In 2017, the Android operating system had two billion active devices worldwide. In the same year, the company prepared to connect the next billion devices. To achieve this goal, the company has launched various initiatives to facilitate access to its services, such as Android Go, the light version of the operating system for entry-level smartphones.
Today this goal of the “next billion” has been achieved. In fact, at the opening of its I / O conference (which is practically due to the pandemic), Google announced that it currently has three billion active devices running Android.
In addition, it should be noted that it is entirely possible that the actual number of Android devices will be higher. This is because Google generally counts the number of devices using statistics from the Play Store. However, Android is an open source operating system. Because of this, there are also many devices that use this operating system, but not the Play Store (like devices sold in China).
Apple claims 1 billion iPhones are in use
Google is announcing this news, while Apple, in turn, will bring iOS 1 billion iPhones. This was announced by the Cupertino company in January.
Of course, Android is used more than iOS on smartphones. However, comparing the numbers announced by the two companies is not really possible.
In fact, the billion announced by Apple is the number of iPhones in use. And the three billion that Google announced is the number of devices using Android, all media put together (but not just smartphones).
Either way, this is an important announcement for the Android ecosystem, be it for Google or for app developers who can target more devices around the world. Additionally, the 3 billion devices will be hit at a time when Google is preparing to make major changes to its ecosystem.
With the launch of Android 12, Google is facing a new step
In terms of smartphones, Google has just unveiled a redesign of the Android interface that will be available for Android 12 (the beta of which has just been released). In addition to this new user interface, Google will add new features to better protect user privacy.
In terms of connected watches, the company has just announced a partnership with Samsung that will make Wear OS and Tizen a unified platform. Thus, the Google operating system will benefit from many of the advantages of Samsung and vice versa.
Among the improvements for the new version of Wears OS are faster applications launch (30%) and smoother animations. Samsung and Google have also worked to improve the autonomy of future connected watches. On the software side, Google announced a new API that app developers can use to create tiles for smartwatches.
On the other hand, Google is gradually integrating solutions from Fitbit (a specialist in connected watches that it bought for $ 2.1 billion) into the operating system.
These new features will not only benefit Google and Samsung, but other brands that use their platform as well. In the last two years, however, new players have entered the connected watch market, to name just onePlus, Realme, Oppo, Vivo or even Xiaomi.