When Google purchased a start-up designing a mobile OS based on Linux in 2005, things were rather secretive. Not many people knew what the company was working on, much less what Google planned to do with it. Several of the key people came across the business, and they began working on yet another Google product that would revolutionize the world we live in and become ubiquitous in certain industries – Android.
Whilst the early years of the company were a little unsure, by around 2009 they had a working, honed version of the mobile OS, nicknamed ‘Cupcake’. Since then there have been 12 more versions, each fixing various bugs, improving upon other things and adding more features. Whilst these have always powered both Google produced smartphones and other manufacturers running Android, the key to their massive success has been the flexibility that Android brings. As it’s built on Linux, it’s a very flexible development area, to begin with, but Google has worked their magic on their OS so that it can run on a multitude of devices.
From phones to tablets, other handheld analytical devices, and wearable tech, it seems there is nothing that the Android OS can’t be adapted for. Its flexibility means that it can be paired right back to be run on a handheld scanning device in a warehouse, customized to run just a few tasks on a tablet device available to customers, used as an OS for a watch or run full blown on a phone or netbook. In turn, this means they are amazingly well positioned to enter new markets.
Smartwatches are a great example of this. Only a few years ago the technology meant that they didn’t exist, or if they did were bulky and unworkable. Now, new chip design means that they can be sleek and design-led, and in turn, this has attracted a huge amount of brands to the market. Fashion houses from Dolce & Gabanna to Michael Kors, Armani to Tommy Hilfiger watches all use the Android platform to power their smart watch offerings, and the off the shelf nature of Android watch OS means that they’re the obvious choice.
Whatever comes next in the ongoing tech revolution, you can be sure that Android will be there at the forefront, ready to take advantage and provide manufacturers, brands, and ultimately users with a dedicated, well designed and functional OS.