Google Android Development Gets Its Close-Up

By by Evan Koblentz — May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010
 
Good and bad news about the Android mobile operating system is surging ahead of next week's Google I/O developer conference.
 
Android is now second in U.S. consumer smartphone market share with 28 percent, research firm NPD Group said this week. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has 36 percent, while Apple's iPhone devices have 21 percent.
 
That's good news on the surface for robot fanatics, but NPD acknowledges that it doesn't include enterprise sales, which would boost RIM even more, although it does include extra units sold from a Verizon buy-one, get-one plan.
 
Also this week, Samsung's Moment phone achieved Citrix Systems certification when used on the Sprint network in the U.S., thereby adding to Android's enterprise toolchest.
 
Yet Sprint also revealed its plan to not sell Google's own Android device, the Nexus One, despite past support for it. Instead, Sprint is focusing on the HTC Evo 4G. Verizon also backed out of Nexus support, although that company will sell an Android tablet, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal both said today.
 
Google itself is planning dozens of enterprise mobile development sessions for next week's conference.  There are some key questions to which enterprise developers will hopefully get answers, The 451 analyst Chris Hazelton noted.
 
Examples include how Google will handle OS fragmentation post-Nexus; whether Android smartphone apps will also work on tablets just as iPhone apps work on the iPad; and when the device management aspects of Google Docs will support Android, as they already support competitive systems.
 
Aleksander Gargenta, president of the San Francisco Android User Group and CTO of open-source training company Marakana, said that Android's enterprise faults should be entirely blamed on Google.  Handset companies and carriers are also involved and can add their own innovations, he observed.
 
For an open-source platform, Google isn't as upfront as it could be about roadmaps, Gargenta added.  At the I/O event he hopes to learn more about virtualization software.

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