Last year we found out that Android owns 70% market share from new sales, which means it’s just a matter of time before that number reflects on the installed based of smartphone users, too, if it hasn’t happened already, as Google recently announced that 750 million Android smartphones have been sold, although that doesn’t say much about how many of them are still using those smartphones (my guess is somewhere between 550-650 million).
But because of this rapid growth in Android smartphones sales, more developers are starting to treat it as one of their main platforms, and even start developing for Android first, if they can take advantage of some of Android’s features, that other operating systems don’t have.
According to Digitimes Research, at least three Android-related software development projects are worthy of attention: the BlueStacks App Player being developed by BlueStacks, Ubuntu for Android by the Ubuntu Foundation, and Wine for Android by Wine.
Bluestacks is that application for Windows that makes Android apps run on Windows machines. This can potentially give developers a lot more users, if those users want to use their Android apps but don’t have access to them on Windows.
Ubuntu for Android and Ubuntu Touch is also going to benefit from Android, as they can merge the kernel, and even use the same drivers as Android devices, which makes it that much easier to port it on Android devices.
Wine for Android is also supposed to arrive soon, and it’s going to make Windows applications run on Android, the same way it makes Windows app runs on Linux.
All of these are signs that Android is about to become a lot more mature platform that both users and developers will start to take a lot more seriously, not just on phones and tablets, but also on PC’s, especially when that Android/Chrome OS merger happens.
Rival operating systems for smartphones and PCs should ramp up shipments of hardware devices, enhance differentiation and increase added-value so as to stem their associated software developers from shifting to the Android camp, Digitimes Research commented.
Analysts also seem to believe Android is going to pose a threat to established PC operating systems, but I don’t think there’s much they can do when Android device sales keep growing, and PC manufacturers are increasingly adopting Android and Chrome OS (only to be merged later) on their PC’s. All of this will only make developers even more interested in developing for Android in the future.