The Tilt Toward Android Is Only In Its Infancy
It's still hard to believe that only a year ago, Google's Android OS seemed stalled, where months passed with only one handset based on it in existence. Fast forward to today, and it's Springtime for Android, with more than 30 handsets based on it, and many non-phone implementations of it. What a difference a year can make.
Still, just as it was easy to wonder if Android had failed on arrival, it's easy to forget how far the operating system can still go, especially because it is open source and because application developers have warmed up to it. A look at current news and the past show how far Android can still go.
Just yesterday, as Mobile Burn reports, Skyfire's CEO Jeff Glueck said that his company is stopping work on a BlackBerry version of Skyfire to focus on Android, noting carrier and manufacturer interest. Not only are carriers and manufacturers warming up to Android, developers increasingly are. Google recently confirmed that there are over 30,000 applications for Android, and that the number doubled in only three months.
The fact that the number of Android applications doubled in three months is nothing to shake a stick at. Historically, application developer enthusiasm has been a strong predictor of the success of a hardware platform. Also, Android is now a major, buzzworthy operating system, giving it mindshare momentum. Let's not forget that Microsoft Windows languished with few users for years before it had much traction. Only when version 3.0 of Windows and the 386 chip from Intel arrived in tandem did the OS start to take off.
Windows isn't open source, though, and that is yet another advantage that Android has. It is already out in several distributions, and folks like Motorola (with its MotoBlur user interface) are putting new interfaces on top of the OS. In every way, when extrapolating Android's still very young momentum out into the future, it's worth remembering that what comes later may be much more significant than what we see now.