Android Only Strategy

android.gifWith the New Year I have been reflecting on my chosen path of Android-only design/development. The Telegraph reporting that Apple smartphone sales are down year-on-year and StrategyAnalytics saying Android has a 81% global market share tend to justify continuing with this strategy. However, what’s in store this year and how might things change for Android?

Early announcements already give an indication of direction. The Open Automotive Alliance will bring Android to more car users. There will be more consumer devices such as all in one Android PCs (see Acer TA271 All in one  and the HP Slate 21 Pro AIO) and more Android powered TVs.

Business leaders are taking Android more seriously and mobile in business (PDF) has become a top priority. We can expect a lot more Android business apps.

One slightly worrying area is Android device security. There’s a large number of devices out there that have vulnerabilities that will never be patched. It’s for this reason I usually recommend Google’s Nexus devices to people. These get updated the most and expose the path of most resistance to hackers. It remains to be seen whether or not there ends up being a significant ‘event’ when the vulnerabilities of legacy devices end up harming the Android reputation/market share. If this happens then this might be an area that Cyanogenmod might exploit.

Apps for rugged Android devices (e.g. in retail, delivery, farming) is an area that has been much slower to grow than I expected. However, existing rugged systems have very long lifetimes. I still think this area has potential to grow when existing Windows Mobile (as opposed to Windows Phone) solutions need to be put into retirement.

All in all, I am confident to retain my Android-only strategy.