As part of the open handset alliance, an allegiance between all of the biggest phone companies bar that big bully Apple, Android was responsible for an impressive 75% of smartphone sales in 2012.
So what’s next? Well with a couple of phones and some interesting developments in wearable tech, Android’s growth doesn’t show any signs of slowing.
Google Now is available um, now, to anyone with Jelly Bean 4.1. It’s an extension of the search function, essentially a personal assistant that makes Siri look like a post-it note. It syncs with your calendar, various news sources and other apps to feed you the right information at the right time.
This came in handy for a friend recently who forgot an important meeting. Now informed her she had a meeting in 35mins and that it would take her 20mins to walk so she had better get a move on!
This integration between technology and our personal lives will be seen by many as intrusive but for me it’s inevitable. And awesome.
Google Now will undoubtedly work a treat on Google Glass – Google’s new Android based high tech specs. This new level of wearable tech will truly revolutionise the way we interact with our devices for years to come.
Google recently made the software kernel underlying Glass publicly available to download. This was off the back of Glass being “jailbroken”. However Stephen Lau, lead engineer for Glass, brought everyone down a peg or two saying, in true Google fashion, it was all intentional.
“Not to bring anybody down… but seriously… we intentionally left the device unlocked so you guys could hack it and do crazy fun shit with it.”
As with all such technology the Geeks got their hands on it and had some fun. The kernel software seems to suggest that the Glasses will be NFC enabled and interestingly, you’ll be able to take a picture by winking. Less interestingly, as Robert Scoble (whom you should Circle on G+) displayed, you can wear the Glasses in the shower.
The internet is saturated with rumours about Google’s next big development in the smart phone market. After Google’s purchase of Motorola in 2011 speculation was rife with what Google would do with the phone franchise.
Google are currently ploughing through the Motorola product line and there’s a sense that their first real crack at the higher end of smartphone market is imminent.
According to fairly reliable tipster @evleaks, the Google branded Motorola X Phone is currently codenamed Ghost but the spec ranges with the rumours. We will surely get more details at Google’s keynote speech later this month, which Inner-Geek will have you covered on.
Rumoured spec details include:
• 4.7-inch with full 1080p
• Quad-core Tegra 4i processor.
• 32GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM
• 16 Megapixel camera in the rear and 5 megapixels on the front
• 2GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU.
• 4,000mAh battery. Motorola have a good rep with batteries but come on guys, you’re embarrassing your rivals now. Good if they can keep the weight down.
• Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (or the shiny new Key Lime Pie).
• Rubber corners, carbon fibre back – but these details could be customisable.
It is this customisation which should be most exciting for all you geeks. Guy Kawasaki, a Motorola advisor, recently hinted that we might be able to “personalise” the x-phone.
The level in which we might be able to customise the x-phone is subject to varying degrees of speculation; anything from the type of case to internal storage. There has even been a mention of an online login area where users can preload apps and wallpaper onto their x-phone for a truly out-the-box experience.
Given the huge popularity of the Nexus 4 (see the G+ community, it’s full of fanboys of the highest order, come and say hello to us) it’s of no surprise to see the Nexus 5 rumours circulating.
Some rumours suggest the Nexus 5 will have a 5.2in OLED display with a Full HD (1,920×1,080) resolution. The rumours also suggest it will have a similar processor to the X-phone, a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor running at 2.3GHz, and 3GB of PDDR3 memory.
However the rumour that piqued my interest was the camera. Google’s recent patent of a GPS-assisted camera could debut on the Nexus 5, allowing users to take better photos utilising the phone’s light and temperature sensors and the accelerometer.
Details of the Nexus 5 are even sketchier than the X-Phone however. I’m not convinced it will be as powerful as the spec listed above as Nexus’ (or Nexii?) are traditionally powerful but priced low to give us poor people a chance to experience Android’s finer features.
Details are unlikely to be announced at the I/O conference but I expect it will be released October 2013 (a year after the Nexus 4) and hopefully in time for it to rock Key Lime Pie.
As ever Inner-Geeks, we will keep you posted, but for now you will just to dream and salivate slightly over the glorious prospects that Google and Co have in store for us.