In the wake of the announcement of Chrome OS discussion of Android, the other Google operating system, has died down a bit. This has been a little disheartening for fans of the little green robot, which is why Andy Rubin spoke out yesterday about the future of Android. It was reassuring to say the least.
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Rubin stated that users need 'different technologies for different solutions', which is basically what I said right after the announcement. Chrome is a browser-based OS, designed primarily for netbooks and MIDs and other gadgets built around Internet use. Android is a much more versatile operating system, and it was clearly built with more potential uses in mind.
That's exactly how Rubin views things, at least. “With Android, there can be 1,000s of different products built, and the magic here is that all those products can be compatible and all of them can be hosted by the same marketplace.”
Rubin also showed a lot of confidence that Android would one day equal or exceed Apple's market penetration with the iPhone. That's an extremely bold claim to make, but the folks at Google have built a tech empire on being bold. Android certainly has the potential to be huge. We need to keep in mind that, right now, the OS is still extremely new. It's just now starting to be adopted by a wide range of smartphones and netbooks.
Over the next year or two, I think we'll see an exponential increase in the number of Android related devices. If this new wave of Android smartphones proves successful, it's very possible that we could see more Android-running phones than iPhones someday soon. Of course, Google isn't only interested in success in the mobile market. Rubin even predicted that,
“…the way Android is distributed will continue to delight us over time, and Android will be put in things we never even imagined possible.”
As the number and variety of gadgets continues to increase the potential market for Android will grow ever larger. As long as Google keeps updating and improving the OS (and they've shown no sign of stopping. The next OS update, Donut, is coming soon. Eclair and Flan are planned for later on.) I think that we will see Android get more and more popular.