In the summer of 2013, AppleInsider arise a attending at Google’s then-new Chromecast, a web alive accessory that was based on cipher from Google TV rather than Android. The article acclaimed this as added affirmation that Google was alive to ambit itself from the Android belvedere that the aggregation had developed beneath the administration of Andy Rubin back accepting it in 2005.
At the time, Android seemed to be on top of the world. Afterwards aboriginal actualization as a hobbyist belvedere from Google in 2008, the new belvedere had aback surpassed expectations by confined as an able software belvedere acting in the assembly of new handsets, area it replaced JavaME, assorted adaptable Linux distributions, Windows Mobile, Symbian and added platforms that had existed afore iPhone.
Just as Android began demography off amid buzz accouterments makers who were atrocious to accomplish article that could attempt adjoin iPhones, Google alien an absolutely new operating system: 2009’s Chrome OS, initially aimed at netbooks. Google accepted accouterments makers to aftermath the aboriginal mini-notebooks active Chrome OS by the average of 2010 —in alongside with its phone-centric Android 2.0, which had aloof been arise at the end of 2009.
Google’s bifold OS action wasn’t clashing Apple’s Mac and iOS, or Microsoft’s desktop Windows and Windows Adaptable 6.x of the aforementioned period. But, it didn’t absolutely assignment out as expected. The backward 2000’s netbook appeal that Google planned to capitalize on with Chrome OS was wiped out by iPad in 2010. Additionally, accouterments makers weren’t alike accessible to body Chrome OS netbooks until the average of 2011.
By the end of 2010, Apple had awash about 14 actor iPads at about $500, absolutely alive action in the industry from netbooks to tablets. Google accolade to acknowledge and concluded up dabbling beforehand on Android for phones by absorption the aing above 3.0 “Honeycomb” adaptation absolutely on tablets in 2011, aloof as Chrome OS licensees were additionally accessible to accompany the aboriginal netbooks to market.
Both Honeycomb tablets and Chrome OS netbooks flopped out of the gate. But that wasn’t the alone botheration for Google’s Android and Chrome OS. Both had additionally afflicted up altercation with Apple, which added saw Google as an aggressor rather than a partner.
In February of 2010, Steve Jobs addressed Apple advisers at a Town Hall affair area he reportedly stated, “make no mistake; Google wants to annihilate the iPhone. We won’t let them,” while additionally calumniating Google’s “don’t be evil” mantra, calling it a “load of crap.”
Animosity connected to access amid Apple and Google. The brace had avant-garde formed calm to accompany Google’s able chase and mapping casework to iPhone application Apple’s convenient apps and development platform.
But, afterwards Google mocked Apple at the absolution of Android 2.0, Apple chock-full amalgam new appearance of Google Maps in iOS, including its Google Latitude area tracking and the Google Maps Navigation casework that debuted with Android 2.0 in backward 2009. Jobs had additionally arise in 2009 that Google’s administrator Eric Schmidt would be dispatch bottomward from Apple’s board, accurately because of Google access into “more of Apple’s amount businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS.”
Google now pays Apple billions of dollars every analysis to absorb chase cartage from Apple’s platforms—but at the time Google’s admiral acted like a breach with Apple was not a big deal. In 2011, Schmidt confidently predicted that aural six months, adaptable developers would accent Android over iOS, abatement the beforehand Apple captivated in adaptable development and the iOS App Store. That still hasn’t happened seven years later.
While axis its key accomplice into an enemy, Google’s Android not alone bootless to booty over iOS’s administration in adaptable development but additionally bootless to able into the exceptional accouterments markets Apple was creating about iPhones, the new iPad, and its added high-end Mac offerings.
Google initially approved to exhausted the iPad with 2011 Honeycomb tablets that were beyond and added expensive, alongside higher-end Android phones that alien big screens, 4G LTE, NFC, fingerprint scanners and added all-new features. Google additionally began absolution initiatives to accomplish Android accordant in TV boxes with the brief Nexus Q and in video d consoles with Android TV and the now discontinued Nexus Player.
As these failed, Google repositioned Android as a way to ability a alternation of low-end 7-inch tablets, conspicuously Google’s self-branded 2012-2013 Nexus 7 with an astonishingly low amount of aloof $199. Following bargain tablets, adorned Android phones were giving way to article accessories with annoyed prices carrying bare profits. The account that Android ally would steamroll iOS and that they could beforehand addition faster than Apple were acceptable added difficult to believe.
By aboriginal 2013, Android’s blah achievement beneath the administration of Andy Rubin resulted in Rubin actuality alone in “new projects.” The Android analysis was handed to Sundar Pichai, the arch of Chrome OS development. By 2014 Rubin was out of Google entirely.
Under Pichai, Google launched Chromecast in 2013 as a way to claiming Apple’s accepted AirPlay for wirelessly bright audio and video from iOS accessories to an Apple TV. Yet Chromecast wasn’t based on Android. Instead, it acclimated software developed for Chrome OS.
Pichai additionally angry the calligraphy on Google’s “cheap hardware,” absolute its low-end tablets and ablution the Chromebook Pixel, an big-ticket Chrome OS netbook priced at $1300 to $1450, demography aim at Apple’s accepted MacBook Air rather than its lower-priced iPads.
Previous Chrome OS netbooks from ally including Samsung had been priced about $550. Pichai alien the Pixel by saying, “the ambition was to advance the aals and body article premium.”
Pichai additionally acutely saw Chrome OS as the approaching of Google’s accouterments licensing.
“We’re blame accretion forward,” Pichai declared at the time. “It’ll absolutely accomplish the ecosystem amend touch. I anticipate bodies will booty the aboriginal footfall adjoin architecture tablets with this.”
That didn’t happen. Chrome OS remained abhorred and Pixel sales never took off.
The aing year, Google floated addition Android tablet, the Nexus 9 ironically code-named “flounder.” It was advised to attending aloof like Apple’s afresh berserk accepted iPad mini, which had been active iPad sales into the stratosphere. It additionally agitated a college price, from $400 to $480, abundant college than antecedent Android tablets from Google and its partners.
But, its Apple-like amount didn’t aftereffect in Apple-like sales.
Nexus 9 bootless to claiming Apple’s iPad or aftereffect in alike a baby bartering success of its own. Android tablets in accepted began to bore and the book bazaar has apprenticed anytime since.
Google’s achievement that smartphone apps would artlessly calibration up to a beyond awning didn’t aftereffect in a adorable book platform. In contrast, Apple had formed to actualize iPad optimized apps and showcased this in its addition of iPads, consistent in a acceptable belvedere and appeal for iPads that could run sophisticated, tablet-optimized iOS apps.
Despite Google’s hopes for Chrome OS, individuals and businesses weren’t affairs it. So Google began auctioning low-end ChromeBooks on U.S. K-12 schools, abounding of which were blessed to get any abetment in deploying bargain computers of any kind. Four years later, that hasn’t aloft any tides for Chromebooks aimed at individuals or the enterprise.
As Chromebook Pixel stagnated as a placeholder artefact with bordering sales, Google began development of a added affordable new Chrome OS book that formed as a “detachable” agnate to the Microsoft Surface. Shortly afore its release, however, Google absitively Chrome OS wasn’t activity to assignment and instead launched the accessory at the end of 2015 as the Pixel C active Android, starting at $500. That fabricated for addition expensive, article Android tablet, afresh angry to a belvedere that could alone run continued smartphone apps.
Last year, Google discontinued its Android tablets. Aftermost week, Google alien three new devices: Pixel 3 phones, a Home Hub “smart display,” and a new Chrome OS Pixel Slate tablet. While it’s notable that Google is afresh aggravating out Chrome OS instead of Android on its latest tablet, the aggregation additionally aloft eyebrows by auctioning Android from its anchored “hub” book product.
Rather than active Android or its clearly accustomed “Android Things” belvedere created accurately to ability acute displays and speakers, Google’s new Home Hub is added affiliated to Chromecast, afresh active software acquired from Pichai’s Chrome OS aggregation rather than from Rubin’s Android.
Of the four accessory categories Google now sells, alone one is still based on Android (Pixel phones), while its tablet, TV, and awning articles accept all confused on. If Chrome OS could run a buzz well, Google would acceptable accept fabricated that about-face too, but the absoluteness is that it took Google bristles years to wean itself off Android in tablets. Three years afterwards it alien “Android Things,” it’s now weaned itself off of that, too.
Google is accounted to be architecture a new “Fuchsia” belvedere to alter Android on phones and everywhere abroad it is still used. But the catechism remains: why is Google abandoning Android as rapidly as it can?
It looks like Google’s about-face is from a aggregate of Android’s architecture as an interpreted Java accomplishing rather than active built-in code, the continuing botheration of Oracle’s bookish acreage lawsuits involving Android’s allotment of Sun’s Java code, and Pichai’s accustomed amore for his own Chrome OS assignment rather than Rubin’s Android.
Android admirers can assert that the belvedere isn’t inherently awry but the absoluteness is that Android phones crave abundant added RAM to accomplish as able-bodied as iOS devices, and still can’t accumulate up. Android additionally hasn’t scaled able-bodied into wearables, tablets or into added devices.
Android defenders can assert that Oracle has no acknowledged rights to Android, or that its IP accusation has no merit, but the absoluteness is that the case hasn’t been befuddled out and instead keeps accepting stronger for Oracle, aggressive to absorb billions of amercement adjoin Google —and/or the blackmail of inserting new adjustment or analysis into how Google can use Android, a far added adverse anticipation than artlessly advantageous a fine.
Since we aboriginal arise the abstraction that Google was break itself from Android, contrarians accept insisted that this abstraction was preposterous. But actuality we are a few years afterwards and Google is application non-Android software everywhere it possibly can: Chromecast, tablets, and screens, admitting accepting Android cipher it could be application instead—and years afterwards carrying Android Things as a band-aid it accepted third parties to use.
Android is still heralded by its admirers as a “dominant” belvedere that ships on best of the world’s phones, aloof as Symbian did a decade ago. But amid the companies that absolutely accomplish any money accompanying to Android, the cast doesn’t assume actual important. It’s rather about advised as a liability.
Back in 2013, Android’s bigger licensee Samsung was already alienated any absolute acknowledgment of Android in its business of the Galaxy S4, absorption instead aloft Samsung’s own user interface and aegis layers, which could finer be ported to another operating systems. At the time, Samsung had been affairs Bada and was alive on Tizen, both of which aspired to alter Android.
This year, alike Google itself appeared to go out of its way to abstain adage alike the chat “Android.” Writing for 9to5Google, Stephen Hall acclaimed that “‘Android’ wasn’t said a distinct time during the Fabricated by Google 2018 keynote. It marks the aboriginal time anytime that Google has captivated a public-facing accouterments accident like this —since the addition of the operating arrangement in 2008 —without at atomic advertence it by name.”
He additionally acclaimed that Google has bare “Android” off of abundant of its app branding. Android Pay and Android Messages are now Google Pay and artlessly Messages.
New Android apps and initiatives are additionally accustomed a Google branding: Google One, Google Allo, Google Tasks. For its latest Pixel 3 products, Hall added that there is “no acknowledgment of Android on the retail box. Not alike a acknowledgment on the cossack screen.”
If Android is such a abundant cast and is “popular” amid buyers globally, why are licensees and alike Google itself alienated any acknowledgment of it?
The answers arise to be appropriate in band with what we predicted bristles years ago. Android lingers beneath the affair of baseborn IP, and its amount foundation as a belvedere is not alone awry but fails to cobweb which Google’s own amount competencies and the focus of its management.
Google has consistently been a web casework company, architecture web audience with web tools. It was alone with the 2005 accretion of Rubin’s Android activity that it got into the business of advancement a non-web platform. Android artlessly hasn’t formed out well. Google has invested abundantly into the belvedere but as years go by it hasn’t been able to allure the affectionate of exceptional users that iOS has.
The capital affair that Android has able is to ample up amplitude that has prevented added abeyant competitors from demography root. When Microsoft approved to barrage Windows Buzz in 2010 to advantage its PC ally in demography on Apple’s iPhone, it was balked by the chargeless availability of Android.
When Samsung analogously approved to get Bada off the arena in 2010, and afresh Tizen in 2012, it was bedfast by Android’s lock on smartphone apps and mindshare. Note that Samsung has confused its own smarches and Acute TVs to Tizen, authoritative it bright that it wants off Android as abundant as Google does.
Blackberry invested decidedly in the development of Blackberry OS X, acquisitive that the new belvedere would ability tablets, phones and added adaptable devices. In a apple added bedeviled by Android, it didn’t accept a adventitious to get off the ground. It gave up and adopted Android and has sunk into abeyance anytime since.
Sailfish, Nokia’s MeeGo/Maemo/Moblin, Ubuntu Blow and added accessible antecedent adaptable platforms accept additionally been clumsy to germinate and advance beneath the airless absolute of Android.
The companies that accept acclimated Android after Google, including Amazon’s “Fire” angle and assorted distributions acclimated in China, are abundantly accretion the bequest brand of Android after absolutely abacus abundant value. If anything, this use of Android is alone accidental to the adversity in replacing Android with article better, either from Google or from an arising competitor. Accepting the absolute customer electronics apple abundantly accumbent beneath Android—handcuffed by its problems and clumsy to rapidly and radically innovate—has been abundant for Apple
On the added hand, accepting the absolute customer electronics apple abundantly accumbent beneath Android—handcuffed by its problems and clumsy to rapidly and radically innovate—has been abundant for Apple. It agency that rather than aggressive adjoin Microsoft or a aitionist new innovator it alone has to accumulate avant-garde of a adaptable belvedere that has never been anon assisting for its developers, and is bedfast by its own bequest and fragmentation.
That has accustomed Apple to focus on optimizing iOS to assignment beyond ancestors of iPhones, specialize it to run on tablets and higher-end PC anthology replacements in the anatomy of iPad Pro, and to comfortable advance new belvedere categories in Apple TV and Apple Watch.
If Google, Samsung, Microsoft, or any added aggregation were able to actualize a new belvedere to alter Android, they would not alone face the difficult anticipation of breaking through the airless atmosphere of the fragmented, installed abject of Android. They would additionally acquisition themselves in antagonism with an accustomed adaptable and wearable belvedere that generates tens of billions of dollars quarterly, one that has bound up the architecture of advanced, able silicon, and has an acutely adult development belvedere that generates around all of the profits amid third-party developers.
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