Back Off, Android

While most people seem to be rooting for Android to make its debut and bridge the gap between phones and netbooks, apparently there are a few who, for varied reasons, think Android ought stay away from netbooks and stick to what it knows best: smartphones.The Engadget post by Ross Rubin says Android should stay on phones where it belongs and keep away from netbooks. It says that most people who buy netbooks want Windows on it, and therefore Android doesn’t have much of a chance. Other companies such as HP have designed their own customized versions of Linux, and it would take some time before Android customizations could become as unique. It goes on to say that Android’s browser can’t win against Firefox or Google Chrome, its screen resolution won’t do well on larger screens, and its applications aren’t interesting or efficient on a larger scale device.

The author does, however, mention that Android could possibly make a good go on “smartbooks,” MIDs, or what have you, and that if the development of Android is concentrated on smartphones and these other devices, it may one day be developed enough for the crossover to netbooks.

Now, I’d never be considered any sort of OS developer by any means, and I haven’t had the chance to actually use Android myself, so this ought to be taken with a grain of salt, but I disagree with the above. Certainly it was first designed for smartphones back when it was first released, and it’s not currently at a stage where it would run well on netbooks. Those are fact. However, we’ve seen plenty, individuals and OEMs alike, who have been tinkering with putting the system on netbooks and other devices. Even the people at Google have mentioned the possibility. The technilogical world at large has been buzzing about the thought for months, and it’s in the works as it is. There are already several netbooks scheduled to be released with Android as the default OS, and there will be more to come. Android may not be ready just now, but that isn’t to say that nobody’s developing it to be ready by next year or even later this year. The name of “Android” is a buzz word already; the phone’s already been pretty successful and is still spreading the word. A netbook branded with that name, though definitely no match for Windows at this time, would do well.

The concluding paragraph from the article:

So stick with smartphones, Android. There’s lots of opportunity there for the near-term, and as the screens and market share of Android devices grow, they may just encourage development of more kinds of applications that would cross over better to the laptop world. Today, though, Android simply lacks the muscle, momentum, and marketplace to be a strong contender on netbooks.

To Android, I would say to keep working in the smartphones field by all means. We’ve already seen it successful there. I furthermore implore Android to keep up the good work to cross over to netbooks as well. Several OEMs already have Android netbooks coming, the system has enough flexibility to change and has been in the process of development for some time for netbooks, and it’s not as if applications found on other operating systems can’t be brought to Android– this is Linux we’re talking about. Give it some time, but don’t not work toward the goal; there’s too much muscle, momentum, and marketplace to let it go to waste.

What do you, the reader, think about Android’s crusade? Should more development be concentrated in the smartphone area, or should Android keep where it’s going towards netbooks?


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