Android always seems to be the most happening platform any way you look at it, and it’s not always good news. As an example, a new study conducted by security firm NQ Mobile says that over 32.8 million Android devices were infected in 2012 with mobile malware, which is an increase over 200% from 2011. Considering this alone, it’s no surprise that Android is always in the news. Plus, Google has larger than life people running its enterprises as well. All of this combined gives us plenty to talk about with this beloved OS, especially with the announcement of Android’s new head.
This latest update revolving the platform giant is a change in management. Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android division has stepped down. The move brings some speculation of uncertainty around the mobile OS. And of course, the uncertainty is not unexpected; after all, Rubin is not to be undervalued. He does have a reputation of his own in the mobile world, being the one to give the go-ahead for an open source operating system. Back when Google took over Android in 2005, smartphones were still in their timid stage, and open operating systems were almost unheard of, representing a big risk to say the least.
Google’s extended Family
What Rubin will be doing now remains unclear, though he has indicated it will be in collaboration with Google. And there is no doubt that Google is working on many projects that could be interesting for Rubin. He could offer a hand in the super elusive Google X Lab. After all, Android has witnessed an entrepreneurial age with his help, and other projects, like Project Glass, may also be an ideal candidate of such expertise. Project Glass, as you likely know, is Google’s attempt at creating wearable computer glasses.
Equally exciting as Rubin’s potential next projects is the man who will take his place, Sundar Pichai, who is already heading Chrome and the Android Apps department. Pichai does have some interesting additions to the Google family as well. Just last month, his team introduced Google’s first laptop, the Chromebook Pixel; the device that runs on the Chrome operating system.
The Merging Platforms
You see, this change in line up also brings something other than Rubin’s step down to light- -that is the merger of the mobile and the computer world. Initially, these were separate divisions to work on, but now it seems that the industry is slowly edging towards a mobile-centered technology philosophy. There is a possibility that the new head may attempt to bring about some sort of a mash-up of the Android OS and new Chrome OS. This would definitely breach some barriers and bring the internet-based technology world closer.
The Android OS group is now covering the distance making it closer to the computers unit, and implicitly even implying that it is the ‘bigger thing’ in terms of consumers. If you look at the statistics, this becomes even more evident. Android boasts over 900,000 Android devices activated on a daily basis and reported 70% of sales worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012. So selling seems to be going well, but now sustaining the edge has gained significant importance. This move may be an attempt at that.
What do you think this change will represent? Will it mark a new era for Google? Let me know in the comments.
Natalia David writes for all things technology and amongst her blogging interests are social media, mobile app world, and e-journalism. She can be contacted @NataliaDavid4.