For the first time ever, another operating system has been able to replace Microsoft’s Windows as the most used OS in the world. Thanks to the popularity of smartphones and a large number of people shifting from desktop to mobile, Android topped the position in the worldwide OS usage. The web analytics firm StatCounter reported that in March of this year, Android usage reached 37.93% which was enough to surpass Windows with a share of 37.91%.
The CEO of StatCounter said, “This is a milestone in technology historyand the end of an era.” He went on to say, “It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market,which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a major breakthrough forAndroid, which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five yearsago.”
The data which was collected from 2.5million different websites further revealed that iOS was the third most popularOS with a market share of 13.09% only. The firm also revealed that a majorportion of Android users came from areas other than the US including India andChina that together constitute 37% population of the world.
The top reasons behind the success ofAndroid are:
Free of Cost
When Google launched Android, they decidedto keep it free and wanted to keep this intention for the future too. A numberof hardware manufacturers were attracted by this offer as they could nowmanufacture a low-cost smartphone by using a free OS in it. This is one of themain reasons that almost all the leading mobile manufacturers are opting for itexcept for Apple which has its very own OS. Initially, Nokia was relying onWindows phone but seeing their unpopularity and the lack of user-friendlinessin the Windows OS, this company has also launched its phone with Android.
Another blessing for the mobile hardwaremanufacturers was that Google decided to keep this OS open source. This meansthat it is not protected by laws, copyrights, or patents and hence, can be usedby anyone for their smartphones or other such devices. This also enabled Googleto facilitate a large pool of programmers from different parts of the world tocontribute to this OS and make it better. With such a large number of intelligentbrains working together on this system, newer and more refined ideas weregenerated and implemented in a limited span of time.
Both Android and iOS offer the users tointeract with the device through tapping, swiping, and pinch-and-zoom. iOS islimited to the use of apps whereas Android allows its users the use of widgetstoo displaying the auto-updated information including the weather and theemails. Also, the Crittercism Mobile Experience Report said that Android is afar more stable OS as compared to iOS. The crash rate for Android is 0.7%whereas that of iOS is 1.6%.
Anyone Can Create an App
You don’t have to be a skilled coder tocreate an app for Android. Realizing the distinct needs and requirements of allthe users and their desire to design something unique for their smartphone,Google allows them to develop apps with the help of a specific set of tools.The users can use these tools for free and create an app for themselves tofulfill particular purposes along with exploring the flexibility and thefreedom offered by Android. The users can modify anything given by themanufacturers and make it the way they would like it to be.
The App Store
Previously known as Android Market,Google’s Play Store is the place from where it sells or offers different appsto the users. It allows the users to test and use different applications and torecommend them to others as well. In July 2013, the number of applicationssurpassed 1 million on the Play Store and this was a milestone in itself. Thereis a wide range of apps available on the platform ranging from entertainment toeducational ones. Some of the apps are purchased whereas others are free ofcost and the revenue is generated in them through in-app purchases. Observingless strictness and flexible rules, it is also easier for any person to make anapp available on the Play Store.
As compared to other OS, Android has theability to support a wider number of hardware devices including the 32-bit andthe 64-bit ones. It also has compatibility with the ARM architecture,x86,x86-64, MIPS64, and MIPS. Since 2012, Android tablets have also beenavailable on the market using the Intel processors in them. It can even run ona desktop PC through the Android x86. Currently, it is also being used in smartTVs and other such appliances which enable any person to lead a more advancedand facilitated life. The RAM requirements of Android start from 512MB which isvery low as compared to Ubuntu Touch requiring a minimum of 1GB RAM.
In October 2016, 51.3% of internet accesscame from mobile devices whereas only 48.7% came from the traditional desktopcomputers as per StatCounter. This shows that the trend is taking a shift witha large number of people resorting to their smartphones for browsing theinternet. When we bring tablets into the scene, they take a mere share of 4.73%from the mobile traffic still leaving a whopping 46.53% of the smartphone-basedtraffic.
Android has a huge market of potentialusers with more than 1.6 billion number of smartphones working in the business.This number is staggering as compared to 395 million iOS users and 46 millionusers for Windows. This proves the popularity of the Android software and itscommon use amongst the masses.A number of Android news reveal that retailerslike Samsung, HTC, and the remaining smartphone giants solely rely on Android to manufacture top-notchsmartphones thus, giving a further hike to the popularity of the OS.