A few years ago Google’s Android OS started making waves, but it didn’t have much of an edge over its competitors. This year’s numbers show something completely different: Android OS is owning the mobile market. When you look at some of Android’s best features, it becomes obvious why so many people choose it over other options.
1. Android OS Gives Parents More Control
Android currently dominates the European market for mobile devices, accounting for over 70 percent of sales. In the U.S., Android devices account for 52 percent of sales.
One reason for this is that parents prefer giving their children Android devices.
Android 4.3, the latest version, lets parents control what their kids do online. You can restrict their app purchases; block inappropriate sites; and even turn off their devices. That last feature is important for parents who worry that their kids spend too much time fiddling online instead of participating in family activities.
Android 4.3’s Restricted Profiles also let employers control how their workers use devices. If a manager doesn’t want employees wasting time on certain sites, she can block those sites.
2. Small Android Devices Have Better Screen Resolution
Android tablet manufacturers managed to create small, high-resolution screens before their competitors. That’s a huge deal for people interested in tablets.
Let’s say that you want to watch a movie on a seven-inch tablet. A screen that size can’t give you a cinematic experience. If you increase the screen resolution, though, you get a clearer picture that makes the experience more enjoyable.
At this time, only Android devices can offer that.
3. Android Devices Have Lower Prices
You can buy a seven-inch Android tablet for under $200. Even top-of-the-line mobile devices can cost less than $300.
When it comes to high-priced competitors, consumers often shell out $600 or more for smaller tablets. That’s the kind of price difference that families and businesses have to take seriously. No one wants to spend an extra $300, especially when everyone in the family wants one.
If are concerned about cost at all, then you will go with Android every time.
4. Android Has More (And Potentially Better) Apps
It’s hard to say that Google Play has better apps than its competitors. After all, some apps are excellent while others need a lot of work. That’s just the nature of distributing apps made by so many developers.
One thing is clear: the consumption of Android apps is hitting yearly records with all types of consumers. In 2012, whether they were apps for home, work, school, or apps for the commute, Google Play had about 8.25 billion downloads. That doesn’t even include the apps that people downloaded from other sources. In reality, the demand for Android apps is much larger than that. Given that you can download apps through Chinese portals, though, it’s impossible to say exactly how large the Android apps market is.
It doesn’t really matter anyway. Even when you just look at downloads from Google Play, Android blows the competition away.
5. Android Uses an Open Platform
Why are Android apps the most popular option? Partially because Google doesn’t keep a firm grip on its software development tools.
Google voluntarily opened the Android source code so developers could make innovative apps and changes to the kernel OS. This has helped Google forge partnerships with companies that prefer thinking outside of the box so they can offer customers unique software options.
While other mobile operating systems treat their app stores like cherished realms reserved for a select few, Google encourages exploration and free development.
That means better apps for users and better opportunities for developers.
6. The Bottom Line: People Like Google, and Prefer Android
From a marketing perspective, Android has a definite advantage over other operating systems. Other hardware and software companies have struggled with unfortunate circumstances (some were beyond their control, others were just the results of bad decisions). Google, meanwhile, has stayed at the forefront of technology and freedom of information.
Just thinking about Google’s forward-thinking projects makes people feel good about buying Android tablets and smartphones. Google is working on:
- cars that drive themselves
- a broadband network that’s about 100 times faster than other services
- glasses that connect users to the Internet
- mobile translation services
There are few companies looking as far ahead as Google is, and people want to become a part of this mission. Using an Android mobile device is a small way to do that.
Why do you think Google’s Android OS has become so popular in the past couple years? Do you think Android has the power to keep its sales up, or will it need to create even more innovative features to keep consumers interested?