Science and Tech
Google Finally Has a Unified, Long-Term Roadmap for Android Success

Devin Connors | 27 Jun 2014 14:50
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Google Android Roadmap 3x3

Up until this week, Google's Android strategy was a bit of a mess. An attractive mess with millions upon millions of users, but a sticky situation nonetheless.

Google I/O 2014 changed all that, from top to bottom, and now Google is poised for global success through and through.

First, let's cover the big reveal that I didn't cover in the immediate wrap-up a few days ago: Android One. Starting with India, Google now has a definitive strategy for emerging and/or poorer markets in place. India is not a country where flagship and mid-range devices are the norm; entry-level hardware is the golden goose for its millions of smartphone-craving citizens. With Android One, Google will work directly with a handful of hardware manufacturers to keep such entry-level hardware in the pipeline year after year, and it will also help subsidize data costs with India's telecom giants.

Google has always been successful in established markets like North America and Europe, but it never had a definitive strategy for emerging markets. Android One changes all that, and now Google is poised to beat Apple in markets most recently dominated by Nokia feature phones. Once India is rolling in the Androids, Google will expand, presumably to South America, Africa, and other parts of Asia.

But what about those established markets? What does Google have in store for us?

A march towards that same Continuous Client goal that Apple shot for during its WWDC keynote a few weeks ago.

This is where global domination really comes into focus. Google wants Android on your phone, your tablet, your wrist, your TV, and in your car, and it has outlined exactly how that's going to happen.

The tablet and phone components are already in place, thanks in large part to Samsung (and lest we forget LG and HTC). But the smartwatch game is new territory, previously occupied by largely unattractive offerings from Samsung and Sony. Pebble is the strongest competitor here, from a design perspective, but it lacks the deep tie-ins that Android Wear will bring to Android phone users. Samsung and LG are selling Android Wear watches right now, and Motorola will bring its darling to market by the end of the Summer. Voice commands, and true integration with your calendar, etc. make Android Wear a powerhouse before it's even widely adopted.

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