Android News

Android has 150k apps, 350k daily activations, and more notes from Eric Schmidt’s MWC keynote

February 15, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android

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Android is the biggest thing on the planet, the fastest thing smoking, the hottest thing burning, and whatever other cliche you can think to affix to it. Google CEO-turned-other-executive-guy Eric Schmidt confirmed as much when he updated the Android stats in his keynote address at Mobile World Congress.

Schmidt confirmed that the Android Market app total has reached 150,000 apps, which is three times what it was less than a year ago. No one was surprised to hear that these apps helped push the Android device total to 350,000 per day. Or is this an egg before the chicken situation and the app totals grew because developers saw the increasing number of devices being activated and realized that they had to invest more in supporting what has become the “fastest growing” mobile operating system around?

At this current rate, Android will reach a bajillion apps and gazillion daily activations before I get on my plane back to the U.S. on Friday. Schmidt seems very proud of what Google and its Open Handset Alliance partners have managed to accomplish, and he has every right to be pleased. I’ve seen more Android at MWC than you can imagine and I fully expect that number to increase soon. I’ve met journalists from South Korea and Germany who all say that Android’s popularity is rising in their natino. I met a press member from South Africa today who told me that iPhone and BlackBerry OS are still most popular in her country; I’m not so sure she’ll be able to say that if we meet again at MWC 2012.

Here are some other highlights from Eric Schmidt’s keynote.

  • Google tried to get Nokia to adopt Android (duh), but Nokia opted to go with WP7. Schmidt would love Nokia to adopt Android and he’ll welcome the company with open arms should ever decide to embrace Android.
  • Android will merge phone and tablet versions eventually. The will they or won’t they speculation regarding Honeycombs on phones can end. Schmidt confirmed that the I branch of Android will unite the key elements of Gingerbread and Honeycomb, so the phone/tablet forking is a temporary issue. Stop asking.
  • Android is updated roughly every 6 months. Andy Rubin previously said Google hoped to update at a slower pace, maybe once a year, but it seems twice a year is in the cards. There will naturally continue to be phones running different versions of the OS at any time, but I (Andrew, the writer of this article) note that has more to do with companies choosing to customize Android that any confusion that stems from different versions being in the wild. I’ve seen new phones announced at MWC running everything from Android 2.2 to Android 2.4. Get use to phones being on different OS versions and realize this is going to be more of an incremental difference rather than the massive, hardware fragmentation that we saw in Android’s earlier years.
  • There’s a really cool video editor coming to Honeycomb. I didn’t get a chance to see much of this, but Movie Studio will allow users to film video on their tablets and then trim start and end points, add music to the background, and incorporate transitions. This is going to be a great thing to have. Maybe I might opt for a tablet so I can share things with readers sooner.