What to expect for Android in 2014 & beyond

December 30, 2013

galaxy round tilt

In 2007, Android was revealed with an air of skepticism. It was marketed as an open standard which would take on Apple and iOS. Six years and nine sweet-related names later, Android is at the pinnacle of mobile technology and it’s only going to get better in 2014.

Wearables 2.0

Whether you prefer head-based or wrist-based wearables, we can all agree that while 2013 was a breakthrough year for wearable technology, the products were anything but breathtaking. Android 4.4 KitKat brought support for low-end hardware, and that’s certainly going to help wearable devices improve in the performance aspect.

samsung galaxy gear aa 10

The Galaxy Gear was criticized for slow performance and bad battery life. Let’s hope the Galaxy Gear 2 solves these issues.

The oft rumored Google smart watch might just see the light of day in 2014, and Google Glass is set to be released to consumers some time in 2014. Samsung will look to release the second generation Galaxy Gear next year as well and LG is also rumored to be getting in on the game in 2014 with the G Arc.

Google Glass Vision

Let’s hope that this second wave of smart watches fixes the issues consumers have experienced, and will finally be products that actually make you want to wear them. Google Glass continues to draw considerable curiosity and interest, and represents the first generation what is likely to become incredibly advanced, contextually aware, and hopefully a more effortless systems with which we can interact.

64-bit, bigger, higher resolution displays and more

Despite many questioning the usefulness of a 64-bit processor in devices which have less than 4GB of RAM, these processors are coming and there’s little that we can do to stop them. Qualcomm has already unveiled a 64-bit processor, however, that’s only bound for low or mid range smartphones. Samsung is also rumored to be bringing 64-bit processors out with the new Exynos processors, and it’s only a matter of time before 64-bit becomes a staple of Android.

samsung-exynos-6-s-ces-2014-rumor

Samsung is rumored to be bringing its own 64-bit processors at CES.

It seems as if display resolutions will continue to increase on the mobile side of technology as smartphones push towards 2560×1440 displays. Oppo has already confirmed a 2k, 5.5-inch display for the Oppo Find 7 and it’s very possible for more OEMs to join in on the PPI race. While 1080P displays have proven themselves to be plenty sharp for most people, OEMs seem keen to push the envelope yet again, with 2k+ displays being their next signature upgrade of choice. We do already know that 4K display capable SoC’s from Qualcomm in the form of the Snapdragon 805 are coming to 2014′s flagships, so it’s all within the realm of possibility.

find-7-screen-size

Another display related technology which will grow during 2014 is flexible display technology. We received an early glimpse into their progress with the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex, and while consumer response was tepid to put it mildly, Samsung and LG have already committed to the new technology. Expect flexible displays and flexible batteries to become an even bigger feature of 2014. More very technical data, here. 

 

Next version of Android

Expect 64-bit support to be high on the agenda and Google Now to continue to become a bigger part of Android.

Whether it be Android 4.5 or the next leap — numbers wise — to Android 5.0, a new version of Android is coming. Expect 64-bit support to be high on the agenda and Google Now to continue to become a bigger part of Android, too. Though, since we are months away from a release, anything we could tell you would be based purely on conjecture. Google is likely to continue its growth velocity by getting Android into the hands of more people, and so it’s likely they will continue to refine the code base to get Android working well on even less powerful hardware. Further to this, Google is likely to further try and advance the roll out of its services to more countries across the globe. In the case of Google Now, for example, many countries have yet to been graced by its contextually impressive creepiness.

All UIs Android 4.4 Nexus Stock Android Touchwiz LG UI

We should expect two Android releases this year, one to accompany a Nexus 7 refresh mid-way through the year and another to accompany the next version of the Nexus 5 – what some refer to as the Nexus 6 – later in the year.

More Android based consoles

best android gifts2 ouya console

The Ouya was the poster child of 2013′s Android based console revolution and while the next-gen console wars are certain to take away some attention from the next wave of Android consoles, there will still be some room for announcements. The Ouya 2 has already been confirmed and expect a new Nvidia Shield to showcase this year’s new Tegra SoC.

More for less

The Moto G shocked everybody with its downright absurd price to specs ratio, and expect this trend to continue. As smartphone specs continue to improve, the latest and greatest specs from a year ago are trickling down to low-end smartphones to provide a better user experience for those who can’t afford the newest Samsung or HTC flagship.

moto g review (1)

A Quad-Core processor, 720P display and 1GB of RAM are found on the $179 Moto G.

The Moto G has also put some pressure on Samsung and other OEMS to improve their low-end offerings, and while they have yet to respond, a significant amount of Moto G’s sold will certainly catch their attention.

Wrap up

As the biggest mobile platform in the world, and a flexibility which allows it to be implemented pretty much anywhere, Android has nowhere to go but up and 2014 will look to continue that upwards trajectory.

For those of you in the mood for a look backwards at the year, check out the biggest Android news of 2013. 2013 was full of unexpected twist and turns for Android and expect to see some new pieces of technology that we’ve yet to lay our eyes upon.

Here’s to a Happy New Year for Android, and for all of you.

Comments

  • Name

    I would add Cyanogenmod… Android is tainted with Google and I really hope for more private and more open Android thanks to CM

    • Vitalariu Olivian

      You should pick one between private and open because you can`t have both(private is the opposite of open).

      • KingofPing

        Private=user-configurable permissions (aka AppOps)
        Open=open source/open development.

        Google does not allow user-level access to change App permissions, nor does Google use an Open Development model. (Their development model is closed, while the “finished product” is open source)

        • Guru Tim

          Simply put, just read the permissions of an app, don’t install/update if you don’t like something. Jeez. People act as if Google makes you install these apps haha, there’s a pop up, take the time to read the requested permissions, and quit blaming “forced permission” damn.

          • KingofPing

            Explaining the difference between how Google and cm do it does not in any way imply my preference.

            You can take your righteous indignation elsewhere, twit.

    • Shark Bait

      Yeah but you’ll still put play services on their making it no different , Google don’t care about android as much any more, their future is in play services!

  • Shark Bait

    I think android has dominated phones and tablets, and we will see it spill over to lots of other devices in 2014. It will be interesting to see where else it will sucseed!

    Personally I’d like to see my tablet have split screen apps, something similar to windows Rt. android is perfect for this!

    • pritish

      It’s “succeed” not “sucseed”

      • Mike – Construction Contractor

        Did you miss the sign at the door?

        “No Grammar Teachers Allowed.”

        If you have a hard time understanding what others are writing, you may consider reading only the dictionary or encyclopedia.

        • Shark Bait

          Yeahhh what he said!

        • smokebomb

          People could learn how to write properly, but that would be madness. Twitter will destroy written language eventually.

      • Lisandro O Oocks

        just thought of other way to spell it.. “suckseed”

      • Aniruddh

        grammar nazi…

      • Mick

        Yes but ‘sucseed’ sounds dirtier :–P

  • http://thechristiandad.com/ Joseph Bailey

    Waiting on my first Android device. I am getting the HTC One. I have been an iPhone user for many years and now have decided to give Android a shot. I am nervous…any advice?

    • Vitalariu Olivian

      Drink a vodka!

      • http://thechristiandad.com/ Joseph Bailey

        Done…now what?

    • KingofPing

      Got the One myself. Pretty slick device. Good intro to Android for ya.

      • http://thechristiandad.com/ Joseph Bailey

        I am excited…

    • Mike – Construction Contractor

      Yes – sell your iPhone as quick as you can. I’ve held onto mine for over a year and the value has dropped.

      Moving to Android was a great move. Sure, it has its faults like any company but there are many good things about it.

      Welcome!

      • http://thechristiandad.com/ Joseph Bailey

        Great advice…thanks

    • William Larsson

      Look around for third party apps that can change the look and feel on your phone, and give it a whole new experience. If your not happy with how it is out of the box that is. You can change the default keyboard, file explorer, mediaplayer, browser, Launcher (the screens that show up when you press the home-button), and many other things and make those third party apps the default application when doing certain things. There is so much stuff you can do if you want to, enjoy your HTC One!

      • http://thechristiandad.com/ Joseph Bailey

        I love tech…so I am sure i will be changing everything…probably a learning curve coming from the lock box that is Apple…I will check out the things you recommended William…thanks for the help

        • Aravind J Nampoothiry

          Welcome to the world of Android!!!

          • http://thechristiandad.com/ Joseph Bailey

            Thanks Aravind

          • Mike Bastable

            advice: download Tonido, whatsapp, play music, air droid, u torrent, drive, box, g cloud, netflix, kindle,es file explorer, film on, TuneIn, Vevo, VLc, Zedge……and have fun

          • http://artoften.com/ Joseph Bailey

            took notes…just waiting for the device now…should be here tomorrow…

          • Mike Bastable

            The htc one is awesome, buy a cover to keep it looing nice. I switched from iPhone last year and have no regrets. Do make sure to do a backup often and get some free cloud storage for photos etc. Need advice or tips send a mail. Have fun.

    • John Doe

      Get the ‘Developer Edition’ if you can..
      Much faster OS updates …

    • amwwx

      I maid the move from iPhone 4 to HTC One. I couldnt be happier.

  • Pan Szym

    Moto g – little nexus

    • Simon Belmont

      That’s pretty much how I see the Moto G. It’s like an updated Galaxy Nexus with a bigger battery, and a lower price.

      I know a lot of people that would be more than pleased with the Moto G as their daily driver. It’s a nice little smartphone.

  • Jacques Hragar

    Would laugh if Google just doesn’t make android 64 bit so Qualcomm and Samsung are just like ‘wut’

    • Aniruddh

      Samsung will add 64-bit support itself if Google doesn’t. Probably.

      • Abdel Aziz Farhi

        I don’t think that Samsung will go that far. Doing so means radically changing the OS.

        • pritish

          Ya, that would mean dealing with “x64″, “x32″ and “x86″ even in Android

    • Abdel Aziz Farhi

      If Samsung and Qualcomm invested large amounts of cash and time to make 64 bit CPUs its because they already know that its just a matter of time before Google releases a new Android version that will support the new tech. They are not that dumb.

    • Azeem

      Android is already capable of 64 bit by virtue of its dalvik runtime.

      • John Doe

        What does ‘ART’ run? 32 or 64 code?

    • Ilias

      Made my day LOL

    • Adam Koueider

      ARMv8 (the technology all 64-bit chips are based upon) is backwards compatible with ARMv7, so they could just say “64-bit support coming soon” even with a 64-bit processor.

    • Mike Bastable

      didnt eveyone sneer when iOS went 64bit?
      so WHY do we need 64 bit now.
      We never seem to know what we want, lol

  • Luka Mlinar

    2K is just a reason to push people to buy phones larger then 5 inches. And well, that’s fine. There is no reason why people shouldn’t talk on diner plates. I enjoy watching the “ministry of silly phones” when i leave the house. Only problem i have is that manufacturers are moving their flagship products into a phablet form factor. I was waiting some time to finally see a Find 5 successor only to find out that they turned it into a phablet. *disappointed*

    • Mike – Construction Contractor

      It sounds like you have personal issues. Many times I have read your comments about watching people talk on their large phones.

      Are you a stalker?

      As long as someone isn’t talking loud or somewhere they should not be on a phone, why do you care?

      Stop wasting your time and energy on others.

      • Luka Mlinar

        Reading my comment over and over. Wow, that’s weird O.o
        Don’t you look at people when you walk in the street. Or are you one of those people that have their head stuck in a phone screen all the time?
        Yes, I’m a stalker. I’m stalking everybody.
        The best of all; in a years time there will be a dozen of you defending a 7 inch phone. I wonder if I will still find the whole thing funny then. I guess we’ll wait and see.

        • Ilias

          It’s no ones fault that you have small hands :P and you don’t like big phones :D

        • smokebomb

          Everyone will be using augmented reality devices in a year. It goes in cycles. Everything was a small flip phone 10 years ago, now we’re at large touch screens. Next year it’ll be a 3 inch lens on face wearables and it’ll grow from there.

      • Joshua Hill

        ‘Stop wasting your time and energy on others’

        Advice you seem unable to heed yourself.

        Hello again Mr Facist ;)

  • Mike Bastable

    Biggest news will be Samsung’s reaction to Motorola (google) and their aggressive pricing of the Moto G and extreme promotion of the Moto x. By actually scoring successes with Moto Google is gonna force a reaction from Samsung, as market share comes under pressure. Whilst thenext Galaxy flagship phone will be the Android handset to beat in 2014 expect to see Tizen handsets priced to destroy Moto with all of Samsungs own apps included….capatalizing on the average consumers perception of Android = Samsung. Clever clever Samsung.

    • telco

      for me… am thinking tizen won’t show up next year. tizen has to match android upon released to be a success. it would be samsung’s escape goat just in case android goes to a bad turn. but looking at how android is faring.. samsung will not tip the balance off by showcasing tizen.

      in regards w/ moto g… am not confident that it can sway samsung. samsung has already established itself in the market and a moto g won’t be enough to catch samsung’s attention on mid range market. they can bear a year or two and several moto g devices before they will think of lowering the price for their mid range.

      and going back to tizen.. if samsung does make a break through w/ tizen.. i have a funny feeling a hundred moto g devices won’t sway the price of samsung mid range devices.. i am afraid that tizen will be more like iOS.. its gonna have its own ecosystem and the korean giant having established themselves on premium phones.. they might go and follow apple’s path… even more so if this goes through : http://m.androidauthority.com/samsung-apple-patent-deal-328382/

      • Mike Bastable

        interesting points.
        Tizen seems to be consumer ready, i have used a proto handset at a research lab and it was very slick indeed (not sure if the handset was Samsung though, it’s design language was more LG). Tizen is also slated to run Android apps (the one i used ran bbc iplayer very well).
        I do think that Google / Moto is pushing Samsung way from Android, precisely because Moto is going after low end / mid range market share….an area Samsung clearly dominates.
        Samsung used to have BADA (the Wave was an awesome phone with Metal body and excellent build quality) and they did learn a lot with that range. So we agree: Samsung has spent the last years establishing its own apps and app store, establishing the idea of Samsung above Android (as a brand). Thus we can expect Tizen handsets to be marketed as “just” exceptional smartphones, no OS branding, running all of Samsung’s apps, Android apps using software tricks and across many services : TV, smartphone, wearables etc.
        Should be an interesting year. ( i predict CES is Android for Samsung,early S5 release then: early summer release of the TIZEN wave of products)

        • telco

          heard about bada and lots of good things about it.. is it somehow inter elated w/ tizen? or is a whole different platform… if only nokia goes back to symbian and improve it… *sigh

          • Mike Bastable

            Bada was integrated into Tizen.
            Maybe your Symbian dreams come true with Sailfish OS? (http://jolla.com/) since these people were the core team behind
            symbian within Nokia. The Jolla phone is not really mass market but is pretty awesome

          • telco

            seriously? be researching more about this. thanks mate

  • jay555

    What’s the point of 2K resolution, 64bit, etc. when battery life continues to be crap on these phones. When are they finally going to make that a priority?

    • Mike Bastable

      please see the LG G2…awesome battery life!

  • prestonjb

    Android and iOS have grown as os goes but they need more laptop apps (that are tablet friendly of course).. What android needs is a stronger relationship with computer and their file formats… I see quicken now but that’s only one.. We need better word processing, spreadsheet, etc..

    To me android and iOS are neat… But I feel like I’m using a commodore 64 with a really nice graphics processor and sound card.

  • emanuel

    Android Moving from HOLO from 4.x to WhiteLux in 5.x !!

  • http://www.brosix.com/ Brosix

    I am already looking forward to Nexus 6 (or whatever they name it) after the success of Nexus 5.