Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, where Samsung and others are expected to introduce the first 2018 flagships, Google is teasing the announcement of the first Oreo (Go edition) and more Android One devices from partners. Meanwhile, Android head Hiroshi Lockheimer also notes Google Assistant, Lens, and RCS developments.
The senior vice president of Platforms & Ecosystems at Google begins his post reflecting “on where Android is today and where it’s going.”
This fall marks 10 years since the release of the first Android device. Back in 2008, building software for mobile devices was pretty hard. Development was highly fragmented and resource intensive, and there was very limited compatibility across phones. Android began with a bold idea: to solve this problem with a new, open platform that would give mobile developers access to uniform tools and give customers a customized experience with the best mobile technology available.
As first revealed at I/O 2017, Android is now on 2 billion active devices, while there are 1,300 brands with 24,000 unique products.
Android Oreo (Go edition) was launched in early December as an optimized operating system for more affordable hardware and low connectivity areas, with specialized “Go” apps from Google. Lockheimer notes that the first set of devices will be announced next week and go on sale soon after.
Meanwhile, the more mid-range Android One brand, with devices like the Moto X4, will also see more new hardware at MWC. These devices offer more premium hardware, with Nexus and Pixel aspects like fast software and security updates.
Lastly, Lockheimer also notes that Google will be “showcasing the latest from Google including Google Assistant and Lens,” as carrier partners will demonstrate “the growing industry momentum around RCS.”