2012 has been a fantastic year for Android. In a market that was practically saturated with Apple products, Android emerged like an underdog—seemingly out of nowhere. It was too easy to ignore the relative newcomer. Apple had a firm grip on the market. Then, suddenly, it was Samsung Galaxies all the way! With a combination of creative innovation and clever tongue-in-cheek marketing, Android has elevated itself into the contender seat.
Technological success for companies like Android hinge on their “Next Big Thing;” 2012 was the year that Android declared that it was the next big thing. If that is the case, what will 2013 hold for the rapidly-climbing company? Here are 13 predictions of what consumers could be seeing come out of the minds of Google in the next twelve months.
Predictions for Android and 2013
Samsung is already steeped in a battle for supremacy in the core processor market. 2012 held whispered rumors of a quad-core processor. These rumors were later confirmed through the release of the NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 quad-core processors.
Samsung entered the battle with their Exynos line. American consumers were unable to test the Exynos because it did not support LTE; however, the Exynos processor and its chipsets are currently powering some of the most powerful smartphones in the world. Samsung’s brand new quad-core processor system, the Cortex A-15 based 5250, is soon to come to US markets in the form of the Nexus 10. This new A-15 system is expected to be the future of Android in 2013.
The idea of wirelessly charging your smartphone while on the go came into the limelight in 2012 and has been a mad rush of products, development, and implementation ever since. Google took a bold step forward by making a deal with Starbucks to introduce the Qi wireless charging system.
The Nexus 4 came with a Qi wireless charging as a standard feature, and all devices in Nexus’s Lumia line have adopted the new system. The wireless charging system does, admittedly, have a few snags that need to be worked out, but what new technology doesn’t? It is our prediction that, once the bugs are worked out and the compatibility issues are smoothed over, wireless smartphone charging will be one of the “Next Big Things” of 2013.
Bigger and Brighter Screens
Ever since Samsung first came out with the Galaxy, it seems the smartphone market is steeped in the battle of the screens. The HD screens that come standard in every Samsung smartphone are one of the company’s signature elements.
You will always be able to tell a Samsung from its competition by looking at its screen. Android phones have screens from a basic 2.2 inch to an enormous 5.5 inch! The screen innovation is stopping there. Samsung is teasing consumers with rumors of a new Galaxy Note III that will have a 6.3 inch screen and a Galaxy S IV with a 4.99 inch screen with 1080p HD.
Android is moving toward the goal of being “King of the Screens” with little competition from the rest. It will be exciting to see just what boundaries Android breaks in its pursuit of the best smartphone resolution out there!
Nexus Overtakes Apple
The Nexus 7 tablet is Google’s next step in upping its game in the world of tablets. Though tablets have not been Google’s strongest selling point nor has anyone seemed to be able to hold a candle to the Empire of the IPad, rumors are beginning to circulate that Google may make a run for it this year.
This prediction is birthed out of the strategy that had the Samsung smartphones catching up and eventually overtaking the IPhone. Google plans to up the ante by way of price, product, and variety. The tablet market is already growing with people who want a product that is just as good as an IPad but at a much lower rate.
Samsung did it with the Galaxy; Google wants to do it with Android tablets; and Google can succeed in this venture. They are working hard to get developer support, upgrade their Play Store, and expand their tablet apps. This may be the year that Google comes out on top in regards to tablets.
Android Continues to Take the Market
Android smartphones have long since taken the lead in the local smartphone market. Its presence worldwide took a massive leap forward in 2012. The surge in the use of Android devices came when Android was introduced to China.
With the increase demand for great product at even better prices, Android has risen above its competitors to claim nearly three-fourths of the global market for smartphones. This rise does not seem to be stopping. Do not be surprised if Android reaches upwards of 80% or higher before 2013 is over.
In 2010, Google attempted to revolutionize its updating system by instigating an update schedule. This schedule was meant to keep its manufacturers accountable and to make for efficient updates. Sadly, little to nothing of this venture has been heard of since.
It is on this note that we hope to see Android 5.0 take the needed steps forward in the area of software updates. Performance updates are just one of the things consumers are hoping will come out of Android 5.0. Consumers are also hoping for an improved social integration with Google’s “People App.”
Any improvement in this area will help keep up with the ever moving, every changing social integrations. A user interface upgrade would also be a nice touch. Android 5.0 should be something for which to anticipate in 2013, so stay tuned!
Key Lime Pie
Google has not once shifted from its course by way of naming its new Android systems after favored sweet treats. Android’s newest system coming out like clockwork on the six month mark will be Android Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie promises to build upon what Jelly Bean started. It is speculated that the focus will be on wireless.
Wireless Miracast technology will be a huge advancement in moving all aspects of Android towards Google Cloud. Speed will be another aspect of the Key Lime Pie upgrade. Google’s UI will improve across the board. The Play Store will receive massive overhauls and upgrades in its speed and presentation.
There will be a focus on continuing to better the Google Now system as it continues to integrate on deeper levels with Android. The notifications will integrate with Google Now to create what could be one of the best Google experiences to date. This is an upgrade not to be missed! That is our prediction.
Android Jelly Bean showed Google’s devotion to improving battery life in its devices, and Key Lime Pie is predicted to build upon that commitment. Google has utilized the use of large batteries to increase the overall life of its smartphones.
Through the Samsung Galaxy, Google and Android have proven that thin and light smartphones can have longer lasting battery life without becoming clunky and bulk annoyances. As Google moves forward in its pursuit of better batteries, it may see a slight distinction in which consumer buys what. For example, businessmen and businesswomen may default to the devices that promise longer battery life while those who wish to use their devices for apps, games, and entertainment may compromise battery life in favor of performance.
Either way, no one complains about a large phone, but there are a significant number of complains about a short-lived battery; so be on the lookout for more advancements in Android battery life.
Intel in Androids
Over the last year or so, Intel has been working to get its ATOM processors into smartphones and other such devices. In fact, the first smartphones to carry Intel processors appeared overseas in 2012. Those designs have not touched United States shores just yet due to their lack of support for LTE.
However, Intel is developing a new mobile chip that will be a fully integrated LTE modem. This will enable Android phones that run on Intel processors to become available in the United States markets. With both Windows and Android running on Intel, the potential for further creative innovation and technological development is endless. The future of such collaboration is truly exciting.
Samsung Retail Stores
The first Samsung retail storefront opened in Paris in 2012. Kiosks have been appearing in Malls all across the United States. These seem to be hints at Samsung’s next big move—Samsung Retail Stores. Speculations and rumors may abound about what, how, why, or when.
It would not be a surprise to us if Samsung does what it does best—pokes fun at Apple. They have been very brazen in their comparing of products through marketing and design. What would stop them from, say, setting up shop next door to every Apple store in the United States?
They could have their own group of Samsung experts lined up in matching hipster-style retail uniforms ready and willing to show you how to make Samsung your new technological best friend. It is just a speculator thought, but Samsung has not backed down from Apple since it came onto the scene. It would be interesting to see this device-competition transform into a retail-style turf war.
Android Home Systems
Following its trend to compete toe-to-toe with Apple in all that it does, Google and Android could make a play for the Home System glory this year. Google TV has been trying to hook in consumers with little luck. The Nexus Q and Ouya consoles had similar failures by way of gaining any momentum in the market. However, the potential to combine these technologies with the versatility of Android technology sparks the idea of Android taking over the home system.
Nexus Q was not a failure by way of technology; it was, apparently, poorly marketed. 2013 could see a revolution for Google TV under the new branding of an Android-at-Home sort of system. Key Lime Pie is already combining Google TV with Android@Home and Android OS. It is a simple step from there to build an integrated system that will give AppleTV a run for its money.
For all its dominance on the cyber and technological fronts, who would blink an eyelash at the thought of Google buying or even creating its own wireless network? Google showed that it did not necessarily need to conform to the standards of carriers when it launched the Nexus 4 without an LTE.
Google could potentially develop and launch its own carrier system in 2013. This seems like a farfetched prediction on some fronts, but it cannot be stressed enough that, if it does happen, it will not be a surprise.
Android Activation Rates Will Level Out
Android activation rates have surpassed the billions mark for daily activations. This number could potentially remain on the rise, but it is our prediction—a prediction shared by most others—that this number cannot be sustained for a long period of time. The activations numbers for Androids will most likely level off into a stead consistency during 2013. If it doesn’t level off, we will be pleasantly surprised.
Will There Be More Big Things to Come
Well, there you have it. These thirteen predictions are what we speculate will be the future of Android products for 2013. As with all things, we can only guess. There is so much potential on the horizon for Android that they could come out with something that no one could predict. Then again, the company could do everything we predicted and more.
Nothing is really certain. What we can be certain about, though, is that Android will continue to work hard to bring its consumers the best products at the best prices. They will continue to climb the ladder of success, challenge the seemingly untouchable Apple, and give all of us a heightened sense of expectation for what is coming next.
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Chris Smith lives in Massachusettes and believes Android to be a powerful system for advancements in technology. He is also a freelance writer for Android authority One Click Root on many different topics concerning Android phones and tablets.