You won’t find Google on the floor of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, yet Google dominates the show. Like Blu-Ray players and other technologies have dominated CES in years past, this year, Google’s Android operating system owns the show after having infiltrated every new 4G smartphone and tablet.
Released in September of 2008 and based on Linux, the Android OS has caught on like wildfire and now holds 44% of the smartphone market. If CES is any indication, that marketshare is about to get even bigger.
All four major cellular carriers introduced new smartphones. Verizon showed four of their mobile devices – HTC’s Thunderbolt, LG’s Revolution, the Motorola Droid Bionic and an unnamed device from Samsung. But that wasn’t all, Verzion also showed off touch-screen tablets, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Motorola’s Zoom – all running Android. Rival AT&T introduced three smartphones, the HTC Inspire, Samsung’s Infuse and Motorola’s Atrix, were all 4G and all powered by Android. There were tablets too, like LG’s G Slate and Dell’s Streak 7 and you guessed it, they were running the Android OS too.
One of the most impressive smartphone’s running Google’s Android OS was Motorola’s Atrix, a phone that’s being called “the world most powerful smartphone.” It showcased features that makes it seem more like a iPhone/tablet combo – but smaller than the iPad.
Why the popularity of Android? Well, besides being just an alternative to Apple’s iOS, Google is making it incredibly easy to use the operating system on a variety of devices by offering loads of developer support and Android is provided for free to gadget makers. Google has also offered developer’s incentives like prize money for the best Android app in 2009. That combined with its Linux heritage and that it’s also cheaper to make apps for Android (for example licensing fees and cost of the SDK) its a win-win-win.
For those that want to get in on the future of programming, learning the Android OS is the way to do it. Programmers have lots of great options to learn how to develop for the Android OS. Our advice? Android is only going to get bigger and there’s no time like the present to start learning a new programming language.
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