jay's old blog

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There is no ignoring Android, and Google, of course

For a while now, I have become more open to change when it comes to technology. I switched from windows phone to android. No longer have a deep hatred for Google (and its many, many data collection technologies) and related services. Of course, I still refuse to use Google Search but I see that I cannot escape their other services such as maps.

The annual Consumer Electronic Show or CES, is currently under way in the US. CES is where we get a taste of how the world will shape itself in terms of every day stuff. We are talking stuff that people need or perhaps want, depending on where you stand on the economic ladder. I have been keeping up with the barrage of news through my two favorite news sources - engadget and arstechnica - and it is way too much news. This is what geeks like me call a sumptous meal.

As is the trend for the last few years, everyday stuff is becoming smart. Meaning, they are all hooking up to an operating system so that they can talk to the cloud (in the back end) and to an app (in the user end). That is where the topic of this blog comes into picture. The operating system. When Apple released it's smartphone OS, there were two reactions. Some people like Blackberry thought it was joke. Yeah, Blackberry is now pretty much dead. Others like Google woke up. They ran here and there and put together a smartphone OS of their own. Google realized that they are in the 'free stuff' business. Heck, I would say, Google pretty much invented the 'give us your data and we will tell you if you are pregnant' economy.

So, they released Android. The world has not been the same ever since.

Of course, Microsoft did its thing where it acknowledged that it needs to follow the leader. So they tried with windows phone OS. However, poor management of devices and Nokia ensured that Microsoft lost even before it started.

Now, in CES, it is pretty clear that Android is the choice of OS for almost everything. Mobiles and Tablets, they already own it. Then there are laptops running chrome, which are quite alright for essential productivity. Then, android is now powering the televisions (you see how android is slowly but surely conquering the living room, which is where family spend time, and hence, money) and cars are the next logical step. Home appliances will invariably start using android and soon, I guess, everything will run on android.

As a consumer, my concerns are related to the extreme data collection that Google does. Also, you will notice how whenever there is a phone breaking in scenario, you dont really read or hear about how secure Android really is. In fact, Android is open and hence ideal for experimentation. Experimentation also means, there are hundreds of ways to get into stuff. This is pretty much the same scenario with windows on desktops, and hence I wont hold it against android. If something is popular, it is bound to be broken down in so many ways. If you are popular, that is the price you pay for it.

As a developer, I suppose, I will have to get into the android game (I already earn some share of my earnings via android related assignments) a little more deeper than I thought. Popular opinion is that, if you are not in mobile, then you are not going anywhere. More importantly, a myopic attitude (sadly a common feature among tech graduates) is going to be fatal. That means, if anything, I will have to double down on my android skills because that is where the market is heading.

Android will be everywhere, and there is no escaping. If we (developers) dont prepare ourselves for it...things could get pretty ugly, very fast.

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