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2013 in the Android universe: the year of ups and downs

Alongside new smartphones, interesting trends have been launched, whose real dimensions for now may only be intuited. In addition to milestones, Android has also suffered some significant casualties. See the year of Google OS extremes in our retrospective.

2013 in android
Google / AndroidPIT

The year of casualties

Three important members of the Android family severed their direct relationships with the operating system. To begin with, one of its co-founders, Andy Rubin, left his position as vice president responsible for Android in March. Under his command, an unknown operating system has become the number one in the world market.

Then Android Open Source Projects (AOSP) head Jean-Baptiste Quru threw in the towel, allegedly annoyed by Google's troubled relationship with its hardware partners, notably processor maker Qualcomm. He feared that Android's philosophy of freedom as an open source system would be abandoned for reasons of marketing policy.

Finally, Google's vice president for Android product management, miner Hugo Barra, swaps the company with Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. It was always seen in product introductions like Nexus 7 and OS versions, and so to some extent represented the face of Android.

Nexus 7 android execs2
From left to right: Andy Rubin, Jean-Baptiste Quru and Hugo Barra. / AndroidPIT

The Year of the Phablets

Not so long ago that the typical screen size for a smartphone was 3.5 to 4 inches. Last year (2012) it had already risen to 4.5 to 4.7. Now a 5 inch diagonal is the absolute standard. But it didn't stop by. Almost all of the name makers have surrendered to the phablet format, and have released 5.5 to 6-inch models, whether the Note 3, Galaxy Mega Series, HTC One Max, Huawei Ascend Mate or Asus Fonepad Note 6.

The rise of Wearables

They came up with the weirdest names, ultramobile or wearables (in the translation, "wearable") and define the devices that could become the new technological trend. This year, Google started the Explorer Program for Glass, and other manufacturers are already working on similar glasses. In addition, the booming market for smartwatches has gained weight: there are now smart watches from Sony, Samsung, Qualcomm and Pebble – and that's just the beginning. Next year, copies of other major manufacturers, especially Apple, are expected.

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Die Pebble links, Sonys zweite Smartwatch in der Mitte, Die Galaxy Gear rechts und Google Glass. / Pebble, Sony, Samsung, Google / AndroidPIT
</figure>
<h2>The emergence of curved screens</h2>
<p>While the innovation of the Galaxy Round and LG GFlex is considered useless by most users, the development and curved and even flexible displays for the mass market are in full swing, and the evolution of technology must also bring more effective interactions between this new form and the software of the respective devices. wait to see.</p>
<h2>The turn of the digital scanner</h2>
<p>Yes, the first scanner of its kind came up with the Motorola Atrix in 2011, but the market has not welcomed the innovation. This year's story was a little different: Apple won the race and launched the iPhone 5s with the above-mentioned digital scanner. The technology is far from unique, and the enhanced security illusion was quickly wiped out with countless YouTube videos of users using a nipple to a cat's paw to unlock their iPhones. Even so, manufacturers like Samsung will also launch handsets with the technology (not to mention HTC One Max). If you don't go through improvements, however, you shouldn't become a standard.</p>
<figure><img alt=
From iPhone 5S (links) and HTC One Max with Fingerabdruck-Scanner auf der Rckseite. / Apple, HTC / AndroidPIT

The 64-bit era begins

And it was Apple again that paved the way (and being Samsung again in its footsteps). The iPhone 5s was also the first smartphone with 64-bit processor. And the trend will spread like wildfire next year. We will not yet be able to talk about an absolute standard in 2014, but its predominance will only be a matter of time.

The magic billiard

Also in the numbers 2013 was a milestone for Android. In April, Google OS vice president Sundar Pichai announced that Android had reached a billion active users. The next billion should be won in the new markets, with more popular handsets and a version of the OS accessible to everyone (KitKat is up for it).

(tagsToTranslate) Android (t) Apple (t) iPhone 5S (t) Galaxy Note 3 (t) Andy Rubin (t) Retrospective