Android Team Talks Focus and Challenges at Google I/O

Chris CrumIT Management

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Today was expected to be Android's day out here at Google I/O, and that has certainly been the case. Of course Google TV has been the most talked about announcement to come out of the conference, and with good reason, but Android plays a significant role in that, and between that and the announcement of the new version, Froyo, there has been plenty to talk about. And that talk has been going strong since 8:30 this morning.

Following the keynote were two back-to-back Q&A sessions with the press on Google TV and Android respectively. In the latter session, Android founder Andy Rubin was joined by other key members of the Android team and Google VP, Engineering, VIc Gundotra, to discuss the mobile operating system, which continues to make signicicant gains in the space.

Some key takeaways from this session:

- About a hundred thousand Android devices get activated a day.

- Though Google demoed a music product this morning, it was only a sneak preview of the technology, and no products based on this are being announced....yet.

- Will there be a Nexus 2? No comment.

- Google is more focused on improving the technology behind Android, and leaving the marketing to the manufacturers and the Android Market itself

- Google considers mobile advertising a very important space. It helps developers make money, and in the keynote a number of mobile ad formats were demeoed, running in native app, which were comprised of html and CSS. They'll work in both mobile sites and apps.

- Google's Web Store was an experiment. They say it's important to remember that Android was in a different place six months ago in terms of adoption. They think it's a better idea now to "double down on partnerships."
They want to focus on the technology and not billing systems and whatnot.

- in some countries mobile search accounts for 35-40 percent of all traffic.

- They're giving developers the tools through APIs and calling upon developers to build up Android for more enterprise use cases.

One of the biggest challenges Android faces is getting consumers to understand the differences between what it is doing from what its competitor is doing. Communicating that Android is not a phone has been a challenge, as far as the general public is concerned.

Another challenge is increasing availability in different markets. For example, one person expressed some dissatisfaction with the availablitlity of Android devices in Latin America.

Despite these challenges, it is clear that Android will not be slowing down anytime soon.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.