Aug 09 AT 2:45 PM Nick Sarafolean 20 Comments

Android has a bright future


When you watch something for a while, you begin to notice the details of it. The small intricacies that make an object, person, place or anything, unique. Seeing all those details, you can begin to know more about what you’re watching. What it does, where it’s been and where it’s going. Six years with Android and it’s easy to see where it’s going. Android has a bright future ahead.

Google brought forth a storm of announcements at Google I/O 2014. Embedded inside all of the news were two things that secured the years ahead for Android. Beginning with Android One, Google set Android on a course to tackle growing markets throughout the world. Android One is a program by Google that gives manufacturers reference designs to create low-cost, high-quality (for their intended country) smartphones.

Android One

Budget smartphones have long been the bane of Android’s existence. There was a time when people simply were adverse to Android phones because the market had been flooded by cheap, low-quality Android phones. Rather than allowing these to continue to taint Android in other countries, Google is combating budget phones with Android One. Android One is what Android needed all along. It gets high-quality Android phones into people’s hands, often as their first smartphone. As those people look to upgrade in the future, they haven’t been put off by Android but are rather looking for a higher-end Android device, bringing new customers into the main Android fold.

With Android One assisting growth, Android should have no shortage of customers in the coming years. There’s more to Android’s future than growth, though. Android has a major enhancement coming with Android L and Material Design.

Since its roots, Android has been plagued by fragmentation and lack of cohesion. The problem only grew worse over time when Google split phones and tablets into two separate branches of Android. With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google reunited the two. The problem wasn’t solved, however, as users were on multiple versions of Android and not everybody was getting the same Android experience.

Since that point, Google has been making small steps to unifying Android, especially with other Google products and services. Android has received speed improvements and requires less RAM and processing power to run. This has allowed, in theory, more low-end Android phones to gain newer versions of Android. With Android L and Material Design, Google is taking the unity to a whole new level.

Android L brings forth an even faster Android. As with KitKat, Android L requires less power to run than previous versions of Android. But Android L is also bringing in Material Design. Material design is Google’s new design language that will span across all Google software. While the approach may seem large and overbearing, it’s something that Android has long needed. Google’s products have always felt separate from one another, even though they’re used in close conjunction. Android, as well, has had varying styles throughout, a product of open source and fragmentation. Material Design will finally ensure that Google’s products actually feel like they’re from, well, Google.

A large benefit of a cohesive design is that it gives Android identity. Over time, Material Design will become what people associate with Google, and in turn, Android. People will see software using Material Design, and immediately recognize it as something using Google software. Whether that’s Android, Chrome or something else, Material Design links them together. Once those people begin using Material Design, they’ll likely want to stick to products that incorporate. Material Design will become what feels natural to them, and Android will benefit from that.

Looking ahead, Android has great road in front of it. As we continue to watch Android, we should see it grow further, and in ways and places that we may not have expected. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • BlazeHN

    Live long to the good guy Android. We will follow it for years and years as it get closer and closer to its perfection.

  • uknowme

    Nice write up. Good to see some quality back here.

    • Nick Sarafolean

      Hey, thanks! Sorry about some of my last few editorials. They’ve been pretty, well, meh.

  • NOKIA historian

    NOKIA 2006:
    Nokia has a bright future, buy Nokia stock! SymbianOS rules the mobile phones world and Siemens Mobile is a perfect partner

    2007: Ahh, iPhone will flop for sure its only for geeks

  • JonGarrett

    with iOS 7, 8 and 9 stealing more and more features from Android, Fiddle needs to do something that will ensure iOS stays years behind.

    • NG

      Actually Google’s doing a lot more: There’s Android Silver(same as Android One, but the refrence design is for high-cost devices), Android Wear(3 watches). Other than Android, there’s Project Ara(for a modular smartphone), Google Glass. And if you still want to know more about Google’s ongoing projects, read about Google X.

      • NG

        Who’s Fiddle…BTW?

        • Nick Sarafolean

          Genuinely curious to find out the answer to this.

        • JonGarrett

          lol, auto correct. I meant Google.

      • guest

        Well Android One is not going to be of much interest to potential iPhone customers. Neither is Android Wear since Apple is going to come out with its own wearable – be it iTime or iWatch – and Android Wear won’t be compatible with an iPhone and iTime/iWatch won’t be compatible with an Android so people will choose one OS over the other. Same when it comes to both versions automobile products

        • Mlucky

          Do we really need wearable devices right now? Personally… I don’t think that we do. It just a waste of cash. BTW. what right minded Android users would switch over to Apple closed system…. And for a watch…

  • destardi

    Look at your keyboard; person clearly meant to swipe ‘google’ instead of fiddle lol

  • Menteng Jaya
  • Russ

    HTC One! Xbox One! Oneplus One! Android One! I think every electronic device or software should be called “One” now.

  • Guest

    The larger iPhone 6 and the changes in iOS 8 such as third party keyboards are going to be hugely popular, and steal Android customers. No doubt.

    As someone with a Nexus 5 and a Macbook Pro, I keep being torn. I feel Im not getting the most out of my Mac because I don’t have an iPhone. Im used to Android and am somewhat invested in it,but at the same time, my Android devices continue to have problems that my iPhone friends never have.

    I wish Google would get L out there sooner than later…Dont wait till a month after the iPhone release. Fragmentation and other shortfalls are issues, and its easier to just get a new iPhone every time. Im just not sure what features Id miss but everyone I know has an iPhone and no one ever seems unhappy.

    • thel0nerang3r

      No, fragmentation is an issue to those that don’t know what they re talking about. If you have 4.1 or 4.3 or 4.4, what as the user are you missing?…I’ll wait….. Is there an app that will not run? Google has moved the core apps to the PlayStore, as HTC, Motorala, Samsung and others have done so they can be updated. Apple claims that all iPhones get the software, it’s true, they do, but they don’t all get all the features. Remember when Siri launched? could you get it on any of the previous models? No you couldn’t, so please stop the FUD of “Android fragmentation” because that means nothing to the user.

    • tmihai20

      I have 2 words: battery life and customizations. What could you get from an iPhone that you are not already doing with a Nexus 5?

  • Alan

    I really hope Android L sorts out the battery life – on Saturday I started with a full battery at 11am when leaving the house and had to keep using airplane mode and switching data off to eke it through to 1am (with the main battery drain being the screen and Google Play Services according to the stats). By comparison my friends with iPhones were using them more than me but ending the day well over 50% battery remaining. A friend who had a Nexus 5 like me had the same battery issues. I love Android but battery life is appalling compared to iOS – I’ve had SGS2 and 3 before and had similar issues :(

    • tmihai20

      Well, I own a Nexus 5 and battery life was actually better than what everybody has been saying. If you install dozens of apps, then you can’t possibly expect Android to correct apps misbehaving. Since it is easy to unlock it, I would recommend installing a custom kernel. This is how I roll: stock Android and Franco’s kernel. I got 50%more battery life out of my Nexus 5.

  • Parks Daniel

    Nice tutorial Google launch Android L with some extra features. Lock screen appears with notification is a great feature. Android L will helpful for Developers & features of all Android OS has prove that Android Has a bright future.