in a year from now, you have zero chance of surviving.

        • mcopeman23

          I think it was also a little bit of apple. The got the web interface correct. rim still looks archaic and clunky. and was status and business people. i think android and apple got it for consumption-people. they want to consume a lot of stuff that isn’t business. also have better ecosystems.

        • Jeremy Johns

          When have you ever known Google to rest on anything though? Google buys up every SMART new company or idea and creates new ways of doing things more than any other company.

      • zerosix

        The main room for improvment for google is ecosystem.
        HP Touchpad and HP Pre 3 work really great together, it’s a real bundle: you can read and write messages on your TP, make calls, and that Touch-to-Share feature is really great.
        When you take iPhone and iPad, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy tab, BB phone and Playbook – you get 2 different devices.
        But connecting only 2 devices is… well, last year. Next year and next century – connecting your everything in a bundle.
        Your car, home, work, notebook, doctor, kid’s school… That’s the key. That is real integration.
        Google X, your move.

        • Azur

          I agree with you that it would be great to have everything connect up, except for the doctor and kid’s school bit. There are a lot of privacy and confidentiality laws in paces like that, which would mean they have to take a lot of precautions to ensure data safety. It is that data safety that makes it difficult to do, because it translates along the whole spectrum. What is considered sensitive and what isn’t and how strict do they have to be? It seems really easy but what about auto-syncing documents? and when it is a business accounting form or bank form? And what about music and other media?

    • YMS123

      Lets not forget about Majel now, and knowing Google, thats probably just the tip of an iceberg

      • TJ Mir

        Im not so sure about that….the idea did come from Apple. But then again, Google might improve into something much better

        • Chase

          The idea most certainly did not come from Apple. Especially if Majel is going to be released shortly—it may even be what Google has to announce tomorrow—it is most definitely something that has been in the works for a while. We’ve read the several comments by Rubin about how he invisions us interacting with our phones and how he respects but dislikes Apple’s approach. I was just talking about this at dinner. Unless I am blind (granted it would be very helpful then) I don’t need my phone talking back to me like it’s not a computer. AI is just that, artificial. On a mobile platform, I believe it would be most useful if I say “Make a calendar appointment for Jan. 7 with Jannelle for lunch,” I don’t need my phone to read things back to me or ask me questions. Show me the calendar with the apt and let me hit save.

        • Chase

          Majel may be similar and Apple may have got there first but Google has by no means stolen anything out of their playbook. It may have pushed them to release it quicker than they wanted though.

        • BruceCLin

          What nonsense are you talking about. Google already had similar working way before Siri. Majel is just used for add to it and improving the current system. And the only idea Apple had came up on this topic is to take out their wallet and buy Siri, an already existing app on app store.

    • erikiksaz

      Google has yet to reach its peak, and I argue that it never will. Google is always :

      1. striving to change or simplify how we go about our lives. Ex. deep OS integration of popular media consumption services like gmail, voice, music, currents.

      2. quick to re-innovate when it recognizes that something new is on the horizon. Ex. honeycomb, NFC, and soon majel.

      Its competitors, namely iOS and wp7, at least from an interface point of view, are not nearly as flexible.

      • flamesbladeflcl

        The integration of what is new is great about it

    • CJ LaFleur

      Even more than that, as hardware grows and advances, so will the software. The two are dependent upon each other. When hardware is innovated, what good is it without innovative software. Google chooses high quality hardware so they can push the limits of their software. Everything will continue to grow, and nobody is catching up to android ever.

    • stenzor

      As far as innovation, there will always be something new, and while Android is peaking in terms of current technology, they need to work on their marketing and polish

      • Thomas Biard

        Agreed, however maybe once Android becomes more polished Google may jump in the hardware ring to really make a dedicated Nexus line phone that isn’t touched by anyone else. The perfect way to integrate what they invision for the software and what they invision for the hardware that accompanies it.

        • mcopeman23

          Do you think the purchase of motorola mobile was that step?

          • Thomas Biard

            I think it is a setp in the right direction, but having Google branded devices that were developed in house and not just alongside Google. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it seems like Motorola still does their own thing with Google exec’s looking in on things, and not Google engineers working with Moto engineers.

      • rishabhbhatia36

        apple needs to stop sue-ing for others to innovate

    • Tony Torres

      You pulled the words right out of my mouth lol.

    • eliander mendoza

      I totally agree with you there and that’s what makes us “the Users” happy :)

    • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

      Even if the others don’t catch up, I’m sure google won’t drop the ball for that reason.

    • Futureboy

      Making it more polished and refined is great, but that’s just the beginning. Everybody seems to be stuck in the mindset that Android has to be locked into a thin rectangle that fits in your hand. Android is already being used in a number of places beyond the smartphone. It’s being used in development of car heads-up displays, it’s in car stereos, and it’s even being used in ski goggles. Anyone who says that it has reached its peak is being extremely short sighted.

      Even if someone were to boil it down and say it has reached its peak as a smartphone OS, I would still argue that that person lacks imagination. The smartphone will evolve. Already we have the technology for a flexible screen, the capability to put a projector inside a phone, and we even have a touch surface that changes the tactile sensation based on what is on the screen. These three advancements alone open a whole world of possibilities for Android and mobile communication. It is certainly conceivable that the phone as we know it may disappear completely and become some heads-up-display-type device with hand recognition, motion tracking, facial recognition for people you interact with… the possibilities are endless, and there’s no reason any of this couldn’t be on, or powered by, or driven by Android.

      Google is a great innovator, but the best thing the did for Android was to make it open and available to all the innovators of the world, rather than to just the ones in Mountain View, California.

      • twugd

        Loved your point of view. Agree with you 100%

      • thechad

        Well said. Lets not simply look at how far Android software has come, but imagine now how far the software can take us. There is a definite need to couple more devices with Android software. Except maybe alarm clocks. :-)

      • perlowin

        I agree and I think (and hope) the next place we will start to see Android is in TVs and home appliances. Eventually [I hope] we will have a “smart-home” running Android devices all connected and integrated. This should also not only lead to just home automation, but energy savings as well.

      • RevSpaminator

        I agree completely. Android is posed to become the go-to embedded OS for any application requiring an advanced UI. Open Source is an awesome feature when designing hardware, something a closed source competitor can’t pay their way around.

      • Azur

        I think you are totally correct, they have so far to go.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUdDhWfpqxg

        This is several years old, and I want it. Android has a lot of the necessary technology, they just need to polish it up and string it all together.

    • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

      There were some articles showing the products Jobs killed to keep Apple in the game. I bet Google has killed 10 times more products related to Android (this would include all the ideas they would use in the next update – this time is IceaCreamSandwich). I believe Google is shifting Android in the right direction.

    • twugd

      If not Google, some one else will. Innovation is always a continuous process which will never reach it’s peak. Only companies reach peaks and then go downhill. Other’s take their place and become the new de-facto for innovation. Just look at Symbian and Nokia for example.

    • ranwanimator

      As long as they intelligently respond to customer feedback, there will always be room for improvement and further innovations.

    • lancaster09

      I really see Google buying out apps and incorporating them in to the OS. While we might not be able to come up with the next best thing someone else might be. Google didn’t invent social networking and may not invent the next trend but its about how they adopt the trends

  • teecruz

    Reports like these are gonna be standard when it comes to an overachieving system.
    People say likewise about Lady Gaga.. but really, I just Google doing more.
    there is always space for innovation. hell… don’t be so quick to judge.

    Either way, Android has been set in gold since day one. :]
    we are blessed. truly.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Android is the best haters are going to hate. There will be new technological advances that will push google to better such as holographic displays, better implementation of AR. For now ICS is perfect to me, but there is always room for improvement and that is what i expect in jelly bean. Remember dome ICS features were pushed back.

    • http://goncalossilva.com goncalossilva

      Android also has the best hackers… and that counts for a LOT.

      • flamesbladeflcl

        I love me some mods

        • Shawn

          I dont understand why Android folks always assume that its the only OS that allows mods to it.

          iOS can be jailbroken (think rooted) and there are thousands of mods and apps available via an app store – Cydia. Considering this, in some ways, iOS allows for easier customization than android.

          Keep in mind, most android phones out now are locked and as such have to be unlocked (aka jailbroken), before they can be rooted and thus able to have many of the mods.

          Windows Phone can also be unlocked for modding, with Microsoft’s permission even!

          What im trying to get at here is, its fine to think that android, iOS, or windows phone is the best OS, but please do so based on the facts.

          • Chris

            The fact is that Android allows much more customization WITHOUT rooting than iPhone ever will. Name one other mobile OS that allows you to completely replace its home screen with an entirely custom version without rooting/jailbreaking. There’s also a fundamental difference between the Android mentality and that of the other OS manufacturers. Apple, for example, released Siri but didn’t release a way for developers to build in support, but I guarantee you that when Google releases something similar (and they will) there will be numerous ways to add support, including new APIs, Intents, Services, and/or Broadcast Receivers. Almost all functionality is available to developers if they request the correct permissions for their app, with the exception of some features that could cause security issues or features an overzealous carrier has blocked; and not just to the handful of people who rooted, but to all 200M+ users, which means there’s a chance professional developers could actually make a living off these apps.

            As a professional Android developer, I can tell you that this fact is invaluable and will foster an ever-growing ecosystem of innovation.

  • levigarret

    continued synergy between all of their services. i see that as their true bread and butter, all the google apps working together seamlessly with android

    • frankwhite44

      I totally agree. Once all of their services are in sync, they will be a force to fear!

    • Brook Marin

      i love how chrome keeps all my settings between my office, home pc, and chromebook (and any other i log in to for that matter)… now to get that sync to the phone! i’m sure that will come when they release chrome for Android, but even beyond that… have that same sync feature for web browsing on GoogleTV (which i don’t have, maybe that is there already?)

      With all of the advancements in home automation and remote control, it won’t be long before your whole house (and car!) can run on Android! Imagine laying in your bed when your wife says “it’s hot” and only having to reach for your phone on the night stand to change the temp on the A/C!! The sky is the limit when you start talking about synergy between services, there is no way Android has peaked yet!

  • staryoshi

    There is always room for new features, refinement, and innovation but I do not have enough experience with the platform yet to suggest a direction. The primary concern right now, in my opinion, should be getting Android devices upgraded to ICS as soon as possible. Pushing the platform further should take a backseat until the majority of users are on ICS.

  • http://goncalossilva.com goncalossilva

    Android has the feature that no other mobile OS has: speed. And by speed I’m not talking about performance, but about the development speed. New big versions come out every 6 months, with a bunch of new features and optimizations.

    If other OS is to beat Android, they have to start by beating that amazing speed. And I don’t see that happening in the near future :)

    • DroidPower

      What about the fragmentation issue (ie. there are many different phones out there running Android, sometimes with manufacturer’s own UI on top)? I agree the Android community is blazing fast at development, but this fragmentation also leads to many users using older versions of Android. Would people who are not tech savvy and Android fans eventually grow tired of constantly hearing newer versions of Android coming out but not receiving them because their phones’ manufacturers have to work it over? Just a thought.

      • Tony Torres

        Hopefully as time passes fragmentation will be a thing in the pass. HOPEFULLY lol

      • Futureboy

        Yes. speed to market with new OS versions can cause fragmentation. However, rarely is it the end user that’s affected. The burden of fragmentation is carried primarily by the developers. They are the ones who have to make sure their apps run across all devices and versions of the OS. They work hard to make everything run well across the board for everyone. (This is why you should donate or get the paid version if you financially have the means). The developers are the backbone of the entire Android system. Next, the most affected would be the carriers. They have to make sure their overlays work with each new version of the OS as well as on all their devices. Lastly, it’s us, the tech junkies who follow the news and development closely, and let’s face it, we’re only affected by it because we always want the next big thing and we want it yesterday.

        I would bet that the “people who are not tech savvy” really don’t even know what fragmentation is. and I would even go so far as to speculate that they probably couldn’t even tell you what version of Android they are currently running. Sure, they are probably aware of new devices because of the advertising, but most of the non-tech-savvy people I know, call all Android devices “Droids.” Given that, I doubt fragmentation has any impact on their lives at all.

    • Shawn

      Really? have you tried an iPhone 4S?

      The Galaxy Nexus and the Razr are the only two phones on the market that can just edge out the iPhone 4S in sunspider (measures web page rendering speed). the iPhone 4S absolutely buries any android device out in graphics rendering.

      Considerin that the iphone has a dual core at 800mhz vs the GN and Razr at dual core 1.2ghz, i would say its a pretty safe conclusion, that based on the FACTS, android is not the fastest OS, by any stretch of the imagination.

      I have had several android phones starting back when the Droid first came out through a few weeks ago when i sold my Thunderbolt and got an iphone. With that in mind, i can safely say that iOS is much more stable, and runs much quicker than the androids i have had in the past. I have not had one time in that i have had to wait for an OS transition, not a single hiccup, everything just opens and closes, aside from a large program opening, or waiting on data.

      I am honestly blown away by how much better of an experience iOS is. Do i miss widgets? not really, do i miss being able to change a zillion settings? nope. Know why? cause i never wait for anything ever, *cue cliche* everything just works!!

      • Reshad

        You are comparing processors by clock speed, while there are many other factors that significantly affect performance. While the RAZR and the Galaxy S II both have a higher clock speed, the iPhone 4S has a very powerful GPU (PowerVR SGX543MP2) which certainly helps to boost browsing and graphics performance. Both iOS and Android run on the same base that is UNIX which is a fast and stable core. From there, Android is further based on Linux, while iOS builds on OS X. Thus, if the SoC of an iPhone and an Android device were identical, the performance of each should be very similar indeed without any tweaks.

  • AsakuraZero

    those who believe that a OS cant be keep being innovated its being really shortminded, software is.. unpredictable, there are always a way to innovate an polish it, you only need great minds with great imagination, short minded people will never see a way to do the impossible in computers.

    example, we have majel thanks to google x, and god knows what else google, M$ and even Apple may have under their sleeves.

    on the presentation of Android 4 they said that ICS was the beggining, and i will believe so, and i hope it too, i love android because it just get better and better over its versions

  • jamal adam

    Competition will always be there to force innovation to continue and we don’t know what the people at Google and Android have up their sleeves.With their talent and ingenuity, I feel that they can and will continue to innovate and improve Android.

  • Kevin kevinamundson

    Google is one of those companies that can come up with great ideas on their own, and improve on others ideas to make them so much cheaper and efficient. I can definitely see Google increasing market share with the Android platform, as well as other things people use on a daily basis.

  • http://www.raymatthew.tumblr.com RayMatthew

    How Google could change the game and still keep changing is by owning those oh so precious patents that apple keeps throwing in Android handset makers faces.

  • http://tinkerdad.blogspot.com xfaith

    I think that they are doing a great job but there are always area’s of improvement.

    Software: Any type of core optimization would be good, I know that has been already improved on per version.

    Stuff we dont know we need till its needed :)….
    More intergration between programs and apps.

    I like how I can choose to use Google Voice for my txting right form the contacts after initial setup, but if I move to say a program like the first round of SIRI knockoff’s they all default to the messaging program. It could be the app programing, it could be something with API, (I dont know I am not a programmer of any measure), but it should just be easy.

    Ease of use (for the non andriod person), I had a friend use my phone for a week after been on a Iphone and was constantly asked how to do this that or the other, mostly easy things to..

    Hardware side. I think that they need to start by enforcing a standard port locations, so docks and ports work for all phones not just certain ones. Maybe make HDMI standard port on it also.

    Either way I am in it for the long haul, I like my android phone….

  • Jon Garrett

    I don’t think Android has peaked. ICS is only just now hitting the streets unifying phones & tablets. iOS is still competing and Windows Phone is just waiting for a chance to gain a foothold.

    There’s still plenty of room for growth. just take a look at Windows CE, its still in use since around what, 1998.

    • krisguy

      The growth is amazing. I’m getting into Google TV, which is running Honeycomb. My ATRIX is the most useful phone I have ever owned. I’m looking forward to getting a tablet and using my BT keyboard with it.

      Android still has growth. Embedded devices running Android would be the next frontier for me.

  • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

    They dont have to innovte every single second of every day.

    The most important thing is not to rest on their laurels. RIM did it. They thought they were save in the market and they have been
    destroyed because of it.

    Android are doing the right things. They are pushing forward at a pace that keeps with the hardware.

  • Arturo Castro

    I think what will keeping pushing android forward is the community developers, like cyanogenmod. They will add new features that will be introduced into the latest aosp! :-)

    • flamesbladeflcl

      it does seem like quite a few of the improvements in ics were inspired by mods and I am good with that. Anything that ends up with a better product is good for me.

  • Brian

    As far as a mobile device, I’m an iOS fan and even the GNexus won’t move me away. However, as far as tablet computing, I have a Xoom LTE. I absolutely love it! However it’s well known that Android is undoubtly laggy (at times) this is where Google needs to concentrate harder. Is Android was as fluid as iOS, it would walk all over it. However , I’m perfectly happy owning both ecosystems.

  • dwilson6

    It seems like Google can’t do much more. Each major version seems to have less market-changing features. At the same time, I think Google has some things up its sleeve. There are still things to be added and a lot that can be improved. Maybe they’ll start focusing on improving things that don’t work very well. That has started with ICS. Also, don’t forget about the hardware and accessories programs Google announced at Google I/O.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    Android has probably already hit the peak of which it is “growing” in terms of market share but it is a long LONG way away from being done innovating. Given the very nature of what Android does (an operating system on a device that is always with us), it has just barely gotten the tip of the iceberg of innovation of what it can/will need to do.

    One thing we’re going to see with our mobile devices is that they’re going to need to start replacing our non-mobile devices. Why? Because we depend on them so much and integrating of various separate devices is just a pain in the ass.

    Take an iPad and an iPhone, for example. That should, in theory, be the most integrated pair out there, right? Well, how well do you get SMS messages from your iPhone sync’d to your iPad? Um, you don’t. Let’s jump back into the Android world now. Same thing. You don’t. Lots of things don’t synchronize and it’s mosly because, we’ll, they’re different devices and certain ones “just don’t do that”. That’s a lousy excuse.

    If I have a phone that does it, my tablet sure as hell should be able to do it when it has my phone around to help it out. In fact, why is my tablet and phone two different devices? All my tablet really needs to be is my phone with a larger screen and perhaps a larger battery. But that’s not what it is. It duplicates (arguably needlessly as I never need to use my tablet and phone separately for 99.8% of cases) much of what’s in my phone, lacks some very important and critical features, and adds a larger screen and battery. Sure, some tablets may have more powerful hardware in them but only barely. So why waste all the resources (and money) to duplicate our phone poorly? Why not just let our phone have a dummy terminal upgrade to it in order to temporarily increase the screen size and battery life? (yes, think PadFone)

    Now what about our laptops? Clearly tablets threaten the laptop industry but they’re not exactly killing it off. Why? Because 1) far too many people need keyboards and 2) a tablet simply cannot perform all of the things we often times need laptops for. Well, point 1) can be solved by having a tablet dock into a keyboard (yes, think Transformer). As for point 2), well, that’s something that requires our mobile OSes to grow a long way. Right? Well, for Android to succeed, then yes, that’s correct. However, what if there was an OS that already ran on the laptop form factor well and started seeping into the tablet form factor? If it can “do tablets” well, then we have a problem for Android. (yes, think Win8 as an unproven competitor here) And if this competitor OS was successful on the tablet form factor, and we agree that tablets and phones are practically the same form factor, well then, we have an issue here.

    Now put all of this together… Phones could/should power tablets. Tablets could/should replace laptops. And Android will be competing with full-blown Windows operating systems. (Microsoft will also have to realize that they’ll need a seemless transition from a “Windows Phone” to a laptop as well, so the very unique “Windows Phone” operating system will have to be ditched and replaced by whatever runs on laptops and tablets. But this is another conversation.)

    So what does Android need to do in order to keep its crown as king of the mobile OS for years and years? It needs to really compete against Windows on at least a laptop form factor, which may mean making Linux itself more competitive against Windows.

    Lastly, you’ll notice that I didn’t even bring Apple into this for the most part. Why? Well, they’ve proven that they’re happy to hit the market with a big splash, make a lot of money with that splash, and to ultimately find their equilibrium of owning 15% of the market. That’s where they’ll be long-term if they are, indeed, “successful”.

    • lxgeorge

      Hey Taylor, do you think you could grab this guy for a guest article? He definitely knows how to write.

    • Michael Allen

      Hey, in regards to your Android cant Sync SMS from Phone to Tablet, Got 2 Answers for you (Check the Market)

      -SyncSMS

      -Tablet Talk

      I own Both, and use them ad nauseum. INVALUABLE. iPhone? Hmmm…..

      • flamesbladeflcl

        or just use the excellent google voice

        • chabuku

          Google Voice is extremely lacking in the usability so far.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        So that’s a single one-off solution. What about the other 50 examples I can give you? Sure, you can list a specific one-off solution for each of those 50 examples. There’s no denying, though, that setting all of that up is a LOT of work.

        Are you arguing that Android shouldn’t grow from there? Is this really as good as you think Android can get? If so, it’s doomed!

    • flamesbladeflcl

      I’m probably gonna prefer having a few seperate devices rather then voltroning everything, but the syncing thing is important. If you have played with a chromebook and seen the excelent syncing setup they have on there I can’t help but wish all my devices had it. One login that had everything on any device. We are getting closer with a lot of the intergrated google serivces (like google voice, google music and the browser bookmark sync in ics). but we aren’t quite to the log in to a new device and it is set up exactly how it is on any other device you have used like it is with chrome os. but I see it going that way. Also on a seperate note I would love a soild android build for my laptop

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        So two things here…

        1) I have a Chromium netbook (i.e. homebrewed Chromebook). I’m very familiar with the sync’ing there. But you know what? That’s not much more than browser settings and data that get synced there. Perhaps a little bit more but that’s small peas compared to what I’m imagining.

        Have you heard of a feature of enterprise-level virtualization products sometimes called “Live Migration”? What it allows is for you to have a bundle of servers running VMWare (or any other good hypervisor-based virtualization product) with a number of VMs on them. While these VMs are running, and without any interruption in service, these VMWare servers can move the running VM from one machine to another. Again, no interruption in service (other than a bit of latency in communications for a few milliseconds).

        Now imagine this sort of functionality with our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. With this sort of technology built into these devices, even if they were different devices and not a single “voltroned” device, why couldn’t we migrate our active session from one device to another? Then you would have a truly roaming session that is just always wherever you are on whatever device you’re on. It doesn’t matter if you started playing a game on your phone and wanted to finish on your Google TV. Or if you started a presentation on your tablet and finish it up on your desktop. Or if you started doing some video and photo editing on your laptop (using 10 different apps all open at the same time) and can just pick up at the exact same spot on your desktop when your bus drops you off at the office without having to open up and get all 10 apps opening the proper files and everything. LOTS of potentials here and we won’t see this kind of integration for years unless somebody gets incredibly innovative, and quick!

        2) If you wanted multiple devices, surely you could have multiple devices. But why? If you had a phone that was 90% as powerful as your desktop, why would it need to be different than your desktop? Now, I know there will be some professions where you simply cannot combine the two, and that’s okay. But for 90% of people in an office job doing nothing more complex than some spreadsheets, photo editing, and video processing, these shouldn’t need to be separate devices at all.

        “But wait, I need to work on my computer at the same time as talking on my phone!” Well, we have Bluetooth devices for this. “But I need more monitors than my phone can handle.” Well, your phone is crippled right now compared to what it could be. There’s no reason your phone couldn’t power 3+ monitors other than the fact that nobody has done it yet. “But there’s no way the battery will last long with that kind of processing!” You’re right, if you only look at today’s technologies. Sounds like some battery innovation is really needed, huh?

        You’ll notice that these two points I made are kinda arguing against each other. And that’s fine. My point is, while our phones are amazing devices compared to what they were only 4 years ago (or 2 years ago even), there is a LOOOONG way to go before they are done making major changes. These two arguments just show you two reasons why we’re nowhere close to these companies being able to stop innovating. It doesn’t matter if Android does or does not do it. SOMEBODY will! (Unless, of course, Apple gets a patent on making innovations.)

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

      I’m going to distill the basic theme of your post down to one line:

      “It is absolutely stupid that Android and Chrome OS are not fully integrated with each other.”

    • twugd

      Wow, simply speaking a really nice point of view. Exactly what I had been thinking for some time. A tablet should be a dummy terminal where I can attach my phone and voila, I have a tablet. Same dummy terminal should be available for laptops as well. Think a mix of Atrix lapdock and padphone.

  • Jeremy Johns

    Once you think Google is done they come with gmail or adWords or Google docs or whatever. The creative environment that is Google headquarters inspires innovation

  • Rockstar323

    Here is my theory. If the Galaxy Nexus sells extremely well I could see other manufacturers releasing devices with vanilla Android. Maybe like one handset per manufacturer. I’m sure they wont be Nexus devices but Vanilla devices will still be quicker to update than ones with skins. As for when will Android start a decline? It will be when someone comes up with the next big thing. Before the iPhone who could have predicted that in 5 years most people would be carrying smart phones and these phones would just have a piece of glass to interface with. Whatever the next big thing is I’m sure google won’t pull a Microsoft or RIM and just watch the world move on to the next big thing and just wait in denial till it’s almost too late.

    • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

      I don’t think that releasing Vanilla Android devices would help other manufacturers. All of them pride themselves with that “extra” they have added to Android, that feature that distinguishes its device from the others. I think that one Vanilla device, coming from Google, is enough. 5 years ago I used a N95 that was almost ahead of its time (I think N95 represents Nokia’s peak), at that time I was waiting for touchscreen and more and, boy, we got a lot more! Google is now in the process of unifying its services and devices. Since iPhone can’t innovate its user interface, it can only innovate its software (this is the reason Apple has stared suing everyone).

  • Qrkchrm

    I couldn’t say that Android has peaked, but I think it has almost reached it’s highest market share. The smartphone market is maturing, and the makers of iOS, Android and Windows Mobile are jockeying for position before the really hard part begins. Google and Apple were taking away market share from stagnant players like Blackberry and Symbian. Pretty soon there won’t be anything left to take, and we’ll see the competition heat up. Android was able to go from 20% to 50% market share in a year by taking share away from the legacy players. Android won’t be able to go from 50% to 75% market share in a year if it has to the extra market from Apple. I still think Android will increase in market share at Apple’s expense, but you wouldn’t the same kind of explosive growth we’ve had in the last two years.

  • zyphbear

    I think honestly Google can reach more people, not only from the iOS side, but for those people who are getting into smartphones for the first time and want something cheap but efficient so they can get used to using it. While if you are looking for the same thing in iOS, the iPhone ends up still being either 1) expensive or 2) very old. (like the 3GS).

    I think it also has to do with debugging and how the OEMs change things. I had to overhear my friend earlier who had gotten a cheaper upgrade to an Android instead of an iPhone for him and his wife (due to their iPhones being stolen). They had originally liked the devices well enough to use them, but at this point with the lack of debugging in both the apps and the OEM skins, he is getting to the point that he is basically talking down about the OS and the devices. I couldn’t even get into the argument they were having since I felt like it wasn’t worth doing so, but this is the same issue that happens, people end up getting cheaper devices, but harder to tell the differences unless you are a hardcore user. My friend is pretty well educated about technology, but That was the cheap devices his carrier offered as replacements. So now as a result, instead of having the same great experience some others are having, he is having a terrible experience and is talking down about Android, which thus could cause other people to doubt getting it.

    TL;DR: Android has so many difference models and OEMs with their own skins, some of which don’t give a very good experience compared to others, while iPhone gives one standard experience. I get that companies want to add their own thing, but the more you add, the more the experience can change in a negative way. All of the Android OEMs need to get together with Google and Agree to what the experience should be, so that everyone gets the Great Experience, especially with ICS.

  • fenixshaw

    All mobile operating systems have their time in the light. What sets android apart is being ‘open source’. It allows quicker adaptation of new techs.

  • Marc’us H.

    As far as what Androids can do, I’m pretty sure a majority of people want the same thing. Internet, email, phone call, text, GPS, etc. they don’t really NEED to do much else. They just need to make the things we do EASIER. Some complain that the Android UI is too “complex”, which is why you have some people sticking w/ Apple or Blackberry, and where I personally see where Windows Phones jumping in and taking a share of that glory. If you look at what Windows plans to do w/ their tablets, phones, Xbox, & PCs you have an idea of where the “peak” really is. Cross integration will likely be the wave of the future in 2012 and beyond. Syncing w/ PCs, laptops, tablets, and perhaps even gaming systems. Google still HAS to figure out how to make a steady, and absolutely user friendly device without throwing techno-babble at them. Sure geeks and nerds LOVE that, but if you want to hit your base, KISS (keep it simple stupid).

  • pmex83

    I believe Google will continue to do what it does best and that’s to innovate and grow. You can see Google’s growth in how it’s developed over the years, from beginning as a search engine, to developing android and even google tv. The best thing about google is that it offers a lot of it’s services for free, whether it’s google docs, or other programs such as google sketchup. We can’t predict the future, but it would be ignorant to think that google will not continue to grow, innovate and develop.

  • Dan13

    No way has android reached it’s peak. Inventors will always be creating new features for the mobile world, and since android is open source, it will probably be the first to adopt them. Android will reach it’s peak when we have microchips in our brains running android and everyday objects like toasters use it. Until then, there will always be room for improvement.

  • damambt

    Nope. Theres a solid base for building on it and even if big companies don’t care for the os, many devs see the potential and believe in it to allow such a good thing waste away.

  • YMS123

    Has Android reached the peak of mobile OS supremacy? Yes, It’s own peak? No

  • Jeffroid

    I think to look at a bigger picture, you need to look at the parent company – Google.

    Google apart from its competitors, has a very unique model and very diversified business lines. With its position as an internet search engine giant, it can easily integrate a lot of services and features into android, the possibilities are still vastly numerous.

    That aside, I think the focus on android should be on making the OS much more refined and the android team has to pay attention to every little single details around the OS. With iOS as comparison, although a boring mobile OS, has a lot of consistencies and tiny little details that are well thought of.

  • Ironzey Lewis

    My opinion, Things are just getting started. Before last year I would look to apple to see where the market was going to go. Remember when they released factime? Android did a me too and came out with support for video chat. Now things seem different it seems like instead of playing catch up Android is moving the market in the direction they see fit.

    Realtime voice to text, that’s innovation.

    While the security is dubious, facial recognition is cool and innovative. I’d love to see how ICS looks and behaves on a tablet. I’d like to see how the expirence changes when going to a big screen.

    Everyone seems to have forgotten about Android @home. There is tons of innovation waiting to happen there.

    Like I said, things are just getting started. I can’t wait to see what is coming next.

    • AndroFatz

      Actually Android had video chat way before the iPhone. The Evo 4G was the first phone in the USA with video chat.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    Let’s just say that Android OS has reached its peak, but that does mean Android’s market share cannot go higher. Technical advancement may slow down from this point on, but I will argue that Google has not exhausted every mean to push its market share higher. The single biggest missing piece of Android phones is the lack of tight integration b/w the software and the hardware. I got that Google does not want to make itself an Apple like company that dictates everything, but there’s nothing wrong to expand the Nexus program. By inviting more than one companies to join the Nexus program and each participating company would make a Nexus that releases all at the same time will surely super-charge the platform. It will also give the top-tier players an early peek into the new OS, may be that will also speed up deployment of OS updates to their existing phones.

  • Bryan Stoner

    Windows has stayed the “same” for quite a long time and it retains it’s market share. Google is just doing what they do best. And for that I believe they will be they best for years to come.

  • ArticulateFool

    Neither this industry or Android have run out of things to innovate. The smartphone market is evolving a a breakneck speed and will continue to do so for the next few years at least.

  • keithp

    Prognosticator’s and hand-wringer’s dire predictions are often wrong. I can remember about ten years ago an Ericsson Exec declared that the cell phone business had reached its peak. And, as we all know Steve Jobs and Andy Rubin taught us that there is always a higher mountain (and profits) to climb.

    No, Android has not reached its peak. I on the other hand have. Oh, well. Carry on.

  • cheeseasaurus

    There will always be more features with updates, true, not at the rate that they’ve been coming these first few years, but I do recall Google announced with gingerbread that they wanted to turn major updates into an annual thing which slows it down right on that basis. This gives Google the time to polish and provide a user experience that we hadn’t seem from android until ics, and it can only go up from there. Android has always been a ‘quality product’ but now it can start being a shiny one.

    I also think Google will learn from Microsoft’s mistake, when the market trends… follow it. You can’t just wait for it to come back

  • medzpro

    well, i just wait Beyond The ICE CREAM, will it come true? I hope i does not need to use windows anymore
    http://medzpro.com

  • thekaz

    well, if it has, then I am all set, having picked up my Galaxy Nexus this morning!

    but seriously, no, I think Google will do all right with Android. I mean, it probably wasn’t that long ago that people were asking how far could they take a search engine??

  • aakash

    although android was “leading”, it was lacking aesthetic appeal. probably google decided to take a break on innovation and improve upon android’s UI, and by far they was done an excellent job. No one thought we would have NFC, but it did came. Just because we dont see them, innovations never stop. Google, obviously, is one of the few, where innovations come from… So sit back, relax and enjoy a bite a ice cream sandwich… :)

    • aakash

      sry, change the WAS “leading” to IS “leading” :)

  • dharr18

    I think android has only scratched the surface of what it can be. While it does own the smartphone market, it is just now making a dent in the tablet market. The openness of the os is the key to its evolution. While not truly linux, it is where linux is becoming part of most homes in the world.

    There are so many roads Google can travel with this os I am eager to see where android is in the next couple years. I am sure Google still has years of ideas in their bag of tricks.

  • Al

    I feel they need to really need to work on how other people use their software. that is why apple user boost about their phones. bottom line their phones work, ALL THE TIME… Google needs to make a minimum system requirement on the OS. I mean with apple you are sure to get a good model. the only thing you have to worry about is the amount of space you have not will it play your games. Every body on this forum has a good phone cause we keep up to date with the news. But we do not make up the entire market. The people that lost their phone and need a new and the people that by phones because they saw an ad on TV make up the market. Have you every asked an apple user why their phone is better then yours. I have, to many people and you know what I get. It does force close or it has the apps I love, like angry birds… Really angry birds, that shows you they do not know the difference in phones. At this point both apple and android are on the same level in terms of functionality. Right now it is all about marketing and preferences. Once Google has more TV ads for their Nexus series phones their sales will go up.

  • Jack Thakar

    I definitely don’t think Android has reached its peak. Although Ice Cream Sandwich added a lot of features to put its UX on par with other OSes, it also continued providing the new features that Android is known for. As long as Google continues adding these new features and improving the UX, Android will only get better. If Google rests on their laurels like Microsoft with Windows Mobile or RIM with BlackBerry, Android will fall. However, it doesn’t look like Google is slowing down any time soon.

  • http://whysoangrybirds.com mikeyDroid

    Pretty close to peaked – all this rave about 4.0 for what? A few features, many I won’t be using often.. shrug.

  • alee

    One thing that’s different about Android is that being open source, it doesn’t have to be Google that comes up with innovative ideas for it. Just look at how Amazon made the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble made the Nooks Color and Tablet by far the most successful Android tablets. Although with the BSD-like license for Android, they don’t have to contribute what they did back to the community, they might not have done these things if they did have to as they might with a GPL-style license.

  • Lee Swanson

    Maybe smart phones in general have reached their peak. Maybe faster processor, better battery life. But as for what they do…it’s possible we have reached peak smart phone.

  • AndroFatz

    There is plenty of room for Android to innovate and expand. To say there nothing left to innovate is ridiculous.

    My phone is an Evo 3D. No other platform has any 3D support at all. Android can expand the 3D support. 3D wallpapers, launcher, etc.

    The Motorola Atrix started a computer replacement line of phones. Android could certainly expand on that. Lead the way, since no other platform has a phone designed to replace a computer. Maybe we won’t even need computers in a few years, now that Google owns Motorola (the ones who tried to make a phone that replaces a computer).

    There are probably countless things that we can’t think of right now that will be must haves in a few years. To say there is nothing left to innovate is very short sighted.

  • kungpaodragon

    To resonate with alee. This is where Google strives. They don’t monopolize on innovation like others. (Except “search”, but let’s be fair.) Innovation is never easy. By providing Android as an open source, Google gives developers and innovators tools and playground to exercise their creativity. And as open source communities often do, they contribute back to the source so everyone can benefit and advance. As long as Google is willing to keep the doors open, smart people will continue to provide feed back to Google on what they need from Android and how to make it better. The false perception out there is Apple invents everything. Those of us who use Android knows that’s not true. Many new features in later releases of iOS are already in Android in some shape of form. It’s too bad Google doesn’t go after Apple like Apple goes after the handset makers because that was simply not Google’s nature. Hopefully they are taking it seriously now and protect Android developers from fallen pray to Apple’s patent wars. You might say patent is stupid. I would agree at some degree. That’s another conversation all together…

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    As long as there are creative minds, innovation will follow.

  • Joshua Melling

    Android is THE peak, It will continue to be as long as Google is innovate as always.

    • donger

      so true.

  • Jorge Eslava

    The answer to the tittle is: no.

  • Shawn Clark

    Android, Apple, and Windows are the “Big 3″ in my opinion…As long as one ups the ante on the other…there is no peak…Android has a family of different phones, Apple has one phone with different drives, and Windows just…Windows with Xbox features.

  • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

    I remember, years ago, when Half-Life 2 hit the shelves, “these graphics are flawless, is there any way this can be beat?”

    Technology never ceases to amaze us, and software is no exception. Google has been innovating for years and they’re not about to stop.

    I have a friend who works for Google, and while he can’t usually tell me many specifics of what they’re doing, he’s always telling me that they’ve got people working on just about everything.

    Android has come a long way to be sure, but the good thing about companies like Apple and Microsoft is that they will keep pushing Google to innovate via competition.

    One other thing to leave here: think back to the original Star Trek. The Communicator was considered to be a piece of amazing 23rd-century technology. It reminds me of one of my lame-o flip phones from almost a decade ago. In only a few decades, something envisioned to be the technology of centuries in the future has been easily surpassed. I have a feeling this trend isn’t about to end.

  • http://www.openintro.com OpenIntro

    I’m pretty sure Google and Google Labs have things brewing that none of us are even thinking about. No way have we reached the full potential of Android yet.

  • rashad360

    Google hasn’t been resting on their laurels, I’m sure they are working on the next major feature of Android as we speak. They have brought many features we haven’t even thought they would put in Android like NFC and their vision to have Android automate functions around the house like lights and stuff.

  • golfpedaler

    Long Live the Green Robot…

  • GrendelJapan

    ICS is amazing, but there is always room for improvement. Making sure it works with the latest hardware, supporting tablets, making it a platform for other devices (cars, homes, etc.) and getting it to play nice with everything will be a never ending task. Plus, Google has tons of other apps and other ventures that could be masterfully integrated with Android too.

    If anything, ICS shows what a rival Google is to other innovators, but no one can rest on their laurels these days.

  • dandroid4g

    Google can always improve on stuff and Android will just keep getting better :)

  • http://ilysespieces.tumblr.com Ilyse Rose

    I can’t imagine this being the peak of Android innovation and development. There is so much more they can and need to do, as you can tell by how much people tout the iOS app store because developers just don’t like/want to work with the Google Market

    They’ve got plenty more left to do.

  • the5thdimension

    I don’t think Android has reached it’s peak at all. Google will most definitely continue to innovate in all areas it is involved in and maybe even some it is not. Android is a step above all the rest and Google knows it. They are very comfortable and confident with the product they have in Android. So much so that they make it open source so others can tweak it to their liking because they know that at its core, in its purest state, it stands strong.

    With that being said Android is not perfect and does have room for improvement. I feel maybe Google should impose some sort of restrictions or specific requirements for Android to lessen some of the shitty Android devices that come out. A lot of average consumers purchase shitty Android devices and it creates a bad reputation among certain consumers.

    Anyway, in my opinion Android will keep improving and keep raising the bar. I can’t wait to get a Galaxy Nexus and ICS and I’m excited to see what Android will bring in the future.

  • Danny Calderon

    Competition is great, everyone pushes one another to come up with better ideas and functions. The one thing that Google needs to improve on is not the Os itself but the amount of time it takes to get the updates out to the devices, I know that has nothing to do with Google themselves but they really need to fix it. Maybe they can make it that the custom skin can be disabled or switched like a alternative home launcher

  • ndub21

    Ha, Ewan obviously doesn’t know Google. I am 100% sure they will innovate yet again when Android 4.1 or whatever comes out. Just because you’re leading the pack doesn’t mean you’re gonna get passed up immediately. Look how long it took Apple to get overtaken. It happened because they stopped innovating as much since they were so far in front. They also started suing the pants off everyone.

  • http://twitter.com/DrCarmody DrCarmody

    Isn’t tweaking the only thing that is ever done? You cant add features that don’t exist yet.

  • Billy

    Lol. Tons of room to improve and innovate.

    Everything can be more tightly integrated from social, to cloud, and media especially across multiple devices. Better data merging of contacts and information across a variety of accounts (FB, G+, G Contacts, Exchange etc… ) Social ‘Friends’ updating information (phone/address) updates contacts.

    Increases in home automation, home media, music and video control. Remote capabilities for security, home computer/server.

    Then we can get into voice control (majel) combined with everything mentioned above., along with AI capabilities to provide even more unknown controls and anticipations.

    Then the hardware side for pico projectors, battery improvements, wireless video, wireless charging, better cameras, cpu, video, quantum chips … etc…

    Handwriting recognition, NFC, 3D, holographic controls, medical and health monitoring, mind melds, laser beams, and more :)

    Yes there are apps that have some of this but not always so well.

  • Mark

    They need to achieve wide adoption for Google TV before Apple or another competitor changes the game in the TV space.

    • flamesbladeflcl

      I love my revue so I’m all for it

  • ags29

    I don’t think Android is even close to its peak. I just think the focus has now become optimization, while new features will slowly take a backseat.

  • jst4tim

    Nothing is perfect and things are always changing there will always be room for improvement and competition to keep them on their toes. Someone will always 1up someone else but the customization options of android is what will keep it advancing so I do not see it reaching it’s peak only advancing with the times.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Its really hard to say. but honestly i couldnt agree with your article more. I mean i consider it tweaking but is tweaking that much differnent than innovation? As long as it keeps pushing the envelope especially with hardware like quad core phones and tablets i can only hope that google can innovate or tweak to best take advangtage of such power to keep them selves ahead of the game which i think they will

  • myandroid99

    Nothing is perfect

  • flamesbladeflcl

    I love where it is and I only see it getting better

  • http://youtube.com/user/jawckamoe Marcus

    I honestly don’t think that Android has reached its peak. Google’s Android team is awesome and they always have room to innovate. Android is growing very rapidly, and competition is getting fierce! But Android will always be on top, and they will never reach their peak :)

  • honourbound68

    no way has Android reached its peak.

  • ramenchef

    As long as google keeps innovating like it has with ICS, they will stay ahead of the pack. Android’s only lacking area is polish. It’s innovation is far ahead of the competition.

  • Ryland

    The same thing was asked last year and the year before that… things will just keep getting better. Apple fans will complain about everything android has ‘stolen’ from iOS but does it really matter if android does it better? Android also has one other thing against w7 and apple: they’re humble. I often find myself in an argument against an apple-fanatic. “Well android doesn’t have siri!” Is the common misconception. Android has siri, just without the annoying talk back feature, and for all who do think it is absolutely necessary for their search engine to talk back to you, wait another month or two and you’ll have what you want. You can find everything apple or microsoft or even RIM has in android plus more, and it will only keep getting better faster than the competition.

  • Anthropic

    There is so much more coming to Android, wont be long till they roll proper Chrome and Chrome OS in and make this bad boy a full media centre capable of working with all kinds of docks and extensions.

    • Tony Torres

      Hopefully theyll implement there chrome browser into the actuall os.

  • mclarensr

    There is always room for improvement.

  • DroidPower

    I think a challenge faced by Google, in terms of branding Android and getting more people to use it, is the same challenge faced by Microsoft–software and hardware implementation. One can argue that MSFT led the pack in Windows development, but what many consumers complain of how slow MSFT and buggy it can be. Aside from software issues, these complaints can be due to low-end hardware. People love a bargain, but they forget that their bargain comes with a trade off in experience. Today, we can see many cheap Android tablets out there for less than 100 bucks, but they don’t deliver the same experience as HTC Flyer or Samsung 10.1. The users’ experiences with cheaper Androids will indirectly affect their impression of the operating system because the OS is what’s being advertised (ie. ads running about Android tablets and phones). If Google can continue separating its flagship device, like the Nexus, from the other Android-based devices, then they will gain a larger market share.

    Back to the topic at hand, you can never reach a peak. Even if you’re not innovating anymore, you’ll be forced to think of new ideas by what your competitors are doing (as the author has pointed out). Keep on going, Google!

  • Tony Torres

    Yes there’s always room for improvement but there getting better and better with each update!

  • thel0nerang3r

    Google needs to keep it’s “lab” mentality. Where they try new things to see what sticks. For every 1 successful feature, you probably go through 10 that didn’t work. They still have their engineers spend one day working on side project. I hope they allow some features of Nexus devices to be “experimental” so we can try them, and as a group we decide what we want.

  • http://www.mikeytusa.com mikeytusa

    Google has spent the last decade innovating. I don’t think they’re about to stop now, right when things are getting interesting. The future is bright for Android, and to be fair iOS too. There’s great minds working for both Google and Apple and great things will keep coming indefinitely.

  • humidity

    I believe that as long as Android continues to innovate and make new products, Apple will never be able to catch up. Even if somehow the iPhone 5 did surpass Android, Android would surpass those specs in only a few months. Apple’s latest business model seems to be taking 2 years to see big improvements, (ie: 3g to 3gs to 4 to 4s to 5) which is far too long in an electronics industry.

  • Emmanuel Lazcano

    I really like the little green robot. Andy the android is the reason I switched to android os.

  • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

    Android is just getting rolling. Now that they lead in innovation, and with ICS, getting close in smoothness, they can add even more features normally associated with desktop OS’s (quad core processors will help with this as well). I am not a huge fan of voice input, but realize it is important to the mainstream tech reviewers. Enhance the natural flow voice input for not only web services search etc., but to control all applications. Nice to update database records via voice input when appropriate. Stock web browser, and media apps need continuous improvements.

    Google should also work on their base supplied apps particularly email. The stock email client looks, and operates at a lower level than other platforms. The K9 option (which Google contributes to) has great options, but let’s enhance its smoothness, looks etc. I am not talking about the GMail client, I am referring to the POP, and IMAP generic email client which, unless it has changed recently, did not even have an empty trash option which is essential for POP. Main reason I changed from generic email to K9 was the empty trash option.

    I am a former Classic WM power user who felt abandoned when MS threw us under the bus with WP7. Unlike the web horror stories (which I don’t doubt), WM was reliable, stable, and did all the tasks I needed when out for the day. Classic WM out of the box still does more of the tasks I need than all other mobile platforms I used including Android. Fortunately, there are low cost, or free apps for Android that add most of the features I miss out of the box. Now, I am a super Android fan with a plethora of devices including Nexus One, Nexus S, and Galaxy Nexus. My Xmas present to myself is the Note which is due to arrive this week. Yes, I like the big screen phones, the 5″ Streak was my favorite.

    Concerning Apple crushing WM with the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone did quickly become the market leader, however, they inundated us with massive mainstream advertising showing the iPhone doing tasks the non-tech user thought looked cool, and were worth investigating when it was time to upgrade their dumb phone. It was (and still is) hard to go an evening of network TV watching without seeing multiple iPhone commercials vs. zero for WM, multiple iPhone advertisements downtown vs zero for WM, multiple subway transit ads vs zero for WM, many free mentions in the mainstream press vs. zero for WM, and the most popular radio talk show host is an avid Apple fan who regularly mentions Apple favorably. The iPhone brand became embedded in the mind of the non-tech, non blog reading consumer who equated iPhone with smartphone, decided to get an iPhone before entering the store, and did not even look at competing products. Add in the halo effect from the iPod popularity, and the slobbering bordering on orgasmic reaction of the mainstream / general tech press to everything Apple, and you have a marketing juggernaut vs. minimal tech advertising, and zero mainstream advertising for WM. Remember, Android did not start its meteoric rise until the Droid which was accompanied by massive mainstream advertising similar to Apple successful campaigns.

    • Stella

      You hit it out the park!

      • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

        Thank you.

  • bemymonkey

    They haven’t peaked until they’ve finished everything on this list:

    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list

  • djembeman

    No way! Google will keep innovating and evolving new technology. A lot of still really have no idea what Ice Cream Sandwich will really bring to us. I haven’t got to play around with it at all yet.

  • RootMe

    https://plus.google.com/105051985738280261832/posts/XAZ4CeVP6DC just reset the default touch priorities in the future so things run smoother or make rendering smoother. BRING CHROME BROWSER TO ANDROID !!!!!

  • benben

    I don’t see Android slowing down. They are just getting started with ICS with an OS that has the potential appeal to users looking for a smoother experience than what Android has proved to be so far. The success of Android until now is largely due to the number of different handsets available but I think that ICS is Android’s real momentum.
    There’s also a whole bunch of Google apps scattered all over the place. I can definitely see the benefit of a more unified Goole experience – a Google app with everything in it from G+ to Docs.
    I love Android and I can’t wait to see where it’s going to take us :)

  • GlobalATL

    Doubtful Android OS has peaked… With all of the rumors surrounding “Project Majel” I would assume that the entire OS will continue to evolve.

  • dadnkad

    i believe there’s millions of different ways to advance the hardware and software of any type of phone, PC, and etc. The mobile device looks to be advancing the quickest in modern technology. 6 years ago there was no smartphones. We were all using flip phones and other type of “dumb phones.” Now phones are just as quick as laptops, NFC, face unlocks, internet, apps, 3D phones, and the list goes on. Sad thing is, most of them are all on android phones. Android manufactures are on the prowl to advance more than the other. While others still look the same after 5 years. ios hasn’t really change at all. The set up is still the same, each ios update is just another added feature. ios4 looks a lot like ios5. All the iphones looks the same. Rectangle, single button, and 3.5″ screen. Humans get bored if the same thing keeps coming out. That’s why android has gotten so big. New and better things keep coming out. If we never get ideas from someone else to advance technology, we all will still be using rotary phones and tube TVs.

    My ideas of advancing technology to greater heights with mobile devices: self charging batteries, phones that can be pull out from 4.3″ screen to a 10″ tablet and back to 4.3″. holographic images above phone so friends wont lean over your shoulder, phones with no internal storage space but everything is stored in a unlimited “cloud” and a SIRI type program that is so advance that has complete control of your phone with top end security. Just say the program’s name to activate it, no button require.

    Just a few of my ideas.

  • Six8Six

    There is always room for innovation…..

  • Carlos Moreno

    This is Google people. I think that just because we can’t imagine what they will do next doesn’t mean they wont blow our minds

  • fabrice rutikanga

    Who said android was just for smartphones because Google made android open source there will be many more form factors for android to be use

    I think that android will push to replace your pc os.

  • Rob Vermeij

    Google has shown, not only with Android, that they are one of the biggest software innovators of this time. Sometimes they are even too innovative (Google Wave and such). I’m very confedent that Google will find ways to keep getting Android forward and as Fabrice above me said, maybe we will see a truely Google desktop OS in the future with seamless integration of your mobile OS (Android).

  • dafi81

    It is not just android. All mobile os are at a point where they get less inportant. They can all do pretty much the same and people just want them to work. …

  • https://plus.google.com/109600738460265587799/posts Lewis McGeary

    No, it hasn’t. The examples given in the article were odd, going from iPod mini to iPod nano was hardly revolutionary. Symbian fell when it failed to deal with the paradigm shift to full touchscreen devices. By contrast a large part of the Android ethos is about flexibility across different types of device which should stand it in better stead when this type of situation arises.

  • jenskristian

    Android and anybody else that wants to be relevant in the future has to re-invent itself and bring exciting updates of the platform. There is no way around it. The ones that do will get the market share, the ones that don’t will die.

  • Sil Claeys

    Innovation is always good, but the achilles heel of all smarthphones right now are the low battery power (compared to dumb phones). My old phone could last a week without charging (even when used frequently) and that phone is 6 years old!

  • Martin

    Android can of course “get stuck”, sooner or later it will become “as good as it’s gonna get”. But Google as a whole is part of something much larger. Google as all its software where old parts like Gmail can be improved and new parts can be added, which in turn will “innovate” Android without changing anything major in the OS.

    The same thing can be said for “Android@Home”. Getting the OS into other hardware then phones and tablets AND making the two talk to each other, is not an innovation on the OS per say, but still something that will change the way we use the product(s).

    I don’t think we have seen then end of Android yet. Google will continue doing wild and crazy stuff and the results will one way or the keep pushing Android forward!

  • vid500

    I think the whole mobile thing is just starting, we have a lot a head of us, when it comes to inovaton. The hardwear is for mobile devices is becomig more powerful and capable of doing things we didn’t even imagine a few yars ago. There is still a gap between home PC-s and mobile devices that has to be filled, like more powerful applications for professional users(Photoshop,…). And with that the OS has to come along.

  • dVyper

    I think they should simply rewrite Android with the emphasis on a perfectly smooth UI like iOS and WP7. I don’t care how long it takes to rewrite but it should happen sometime.

  • YNWA

    I would say no, Android has not reached its peak, but Android has finally made it. I know we have been on top of market share for a year or two depending on who does the study, but I have not felt like Android really had that extra level of polish and fun until now.

    Well done Google. I think the ICS platform can really be the platform for the next 3-4 years.

  • kusine

    Sometimes small, incremental changes are better than giant leaps. I’m pretty sure the creative minds behind Android can come up with something new.

  • Dan Jones

    I know it’s a completely different thing, but this still sounds to me like when folks in the 19th century said the patent office should close down because everything that could be invented has been.

  • Kaote

    I’m guessing marketwise Android has seen its peak. The potential for new and exciting expansion however is only limited to the talent that google and the developers put behind it.

  • SigInTheHead

    I’ve never used windows phone, and have no desire to. I got stung by windows mobile, it felt as though the os was primarily a pda with a phone as an after thought. There were so many times i had to completely shut down and reboot because the phone app didn’t work correctly.

    I’ve just moved to ics from ios and am really impressed, I don’t think google need to worry too much, just as long as when a new competitor steps up they are taken seriously, isn’t that why apple did so well, IIRC someone from Nokia admitted that they didn’t take apple seriously.

  • ToonPanda

    ICS had been out for what? 2 days? And people are already stating that google is at the end of their innovations. Google has proved to be brilliant in so many different cases.

    And indeed, as said above, others will catch up forcing google to innovate if they don’t wanna be pushed off the market.

  • w9jds

    I personally believe that as long as Google is in charge, Android will always be reaching new peaks.

  • http://muddypa.ws/blog nportelli

    Sorry an OS is not just about features. Who cares if your OS of choice has all these cool features, but lacks performance am polish. Android needs to get their performance up a bit. They need to focus on how to get the ‘fragmentation’ people complain about under control. So no it has not reached it’s peak.

  • http://www.downbeattech.com ijonb

    TheMediaâ„¢ is far too shortsighted. First, of course Google can continue to innovate the mobile OS. It won’t be difficult. Just because they can’t see where the mobile future is headed doesn’t mean Google can’t.

    Second, why limit Android to a Mobile OS? We’re already seeing devices running android (Alarm Clocks, etc), but why stop there? Google already announced their intentions with the Android@Home framework. They already have our phones and have a good start on our TV’s, but just wait… they’ll have the rest of the house too.

  • dpleus

    There are lots of good points that have been mention by the other members of the community, among them fragmentation and UI. I think this is where Google needs to focus. In the last few months the Android phone market had finally begun to have a majority of users on Gingerbread, with Froyo and Eclair numbers shrinking. But, this is all part of that initial innovation and implementation push. Google was improving the software faster that phone makers and and carriers could put out updates. Now, with a lot of makers on GIngerbread and now ICS, we’ll start to see a unification of the OS.
    As far as the UI goes, even though the UI has improved dramatically with every iteration, I think we’ve come to a point where Google needs to prevent Manufacturer skinning of the OS. Back in the days of the version 1.Xs OS that need for UI skinning to make the phone more attractive to users was important, but now that Google has realized that the UI is as important and the substructure of the OS, TouchWiz, Sense, Blur, ect. have become cumbersome to the OS. I think if the manufacturers what to customize the OS they should only be able to do it via Widgets, since it’s the widgets that end-users care about more than the “overall” UI.
    At least this is my opinion.

    • Free2bbrian

      ppl always want to have the Apple vs Android debate, but when you look at OS, Android is kicking ass, when you look at devices, the new Transformer Prime can give the IPAD 2 a run for its money. I’m a die hard Android fan.

  • Stella

    There’s always room for improvement. Who know what the next innovation will be. I personally believe that Android hasn’t seen its best years yet.

  • breinhar

    For those that were arguing about apple making Siri first or if majel was first. Neither were as far as I understand. Neunce created Siri and apple bought neunce and then integrated Siri into the phone. Siri was an app before that. But at the same time google hired the founded and several engineers from neunce. So really neither can take credit other than integrating it into their os. That doesn’t mean they stole anything, that’s usually how innovation works. A small startup has a good idea and gets it rolling. A big company finds the start up and buys it. Thats how it works in many industries from pharma to technology.

  • Alexis Piraina

    Google now have to make the OS smarter, faster and lighter to give Android more apps developers.

  • dacatalyst41

    Google innovates at a high level. Thats not going to change anytime soon. As the hardware technologies advance, it also creates more room on the playing field for innovators.

  • Chazzers

    I can see why it’s hard to differentiate the difference between “tweaking” and “improving,” but is “tweaking” for the better not improvement? Yes, some changes won’t be as massive as the last, but having a rock-solid product doesn’t mean it’s going to die. Will everyone be looking for the next cool thing to dominate the market? Of course, but things can only improve to a certain extent.

    I think we’ve mastered/perfected the way we interact with our devices with touch, so our next improvement will be voice, then gesture, and finally some sort of futuristic mind input.

  • Louis A

    I have being with Android from day one since the days of the G1 (1.0). Looking back then in comparison to ICS 4.0, 4.0 is on a different level. Looking at other the OS and microsoft (what ever they call you their os) the 4.0 is on a totally different level. Has google reached it peak, I certainly don’t think so. We also have to take into account that fast and better chips come in the market so there’s a lot that can add to a mobile device with a better fast, energy saving chip. They can certainly do more in the areas of biometrics security, they can take beaming to another level by letting it beam to other device like computers, or even TV or basically devices that consumers use on the regular.
    I certainly do believe we will be seeing more better products from google and I also do believe they have only scratch the surface.

  • Tal

    With all due respect I think that question is easy and answer is almost trivial. It is “Availability & Unification of Services”.
    They need to make their services available in the leading markets and not just in the US. E.g. make GoogleVoice and even the latest Currents available in Canada, Europe, the east …
    Then finally unify the services into one platform. Like they started with the G++. Have voice, voice over IP (SIP), video, message, etc services. – all under the same roof. I don’t want 15 applications from Google to do it. I want one.

  • cristian cristiandonose

    I think there will always be room for inovation . Google cxan definetly do this. They have that by npw famous X lab.

  • DQM_Productions

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but there is one very specific area where Android has not yet caught up to iOS and really needs to: Realtime audio processing. For those Android users who are musicians and/or are into media production, you HAVE to admit that Apple has the “serious” music app market down cold. Google has been really slow to respond to this large market of users and products, and I’m baffled as to why. Major players like Moog, IK Multimedia, Line 6, Image-Line and many others have produced hardware and software for Midi/audio production on iOS and Android has nothing even remotely equivalent.

    Audio/Midi is a natural area for OS development for the future and it will be a shame if Google cedes that market entirely to Apple. They’re WAY behind on this now, and they don’t seem to care; someone’s not paying attention. If Google wants to beat Apple this HAS to be addressed.

  • bruce080

    “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
    Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, in 1899.

    • DQM_Productions

      I disagree. We won’t know what that next big thing is until it actually happens. A great deal of innovation is caused by a single person attempting to fill a need *for themselves*. That person achieves what they set out to achieve and decides to offer it to the public, either free or for profit. Others begin to try the app (or routine, or whatever) out and sometimes that idea catches on, sometimes not. But sometimes that idea catches on bigtime. Now this idea may be an improvement on something we already use, or something we never thought we needed until this person made it available, but the thing is we don’t know–until the idea arrives.

      The iPod was a big deal when it came out, as was Sony’s Walkman before it. We didn’t know we needed them until they arrived. Look at the iPod’s influence on cellphones, in general (and I’m no Apple fanboy, by ANY means). We don’t know what’s coming next; we can only be sure there WILL be something. Five, ten, years from now we’ll be doing things we can’t even imagine right this minute. It’s the way of the world. (It better be.)

      • bruce080

        Clearly you did not understand the sarcasm in my post. The quote was dated 1899. Without question, there has been a significant number of inventions and innovation in the last 100+ years since the Charles H. Duell made this statement.

        There will always be new innovation, and I think Android is just getting started.

  • elijahblake

    I would like to see Google make all manufacturers stop using their horrible skins…

    There’s not 1 skin that makes AOSP a better experience…

    Manufacturers should simply make their OWN unique widgets/apps to be exclusive on their phones..

    Also Google needs to get this update thing under control… They have got to make updates happen quicker..

  • http://a1.blogspot.com EwanRGR

    I think the big thing that may help Gogle avoid the IBM and MS (and Palm) problem is the fact that this is an open source OS. IOW, even if Google got complacent, you would still have he folks at MIUI and CyanogenMod who could continue to push features to be added. Up to now those groups have mainly tinkered at the edges, but they do provide an avenue for robust group development that could be used for adding new features just as easily.

  • Trinhbo

    Some areas that come to mind where Android can still make improvements are:

    1. The UI lag still needs to be addressed. It’s getting better but a lot of people can still perceive the lag between when you touch the screen and when the corresponding action is performed.

    2. The stock apps like the Browser, Music, and Video Player apps need to be improved. It’s nice that we have choices for these apps, but the default ones should give the user a great experience right out of the box. The stock browser crashes more than it should, the bookmark management is horrible, and I wish it could zoom in on text columns a little better. The music player app is soooo basic and I wish it was more full featured. The same can be said with the video player.

    3. They should allow for better native code support. I think a lot of games perform poorly on Android because of the Java abstraction layer. Try running something with C# and see how slowly it runs compared to its native c/c++ counterpart. As a result, I think a lot of iPhone games never get officially ported to Android because the user experience isn’t quite there.

    4. The stock icons on Android’s tray are pretty ugly. They look like cartoon icons to me. I understand where the “lack of polish” comments come from. A cleaner and more refined and sophisticated look to these icons would help the look.

    5. There should be an option to switch between UX overlays. I know it isn’t as easy as I’m making it sound but the user should have an option to switch back to stock (or any other launcher) with a simple but default switcher. We shouldn’t have to download Home Switcher or something to do this. It should be built in.

    6. There should be a way to always remove bloatware without root. I understand carriers want to force their crapps on us to make money. They have the right to do that. They subsidize the price of the phones and they want to make more money for themselves. Android should however have something in place that allows you to simply uninstall what we don’t want.

    • DQM_Productions

      I just want to address a couple of your points.

      #2. I think your experience depends on the device/vendor, don’t you? I use primarily HTC devices. I *like* their SenseUI and prefer it to MotoBlur or others I’ve tried. I think the browser on their EVO products works fine. In fact, while I use FireFox on my computers, I really don’t like the Android version much and prefer the stock HTC browser.

      While the stock music apps have generally been terrible, the new Google Music is certainly more than adequate, though I still use MixZing and WinAmp more.

      #4. The stock icons also depends on whose device you get. I just got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 and I absolutely HATE the icons on it. They look like toys for children. There are a few other issues about it, also. I’ve decided to sell it and get an HTC EVO View 4G or whatever it’s called. HTC’s not perfect (re: the Carrier IQ fiasco), but they make good-looking devices that generally work well and whose interfaces are pleasing to my eye. I also have a Xoom; it’s tolerable, but I kinda wish HTC would get a 10″ WiFi tablet out, already.

      I think I agree with point #5, though as I said, I like SenseUI. And I certainly agree with point #6, though HTC has already made it possible to remove *most* bloatware on the EVO 3D (not their best phone, BTW) and who knows what other devices.

      I’m guessing from the sound of some of your complaints that perhaps you don’t have any HTC devices. I highly recommend them to you in regards to these specific points. (They also have THE best record of OS upgrades of any manufacturer.)

      I have no connection to HTC, other than being a generally very satisfied customer.

      • Trinhbo

        #2. Yes, I agree that a user’s experience will vary with device/vendor. HTC and Samsung seem to be leaders in this area and a lot of people are shying away from Motoblur. However what I meant was that I wish Android’s stock apps were more feature rich enough so that each device/vendor would not replace them with their own versions of it. With each device/vendor changing these apps, a feature on one vendor may not be implemented with another’s.

        #4. Yeah, I agree that each device has different looks. But on a bigger scale, I was referring to the default icons in Android as in ICS. I was hoping to see a complete redesign of the icons there to just take us to a more modern look. Why does the phone icon look like this blue, over-saturated kiddy phone?

        #5 Yeah I like the look of Sense and I’m generally happy with TouchWiz as well. I know it’s not for everyone so I think a lot of users would at least like an option to go back if they don’t like what the manufacturers created.

        #6. It’s a shame that you can only remove *most* bloatware. It’s the same way with even the Galaxy which is supposed to be the full “Android” experience.

        And thanks for the reply. I’m also satisfied with the direction Android is taking. They’ve come a long way and I hope they continue to grow. They’ve done a lot to get this 90%. I’d like them to push through and finish the last 10% to make it absolutely great.

  • mcopeman23

    Man there are some great comments in this thread.

    But I would argue that Android is just getting started. Every update – for the most part – was leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. 1.0 to 1.1 to 1.5 to 1.6 was a lot of changes. 1.6 – 2.1 even more. then then the ability with flash (2.2) and hardware that could do it is where android started to hit their stride. they started to figure out what android should be and they worked on integrating their software (all could stuff we all depend on) into their devices. ICS I would say that android is NOW out of beta. They are synchronized for the most part. they will make incremental steps to the os as hardware becomes better. With the dependance on mobile, google is in the lead.

    Looking at hardware (essentially comparing them to apple) may be the wrong way to look at android. google is ubiquitous. It’s software. Hardware manufacturers use google software. It’s a partnership with different companies. Apple is hardware, unless you’re a geek or a nerd, you don’t know that apple components are from samsung and lg and dell (i think dell). it’s all apple. Apples software wears the crown.

    google will continue to rule by helping other companies succeed. The needs of other manufacturers is based on the types of customers they get. No matter what type of customers they are, google can serve them. a lot easier. they can make software to do what they need and ALL android users can then benefit from it.

    And if google all of a sudden couldn’t remember how to make software, developers pick up the slack…i guess i’m saying (hardware being able to do it) the community can be strong where google is weak.

    There was a comment above where someone mentioned audio. it is important. Google is doing stuff with cars (the self driving ones) so i think they are thinking the same thing. (apple just expedited googles plans) With the dependence on smartphones in different environments, hands free will be a necessity. But also being able to talk in a normal matter needs to happen….apple showed us that.

    But one thing that IS getting old is the competition thing. There is no #1. Apple has $80 billion in the bank…i have know idea how much google has but it’s a ton. Apple plays in two spaces: handheld and desktop. Google is there AND enterprise AND tons of other places….because they are software driven i would suspect. And they sell ads

    In the big picture Apple will only succeed if you come into their ecosystem. Google will succeed if you play in any ecosystem.
    The upside being there are many places for google to learn. The downside there are more places to fail.

    A bigger problem may be the lack of publics understanding between a pure google experience and oem skins. they are all android, but slightly different. different sources. different reasons for not getting updates, different plans…but i think all can negatively effect googles brand- especially if a manufacturer makes a crappy product with google software (thinking coby and whatever else is uber cheap and cheaply made at best buy right now)

  • nipun aggarwal

    its us the true lover and fans of android ,its our urge to see android improving day by day,,…its our trust which gives fellows at google to do more …

  • auronblue

    I don’t believe Android has peaked at all. With ICS i think that Google is just now starting to exhibit the kind of intuitive and polished experience that will make Android more accessible to all. Android has a far steeper learning curve than iOS, mostly because it gives the user the capability to do so many things with their devices. Their is a considerable amount of power available and ICS is the step necessary to make that power intuitive to access. While the occasional new feature is desirable (i.e. NFC, facial recognition) and makes Android more marketable, it will be the continued syncing of services and polish of the OS that will keep Android on top of the mobile OS landscape.

  • itzxdjx

    The thing is android can change the ui if thats not considered improvements then i dont want to know what they feel about iOS…what they need to do witch wont happen is have one phone so it easier for people to know witch is best but thats going against there rush startegy.

    • classic_hero

      yea and having only one phone is terrible for business

  • superusermode

    Biggest threat to Android that I see isn’t from all the lawsuits but from the incompatibilities not from just the different versions of Android but from the different architectures as well (ARM, MIPS, x86). Every time you pick up a device you aren’t sure what will work and what won’t because of the type of architecture or its variation of it. I’ve seen plenty of posts where people have bought an Android tablet for less money than an iPad thinking it was going to do everything that the iPad does, but doesn’t because nobody has compiled this program or that program to run on that architecture. And while CPU speed and amount of RAM may be different, overall, the OS really needs to handle the architecture variations, not the shopper.

  • Logan Jinks

    Google is currently working on a service that is invented to rival Siri. I think as long as one company can innovate Google should at least produce something to compete. I doubt that android has reached its penicle since the point of most innovation are the fact that you never thought of it before.

  • http://justinpulsifer.com/ ferman

    I’d argue that Google needs to start reinventing android right now. Not in the since of UI but the back end. I think the UI is great and they need to just pull a few things closer together to make sure everything is more unified. The back end on the other hand from my understanding is still gimped to the max. Android needs to be optimized for TI,Qualcomm, and Samsung processors. It needs to rework its whole framework to actually be optimized for touch screens instead of throwing a touch screen O an OS that was originally compete with RIM. Google needs to rework all of that now that they have a huge market share because people will be willing to code for something that tons of people have still. I’d argue they need to tighten up their licensing and policies a little bit more for the manufacturers. I could go on about all of this for days. Google can innovate Android a bunch but if they don’t secure certain things now they won’t be able to innovate how they want because so many people will get lost with something so new.

    TLDR: Google still has a lot of work to do.

  • Martjn2

    Android has been improved every since day one and the development is always there. Ios looks almost the same as for 3-4 years ago. Android ang google is the future since it’s a open source os and it has all the oem’s
    Android<3

  • aaroncoffman3

    Come on, like everyone else has said (maybe because it’s so obvious), Android is constantly evolving and upgrading. With as fast paced as the tech world is how can you even think Android has reach a peak? To me I think this is only the beginning, and I’m already excited as hell!

  • mackdaddy22

    Yes, because technology just stops. There can be nothing else invented that will surpass the awesomeness that is Android right “now”. I didn’t even read the article but I scoff at the idea.

  • cb2000a

    well my phone can’t read my mind…yet. There are many new innovations to come. The one that will excite me is folding screens. Imagine phone the size of a current phone with a 3.7 inch screen folding out to a 7 inch screen.

    • flamesbladeflcl

      yeah but no one liked the echo

  • HoLfElDeR

    They will invent smtg new, that is why google is best, mabey they have the nex best thing but they just wait for the poerfect moment

  • supercaliber64

    Microsoft dominated smart phone’s for nearly 10 years until BB was released. Because of business’s BB became the standard device. Now that iOS and Android are top dog’s we talking about hitting the roof? If Microsoft or BB releases a product that changes everything, yes, Android hit the roof. Till then, no one will be able to compete with Android. So many people have gmail accounts. Add in that you can store your music to your account, keep a single calendar, keep track of stocks, easily connects to maps, connect to any social site anywhere, access the complete internet, not just mobile site and ones without flash, etc etc, Android is not going anywhere. Just a imagine when everyone has 4G and gigibit internet @home? Turn on-off your lights or x-mas or make sure your garage is shut while your a mile in the air. Sync your watch heart rate monitor with your My Tracks log with a spread sheet to see how your work out went. It’s endless, is Microsoft or Blackberry or Apple for that matter anywhere close to this? NO. I didn’t even mention GTV yet.

  • Brook Marin

    as an example of new spaces that android can branch out into check out these ski goggles with android built in!!!

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/08/mod-and-mod-live-android-ski-goggles-give-extreme-analytics-we/

  • vicitor

    who knows what they’re brewing up in the Google X Labs? I’m sure they have mind blowing things in for the future.

  • Fabio R

    New things will always appear. Like before the iphone nobody thought a phone could become more than a phone

    • flamesbladeflcl

      yes no one thought a phone could be more then a phone, except those with plam os or windows moible devices. (in which case it was a phone and a device to spend hours playing bejeweled)

  • Cody Callaway

    Google’s biggest enemy is not just iOS and WP7 it is with the OEMs that run Android. If they don’t start taking some time and make their buggy skins better than they will surely drag Android down. Google needs to bring back that 18 month promise they told us about that they have been all but silent on this past six months. This plan needs to be strictly enforced as WP7 is on its way up and I think will have a huge year. Mango is no longer the OS that is way behind Android and iOS as it once was and they have “new and innovative” on their side. People get bored especially when having to deal with slow updates and crippling bugs. iOS has leveled out and I think Android can keep some of it’s growth, but I think WP7 will be the real winner this year. I mean they wont catch up to Android and I dont know if they will for a long time, but after 3 years with iOS and 2 years with Android I have to say WP7 has something in Mango. Even on phones that are a year behind the specs that Android phones are running they run much smoother and look much different, but it doesn’t (and most likely wont) run skins that will slow updates to a crawl. OEMs have no real reason to keep their phones up to date when they are releasing a phone every quarter with just minimal specs over the other. Look at Motorola they released the Bionic then released the Razr just a couple months later (same specs but smaller size), and now is rumored to launch a Droid4 (which is a Razr/Bionic with a keyboard), and now we are seeing rumors of a Razr HD. Let me remind you these are all on the same network (Verizon) and all within 4 months? That is not taking care of their customers. I am all for choice, but when the choice is keyboard or skinnier phone or a little better screen res and it takes 4 phones in 4 months to do it that is nothing short of silly. Like i said Google needs to get things on track and tighten the reigns or our beloved Android will find itself in a situation much like MS did with Windows mobile. MS learned from its mistakes and for the first time since the XBox has really innovated on the software front and came with something new and different and the last couple months has been getting rave reviews from a lot of industry giants.

  • Blake Britton

    I think the appropriate question is, Has iOS reached its peak?

    • flamesbladeflcl

      about 3 years ago, at least.

  • donger

    android and ios will improve themselves due to competition.

  • jdawg334

    Nah Google/Andrdroid is here to stay and is a way bigger company than Apple will ever be. You see many Iphone users downloading google apps from their app store but you dont see it the other way around. Most Iphone users probable even use Google as their search engine. Google implements their succesful internet services into their phones. Microsoft is probably a larger threat probably. Google is putting Android into cars as well. Where are the Apple or Microsoft entertainment systems in cars?

    As far as strictly Android phones go, it looks like Iphone is playing catch up. Google Voice search was around way before Siri. Latitude was around before IOS5′s Find My Friends. OTA updates were always part of Android and until IOS5, you had to plug you Iphone into your PC to update it. There is only one Iphone and you get what one manufacturer likes in a phone. However Droid comes all sorts of colors and styles and then you can customize your screens as well.

  • sdtrinity3

    All the companies involved are closer than they want us to think.

    “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a good description of Google’s relationship with Apple, by feeding iDevices’ search and map. Google paying as much as $100 million to Apple in shared revenue last year.

    Apple & Samsung should learn the phrase “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

    And Microsoft is making more from android than they would from selling fruity phones.

  • Jason Hernandez

    Where there is a will, there is an A – ndroid innovation. So long as there is incentive, Google and the other major players will continue to improve the products they sell us. Whatever happened to dreaming big? Maybe we should channel some Aldous Huxley in order to get some real innovation going…

  • http://www.baldypal.com Adam Jones

    In my opinoin, Google has hit a milestone, but they are no where near the peak. With a group full of brainstorming developers like google, I’ll give them 1.5 years TOPS at the latest. And if we don’t here about android 4.1 or 5.0, i’ll be VERY surprised!

  • ralphwiggum1

    Essentially, all the hardware is almost the same for the past few years. Just faster.

    Google needs to change up the smartphone and not just try to make it faster, but also force more consistencies between Google-certified Android devices. Less variation means better developer experience leading to a better user experience.

    Other devices running Android-based software should not be called Android (just like the Kindle Fire, which isn’t quite Android but built on top of Android).

  • custeve217

    Phones are advancing so fast I can’t imagine what the next “Big Thing” will be. I’d love to see integarion into cars and such the way MIcrosoft did with Sync.

  • _Diego

    I think it hasn’t. It’s not because we can’t think of any huge improvement or next big feature that there isn’t one (or multiple). I’m sure Google will surprise us all and we’ll be goggling yet again! Mayby that won’t be in the first few months, but I expect something between one and one and a half years…

  • cavescera

    No way has it peaked. I don’t see it flatlining for quite a while. There are things that are out there that we haven’t thought of yet that are likely being worked on. Frankly, I’m so excited by what the future brings.

    I have an iPad (but dying for a Android Tablet), and have had an iPhone, and went Evo 4G> Moto Droid Razr. It’s not even close to me. I get that Apple products “Just work…” but I’m not sure how much of that is actual marketing spin, and what is reality.

    • ruvort

      the reason why apple products seem to “just work” and are lag free is because they limit its ability to run multiple processes thus making whatever you are doing seem very responsive, when in reality its just due to the fact they aren’t multitasking.

      • andy_spoo

        I disagree. The reason why Apple apps ‘just work’ is, if I write an app to work on a 4S, it’ll run on all other 4S’s ok, as they’re all the same (apart from memory capacity).

        If I write an app for Android, it’s going to be used on hundreds of different makes and models, some with big screen, some with small, different processors, different OS wrappers, different hardware, etc. etc. It’s bloody hard!

  • fozziemusic

    I would like to see some good competition & crossover between business-orientation of window stuff (win8?) and android. I expect Google to get more into that to broaden tablet use even more.

  • ruvort

    one thing that I’ve kept an eye on and think it would be a great addition to the android tablet arsenal is Cornerstone. The multitasking offered with that project would be ideal for people who are serious about tablets replacing traditional laptops and netbooks. I think adding that down the road will really press android further ahead in the mobile computing market.

  • F-B

    Why would being at the top (imho) of the food-chain mean that company / software stops developing? This is a true test for Google, measuring how innovative they truly are. I still have high expectations of future developments for android, and I wish they can do more than just copying Siri from Apple…

  • denis2la

    Я думаю что это не пик для Android. Ещё не мало выедет топовых телефонов на андройде!!! Так как Люди стремятся покупать новый устройства по всему миру и Android Лидирует в этом!!!!! Так что Android процветает!! и пусть радует всех владельцев этих девайсов!!!!! я за Android!!!!

  • brixred

    We’re just getting into the innovation we can harness with touchscreens in general. If Apple has a good idea, or Android has a good idea, chances are there will be some flavor of that idea reflected in both (if not more) platforms.

    I really don’t think Android has anything to worry about. It’s just a matter of people thinking of better uses for cloud computing, and touchscreen UI interactivity. Sad thing is people buy more games than anything for their phones, so you’ve got to find the right niche outside of that to become innovative in.

    Think people, I SAID THINK!!!!!!

  • mydroidbuddy

    Welp, next maybe android can get a better advertising team? That dumb Siri is getting all the attention, when Android HAD Sam.

  • weezeremo

    Wow some people wrote some serrious books. Biggest new thing is BATTERIES! to run these devices period. I play with rc cars and the tech in lipo batteries is amazing and newish. Incredible run times and power and charge times that will get your panties wet. Direct DC charge can fully charge in minutes…. Imaguine a cell phone with a 2 min charge time and a 3 week run time… its possible and whomever can do it first will be the next big thing

    • Angel

      Forget about cell phones, I want my electric car to have these batteries….

  • Wadya

    Android needs to dedicate a separate process thread to UI rendering. Also, it needs to give highest priority to the process thread that renders UI on phone screen. This will make Android Phone UI as responsive and as fluid as iPhone UI. Please read more at:

    https://plus.google.com/100838276097451809262/posts/VDkV9XaJRGS

    Android certainly can make voice function feature as rich as iOS Siri..

    Android should encourage more browser based Apps than Native Apps.

  • Ben Rodriguez

    What kind of question is this? NO, OF COURSE ANDROID HAS NOT REACHED ITS PEAK. HOLY CRAP I JUST DISCOVERED CAPS LOCK ON MY CHROMEBOOK.

  • Mr_Armageddon

    Competition will hopefully keep Google on its toes.
    My brother and Mom both have Windows Phone devices that I recommended to them because they wanted stupid simple, and I couldn’t willingly suggest iOS. They love their phones, and the 7.5 ipdate really improved the platform. Long way to go to be a real threat to Android, but hopefully will keep Google honest and innovating.

  • http://cesarquinteros.com cquinterox

    I don’t think they’ve reached a block. Their services are finally starting to come together and it can only get better with better integration.

  • smeghead68

    Android is no where near its peak. There is always room to grow. Now if i could only predict what the consumer wants next i’d be a billionaire!

  • madtnotn

    I think there is still room for growth with the Android platform.

  • http://w4tr.com Sean-Franc

    I’ve always rendered Android as a crowd-sourced mobile platform. Real problems, addressed with real pragmatic solutions, no delusions of grandeur.

    In 2008, the G1 hit the market with a few new ideas, one of them being that users should be able to adjust their phone to fit a purpose or need. This was an incredibly risky move, and Google took a lot of heat for that decision. Amidst the seemingly perfect and intuitive iPhone, Android sought out a different path: let the user define their experience. A shaky start, but after 3 years Android has evolved to ICS, finally bringing in a much needed and well thought out aesthetic, innovating in an atmosphere where its competitors have sought out nit-picky patents and lawsuits just to push their vertical platform.

    Android has not reached a plateau. There is no finish line for Android, it will continue to evolve and innovate every six months on schedule. As long as Google continues to care, Android will continue to soar.

  • andy_spoo

    There’s still plenty Google can do, some of which is basic, together with the hardware makers. I’d like an ‘oh so old’ infa-red port so I can control all of my tv’s, stereos etc.

    As fas as I know (which isn’t much, I’d admit!) I’d like developers to be able to record and play sounds directly to the speaker and mike – I don’t think any mobile OS or hardware currently allows this.

    Text to speech still needs a revamp. The voices on Android really suck.

    The satnav app is poor. Blue direction lines on a blue motorway – thanks for that!

    Make a USB IO device so we can use our new phone to control our old phone and control everything in the house from afar.

    Finger print recognition for security – been around for years on some laptops.

    I know the suggestions I’m making are mostly hardware, but if you haven’t got the software to run them they’re not going to work.

  • laxlover22

    Never in a Million years! Android for life!!

  • Waspdroid

    This is still only the beginning I would say. Just look at how other products have evolved.

  • aykutb

    well it should have but android devs are very surprising people, so hard working that i wouldn’t be surprised if they hit us with some new and amazingly usefull sh**. one of the best would be figuring out a solution to give processor priority for UI tho, it’d dramatically change the game that android is already winning.

  • ruvort

    Did you get dropped on your head a lot as a child? Your post is full of misinformation …..