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The Android Invasion Cometh; Is Resistance Futile?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the does-google-live-in-a-cube dept.

Google 410

DeviceGuru writes "Last month, we learned from Gartner that Android will probably be the number-two worldwide mobile OS this year, and may lead the pack by 2014. With Android's growing use as the OS embedded in phones, in tablets, in set-top boxes, and in LCD HDTVs, it seems like the Linux-based OS could end up dominating the entire non-PC consumer device operating system space. What do Slashdot readers think: Is resistance futile?"

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There is still long way to go (4, Interesting)

weachiod (1928554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023460)

I think the article is forgotting that there are already many widespread OS that are taking up that market. I and obviously other geeks love Android because it could mean more open devices for us, but we aren't seeing the whole picture either because it's not in news every day.

The "problem" is the same as with Opera. People think it's not as widespread as it's barely in news and their stuff isn't blastered all over your face all the time. However Opera dominates on embedded devices, televisions (especially in hotels!), mobile phones, even Nintendo Wii.

Windows variants are also the same. Windows 7, Windows CE and Windows Mobile are majorly used but it's not always so obvious. When you take a flight all the televisions in airports run Windows. When you go to ATM they run special version of Windows CE. Some hotel TV's also run Windows. With the upcoming Microsoft tablets and Windows Phone 7, it will get even more marketshare. Windows is also used pretty much in every organization and company.

If Android actually wants to take over all of that, it will be a long road. I hope they do, but I'm not so sure they will. Microsoft is good with business relationships and marketing and thats the point. It's not a small market and Windows is already dominating it.

Re:There is still long way to go (2, Interesting)

vsage3 (718267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023548)

When you take a flight all the televisions in airports run Windows.

Agree with what you said for the most part, but I just wanted to point out that I think Linux is used behind the scenes too. For example, on a long flight back to the U.S. while I was flying with a major European carrier, the entertainment system crashed and I saw the Linux penguin pop up on the screen. I agree though: especially in the states, most of the displays you see on walls in buildings are Windows.

Re:There is still long way to go (0, Troll)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024126)

What? LINUX-based system crashed??? Nooooo!!! You are a LIAR! This is... UN-possible!

Re:There is still long way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34024200)

With the right kernel-based module, crashings inevitable ;)

Java is a safe investment already (0)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023678)

Investing in Java is a safe bet in any case, even if predicting the future is always a risky proposition.

Re:Java is a safe investment already (2, Insightful)

ebuck (585470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023952)

Don't say that on Slashdot. This site demands that the most used and popular programming language of this time is nothing more than a bad fad which will die away leaving people the open space to write Perl scripts just like they way they used to.

Re:Java is a safe investment already (1, Redundant)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024106)

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Oracle seems to be doing everything in their power to gut the core of the Java community, so until a strong non-Oracle/Sun maintainer with deep pockets (ahem, IBM) steps in to pick up the slack, I'd stay away from Java as the basis for building a full platform.

Re:There is still long way to go (4, Insightful)

Jezza (39441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023946)

Are we sure we want Android taking over all of that? I don't. I think a single OS dominating is a bad idea - like growing nothing but potatoes. I'd like to see Android doing SOME of that.

Re:There is still long way to go (4, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024174)

bad idea - like growing nothing but potatoes.

I'm having trouble with your analogy:
boiled
mashed
stuck in a stew
baked
french fries
stuffed
potato skins
chips
vodka!

Maybe if you'd used a car analogy instead...

Re:There is still long way to go (1)

muntis (1503471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023958)

When you go to ATM they run special version of Windows CE.

Not sure about that. I have seen WinXP screensaver on ATM more than once. Needless to say, I didn't try to withdraw any money.

The bigger question is... (5, Insightful)

balaband (1286038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023476)

Is resistance necessary?

Re:The bigger question is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023654)

Of course. A culture of 'one', no matter how open, is bad.

Having the competition to allow other options makes sure there is advancement in the market, and, if there is a vulnerability in one of the options, the others are available to take up the slack.

Re:The bigger question is... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023874)

That's why it's essential that it can be rooted/jailbroken.

Re:The bigger question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023920)

WTF does that have to do with the GP post?

Re:The bigger question is... (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023944)

At room temperature; yes.

Hopefully not (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023480)

I'd rather see MeeGo taking a sizeable portion of market from Android. With MeeGo, desktop Linux skills suddenly become very relevant in job market, and we'll get more desktop software (eventually).

With Android, Java skills are everything and... um... we got more people capable of doing Websphere/JBoss stuff? What a victory would that be.

Nice Deflection (1, Flamebait)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023600)

With Android, Java skills are everything and... um... we got more people capable of doing Websphere/JBoss stuff? What a victory would that be.

So because there haven't been totally unrelated very large and sometimes hated Objective-C projects, iOS is better than Android? I find it humorous how quickly this has been sidetracked to a religious language flamewar instead of looking at the platforms and developer support. Yeah, it's in Java. Yeah, Java can be used badly. Just like every other language. Where's your evidence that Android uses it poorly? Or do you have to say "Hitler drank Java and Java is run on Android. Do you want to use Hitler's mobile operating system?"

Java skills aren't everything with Android. They're important and you will need to know a touch of Java. You also need to know XML and sometimes have a choice of how you store resources like Strings between Java and XML. Also, there is another way to construct your apps in Android [oreilly.com] .

Re:Nice Deflection (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023760)

Also, there is another way to construct your apps in Android [oreilly.com] .

Well, not just Android -- from what I can see, that book's about making web apps. Cool, but nothing specific to Android!

Re:Hopefully not (5, Interesting)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023648)

Alas, Nokia kind of missed the boat with Maemo/MeeGo. They let Maemo idle for years on the no-cellular tablets that were interesting, but never really went anywhere. Then they tossed the N900 out the door - just as they decided to massively rework the OS, effectively EOLing the N900's OS before it was released. Unsurprisingly, app developer interest has been ... limited. *I* know you can upgrade an N900 to MeeGo (when it's properly ready, hopefully) but Nokia hasn't been too clear on this and it's unlikely app devs will want to target a platform where users have to reflash to a new OS to run their apps.

I love coding with Qt and have wanted it in phones for ages, so I was really excited to see Maemo move over - but the timing, amid a product launch, was horrifying.

MeeGo would've been great if it (instead of Maemo half-way through an API breaking transition to Qt) was released in finished form at about the time the N900 hit market. Now, by the time it sees real-world products, I think Android will be pretty much unstoppable, especially as it's now allowing native apps, the main advantage MeeGo had. I don't rate it's chances.

Personally I like MeeGo a lot more as a concept of how a phone OS works. It's my phone, not the carrier's / handset manufacturer's phone that I happened to pay for. Unfortunately, carriers (especially in the US) don't like that, and given the likely higher prices and limited app coverage of MeeGo, I don't see it going far.

Were I Intel and Nokia, I'd be thinking very hard about offering Dalvik and .apk support for apps without native code, at least for a subset of Android API features. Get some app coverage from the start, but encourage targeting of Qt by offering Qt Jambi from Java and offering better API access via the native interfaces. Be a better Android than Android.

Re:Hopefully not (4, Interesting)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024028)

MeeGo (or in some cases Debian Lenny with MeeGo on top) will live on in some ways as a custom ROM for the Android phones. Many people are currently working on moving it over to phones like the Eris and the Droids. It gives these phones a useful lifetime beyond that of a phone. It can be useful having a phone sized device that can run things like snort or hit the local WiFi for a quick search while still leaving your phone free to make calls.

Re:Hopefully not (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023774)

With Android, Java skills are everything and... um... we got more people capable of doing Websphere/JBoss stuff? What a victory would that be.

You are free to use the Android NDK, develop your entire app in some other language, and write only the front-end in Java. But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good mad or anything.

Re:Hopefully not (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024102)

You can also use other languages for the Dalvik, like Scala [assembla.com] .

Re:Hopefully not (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023822)

MeeGo seem to be targetted for the same kind of devices than Android, but as still didnt come out to compete. In cellphones Nokia won't take out cellphones with it till next year, and other devices with it are slow to come out, if any (WeTab? cars?). So so far is only having a good potential, only time will tell.

Regarding apps, there the needed skill will be more likely Qt instead of Java. There the apps have the potential to run or be easily ported in more things than just MeeGo, like desktop operating systems (or even other mobile operating systems).

The last part of the equation could be the market, where ive hear some concerns about Android one. That is a factor in the flow of apps for that platform. Will be an app market for Meego too (appupp? ovi?), but not a lot of apps yet, so not sure if it will catch steam. At least in that front, from the Maemo experience, a good number of linux apps can be ported to it (and most maemo apps)

Re:Hopefully not (4, Funny)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024046)

I'd rather see MeeGo taking a sizeable portion of market from Android. With MeeGo, desktop Linux skills suddenly become very relevant in job market, and we'll get more desktop software (eventually).

With Android, Java skills are everything and... um... we got more people capable of doing Websphere/JBoss stuff? What a victory would that be.

Nobody cares about you being unemployed with your irrelevant linux skills.

Re:Hopefully not (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024206)

I don't think so.

I am an iOS fanboy and I will talk a lot of smack about Android. The reality is though, for it's flaws, Android is very good but it's so close to being great it's frustrating.

What Google needs to do is set some pretty basic UI guidelines for apps or make better UI APIs and to crack down on handset lock down(I'm willing to put up with Apple's walled garden approach because they deliver what they claim. Google can't be hollering about how their OS is open and at the same time require people to root their phones). Desktop OSes suck on mobile devices(see Windows Mobile) and Android is probably the best commodity OS out there. Although WP7 looks promising. Haven't used a WP7 device yet.

Apple? (0, Redundant)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023484)

I think Apple might have a thing or two to say about that...

Re:Apple? (3, Insightful)

weachiod (1928554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023506)

I think Apple might have a thing or two to say about that...

Apple doesn't sell competing products to this, Microsoft does.

Re:Apple? (1)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023650)

The list was phones, tablets, set top boxes and tvs. Apple makes products in 3 of the 4 of these, and rather dominates the market in two of them.

Re:Apple? (0, Flamebait)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023756)

[citation needed] Or are you referring to just the US?

Re:Apple? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023850)

I think Apple might have a thing or two to say about that...

Apple doesn't sell competing products to this, Microsoft does.

We are talking about phones, tablets, set top boxes and TV's.

Microsoft phones have been terrible. We'll see how their new offerings do. From what I can tell, it's doesn't do anything that Android doesn't do. It's a race to the "cloud" and Google is already there.

Tablets? Where can I purchase a Microsoft powered tablet? Sure, I've seen them, but they are running nothing more than the desktop version of Windows with a tablet front end... and they have all sucked.

Set top boxes? I see no Microsoft boxes there with the exception of the X-Box. Since my X-Box didn't come with wifi, I can't really tell you how well it works and I'm not spending $100 to test it out. Oh, and let's not forget about the monthly Live subscription fee. The X-Box is a gaming device. It is not capable of recording "Dancing with the Stars". Once Google in integrated into set top boxes, like is planned with Dish Network, you'll be able to use Google to search for a show and set it to record, all without having to use the clunky interface that modern set top boxes come with. Who knows, it may even stream it to your Android powered phone or PC.

Finally, I have not seen Microsoft integrated into a TV and while I'm sure someone is working on a similar project in a basement somewhere in Redmond, it will be hard to penetrate that market once GoogleTV gets settled in.

What I see is Google services penetrating the TV market. Your HDTV will receive TV signals as always, but will also be able to browse the web to read information about your current shows. I could see an Android tablet being the remote control, possibly mirroring what you see on the TV, with an optional keyboard for us old folks. Maybe we'll be able to pull up a guide on our tablet, search for a particular show and have the tablet act as the remote to change the channel. Maybe instead of "Picture in Picture", we could have "Picture in Lap", where the secondary feed is directed to your tablet...

The possibilities are endless here and currently, Google is the only game on the market for this. Apple will try, but I don't see Apple allowing tablets to be shipped with TV's to be used as remotes. They'll screw it up and set up exclusive contract with Sony or something while Android will be everywhere. Apple will charge a premium and run fancy ads geared toward hipsters while Google's stuff will come integrated.

Re:Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023508)

For next 3-4 years, at most. By then, Android would done to Apple what MS did 25 years back.

IN B4... (4, Funny)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023488)

IN B4 "Android Fragmentation"

Re:IN B4... (1)

doramjan (766519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023836)

You've got the wrong Soong-type android. With the Borg reference and the Android reference, you should have mentioned Lore, not B4.

iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023490)

The Android Invasion Cometh; Is Resistance Futile?

Look both options have their benefits. But I happen to agree with a recent survey [readwriteweb.com] that finds developers think Android is the long term solution while iOS is basically the immediate choice because of its dominance it has enjoyed with being the first. Given that the obvious is already happening [pcworld.com] , it's just going to take two or three years for developers to really unseat anything else in favor over Android. I was never given a chance to tinker or code for iOS [slashdot.org] so of course I'm biased towards the one technology out there that is actually trying to empower me without restrictions.

In the end, that sort of empowerment is going to trump any sort of assured device capability or graphical power that Apple can offer me. You may have a different opinion (BWJones did [slashdot.org] ) but I simply cannot see how Apple will retain their lead in this fight.

Resistance is never futile. You could stick to your guns and enjoy immediate sales then moderate sales then fewer and fewer sales. Or you could enjoy moderate sales and then increasingly more and more sales. You might have to do more development if you want to target both TVs and handhelds (inputs get tricky) but I think investing in only iOS at this point is not a prudent decision.

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023588)

not if there will be different proprietary marketplaces for each handset. at which point entry costs for developer will become a problem.

like now, fragmentation is looking like it may or may not be a problem in the future, so outcome is uncertain.

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023614)

not if there will be different proprietary marketplaces for each handset. at which point entry costs for developer will become a problem.

Sorry, but...could you explain further? I know there are a ton of third-party app stores, but "the" android market is still by far the largest one, and is accessible from pretty much every android handset.

What are you referring to?

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023722)

The dynamic of iOS relative to Android feels very similar to the Mac relative to PCs, n'est pas?

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023762)

developers think Android is the long term solution while iOS is basically the immediate choice because of its dominance it has enjoyed with being the first.

What the developers think is irrelevant it's what's the consumers buy that matters.

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (2, Insightful)

rvelasquez (1419889) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023770)

IMHO the big fight for Android is brand recognition/differentiation. When I look around my large extended family almost all of them are using iPods and iPhones. Even my elderly father knows about iPhone and iPod and has been asking me questions about these devices. Although I haven't, I'm pretty sure that if I asked one of my family members about Android they wouldn't know what I'm talking about. At best they might know it's made by Google. They certainly wouldn't know why Android is better. Even when I speak to people who have Android devices, the usual reasons they give me for Android being better is that the device and app stores are not locked down. Neither of these reasons really make any difference to most people since it's usually very niche apps that get rejected from the app store. Try telling a kid he has a limited device while play Plant vs Zombies, or GTA China Town Wars. I believe that until Android can become a household name it will struggle to dominate market. In fact I think that the recent surge of Android sales is really just filling the void of potential smartphone users who didn't want to go with Apple. Once this void fills up I think sales are going to slow down again.

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023940)

I agree completely with your post. I just wanted to add that probably iOS as an immediate choice for developers already developing for it. The App Store is pretty much close to being saturated, for a developer just starting out, it is harder to make an impact or get noticed. I'd say that for new developers the fact that Android has fewer apps might actually be an advantage besides having roughly the same market share (or at least being in the same ballpark).

Re:iOS Short Term, Android Long Term (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024130)

In the end, that sort of empowerment is going to trump any sort of assured device capability or graphical power that Apple can offer me.

In the end, that sort of empowerment is going to take second seat to where the money is. Developers who do it for the passion of doing it will develop for whatever platform they enjoy developing on. The rest, who are trying to keep food on their tables, roofs over their heads, and retirement plans in mind will go where the money is. And, right now, and for the foreseeable future, that's _both_ Android and iOS. The only way that will change in the long term is if and when something unknown enters the market and shakes up the status quo but, at this time, the status quo is there are really only two markets - Android and iOS - and neither is going away, despite what anyone claims via their FUD.

Under this ugly face (1)

kavehmz (755591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023498)

Yes, and it needs to be loved

Resistance is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023504)

...useless!

Re:Resistance is... (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023684)

... voltage over current

I think ... (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023510)

You can warp statistics anyway you want, what I see in the world at large does not reflect the numbers you seem to come up with.

If its so popular, why do when I sit down in a group of 8 people, I'll see 4 iPhones, a couple Nokia's and one Android based device. Its not like its a one time event, it happens consistently.

Perhaps you guys should start getting your numbers outside of LinuxCon 2010?

Re:I think ... (3, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023542)

this is exactly what statistics are for, it's way better than your anecdotal evidence.

Re:I think ... (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024192)

Except the statistics don't match what's seen in the wild. They simply aren't believable if you compare what you actually seen in the wild.

That's my point.

I realize pointing out the descrepancy between reality and what slashdot wants it to be just results in a -1 troll, but I'll point it out anyway. At least a few people will think about it rather than just turning into a red faced gambit such as yourself. Your blinded but what you want to see and ignore the fact that the data doesn't match real world observations at all and have no explination as to why.

Re:I think ... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023562)

> I'll see 4 iPhones, a couple Nokia's and one Android based device.

So what you see is that Android is third. Isn't that what the article says?

Re:I think ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023638)

That was the trend I saw over a year ago. Now, especially at work, Android phones dominate, even at our office half a country away.

I just wonder if it will backfire if a new trendy OS comes out and companies like HTC and Samsung jump ship for that one.

Re:I think ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023646)

And how do you know the one Android owner?

It's the person that says:

"Hold on, my phone just froze."
"Wait a sec, I am rebooting."
"Slow down, I am waiting for the screen to update."

Re:I think ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023664)

Ah... lookie here.. an offended Apple fanboi.

Did somebody steal your toys? Go to mama.. or rather.. go to Steve and cry a river.

Re:I think ... (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023834)

And if I sit down in a group of 8 people, I'll see 6 Android devices, 1 iPhone, and a dumbphone. It happens consistently with me, too. Sample bias?

Re:I think ... (-1, Flamebait)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023852)

... because you're consistently sitting in a gay bars? I know when I go to gay bars the iPhone population goes way up, but most other people I know either have an Android or are talking about getting one. Whenever my wife and I get around to replacing our Nokias it will be with some kind of Android phone(s).

Re:I think ... (3, Funny)

JesseDegenerate (936699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024108)

Actually, studies have shown android fanboys get laid the least. Sorry buddy.

Re:I think ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34024002)

>> Perhaps you guys should start getting your numbers outside of LinuxCon 2010?

and you, outside of gay bars and ladies restrooms?

Re:I think ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34024072)

4+2+1=7, not 8. Get a grip on arithmetic before you try to tackle statistics.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023516)

Of course not. If "resisting" against an incumbent in the market were futile then Android wouldn't have even been worth bringing to market. They'd say "oh, Nokia dominates the market let's not bother" or "Blackberry has a hold, let's not bother" or even "Microsoft - who can beat them, let's not bother".

There is a very good chance that Android will dominate the market for a while but eventually something will come along that's better (overall or for what consumers are looking for at that time). It'll probably take a while but the only way to be the one who does it is to keep trying as and when the ideas come.

Sigh... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023546)

I for one, welcome our new Linux based non-pc consumer device operating system overlords!

Someone had to say it...

Numbers, numbers (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023556)

I sure don't see the kind of numbers Gartner is talking about. I see lots of iPhones, not many Androids, and never hear "civilians" talking about the Android. There is a Android kiosk in my local mall - I don't see any lines in front of it.

So, pardon me if I doubt.

Numbers. (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023686)

Here are the only numbers that matter:

Phones that use Android [wikipedia.org] (spoiler: ~80, ~110 including tablets)
Phones that use iOS [wikipedia.org] (spoiler: 3, including tablets)

Number of Android carriers: 4
Number of iPhone carriers: 1

The fact (and it is a fact) that Android outsells iOS should come as no surprise.

Re:Numbers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34024040)

Here are the only numbers that matter:

Phones that use Android [wikipedia.org] (spoiler: ~80, ~110 including tablets)
Phones that use iOS [wikipedia.org] (spoiler: 3, including tablets)

Number of Android carriers: 4
Number of iPhone carriers: 1

The fact (and it is a fact) that Android outsells iOS should come as no surprise.

That's why Windows mobile is the dominant platform because it's available on multiple carriers and multiple devices.

Re:Numbers. (2, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024116)

The fact (and it is a fact) that Android outsells iOS should come as no surprise.

It's kind of hard to compete with market share when the other guys are doing 2-for-1 specials.

Re:Numbers, numbers (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023810)

I sure don't see the kind of numbers Gartner is talking about. I see lots of iPhones, not many Androids, and never hear "civilians" talking about the Android. There is a Android kiosk in my local mall - I don't see any lines in front of it.

So, pardon me if I doubt.

Whereas I barely see any apple products anymore. In fact I have several friends who this year switched from iPhone to Android in part because of the antenna problems with iPhone and the 4G android that came out. After the fact they really enjoyed the android more than the iPhone they had.

Why resist? Skynet loves us, what could possibly (1)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023558)

go wrong?

jump the gun much? (1)

gblfxt (931709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023564)

your looking 4 years in the future for an OS that has only been around for 2 years..... they way things are changing, i'm sure by 2014 we will have some new crazier gadget/os, and whoever is raving on about IOS or android will be looked on as old farts......

Resistance != Futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023568)

Resistance != Futile

It's Volts/Amps dammit!

Stupid borg, why not assimilate V=IR!

Yes, Android will win eventually (1, Interesting)

rclandrum (870572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023582)

Apple - being Apple - will continue to concentrate on the overall user experience of their mobile devices. They will retain their reputation as the maker of mercedes-benz smartphones and other consumer goods, but the sheer volume of Android-based competition will eventually swamp them out of the lower-end of the market. Apple could probably care less - Steve and co. are all about the total experience and crafting the perfect device, and that's fine - they can lead the market in innovation and be the brand that everyone aspires to become. But the droid wave must eventually wash over them and absolutely eat their low-end lunch, and since most of the world ain't rich, that mean most of the world is going to be droid-powered, unless Apple can undercut droid prices, and that just isn't how they roll.

Re:Yes, Android will win eventually (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023734)

It's that kind of typical Apple fanaticism that will allow Android to eat their lunch. I've had an Android phone for six months that can do everything my partner's phone can do and a hell of a lot more besides (admittedly she's using a 3GS, I can't comment on the iPhone 4, but from what I've read about it in the press I'm not exactly green with envy). She's had her iPhone for 7 months and really wants to replace it with the same model as me. I even prefer the look and feel [htc.com] of my phone, although I realise that's entirely objective, and price-wise they were roughly the same when I bought this. I desperately hope that Google don't have aspirations to make Android like iOS, because I think it's already the better system and that would be a big step backwards.

Re:Yes, Android will win eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023898)

What mobile products does Apple currently market toward the low-end market? AFAIK, they completely ignore the low-end market anyway, so if what you say is true, nothing will change from the current state of affairs.

The point is that Android is already taking over the low-end smartphone market, which isn't surprising because there's a lot more people who can't afford the iPhone than can afford the iPhone (people misusing credit and getting themselves into debt they can't resolve notwithstanding), and it will continue to dominate the low-end market.

I think the question we should be asking is this: where will Windows Phone 7 find its market? Apple has the high-end market buttoned up pretty darn well, Android has the low-end market buttoned up pretty darn well, and RIM has the business market buttoned up pretty darn well. Unless Windows Phone 7 is revolutionary, which is incredibly unlikely as it comes from Microsoft, I don't think it has a market. It's the same story with the Zune (or should I just drop it and let Microsoft forget about that?).

desktops next (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023592)

most people reading here are desktop-centric, and the smartphone os is a secondary platform, in terms of work, play, and psychological orientation

but we are rapidly entering a world that is smartphone-centric, and the desktop os is a secondary platform, in terms of work, play, and psychological orientation. the whole desktop segment will be marginal

google can ride this psychological shift to get android/ chrome os onto the desktop market. the shift will be second nature, not an alien intrusion. and it will happen with a whimper, not a bang: who cares about the desktop except old people?

the only people making noise about this "big deal", this great promise of unseating microsoft in the desktop market, chattered about on slashdot for over a decade, will be old people. the idea of using a desktop will be a fossil idea, that only fossils will care about. like looking at greybeards from the 80s with their funny unix command line interfaces

in which case, "resistance is futile" is a good allusion, because google will be the new microsoft. cue bill gates slashdot borg icon morphing into a sergey brin/ larry page borg icon. nevermind that even the idea of "the borg" is a silly scifi notion from last century that only old people even care or know about

slashdot, we're showing our age

Re:desktops next (1, Interesting)

LordDragoon (655748) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023732)

"who cares about the desktop except old people?" Hardcore PC Gamers.

Re:desktops next (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023914)

And people with jobs actually working with data. I work in local government. Call me crazy, but I just don't see a future where our permitting clerks are sitting at the counter entering new permits and printing invoices from a phone screen. I don't see us entering tax payments on that either. The same applies to most existing industry.

Now, those devices certainly DO have uses. For instance, we have building inspectors that I'd LOVE to setup with touch screen phones or pads so that they could do inspections in the field and upload the results back. Same with property appraisers and possibly even our EMS people.

You have to stop trying to look at it as one technology "winning out" over the other. The simple fact is that for a ton of things the desktop is a better UI. For a ton of other things handheld touch devices are. If you try to shoehorn either into working in all situations, you're going to end up being terrible in many situations.

Consider it this way: a wrench works pretty poorly for driving nails. You can make it work, but it's aggravating. Once you finally get a hammer, everything might start looking like a nail for a while, but realistically, there are still a lot of things you're going to need that old wrench for - don't throw it out.

The desktop will continue to be relevant for decades - quite possibly for as long as we have a technological future. The only change is that it won't be the ONLY thing that's relevant anymore.

Re:desktops next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023910)

A large portion of business will stay desktop centric. It is true that tablets may eventual take over this area but that is at least 5 to 10 years from now. Business will more likely return to terminals that run VM's that keep the look and feel of the desktop but are more easily maintainable.

Lets make it clear it is often the fossils that are making the decision of what software to buy. And they will continue to chose Microsoft Office (at least in US) for the foreseeable future.

Re:desktops next (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023968)

but we are rapidly entering a world that is smartphone-centric

So I've heard, for about ten years, from the "tech journalist" crowd. But only from them, not the rest of the world. Most folks simply nod their head in unthinking agreement, or simply ignore them, but no one believes them.

slashdot, we're showing our age

aka wisdom

Re:desktops next (2, Insightful)

bwintx (813768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024004)

Hmm. Write back when your vision is no longer 20/20, particularly for near-vision. You'll probably get there sooner than you think. Not everybody can or will get Lasik (or even bifocals). Small-screen devices have their purposes and a growing audience, but it is short-sighted (pun unintentional) to imply that users of larger devices are dinosaurs. Unless you propose killing everybody who passes the age of 40, of course.

Re:desktops next (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024022)

I disagree that desktops will disappear. They'll probably turn into professional only devices, that work with one all day and have more requirements than a smartphone can provide (and no, a smartphone will *never* be as powerful as a desktop, by the simple fact that you can put more components into it).

Someone has to produce that massive platform the smartphones/TVs/etc rely on.

Re:desktops next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34024078)

This is a prescient analysis of the current trends. Impressive. I would like to point out one area where I think you get it wrong.

The 80's greybeards and their CLI's will still be running the cloud that all these children's gadgets connect to. Somewhere there is infrastructure connecting all these toys and pumping content to them.

Owen said, "That old man is just a crazy wizard." Owen couldn't have been more wrong, could he?

Let the young ones mock our beards, CLIs and our father's parentheses (elegant weapons for a more civilized age) . Future computing does not lie in a touch screen or a fancy UI. Maybe the future of media consumption, but not computing itself.

Remember that this is a consumer OS for those that will consume media and information. There will always be a tier using the PC to create and maintain the matrix for those than inhabit it. Those that create and manage content will still need something more robust and ergonomic than a gadget in one pocket.

Do you have a smartphone? Me too. Do you use it for texting? Me neither.

I do, however, ssh into production servers with it.

Someone will need to teach the new generation about good whiskey, joint rolling, Thai lady-boys and entering firewall rules via the command line. Those people are the greybeards.

Is it going to be "hype" for the next few years? (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023598)

Its not about what is dominating right now... its what new product comes out that the masses buy.

I hate to use ESX as an example, but its hard to say "no" to a VM farm. Skewed analogy, but if you have those brain cells rubbing together yet (I don't - stupid decaf) then you'll get my drift.

Linux as #1 (1)

Skatox (1109939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023610)

I would like to see a big market share between MeeGo and Android, that would be interesting and would lead linux as #1 OS for devices.

I still don't see that much android in NYC (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023626)

i take the subway and lately i've been seeing more iPhone 4's than Android phones. i've noticed that a lot of android phones look like an iphone 4, but overall i see a lot more iCrap than Andoid. could be all the people with ipod touches i see have android phones in their bags they aren't showing, but then what is the point of 2 devices?

when people ask me what they should buy i tell them that it doesn't really matter since they are 90% the same

Re:I still don't see that much android in NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023956)

I know it's a cliche, but NYC is not the world.

NYC is not even a representative sample of the world.

Re:I still don't see that much android in NYC (1)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024208)

I personally have an android phone, it's a Galaxy S. I love it and have no complaints at all. I have plenty of storage for movies and music, and this one came with Avatar on it. The problem is I need my phone available for email, voice and texts. If I listened to music on it like I do with my little Sansa Fuze then the battery wouldn't be enough to last me a day. If these things start getting enough battery life to handle everything then I would gladly move to one device for everything, but until then I have to prioritize.

Depends... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023658)

As a de-facto standard cheap embedded OS for reasonably high resource devices, it is pretty hard to see Android doing badly. Mostly linux guts, so it runs on plenty of stuff, Google has been pretty aggressive about improving it, freely available(if you don't want Google's blessing and proprietary apps). Runs basically-java, so there are plenty of developers available; but also has the unixy underpinnings such that, if your horrid legacy application supports the architecture, you can run it natively and just interact with it via a thin android UI. Hard to argue too much with that, at least until you get to screen-and-keyboard devices were something a little less touchphone focused might be nice.

How well "android" in the sense of "Google blessed, app-store linked, reasonably up to date and supported by the vendor with upgrades(or left open for 3rd party support), it is less clear. By virtue of being open, the risk of carrier tentacles getting in and ruining things becomes higher, and the competition from more forcefully unified platforms greater.

Fragmentation will kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023680)

Fragmentation is going to ruin it.

Here's how Android could "pwn" the iphone and other embeddeds:
- Full Java SE
- Full Native ARM (No JNI hackery)
- Flash and Webkit kept in sync with the desktop versions
- standardized input
-- It is assumed that the device has a minimum of 1 "pointing" device and that
-- The screen resolution will always be 16x9 shaped.
- If the device is handheld it must have multitouch/gestures, and at least 4 hardware buttons that the application can use (Menu, Confirm/OK, Cancel/Back, IME)
- If the device is a TV type device, it needs to have multiple-input pointing devices with a remote (think wii) that can read gestures, in addition to a "D pad" + 4 hardware buttons.
- Regardless of the device, it should support usb AND bluetooth "input devices" like mouse, keyboard, and joysticks.
- Standardized UI goddamit.

And most important, I want to buy something only ONCE, and use it on ALL android devices, regardless of who made it.

I honestly don't care what wins (3, Insightful)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023694)

I honestly don't care what wins as long as I can install anything on my phone that I want without needing to get "approval" from some corporate app store with "Christian" morals as part of their app approval policy. Personally, I'd buy a technically inferior product if it was open and the makers didn't try to shove restrictions down my throat.

The way I feel about it is: It's my phone, I payed for it, if you don't like what I'm doing with my own property, well, that's just too bad for you.

Welcome, Master! (1)

Bombur (544425) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023708)

I, for my part, welcome my new open source overlord.

Resistance is Futile, Further Innovation is Not (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023712)

Resistance to Android is futile, however, if you can build something better you can exploit that and compete.

Symbian, RIM, Windows and Apple are all going to have to come up with something better, or collaborate to survive.

Re:Resistance is Futile, Further Innovation is Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023878)

Android will die when all the Handset maker go out of business because they can't make any money off android.

The year of Linux on Everything HOORAY!!! (4, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023740)

This is the year of Linux on Everything! *

* Everything excludes the desktop

I have seen this somewhere before. (1)

SneakyMishkin (1298729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023764)

Apple creates a cool new device, it explodes in popularity and basically creates a market. Apple decides the best way forward is full control the hardware and all software that gets added to its fun device. Another company releases a competing software platform that runs on a variety of hardware platforms and does not require you to run all your software through an approval process. Hardware companies start making more and more systems with the "other guys" software as a platform and the cost of the other hardware drops. Everyone switches to the other guys and Apple implodes.

I am no fan of Apple but I can admit that they make some nice hardware. Why do they think it will play out any different this time?

Palm WebOS (2, Insightful)

doramjan (766519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023784)

There will be resistance from me as long as I am able to purchase WebOS devices. I *MUCH* prefer WebOS over Android.

I for one welcome... (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023806)

I want a truly open operating system on my phone. Android is Linux but it doesn't feel like Linux, I had to void my warranty just to get access to the terminal. What would be nice is something like Ubuntu on my phone.

Or maybe Google could just use the GPL instead of the Apache license...

The more diversity, the better (1)

Constantin (765902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023884)

My guess it will be tough to have one OS that spans many device types simply due to the complexity and permutations of hardware/software that occur as devices get more complex. That is, I have a very different expectation of a home PC and it's capabilities vs. a workstation or a so-called smartphone. Writing an OS that spans that gamut of hardware/software reliably and with a user experience that can be described as acceptable should be difficult for the time being. I see Android slowly gobbling up market share at the 'low-end' of the device sophistication market - i.e. tablet PCs, smartphones, TVs, and the like and then spreading up. By comparison, MS tried the opposite, i.e. gain market share dominance on the PC side before simplifying the OS to run on lesser platforms reliably.

The price-point of the Android OS is right and hardware manufacturers are free to block portions of Android capabilities as they see fit. Thus, in many ways they are getting their cake and eating it too. Meanwhile, Apple has in some ways missed the bus (again) by clinging to the crown jewels instead of making them a industry standard that everyone embraces. This single-minded obsession with controlling what goes into the marketplace, the bad organization thereof, etc. is unmanageable in the long term. Bottom line is that Apple would do better to allow all sorts of software to run on their devices but to only endorse some, i.e. the ones that they sell on their specific marketplace, while allowing users to screw up their systems as they see fit with stuff purchased outside the walled garden.

For me, the bottom line is the user-experience. Here, Android may well be a significant step up from some of the craptastic UIs that some OEMs have developed over the years (Sony, Symbian, etc.). If Android continues to evolve as it has to become better, more secure, etc. then I am all for it because it will force other OS manufacturers to step up their game or get out of the way. What I fear is that eventually Android will head into the same cloud of crummy choices as Windows OS did, i.e. once it became the dominant OS there was too much focus on making the DRM-folk happy, marketing tie-ins, and other bloatware that do nothing for the user but which please some corporate entity. Here, the key will be to allow users to eject the portions of the codebase they object to, something that is not yet possible on most devices. But with any luck, users will regain some of their taken-away user rights...

In other words, a better OS than Android would be something even more open, like Linux. But competing with the almighty Google and its deep pockets, legions of programmers, marketing machine, existing tie-ins, etc. is not a challenge I would look on favorably. Plus, how to get the OS onto devices, run them reliably, etc. when the OEMs in questions may have put in blocks (legal or not) to prevent users from liberating their property...

About time to replace the Bill Gates Borg (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023916)

And make a Larry Page and Sergey Brin Borg pictogram.

Re:About time to replace the Bill Gates Borg (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023938)

...at least it is called Android, not Cyborg.

The question is futile (2, Funny)

dgilzz (1929066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023922)

Since android sources are available to the open market, a fork (or more, or better) will come one of these days and the compatibility nightmare will come true...

do no evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34023970)

if Google always does good, what do we have to be afraid of?

Not futile (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024176)

At least not if you ask Oracle's lawyers.
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