2013: The Year of Android Platforms
In case you missed it, there were a handful of Android devices announced at CES. The Sony Xperia Z looks pretty slick, but other than that, I’m not particularly excited about any of the new devices. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that manufacturers are continuing to innovate and create more powerful and beautiful phones on the Android platform. However, there are a couple of bigger things in store for Android in 2013.
Last summer Ouya surpassed its Kickstarter goal, actually receiving 9x the money they set out to raise. The tiny Android-based gaming console with an open design set a Kickstarter record, proving there is plenty of room for hackable Android-based devices in the saturated gaming market. With dev consoles already having been shipped and pre-orders shipping in April, game devs will have yet another platform on which to market their games very soon. The fact that Ouya is a fork of the Android platform means that existing games can be ported to the platform rapidly, and new gaming experiences that are not comfortable in the confines of a touchscreen device can now thrive on what was previously a strictly mobile platform.
Now that Amazon has three Android-based Kindle Fire models under its belt, they’ve made it clear that they’re very serious about owning a share of the mobile device market. The obvious next step is to introduce a phone that runs their heavily modified Android OS, and rumors of such a device point to a summer 2013 release. Hell, they’re probably more qualified than Google to be selling their own devices. And it looks like they’re serious about marketing.
Although I don’t know many people who own a Kindle Fire, I believe Amazon could make a huge impact in the smartphone market, especially if they offer several models (of varying prices) as they have with the tablets. With Amazon’s history of pushing its Prime subscriptions, I could even imagine some sort of deal that involved getting a free month/year of Prime with the purchase of a phone, making it that much more enticing for consumers who are overwhelmed by the variety of options out there.
The Future of Android
If 2012 was the year of high quality Android phones, then 2013 will be the year of Android platforms. The fanboys will most likely continue the iOS vs. Android debate, but in my opinion, this is the point in time where it starts to become irrelevant. You can’t deny that Android is destined to be much more than a single smartphone platform, driven by a single company, satisfying a single use case. Like Amazon, more companies will fork the OS for their own smartphones, and I’m guessing that Ouya is only the beginning of an onslaught of Android-based (non-mobile) devices that will rock the development community in the coming years. I’m excited.
P.S. - Other Considerations
- Samsung Approved For Enterprise (SAFE) program.
- Facebook phone rumors.
- Ubuntu for Android and the Ubuntu phone.
Powerful. Unfortunately, not in its entirety.
(Weirdly, I discovered this via music. Not for everyone, but if you enjoy/tolerate metal, you can hear it in its entirety, to suspenseful/eery music by purchasing this track by The Chariot:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008YAO2PC/ref=dm_dp_trk10?ie=UTF8&qid=1357347611&sr=8-2 (no, the free sample doesn’t have it)).
This song/video was released in 2011, but of the music I listened to and/or discovered in 2012, this was my favorite track.
I owe Wayne many thanks for the optimism and drive he hath bestowed. This is what I live for.