It's been 10 years since Google eliminated the G1, the first Android phone. From that moment the operating system grew
It's been 10 years since Google launched the G1, the first Android phone. From that moment the operating system grew, going from being the alternative nerd to iPhone, up to, probably, being the most popular (or at least populated) platform in the world. Now we are at the launch of Android P, that is Android Pie, the ninth version. The road was not, however, free of accidents.
10 years of Android: here's its story
HTC G1 (2008)
This is the device that started it all. The G1 featured a full keyboard, a trackball, a slightly crooked sliding screen (even in official photos) and a considerable circumference that marked it from the beginning like a phone that only a real geek could love. Compared to the iPhone, it was like a poorly dressed whale.
But with the passage of time his software matured.
Moto Droid (2009)
After the limping G1 launch, most people didn't really give Android a second chance until Motorola released its Droid, a slimmer device manufactured by the then famous RAZR manufacturer. Looking back, the Droid was not much better or different than the G1, but it was thinner, had a better screen and had the advantage of a huge marketing push from Motorola.
For many, the Droid and its immediate descendants were the first Android phones that could show something new and interesting, while also being much cheaper than an iPhone.
HTC / Google Nexus One (2010)
This device was the fruit of the collaboration between Google and HTC and the first official Google phone. The Nexus One had to be a high quality device that would eventually compete with the iPhone. The device had finally abandoned the keyboard, obtained a new OLED screen and had a pleasant design. Unfortunately, the new smartphone soon showed two problems.
First, the Android ecosystem was starting to get crowded. Buyers could now have more choice and buy low-cost phones that would do basic tasks. Secondly, Apple would soon release the iPhone 4, which objectively exceeded the Nexus One and all related devices.
HTC Evo 4G (2010)
Another HTC? This was precisely the maximum period for the by now defunct company that was taking on the risks that no one else wanted to assume and that with the Evo 4G was no exception. The device, at the time it came out, was huge: the iPhone had a 3.5 inch screen and most Android devices weren't much bigger, if not generally smaller.
The Evo 4G somehow managed to overcome the widespread criticism of size, which would now be ridiculous, and had become a fairly popular phone, but more in terms of image than sales.
Samsung Galaxy S (2010)
The debut of Samsung arrived and was a great success, with the customized versions of the phone that appeared in the stores of practically every carrier, each with its own name and design, especially on the North American market with: AT&T Captivate, T-Mobile Vibrant, Verizon Fascinate and Sprint Epic 4G, as if the Android line-up was not quite confused at the moment.
Although the S model was a stable and good phone, it was not without its flaws and the iPhone 4 was designed to be a very tough competitor to beat. But strong sales have strengthened Samsung's commitment and the Galaxy series even stronger today.
Motorola Xoom (2011)
It was an era in which Android devices responded to Apple and not vice-versa as is now seen today, so it is not surprising that soon, after the release of the iPad, Google had tried to push a tablet version of Android together with its partner Motorola, volunteered to be the first of its kind with its Xoom tablet, which had a short duration.
Although there are still Android tablets for sale today, the Xoom represented a dead end on the road to development, an attempt to carve out a piece of a market that Apple had essentially invented and soon dominated. The Android tablets from Motorola, HTC, Samsung and others were rarely more than adequate, even though they sold quite well for some time.
Amazon Kindle Fire (2011)
Who better than Amazon trying to sell a new tablet? His contribution to the Android world was the Fire tablet series, which differed from the rest to be extremely economical and directly focused on the consumption of digital media. The Fire devices turned to Amazon's regular customer, whose children were bothering them to get a tablet to play Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds, but they didn't want to shell out the amount needed for an iPad.
Of course Amazon was in a unique position with its huge presence in online commerce and the ability to subsidize the price beyond the reach of competition. The Fire tablets have never been particularly good, but they have always been pretty good and, for the price offered, they turned out to be a miracle.
Xperia Play (2011)
Sony has always had difficulties with Android. His line of Xperia phones for years was considered decent and probably also a leader in the camera department, but nobody bought them and the least purchased device, at least in proportion to the clamor it had obtained, must have been the Xperia Play. This was supposed to be a mobile gaming platform, and the idea of a retractable joypad keyboard was fantastic, but it didn't work.
What Sony had shown, unintentionally, was that you couldn't just ride the popularity and diversity of Android and launch whatever you wanted, hoping to sell enough. The phones didn't sell by themselves and, although the idea of playing Playstation games on the phone might seem interesting to some nerds, the novelty never took root.
Samsung Galaxy Note (2012)
In 2012, Samsung launched itself, without sparing any effort, into the market of large-sized devices with the first real phablet and, despite the groans of protest, the phone not only sold well, but became a mainstay of the Galaxy series. probably in response to this choice that Apple then decided to launch a Plus size line.
The Note also represented a step towards the use of the telephone for a more serious productivity, not only for the usual daily activities from advanced phones. The launch, however, did not turn out to be fully appreciated, also because, probably, Android was not yet ready to be highly productive, but in, look at the past, the Note was ahead of its time.
Google Nexus Q (2012)
This aborted attempt by Google to spread Android across a platform that could be adopted by various devices had proved to be part of a series of reckless choices for the period. The problem with the Nexus Q was that it was a very nice hardware with still disappointing software controlling it.
HTC First, the Facebook Phone (2013)
The phone itself was a nice piece of hardware with sober design and bold colors, but its default launcher, Facebook's doomed Home, was hopelessly scarce.
The First had such a negative future that it was announced in April and ceased in May. For those responsible for the stores in which it was briefly distributed it was even taught to disable the Facebook launcher to reveal that the phone was actually fully functional.
HTC One / M8 (2014)
This was the beginning of the end for HTC, although in the last years of life the company had updated the design realizing something potentially capable of rivaling Apple. The One and its successors were good phones, but emphasizing the power of the Ultrapixel camera, which had turned out to be not so good, did not benefit the device, which turned out to be not performing enough and appreciated to be able to rival the iPhone.
While Samsung was starting to dominate more and more and LG and Chinese companies were getting more and more into the fray, HTC was under siege and even a series of phones as solid as that could not compete. 2014 was a period of transition in which the old producers became extinct and the dominant ones took over, eventually bringing to the market that we see today.
Google / LG Nexus 5X and Huawei 6P (2015)
This was the line that took Google seriously in the running with the hardware players. After the mess of the launch of Nexus Q, Google needed to break the deadlock and did so by marrying the hardware with truly powerful software. Android 5 was a dream to use, Marshmallow had noteworthy features and the phones were starting to become something to worship, even Android.
With this model Google has started its run, producing more and more quality devices.
Google Pixel (2016)
If the Nexus was the right start for Google's full entry into the mobile hardware race, the Pixel line was no less and led Google to other heights, making the big G a decisive competitor to Apple.
The phone camera turned out to be incredible, the software works relatively easily and the size and power of the phone turned out to be everything anyone could want from a smartphone.
The rise and fall of the Essential phone
In 2017, Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, debuted with his new production studio Digital Playground, with the launch of Essential, his first phone. The company had raised $ 300 million to bring this phone to market, announcing it as the next hardware novelty. The phone had immediately received mixed reviews. In the end, the market seemed to agree in not giving more space to this device.
Android ten years of success and great hardware growth
In the ten years since its launch, Android has become the most used operating system. Some versions of its software can be found in around 2.3 billion devices worldwide and are fueling a technological revolution in countries like India and China. As it enters its second decade, there is no sign that anything can slow down its growth (or domination) as a primary operating system in much of the world.
Let's see what the next ten years will bring.