Today Google released statistics showcasing the exponential growth of its Android operating system, which has managed to rapidly evolve into a successful ecosystem.
To be sure, over 400,000 new Android devices are activated per day, placing the current grand total at 100 million (active) Android phones worldwide. Just in February, Eric Schmidt talked statistics at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – putting daily activations at 350,0000.
Meanwhile, Android’s popularity has spawned a marketplace full of 200,000 free and paid applications with over 4.5 billion applications installed from the official Android Market.
Google has coded a number of Android iterations over the past two years, with the most recently announced and delicious update “Ice Cream Sandwich” due in Q4 2011.
Since Google has been criticized for the fragmentation of its operating systems across devices, the company’s goal for Ice Cream Sandwich is to achieve a one-size-fits-all OS that will work across multiple Android devices whether it’s a smartphone or tablet.
Interestingly enough, the company previously downplayed the issue of fragmentation as a real problem for Android.
“Nobody ever defined ‘fragmentation’ – or rather, everybody has a different definition. Because it means everything, it actually means nothing, so the term is useless,” wrote the Google open source program manager in an Android developers blog post dated May 31st 2010.
In a post written today by Hugo Barra on the official Google blog, the company not only addressed the issue of fragmentation but also added, “Ice Cream Sandwich will bring everything you love about Honeycomb on your tablet to your phone, including the holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets.”
To further enhance the Android experience, Google announced today its Music Beta as well as a movie rental initiative through the Android Market.
Mountain View also emphasized its dedication to customers by describing its founding team of industry leaders, many from the Open Handset Alliance, that will be working together to adopt guidelines for how quickly devices are updated after a new platform release and for how long they will continue to be updated.
Founding partners include Verizon, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, LG, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Motorola, and AT&T. New devices from participating partners will now receive Android upgrades for at least 18 months after the device is first released as long as the hardware allows.
In addition, the company says it is focused on app development and creation with its Android Open Accessory initiative, which will help developers build new hardware accessories capable of working across all Android devices.