Android is a free operating system based on Linux and over the past five years become the most popular operating system for smartphones and it has managed to outpace iOS in the tablet space, too. It’s only worthy competitor, iOS is completely closed and owned by Apple, but it remains to impress hundreds of millions iPhone and iPad users. Android other serious competitor, Windows Phone, is limited solely to smartphones.
Android has been stuck on 32-bit 4.x versions for a while and the last available iteration is called 4.4.x. It is used on some 8 percent of all Android devices. Last week Google announced yet another version of Android called Android L.
One can speculate that after Android 4.4 (codenamed KitKat), we were about to get an Android version with a name like Lollipop, but L in this case might stand for Life. Google wasn't to spy on all aspects of your digital life, all via Android and here is how.
All platforms, everywhere
Android L runs on Android Wear watches, it will run on the latest phones and tablets as well as on cars. Google Now and a few other features will be available on Android Wear but Google will be able to keep track of where you go. It can do that with a phone as well and it does unless you opt out. The key thing in marketing today is to learn as much as possible about customer behaviour.
Some might remember Minority Report, a sci-fi movie where a retina scanner scans your eye and digital banner ads starts calling your name and server ads customized and personally for your eyes only. Apple has the tools to use this sort of personal data just as well as Google. However, Google can sell its ads at much higher rates as companies who want to advertise want to hit its particular target group – and Google simply has more users.
A big part of Android L is interconnectivity via Google account with all your devices. Your Android Wear watch, Android phone, Android tablet, notebook and desktop share information that can help your personalize your searches, browsing etc. You have to use Chrome on desktop and notebook to utilize this feature. Android TV will also become a part of learning your consumer behaviour strategy. It will also ask for your Gmail Google account to be able to serve you better, all planed for Google’s master plan - selling more ads to customers at a higher cost, targeting even more people across more platforms.
Cars, wearables, the sky is the limit
Since Google wants to become a big player in the automotive industry, it might turn out that Google will be able to learn even more about you when you are driving. This is the holy grail of Android L, being able to serve you the best possible search for you that might actually result with your spending money on a service advertised on Google.
Look what happens in Google’s Material design video. Google describes Material design philosophy behind Android L with "our goal is to satisfy the diverse spectrum of human needs. As those needs evolve, so too must our designs, practices, and philosophies. We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science."
Material design is something that many web developers saw and used for quite some time now called responsive design.
We find lack of innovative features on the new Android L disturbing as after days of looking at the new operating system we could not single out amazing feature that will really make us want it bad. Yes, the prospect of 64-bit support is a big thing, but in all honesty it’s simply not very relevant right now. Just look for yourself, as Google used a few shadow and swipe tricks and the functionality remained similar to Android 4.4 or even older versions.
Android L is nice, it will launch on smart watches, new phones, tablets and part of its functionality will even get to your notebooks or Android TV, but we just don’t see a killer feature regardless how hard we look.