A WSJ story takes a look at Google’s attempts to regain control of the presently fragmented Android platform, by putting its Motorola acquisition to use and releasing a low-cost Nexus branded tablet.
As per Google’s stats, a little more than seven percent of Android users are on the latest version of the OS, making it a tough job for developers to maintain compatibility across the vast variety of Android variants out there. It has also become a huge point of embarrassment for Google.
Google is moving to address such issues: Its $12.5 billion acquisition of handset maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. takes it directly into hardware. Google also opened an online store to sell future Android devices, and is expected to spend heavily to promote the gadgets.
In coming weeks, Google is expected to unveil a lower-priced Android tablet that it developed with Asustek Computer Inc. to dent the market share of Apple’s iPad, people familiar with the matter have said.
A low-priced tablet could certainly sell a lot if Google’s execution is right. As of now, the Android tablet app ecosystem hasn’t seen a lot of momentum, and Google’s got to make this right. Perhaps this will be a major focus during Google’s upcoming developer conference Google I/O.
Not just hardware, Google’s also taking on Apple with its own version of Siri. There have been rumors flying about Google’s virtual personal assistant, named Majel, since quite sometime now, and according to WSJ, it’s going to be launched very soon, perhaps as soon as Google I/O.
As Google and Apple’s share has grown, the fighting between them has intensified. Last week, Apple unveiled the next version of its software for iPhones and iPads with a slate of features aimed at distancing itself from Google. They include a mapping service and enhanced Siri “virtual assistant” that provides an alternative way to search for information besides the traditional Google search box.
Google, meanwhile, has accelerated plans to launch its own Siri competitor that would work on Android-powered devices, people familiar with the matter have said.
Samsung has it’s own Siri competitor called S-Voice, and it’ll be interesting to if Galaxy S3 would support both, S-Voice and Majel.
Would you buy a low-priced Android tablet with the stock OS?