At the Google I/O developer's conference, executives from Google touted the successes of Android while teasing the next major OS update.
The success of Google's Android platform is well documented. It has vaulted into the most popular OS in America and many research firms are predicting it will soon be the world. Hugo Barra, director of Android product management at Google, put the company's remarkable growth from one OS on one phone to its standing today into clarity.
Overall, there have been 100 million Android device activations, 310 Android devices on the market and 36 phone makers, 215 carriers, and 450,000 Android developers. Android phones are available in 112 countries. It tooks two years to get the first billion app installs. It took five months to get the next billion, and the billion after that took 60 days. There have been 4.5 billion app installs to date, Barra said.
Meanwhile as it looked back on the success thus far of Android, Google looked ahead to the platform's next wave of successes. It introduced Android 3.1, the latest version of Honeycomb, which is its operating system geared towards tablet owners.
The new release comes with a movie rental service, resizable widgets, new books and video editing apps and updated version of Google's main offering of apps. It will also be a USB hub, and be able to connect to any USB device on the market. Google also announced Android 3.1 will be available on Google TV in the near future.
Along with Android 3.1, Google teased Ice Cream Sandwich, which will be the next generation of Android operating systems, set to launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Ice Cream Sandwich, Google said, will be the first operating system to will be both for smartphone, tablets, laptops and other possible devices. It will have features that cater to both. This will make it the first unified Android operating system in Google's history.
Google says it wants one OS that runs everywhere. This also means developers won't be burdened by fragmentation as new, open-source APIs will help them create apps that can be accessed on multiple operating systems and platforms. Ice Cream Sandwich will also feature facial tracking technology.
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