Most people associate apps with Apple. Apple apps. The Appstore. Apple invented the app with the launch of the iPhone … etc. etc. However, Apple’s operating system for the iPhone and iPad may not be the most interesting when it comes to apps. Apple apps (iOS apps) are notoriously difficult to get launched on the Appstore. You’d almost need a full cavity search before you can get an app on the Appstore. Also, there are way too many of them (over half a billion at this stage), and all the cool kids are working on Android anyway.
So, not only are all the cool kids working on Android, but the Android operating system is now the fastest growing mobile and tablet platform in the world.
Google, by the way, owns the Android operating sytem and should be satisfied with its progress.
However, until now, Android was a bit of a ‘wild west’ experience. It’s open source. There are no harsh laws when it comes to content. To use a blunt simile – Android is the 60s and Apple’s iOS is the 80s. Android’s counter revolution is now pitted against Apple’s straight-laced, prim, almost Victorian walled garden.
Google, ironically, is playing the hippy while Apple plays at being Reagan. Google recently launched Android Design, a guide of sorts, one that is “committed to helping you design amazing apps that people love”. Hippy talk.
Kill all hippies
But for all the hippy talk, Google is on a winner. Its latest Android operating system, the ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ (stupid name but all the rest are taken up) focuses on three core goals: “enchant me; simplify my life; and make me amazing”.
More hippy talk, but Google is no hippy. (Well, it’s a hippy with the heart of Genghis Khan and the drive of Stalin.) It plans not just to own the web, to rule the web, but also to make the most money from the web.
Many have sneered at its attempt to challenge Facebook with Google+. Those that sneer are wrong. Google not only owns Android, the soon to be de-facto app operating system on the planet, it also owns the world’s best search engine and it is waiting in the wings to ‘Hoover’ up all those tired and jaded Facebookers who first logged in five years ago. It’s about to offer social media users an alternative. And we all know how fickle young people (14-30) are when it comes to deciding where the coolest place to hang out is, don’t we? Just ask MySpace.
Google has also just stolen Apple’s mantra. CEO Eric Schmidt recently said the new model for Android should be “cleaner, pristine, and [with] more [to] spare”. Google and Android, he said, wants to attract “people with great taste”.
Now that Steve Jobs is gone, Google sees its chance … and it’s not letting go. It wants to beat Apple, it wants to kill the iPhone and the iPad and it wants to have more Android apps than Apple apps. All it needs now is a Messiah to re-brand Android and convince people Apple isn’t cool anymore.
That’s the hard part.