Android is ready to have a banner year in 2020. Discover what Jack Wallen thinks these costs will lead.
Image: Getty Images / iStockphoto
It has been an interesting ride with Android over the years and 2019 is no exception. The release of Android 10, malware attacks, the Pixel 4, artificial intelligence (AI) – you name it, and Android has experienced it.
What does 2020 have in store for the mobile platform? Let’s throw the curtain back, look into the crystal ball and predict.
1. Samsung Galaxy S11 becomes the must-have phone
I would like to say that the Pixel 5 will be the phone in 2020, but I would be wrong. Why? The most wanted phone in 2020 – regardless of the platform – will be the Samsung Galaxy S11. Samsung has proven year after year that it can make the most elegant devices in the world, and the Galaxy S11 will take this to new heights.
With a combination of the enveloping edge screen and an almost borderless screen, you will not find a nicer device on the market. But the Galaxy S11 will not only be a beautiful sight – the screen will be the heart of a champion: a 100+ MP camera, ridiculous battery life (thanks to some special technology rolled out by Samsung), 8k video recording, and more. This phone becomes really special and becomes the flagship of all flagships.
SEE: Rental package: Android developer (TechRepublic Premium)
2. The Pixel 5 will be spectacular
After the price of the Pixel 4 dropped $ 200, I went ahead and bought one, and I don’t regret it. For $ 799 for the 128 GB storage version, the Pixel 4 is a decent upgrade from the Pixel 3. That said, the Pixel 4 received such a bad press that Google goes back to the drawing board. Instead of repeating what happened to the Pixel 4, Google has learned from its mistakes and will do everything to surpass Samsung in 2020.
Although Google’s efforts will fail because no Samsung company will perform the best this year, the resulting device will be nothing short of spectacular. With the same game-changing camera on top of a greatly improved battery, more powerful CPU, more memory and a slimmer design, the Pixel 5 will at least retain the Google Pixel fan base and at best bring more in the fold. However, the Pixel 5 is still in the shadow of the Galaxy S11.
3. Google Play lockdown
Due to the increase in malware / spyware / adware / ransomware attacks on the Android platform, I predict that Google will finally close the Play Store to make it harder for developers to release their apps and almost impossible for adware networks to gain access to devices. While this could hamper the capabilities of developers, this is a necessity for Android platform security. This can also cause Google to refresh the advertising services for Android apps. Is this perhaps the end of advertising-supported software? It could, but Google will have to replace it with a different incentive for developers; otherwise Android users will see the end of the free application.
SEE: Android gift guide: the best gifts in 2019 (TechRepublic)
4. Google takes over the mainline Linux kernel
Google has made it clear that it prefers the mainline Linux kernel, which makes perfect sense because it would allow for a more efficient update process and could update the kernel between major releases. This will also lead to significant challenges for Google. If Google wants this to happen, the company must make serious changes to the Android development process. If Google does this – and I think so – Android will be much improved. I see serious efforts for this development in Q4 of 2020. One thing to understand is that more efficient updates are not the only driving forces behind the acceptance of the mainline kernel; along with this change, a higher level of security for the platform will come.
5. Every Android flagship device supports 5G
By the end of 2020, each flagship supports Android device 5G; in fact, 5G will be a requirement. Some OEMs already issue devices that are suitable for 5G connectivity – although the protocol has not reached every city – but by 2020 5G will become the standard. The big question is: will technology reach the masses? Although the majority of the new Android devices released in 2020 support 5G, the protocol will have to be expanded considerably. This will be a banner year for network upgrades to keep pace with the devices.
SEE: The best Android phones of the past decade (TechRepublic)
6. An Android watch becomes a hit
In 2020, an Android watch will finally be released that could dominate the Apple Watch as the ruler of wearables. Chances are that the smartwatch will be the next iteration of the Samsung Active 2, although many external companies release high-quality Android watches (such as Amazfit). It is possible that Google releases the rumored Pixel watch in combination with the Pixel 5; if so – and Google is doing well – the Pixel watch can be portable. Regardless of which company is first to reach the finish line, 2020 will be the year of the Android watch.
7. Android 11 will have impressive functions
Android 11 builds on what Android 10 has done, with some additions. An addition that will make Android faster is scoped storage, a new way to organize the information and files that apps can read. I believe that Android 11 will expand the idea of the chat bubble that is said to come to Android 10, but that was never realized. Android 11 also sees the wanted – but not game-changing – feature: keep Bluetooth turned on when switching to airplane mode.
SEE: 10 largest Android flops of the decade (TechRepublic)
It would not surprise me to see the ability to capture screens that are built into the platform, which means you don’t have to depend on third-party applications such as AZ Screen Recorder.
AI will continue its rise to dominance on the Android platform, with a focus on security.
I believe that the technology in the Google Camera app, which helps create such stunning photos on Pixel devices, will become widespread. It is early in the development cycle, so there is not much to do at the moment. Still, 2020 should see an improvement over what we saw in 2019, which will lead to the best Android release to date.
8. Android will dominate the market share worldwide
Sorry Apple, 2020 will be the year that Android finally exceeds the 90% market share threshold. Although Android will not reach such heights in the US, the world market will be dominated by Android. Since 2019 saw an 87% Android market share, this should not come as a surprise to anyone looking at the market. The most important factors for this breakthrough are the Samsung Galaxy S11 and the abundance of devices that are suitable for 5G.
There you have it: my predictions for Android in the coming year. It doesn’t matter which of my predictions come true, it is certainly an exciting time for the Android platform and the Google ecosystem.
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