By Hugo Barra, Product Management Director, Android

Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

Update 5/11: Added video of keynote

This morning at Google I/O, the Android team shared some updates. It’s hard to believe a little more than two and a half years ago, we were just one device, launching in one country, on one carrier. Thanks to the ecosystem of manufacturers, developers and carriers, the platform has grown exponentially. There are now:
  • 100 million activated Android devices
  • 400,000 new Android devices activated every day
  • 200,000 free and paid applications available in Android Market
  • 4.5 billion applications installed from Android Market
Mobile—one OS everywhere
Over the past two and a half years, we’ve shipped eight releases of Android and there are now more than 310 Android devices around the world, of all shapes and sizes. This morning we talked about our next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Our goal with Ice Cream Sandwich is to deliver one operating system that works everywhere, regardless of device. Ice Cream Sandwich will bring everything you love about Honeycomb on your tablet to your phone, including the holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets.

We also launched Music Beta by Google, a new service that lets you upload your personal music collection to the cloud for streaming to your computer and Android devices. With the new service, your music and playlists are automatically kept in sync, so if you create a new playlist on your phone, it’s instantly available on your computer or tablet. You can use a feature called Instant Mix to create a playlist of songs that go well together. You can even listen to music when you’re offline: we automatically store your most recently played music on your Android device and you can choose to make specific albums or playlists available when you’re not connected. The service is launching in beta today to U.S. users and is available by invitation.



We’ve also added Movies for rent to Android Market. You can choose to rent from thousands of movies starting at $1.99 and have them available across your Android devices—rent a movie on your home computer, and it’ll be available for viewing on your tablet or phone. You can rent from Android Market on the web today, and we’ll be rolling out an update to Verizon XOOM customers beginning today. We’ll start rolling out the update to Android 2.2 and above devices in the coming weeks.

The Android ecosystem has been moving really fast over the last two and a half years and rapid iteration on new and highly-requested features has been a driving force behind Android’s success. But of course that innovation only matters if it reaches consumers. So today we’re announcing that a founding team of industry leaders, including many from the Open Handset Alliance, are working together to adopt guidelines for how quickly devices are updated after a new platform release, and also for how long they will continue to be updated. The founding partners are Verizon, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, LG, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Motorola and AT&T, and we welcome others to join us. To start, we're jointly announcing that new devices from participating partners will receive the latest Android platform upgrades for 18 months after the device is first released, as long as the hardware allows...and that's just the beginning. Stay tuned for more details.

More—extending the platform beyond mobile
From the beginning, Android was designed to extend beyond the mobile phone. With that in mind, we’ve developed Android Open Accessory to help developers start building new hardware accessories that will work across all Android devices. We previewed an initiative called Android@Home, which allows Android apps to discover, connect and communicate with appliances and devices in your home. We also showed a preview of Project Tungsten, an Android device for Music Beta to give you more control over music playback within the Android@Home network.

You can watch the entire Android keynote from Google I/O on our Google Developer YouTube Channel shortly. On behalf of the team, we want to thank the entire Android community of developers, OEMs and carriers who are pushing the platform into new areas and building great experiences for consumers. Without you, the Android platform wouldn’t have grown so large in the past two and a half years. We look forward to seeing where you take it next.



Hugo Barra is Director of Product Managment for Android.


Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor