Strength in numbers: Android’s legacy

by: nathanMay 11, 2012
7 29 4

Android. We know the name but do we truly understand the ideals behind it?

A few points to mull over before we begin this piece:

  • Android is Google’s brainchild.
  • Android is property of the public.
  • Android is, and has been, a boon to mobile manufacturers, app developers, and retail outlets.

Think about the above for a moment. Imagine a world without Android. Would we still have diversity in the market? Would Windows Phones have Android’s market dominance in a competitive battle with iOS? I surmise it wouldn’t but let’s backtrack for a moment. Google develops each release of Android. However, leaked ROM’s, forks and mods are by and large the public’s doing — and are, in some cases, the product of commercial intent, like what Amazon has done — but regardless, Android’s development is largely the product of enthusiasm for the mobile environment, and the support of open-source software.

Ownership of Android

So who really owns Android? This may seem like a rhetorical question at first but let’s look at the third item on the list for an answer. If there were no Android, mobile manufacturers, app developers and retail outlets would be stuck in the days of old. We’d have a world with Apple vs. Microsoft going at it, both being closed to public development for the most part. The world of mobile computing and telecommunications at large would be vastly different, possibly even bland, simply because the third option does not exist. Shelves would be full of Samsung and Sony tablets running Windows Phone adaptations. The only alternative would be iPads. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a world I’d like to live in. Choices are good, and so is competition.


Open-Source Solutions

The support of Android, in general, is a vote of confidence for crowdsourcing. It’s a statement of trust and intellectual wealth being passed about in the hive, as opposed to the “closed door policies” that exist under the two aforementioned companies. For those who are really paying attention, I haven’t mentioned Symbian specifically because Nokia isn’t a big player in the mobile software development world anymore. Loyalists who use nothing but Symbian, swear by it’s reliability and utilitarian appeal, are welcome to it. Symbian hasn’t done anything groundbreaking like the other competition has in recent years. Case closed.

Android is the futureproofing of mobility, and it could be that Google someday decides to pack up and move to the next town. But for now we have a beautiful synchronicity between consumer adoration and developer intelligentsia creating some visually exciting and productive apps and devices. When you leave the show content to the audience, great things can happen. This is something that research and development in big companies can’t co-opt. It’s an organic human response to the lack of creative solutions on the market at the time of  Android’s initial release. Continued availability is just the evolution of an idea funded by the enduring human quest for information.


  • Discover the latest apps and games. FREE and enjoy instantly on your Android phone or tablet.

  • Litlprince

    A world with out android….

    Apple would be #1 with no true competition.. now that may sound good to some people but then again we probably wouldnt see anything resembling the iphone 4s till maybe 2015 thanks to a lack of competition and thus a lack of reasoning to step away from the minor update ways of apple.

    Windows wouldnt stand a chance because the competition would be to high. Only With android and ios battling it out constantly is windows able to slowly but surely slip there os out to the public.

    Competition is good for the consumers and whether you like android or apple you gotta respect both for forcing each other to greatness.. That being said i still feel that android on its own would still grow at a more rapid pace even without competition. Google is always pushing the OS to new heights and as for hardware… inbred competition between android phone manufactures brings cutting edge tech to consumers at a rapid and sporadic pace. Thats all good news to us…

    • anderson

      Totally agree with you. Competition is always good, a healthy one I mean.

      • True facts. In the organic world, competition has seen humans evolve into their current iteration. In the digital world, the same idea holds weight.. Without Android, we’d most certainly be sucking on 450mHz processors in our phones, less than 256Mb of RAM and bemoaning how much last years model is like the current one. An open-source operating environment, but specifically Android in this case, forces manufacturers to combine software solutions instead of patenting them and make better hardware instead of be cornered by the Big Boys to make it for their OS. It forces minds to be innovative in order to meet demand, but also to fulfill the human need to express, to be creative. But without the Big Boys whom so many defame, Android may have never come into being developed and released.