Android’s stupendous success is a classic case study. Never before have we seen a open operating system challenging the paid, and mainstream ones. Tech pundits have weighed in on the uncanny resemblances Android shares with Linux. Though it is hard to disagree with the resemblances, Android might have something awesome going on for itself, unlike Linux.
This awesome thing is not related to 190 million total Android devices or the 6 million Android tablets. Nor is it related to Google’s Motorola acquisition or the success of Samsung Galaxy S2. It is not related to patents either.
Android’s bright future might just be in the paradigm shift in the thinking of those who are controlling it.
For the first time in a long time, I have heard something noteworthy from the Android camp. I have seen something useful in the Android world.
Android user experience guy Matias Duarte was searching for the soul of Android. That’s good news because in the midst of keeping with the competition and rolling out upgrades, you might be swept away from your core competence. Soul searching doesn’t always happen. When that happens, the results could be nothing short of awesome. Here’s what Mr. Duarte pondered on :
“We asked ourselves for the first time, what is the soul of Android? It should feel enchanting, it should simplify user’s lives, and it should make [us] feel smart.”
Bingo. That’s the way to look at it. How do we make people’s lives simpler? You know what the result is? A simple unlocking feature called Face Unlock. Now that’s innovation. It didn’t involve putting in the most expensive rig in the tiny package but it involved using the front-facing camera and bringing in a face recognition and security element.
All the ingredients were there but someone has to stitch them together and make it a sumptuous meal.
There were other features like Android Beam, smart notifications and plenty more. But more than the features, it’s the notion to make Android enchanting is what’s inspiring me to think that we indeed have a game on our hands.
Making Android less geeky
Andy Rubin and team have realized one more thing. Android right from its G1 days had a high geek quotient. Now the team is working hard to bring down the geek quotient and are focusing on the beauty, easy of use and are going beyond smart.
To make Android less geeky, you don’t need the latest and greatest hardware. All you need is a taste for beautiful things and a little bit of inspiration.
Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich is a proof that good things are bound to come to Android.
Preceding the Ice Cream Sandwich launch, Motorola had a quiet launch for its Droid Razr Smartphone which is the world’s thinnest smartphone. Motorola did not stop at that. It followed Razr’s unique style features with some software upgrades of its own.
Motorola has introduced MotoCast which helps the smartphone users to access the files on their private cloud. The files can be on any of the PC’s and with the MotoCast software, the files can be accessed by a smartphone or a tablet from anywhere. Users can stream music too.
Following Apple’s iCloud integration with iOS5, MotoCast might sound like an unnecessary step. But it’s crucial. Not everyone is ready for the cloud and even if they are, there are limitations. Accessing a private cloud is always needed. MotoCast fills in an important void.
Motorola’s Smart Actions
Motorola has released what it calls Smart Actions. What do the smart actions do? They take a note of your activity intelligently and try to switch services off. For example, if you are entering your home, the software will detect that and will turn off your Bluetooth and GPS. That saves some battery and probably that’s how smartphones should be.