The past 3 years have been an interesting journey so far. I’ve been using Android since the 1.0 days, and always looked forward to a new major update – Cupcake, Doughnut, (Donut for the benefit of the Yanks )Eclaire, Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb.
I watched as the Droid and Galaxy S helped cement Android a place in today’s world, as HTC evolved from a little known Windows Device manufacturer to an awesome Android manufacturer, with the same company being the one who started it all with the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream.
Friends of mine, infected by my passion for the OS, headed out in droves to get the Droid and its follow ups, thanks majorly to an awesome ad campaign launched by Verizon.
As the OS rose in popularity, more and more devices came to be, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, low and high end.
This year particularly has been an interesting year – Apple is growing increasingly nervous of the Android Army that is growing, with Android now seeing over 100 000 activations per day, with the Marketplace growing exponentially, and Google slowly starting to tie things up into one beautifully integrated package.
Admittedly, one can not ignore the fact that Apple helped the smartphone revolution kick off initially, but they have definitely lost their way a bit.
For the first time since 2009, I watched an iPhone launch and knew that Android definitely offered more. Apple is now trying to catch up.
The 4S is a great device, but Apple has really just served up a device that matches current competition…phones that have been around for a few months already ie. The Galaxy S II.
While Apple touts that Siri is a great addition to iOS, the concept isn’t new. Vlingo has been doing the same thing for months now, though it is admittedly a little weaker than what Siri is. Siri has one major drawback however – something Apple didn’t really make the world aware of – It is limited, for the most part, to the US only.
Apple has also taken the notification concept available to Android users since 1.0 days and built something similar into iOS 5 – something their users have wanting for years. Widgets are also available…sort of. iMessenger…new concept? I think not. BBM has been around for years, and Gtalk on Android since Android’s arrival.
I still think that Gtalk, and WhatsApp to a degree, are the best chat apps available. They’re cross platform, with Gtalk even being available on a desktop PC.
Hardware wise, the 4S looks exactly like its predecessor – same size screen, no SD capability – and only 512MB of RAM. Really? The same phone…just newer.
So now that I’ve summed up the latest competition from Apple, let’s focus on the announcement being made by Google and Samsung next week in Hong Kong. (4am our time, 19th October 2011).
Ice Cream Sandwich is touted to be the one OS to rule them all…ahem…run on them all.
With Google now running Android on tablets, phones, TV’s and even home appliances, it may get a little messy trying to control, maintain and update all the various versions all at once. So ICS is supposedly going to sort this issue out via the ability to be installed on any device, sense what features and hardware exist, and run according to the resources available. It will then block out parts of the OS not necessary for the hardware it is on.
We’re also going to be seeing a brand new interface, with hardware buttons on the face being scrapped altogether, much like how it is on Honeycomb already.
We’re also going to see UI adjustments in the Marketplace, Google Music hopefully adding in purchase functionality, some more news on Android at Home (Hopefully even product / accessory availability), and the obligatory system and resource improvements.
A new Nexus device is also going to revealed, with specs rumoured to be according to the following:
- 4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD curved display
- 9mm thin
- Either a TI OMAP 4460 Dual-Core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz OR a dual-core, 1.5-GHz Samsung Exynos application processor.
- Dual-Core graphics processing unit (Possibly the PowerVR SGX543MP2)
- 1GB of RAM
- 32GB of on board memory
- 5 OR 8 Megapixel Camera (If the G2S is anything to go by, this camera will blow your mind)
- 1.3MP Front Facing Camera
- 1080p HD video capture support
- 2,050 mAh battery OR 1,750 mAh battery (I’m banking on the former)
- LTE / HSDPA + (4g)
As well as all the usual bit and pieces ie. GPS, WiFi, although no one is particularly sire on the SD card.
Looking at the above, I think it will be safe to say that Samsung and Google have finally cooked up a beast of a device, one that will surely blow the 4S clean out of the water, and live up to the hype, unlike the 4S launch.
Rumours are also floating around that there will be a second device announced – a tablet, that may work hand in hand with the new Nexus device. We may see a tablet that integrates with the phone, utilising the resources on the phone to power itself, much like the Motorola Atrix and Asus Padphone, while possibly also charging the phone with onboard batteries.
Thanks to the already mentioned abilities of ICS, this should be a smooth intergration, and I truly hope this comes to be. There is indeed a good chance this will happen, as when one thinks of a sandwich, 2 objects become one (And usually have something tasty in between )
I truly think that this is going to be the first major competition to the iPhone as a single device. Here’s hoping!
Hit the sources for more information!