Digital cameras might be the next hardware platform for Android
From the beginning, Android was designed to work on as many types of hardware and chip architectures as possible. It was designed to be very flexible so it works on anything. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Android needs to remain unchanged interface-wise. You simply can’t use the stock Android UI across all device classes, from TVs to smartwatches. I strongly believe that each category of devices should have its own optimized interface. But the Android core itself can still be easily ported to many types of products.
After seeing Android on smartphones, tablets, TVs, and smartwatches, we may soon see a new trend — Android on digital cameras. We already know Samsung may be working on an Android-powered digital camera, and I expect others to follow course as well, because it just makes a lot of sense.
As smartphone cameras become more and more advanced, phones are starting to accomplish much of what a digital compact shooter can do. This means that the digital camera as a concept is under attack, and could be made obsolete by smartphones in the next few years. If camera manufacturers want to hold on to this market, they need to make point and shoot cameras as useful as smartphones, software-wise, while still delivering much higher quality pictures.
I expect the manufacturers that already have a lot of experience with Android to be the first ones to use Android on their digital cameras. That includes Samsung and Sony, for starters. Hopefully, digital camera makers who aren’t making smartphones will partner with smartphone manufacturers to exchange knowledge and technology. This knowledge transfer could lead to improvements in camera technology, both in dedicated photo cameras and in smartphones .
The existence of Android-powered digital cameras would create a unified ecosystem of camera apps. Hopefully, camera makers will be using Android 4.0 or later, because Google completely changed the camera software in that version. If they could use the optimized Jelly Bean, it would be even better, because digital cameras don’t come with dual-core or quad-core high-end ARM processors like smartphones do.