It’s almost 2 weeks since Apple’s launch of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, and it rather feels like business as usual with 3 announcements that will surely see the Android platform continue to gather momentum.
1) Ice Cream Sandwich. Last week saw the announcement of the 4th version of Android – “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Looking beyond the somewhat bizarre name, Android ICS is a robust response to iOS 5, providing a uniform experience for smartphones and tablets. In Google’s own words “Android 4.0 builds on the things people love most about Android. Easy multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, and deep interactivity — and adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing.”
From our perspective, probably the most significant benefit of Ice Cream Sandwich is the ability to more easily manage device screen resolutions – which has been a challenge for developers globally.
2) Galaxy Nexus. Sharing the limelight at the ICS launch event was the latest Google-branded smartphone – the Galaxy Nexus. Built by Samsung, it beats the iPhone 4S in a variety of ways, not least an incredible 4.65” AMOLED screen. It will surely maintain – or increase – the sales trajectory of the immensely successful Samsung Galaxy S2.
3) Android app downloads surpass iOS. According to ABI research, more apps are now downloaded to Android devices than Apple iOS devices. This news should hardly come as surprise given the enormous number of Android devices in circulation, however it is another significant milestone in the Android story.
Android has also been in the news with the revelation that the late Steve Jobs was apparently determined to destroy the platform. We will have to see whether Apple can make any progress towards that goal in 2012 with an iPhone 5, new iPad and – according to some rumours – an HD TV. More likely we will see the battle heat-up in the courts with an ever-increasing wave of litigation over patents.